Ecosystem and Human Well-Being - A framework for assessment
Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Framework for Assessment is the first product of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a four-year international work program designed to meet the needs of decision-makers for scientific information on the links between ecosystem change and human well-being. It was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June 2001, and the principal assessment reports will be released in 2005. The MA focuses on how changes in ecosystem services have affected human well-being, how ecosystem changes may affect people in future decades, and what types of responses can be adopted at local, national, or global scales to improve ecosystem management and thereby contribute to human well-being and poverty alleviation. Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the Convention on Migratory Species have asked the MA to provide scientific information to assist in the implementation of these treaties. The MA will also address the needs of other stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, and indigenous peoples organizations. The MA is closely coordinated with other international assessments that focus in greater depth on particular sectors or drivers of change, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Global International Waters Assessment. Scientific evaluations such as these help underpin various regular annual and biennial international reporting mechanisms, such as the Global Environmental Outlook, the World Resources Report, the Human Development Report, and the World Development Report.