The report looks at the linkages between wetlands, human health and well-being, and examines the potential of to improving health while conserving wetland ecosystems. It aims to provide advice to wetland managers and decision makers, and to facilitate dialogue between wetlands and human health experts.

The report gives an overview of how wetland ecosystems influence health — benefits such as the provision of water, as well as hazards such as exposure to infectious disease. It outlines three approaches to harnessing the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health. These include recognising the human needs satisfied by access to wetlands, such as water, food and social cohesion; medicinal plants and other health products; and the economic value of wetlands to improving socioeconomic conditions.

The authors call for a change in wetland management perspective, better policy development, and new instruments and approaches. They recommend stronger partnerships between sectors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.