Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is a large-scale study initiated by the United Nations that created a systematic overview of the global status of 24 key ecosystem services . UN Secretary General Kofi Annan commissioned it to be carried out in 2001 . The total cost amounted to 24 million US dollars .


The results of the MA were published in the course of 2005 . It became clear that the earth is in a state of degradation. 60% or 15 out of 24 ecosystem services examined were in a state of advanced and / or sustained destruction.

Six reports were published in 2005 under the overarching heading of “Ecosystems & Human Wellbeing”: a comprehensive report and five reports on the following topics:

The first three reports are related to corresponding international conventions: the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification , the Biodiversity Convention and the Convention on Wetlands ( Ramsar Convention ).


The assessment was done by reviewing a large amount of scientific literature. After a very roughly comparable peer review process , also used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , over 1,300 authors from 95 countries worked on the preparation of the reports. In addition to a global assessment, more than 20 sub-global assessments were written, which transfer the concept of ecosystem services to other regions and examine them.

A board made up of representatives from UN bodies, scientific organizations, the private sector, civil society and indigenous organizations led the research process. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) took on the coordination function of an additional 15-person assessment panel and a review board.


The MA particularly emphasizes four results:

  • Over the past 50 years, ecosystems and their services have been exposed to greater threats and pressures than ever before in human history. This process has accelerated over time as human needs for resources increase exponentially.
  • While certain ecosystem services needed for development could be expanded, others were seriously damaged at the same time. This damage will have further serious effects in the future.
  • The degradations observed are an obstacle to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals . The plans to eradicate hunger and epidemics around the world cannot be achieved with such severe environmental damage.
  • There are ways in which many of these problems can be solved while the development of the poorest countries can be advanced, but the institutional and financial resources to do so are lacking.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Synthesis Reports. In: 2005, accessed June 8, 2019 .
  2. Ecosystems & Human Wellbeing: Synthesis. (PDF) In: 2005, accessed June 8, 2019 .