Measuring Health

towards a new index

Healthy is good

We all know that healthy is good. But, what is healthy, exactly? How do we know if a coastal wetland is healthy? And, could we determine the health of all coastal wetlands everywhere?

GLOW’s health theme is focusing on the science behind accurately and efficiently defining, measuring and modelling the health of coastal wetlands. Work is centred on trial locations with varying environmental, social, legislative, economic and cultural settings.

Research topics cover species biology, community ecology, spatial assessment and modelling. Specifically, the health theme includes the:

  • review of existing indicators;
  • review of data availability at trial locations;
  • development of ecosystem assessments;
  • evaluation and fine-tuning of the index; and,
  • extension and application of the index at the global scale.

GLOW is not alone in its attempt to improve coastal wetland conservation. We are working with existing ecosystem assessment approaches and biodiversity indicators (e.g., IUCN Red List for Ecosystems).

However, GLOW is also developing understanding that: tackles the ecological characteristics of coastal wetlands; is overtly applicable to managing coastal wetlands for improved outcomes; and, centres on actions required to protect and rehabilitate these habitats.

Understanding coastal wetland health underpins improving action.