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 will focus on the science behind accurately and efficiently defining, measuring and modelling the health of coastal wetlands. Work will be centred on trial locations with varying environmental, social, legislative, economic and cultural settings.

Research topics will cover species biology, community ecology, spatial assessment and modelling. Specifically, the health theme will likely include 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 will draw on existing ecosystem assessment approaches and biodiversity indicators (e.g., IUCN Red List for Ecosystems).

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

We then want to start improving action.