Ecosystem and Human Well-Being - Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry

World Resources Institute (WRI) (2005)

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is a four-year international scientific assessment of the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being. A multisectoral Board of Directors' consisting of senior representatives from government, business, NGOs, U.N. agencies, academia, and indigenous peoples' developed and managed the MA. The assessment was conducted by 1,360 natural and social scientists from 95 countries and was comprehensively peer-reviewed by an additional 600 experts. It provides a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world's ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, food control, and natural resources). The assessment also analyzed options to restore, conserve, or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being. Financial support for the MA was provided by a variety of governments, institutions, and foundations around the world. This report synthesizes the take-home messages of the MA for the business community throughout the industrial and developing world. It begins by highlighting key MA findings with particular relevance for businesses large and small. The report then provides an interpretation of the significance of these findings for business and industry, including a check-list of questions designed to help tailor the general findings of the MA to a particular business. This report was prepared by a panel of assessment authors and representatives of businesses and partner organizations, academic experts, and members of the NGO community. It provides a portal for businesses into the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.