The MA was a four-year international effort to assess the conditions and trends of the world’s ecosystems and the links to human well-being. This project will broadly disseminate the MA findings and seek to translate them into action.
The MA findings show that over the last 50 years human activity has altered ecosystems at a faster rate and on a larger scale than at any time in human history. The capacity of many ecosystems to provide humans with essential services has been degraded. This rate and scale of global ecosystem change and the questions it raises about the long-term capacity of ecosystems to provide a range of services, demands an adequate response from societies. The MA results represent the best scientific description of ecosystem change and therefore the soundest informational basis available to think and debate the nature of the political response required.
The MA findings also add a broad awareness and scientific consensus on the magnitude and systemic character of the transformations humans have effected on the Earth. In order to prevent further degradation and improve the condition of ecosystems, a major overhaul in the stewardship of ecosystems is required at the local, national, regional and global scales.
Sound policy and management interventions can reverse ecosystem degradation and enhance the contributions of ecosystems to human well being, but knowing when and how to intervene requires substantial understanding of both the ecological and the social systems involved. Better information cannot guarantee improved decisions, but it is a prerequisite for sound decision-making.
The project activities will build on the MA findings and support the goals of improving the management of the world’s ecosystems, improving the information used by policy makers, and building human and institutional capacity to conduct integrated assessments and use the findings by:
- Broadly disseminating the MA findings;
- Defining the policy, institutional and governance implications of the MA findings;
- Fostering dialogue on policy making for integrated ecosystem management.
The challenge of sustainably managing ecosystems for human well-being needs to be met through institutions at multiple scales - there is no single critical scale. Local, national, regional and international institutions have a unique role to play in understanding and managing ecosystems for people. This poses the challenge of effectively sharing the findings at multiple levels.
- Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Cropper Foundation
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Global Environment Facility (GEF)
- Institute of Economic Growth (IEG)
- International Council for Science(ICSU)
- IUCN - World Conservation Union (IUCN)
- Meridian Institute
- National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
- Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
- Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)
- Stanford University
- UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP - WCMC)
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- United Nations Foundation
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- University of Pretoria, The Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA)
- University of Wisconsin – Madison
- World Bank
- WorldFish Center (ICLARM)