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Oceans and Human Health: Implications for Society and Well-Being




Oceans and Human Health: Implications for Society and Well-Being

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Human health and well-being are tied to the vitality of the global ocean and coastal systems on which so many live and rely.  We engage with these extraordinary environments to enhance both our health and our well-being.  But, we need to recognize that introducing contaminants and otherwise altering these ocean systems can harm human health and well-being in significant and substantial ways.

These are complex, challenging, and critically important themes.  How the human relationship to the oceans evolves in coming decades may be one of the most important connections in understanding our personal and social well-being.  Yet, our understanding of this relationship is far too limited.

This remarkable volume brings experts from diverse disciplines and builds a workable understanding  of  breadth and depth of the processes – both social and environmental – that will help us to limit future costs and enhance the benefits of sustainable marine systems.  In particular, the authors have developed a shared view that the global coastal environment is under threat through intensified natural resource utilization, as well as changes to global climate and other environmental systems.  All these changes contribute individually, but more importantly cumulatively, to higher risks for public health and to the global burden of disease.

This pioneering book will be of value to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in public health, environmental, economic, and policy fields. Additionally, the treatment of these complex systems is of essential value to the policy community responsible for these questions and to the broader audience for whom these issues are more directly connected to their own health and well-being.

"The seas across this planet and their effects on human society and its destiny are a fascinating subject for analysis and insights derived from intellectual inquiry. This diverse and complex subject necessarily requires a blending of knowledge from different disciplines, which the authors of this volume have achieved with remarkable success."

"The following pages in this volume are written in a lucid and very readable style, and provide a wealth of knowledge and insightful analysis, which is a rare amalgam of multi-disciplinary perspectives and unique lines of intellectual inquiry. It is valuable to get a volume such as this, which appeals as much to a non-specialist reader as it does to those who are specialists in the diverse but interconnected subjects covered in this volume."
(From the "Foreword" written by, R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI and Chairman, IPCC)

Related Resources

List of Contributors vii

Foreword xi

About the Companion Website xiii

Section One: Coastal Seas, Human Health, and Well-Being: Setting the Stage

1 Influences of the Oceans on Human Health and Well-Being 3

2 Integrating Frameworks to Assess Human Health and Well-Being in Marine Environmental Systems 23

Section Two: Anthropogenic Drivers/Pressures and the State of Coastal Seas

3 Coastal Demography: Distribution, Composition, and Dynamics 49

4 The Seas, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-Being 71

5 Measuring Social Value and Human Well-Being 113

Section Three: Impacts on Coastal Environments

6 The Impact of Climate Change on Coastal Ecosystems 141

7 Coastal Systems and Access to Safe and Potable Water 177

Section Four: Responses

8 Management-Driven Assessments of the Coastal Oceans 203

9 Globalization and Human Health: Regulatory Response and the Potential for Reform 231

Section Five: Common Conclusions and Horizon Scanning

10 Emerging Issues in Oceans and Human Health: Managing Uncertainty and New Knowledge 267

11 Final Thoughts and Future Actions 291

Index 299

“This book truly needs a wide readership, particularly among management, political, and public policy personnel. . . Summing Up: Highly recommended. All students, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners.”  (Choice, 1 April 2015)

“By focusing on environmental issues, this book provides a remedy to make the common heritage a far healthier one.”  (Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 11 November 2014)