Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Abstract

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was a scientifically based global review of the state of the world's ecosystems and their ability to meet the needs of a growing human population. Requested by governments through four international conventions, the assessment examined a broad suite of ecosystem services. Sixty per cent of 24 ecosystem services assessed at the global scale were degraded or overused. Using various modelling approaches, future prospects were found to improve only where policies related to environmental management were radically altered, in particular towards proactive planning for ecosystem services, and with the implementation of economic, political and technological incentives at scales ranging from global to local.

Keywords: ecosystem services; human wellbeing; environment; sustainability

Figure 1.

A classification of ecosystem services assessed by the MA. Reproduced by permission of Island Press from Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Synthesis. Island Press.

Figure 2.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Conceptual framework. Changes in drivers that indirectly affect biodiversity, such as population, technology and lifestyle (upper right corner), can lead to changes in drivers directly affecting biodiversity, such as the catch of fish or the application of fertilizers (lower right corner). These result in changes to ecosystems and the services they provide (lower left corner), thereby affecting human wellbeing. These interactions can take place at more than one scale and can cross scales. For example, an international demand for timber may lead to a regional loss of forest cover, which increases flood magnitude along a local stretch of a river. Similarly, the interactions can take place across different time scales. Different strategies and interventions can be applied at many points in this framework to enhance human wellbeing and conserve ecosystems. Reproduced by permission of World Resources Institute from Ecosystems and Human Well Being: a Framework for Assessment (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment).

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Further Reading

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: A Framework for Assessment. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Biodiversity Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Desertification Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Health Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

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How to Cite close
Mace, Georgina M(Jul 2008) Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020478]