Health Impact Assessment for Wetlands
Wetlands traditionally were considered a threat to human health through water-borne diseases. More recently, the positive contributions of wetland ecosystem services to human well-being and health are recognized broadly but need more clear articulation in planning and management. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for water and wetlands need to incorporate health issues in a comprehensive way to ensure a balanced assessment of health risks, benefits and safeguards. This can be done by recognizing that wetlands not only satisfy biophysical and material human needs for water and nutrition, but also provide important socio-cultural, aesthetic and spiritual benefits. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) consists of procedures, methods and tools that evaluate the effects of policies, plans, programs or projects on the health of a population and identify appropriate management actions. HIA thus influences decision-making to ensure effective integration of health protection and promotion into development planning.
KeywordsHealth impact assessment Strategic environmental assessment Environmental impact assessment Development planning Ecosystem services Wetland ecosystems
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