Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board (2005)

This report provides an assessment of the current state of our ecosystems and the many services they support and provide to people. Direct drivers of degradation of wetlands such as land conversion, pollution and infrastructure and indirect drivers such as population growth and economic development are discussed extensively. It enhances our on understanding the direct drivers of change to wetlands and shows how they would fare under a range of future scenarios. Responses for the wise use of wetlands including governance and institutional responses are highlighted. This report further provides an analysis of future challenges and response options that could allow us to maintain, to the greatest extent possible, the ecosystem services on which we all depend. The synthesis stresses the link between wetlands and water. Wetlands include inland wetlands such as swamps, marshes, lakes, rivers, peatlands and underground water habitats, coastal and near-shore marine wetlands such as coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds and estuaries and man-made wetlands such as rice fields, dams, reservoirs and fish ponds.