Ecosystem health report cards are co-developed in collaboration with local stakeholders. They are proven tools for measuring social, environmental, and economic health, and create social capital through the collaborative process used to create them. This capital can be leveraged to increase awareness of issues that are important to local communities, and create opportunities to improve them. The report card co-design and co-creation process fosters intense community engagement in the assessment of their area, creating opportunities for increased awareness of environmental and social conditions, and can increase opportunities for engagement in the decisions that affect them.

IAN is at the forefront of this process having pioneered ecosystem health report cards as tools for conveying complex scientific information in a concise and simple format. This process has evolved to focus on engagement, with the report card creation as the focal point and catalyst of collaborative learning. We have over 20 years of experience in completing these types of projects globally, and we have seen the positive impact of these projects first hand.

Report cards have evolved from use primarily as science communication tools for raising awareness, to a detailed process that focuses on engagement and on a balance of societal, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects. Other advances in report cards include the use of leading indicators, incorporating Social Network Analysis, and integrating systems thinking and modeling.

See below for several recent examples, or you can view all of our completed report cards. Some of our report cards are also presented here, on this interactive website.

Chesapeake Bay & Watershed Report Card 2020 (Page 1)

Chesapeake Bay & Watershed Report Card 2020

Alexandra Fries, Sky Swanson, Caroline Donovan, Annie Carew, Joe Edgerton, Heath Kelsey ·
22 June 2021

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of Chesapeake Bay. Since 2016, UMCES has engaged stakeholders throughout the watershed to transform the report card into an evaluation of the Chesapeake Watershed health. Watershed health includes traditional ecosystem indicators, but also social, economic, and cultural indicators. This is the second year the watershed has been scored, and four new indicators have been added.

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2020 Mississippi River Watershed Report Card (Page 1)

2020 Mississippi River Watershed Report Card

Kimberly Lutz, Frank Morton, Bob Beduhn, Joan Freitag, Stephen Gambrell, Steve Mathies, Dan Mecklenborg, Michael Reuter, David Simmons, Larry Weber (Chair), Heath Kelsey, Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen, Katie May Laumann, Steven Guinn, Sky Swanson, Jane Hawkey. and AWI Board of Directors: Kimberly Lutz, AWI Executive Director Bob Beduhn, HDR Inc. Sean Duffy Sr., Big River Coalition Joan C. Freitag, Hanson Professional Services Stephen Gambrell, Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association Teri Goodmann, City of Dubuque, Iowa Steve Mathies, Stantec Consulting Services Dan Mecklenborg, Ingram Barge Company Frank Morton, Turn Services LLC Rachel Orf, National Corn Growers Association Michael Reuter, The Nature Conservancy Rainy Shorey, Caterpillar, Inc. Robert “Bob” Sinkler, Streamside Systems Inc, and Dawson & Associates BG (Ret.) C. David Turner, American Water Military Services Group Kirsten Wallace, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association Larry Weber, University of Iowa ·
10 December 2020

Stretching across 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces, America’s Watershed benefits millions of people and thousands of communities. It supports our many economic activities while remaining a natural and recreational treasure of global importance.

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Tuul River Basin Report Card 2019 (Page 1)

Tuul River Basin Report Card 2019

Simon Costanzo, Dylan Taillie ·
22 March 2019

The Tuul River Basin Report Card—the first of its kind in Mongolia—assesses the basin's health through social, environmental and economic values that can be tracked over time in response to management actions and/or external pressures. The Tuul River Basin has been evaluated in this assessment as “moderate” health or ‘C’, meaning urgent management interventions are required to maintain the health of the river.

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Orinoco River Basin Report Card 2016 (Page 1)

Orinoco River Basin Report Card 2016

Simon Costanzo, Alexandra Fries, Jane Thomas ·
6 July 2016

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of the Orinoco River Basin. In 2016, the report card includes eleven indicators in the categories of Biodiversity, Management & Governance, Ecosystems & Landscapes, Economy, People & Culture, and Water. In 2016, the overall grade for the Orinoco River Basin is a 63%, a B-. This means the Orinoco is in moderately good health.

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