Global Index

global status of coastal wetlands to inform conservation

Global Coastal Wetlands Index Web App


Researchers from all around the world have been recording a wide range of data on the world’s coastal wetlands for decades. For the first time we have brought these global data sets together. We have analysed this data and can now see how our coastal wetlands are faring and where they may be in trouble using the Global Coastal Wetlands Index Web App.

Coastal wetland decision makers can zoom into the global map, see the category their region falls into and find out what makes their coastal wetlands unique. You can look around the map and find other regions with similar characteristics. There is the opportunity to learn from other regions conservation programs that maybe able to assist their coastal wetlands of interest.


The Global Coastal Wetlands Index Web App allows users to compare the health status of coastal wetlands around the world.

View the health of coastal wetlands around the world up to 100km2
You can search the map and identify the health status of areas of mangroves, seagrass and/or saltmarsh up to 100km2. You can find areas around the world that face similar health challenges to their own areas of interest.

By identifying these similar areas, coastal wetland decision makers can investigate and learn from the protection and restoration measures taking place in these other locations.

34 indicators provide a full picture of coastal wetlands health
We use indicators to access change. When one indicator changes this can impact another indicator. Understanding the relationships between the indicators can be beneficial to ensure we have a deeper understanding of what is happening. Conservation efforts should look to mitigate multiple pressures simultaneously.

To provide a full picture of the health of coastal wetlands, the web app uses 34 indicators showing the state or level of wetland health. We have quantified the indicators and made adjustments to account for geography. For example, because tropical zones have more wildlife than temperate zones, we have made adjustments to allow for on-par comparisons with sites around the world based on other indicators.

Globally coordinated conservation efforts benefit from deeper understanding of interrelationships among indicators that are used to track progress towards targets and objectives.

Worldwide data gaps have been filled in to provide predicted coastal wetland health
We have been able to fill in the gaps for areas where data is not available and provide predicted results. You can zoom into any 100km2 stretch of coastline and see either the actual or the predicted results for that area. By providing this missing data we can assist conservation managers to understand what is happening in their local area and inform selection of areas that may requiring monitoring.

Similar wetlands have been grouped together – find other wetlands around the world like yours
We have grouped coastal wetlands that share similar characteristics into what we call a ‘typology’. The web app allows you to explore these typologies as outputs of either 5 or 18 typologies.

You can identify the typology their coastal wetland belongs to and see the defining characteristics of that typology. For example, your typology might have high climate-based pressures and high rates of seagrass loss.

Using the colour code, you can then look around the world map to find other areas that belong to that same typology. You can also see graphs showing the indicators that make up that typology. Find other areas around the world that have the same typology and learn about the conservation measures they are using.