Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 02

View Issue TOC
Volume 19, No. 2
Pages 50 - 51

BOX • Resilient Ecosystems, Healthy Communities: Human Health and Sustainable Ecosystems After the December 2004 Tsunami

Fiona Miller Frank ThomallaTom Downing Matthew Chadwick
First Paragraph

Human health and wellbeing are closely linked to the health and resilience of ecosystems. When natural disasters occur in situations where natural resources have been severely degraded, it is much more difficult for communities to recover and for people to re-establish their lives. By examining lessons from the December 2004 tsunami, it is possible to identify the important role healthy coastal and marine ecosystems played in buffering immediate impacts and protecting human lives, and the longer-term benefits gained for human health and livelihoods from sustainable use of natural resources (see Bowen et al., this issue). Whilst the role resilient ecosystems played in reducing the severe humanitarian impacts of such a powerful phenomenon should not be exaggerated (especially in Sumatra, Indonesia where wave height and force was very high; see Keim et al., this issue), the potential of healthy ecosystems to hasten the recovery of communities is clearly evident.


Miller, F., F. Thomalla, T. Downing, and M. Chadwick. 2006.  Resilient ecosystems, healthy communities: Human health and sustainable ecosystems after the December 2004 tsunami. Oceanography 19(2):50–51, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.63.