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Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ready for the Second Review . EC-LNV, 23 June 2004 Henk Simons - Milieu en Natuur Planbureau (MNP), RIVM Co-ordinator Responses Working Group . Outline. Context Description and Status Conceptual Framework

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Millennium ecosystem assessment ready for the second review

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ready for the Second Review

EC-LNV, 23 June 2004

Henk Simons - Milieu en Natuur Planbureau (MNP), RIVM

Co-ordinator Responses Working Group



Description and Status

Conceptual Framework

Structure and Preliminary results of the Global Working Groups


Second round review

Millennium ecosystem assessment
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

An international scientific assessment of the consequences of ecosystem changes for human well-being:

  • Modeled on the IPCC

  • Providing information requested by:

    • Conventions (CBD, CCD, Ramsar, CMS)

    • other partners including the private sector and civil society

  • With the goals of:

    • stimulating and guiding action to conserve ecosystems and enhance their contribution to human well-being

    • building capacity to undertake integrated ecosystem assessments and to act on their information

Human challenge
Human Challenge

  • Considerable progress has been made in fighting poverty

    • life expectancy increasing

    • infant mortality decreasing

    • agricultural production increasing, etc.

  • Major problems remain

    • 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 per day

    • 1 billion people do not have access to clean water

    • More than 2 billion people have no access to sanitation

    • 1.3 billion are breathing air below the standards considered acceptable by WHO

    • 700 million people suffer from indoor air pollution due to biomass burning

Source: Serageldin, 2002, Science 296:54

Growing demand for ecosystem services




Wood fuel is the only source of fuel for one third of the world’s population.

Wood demand will double in next 50 years.

Food production must increase to meet the needs of an additional 3 billion people over the next 30 years

  • One-third of the world’s population is now subject to water scarcity.

  • Population facing water scarcity will double over the next 30 years

Growing Demand For Ecosystem Services

Millennium ecosystem assessment ready for the second review




What is a policy-relevant assessment?

A social process to bring the findings of science to bear on the needs of decision-makers

A scientific assessment applies the judgement of experts to existing knowledge to provide scientifically credible answers to policy relevant questions.

Ma design draws on lessons from earlier assessments
MA Design Draws On LessonsFrom Earlier Assessments

Key success factor from past experiences

Relevant MA design features


Political legitimacy

  • Authorized by the UN and 4 conventions: CBD, CCD, Ramsar, CMS – to provide a portion of their information/assessment needs

  • Multi-stakeholder governance structure: intergovernmental and non-governmental, including the private sector and civil society

  • Modeled on IPCC procedures and structure

    • Working groups and coordinating/lead authors

    • North-South, regional, disciplinary, gender balance

    • Independent review board, 2 rounds of expert and government review

    • Policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive

  • Focus strongly shaped by audiences

    • Extensive analysis of user needs

    • Review of draft products against user needs

    • Focus on joint needs of multiple users


Scientific credibility



Ma organisation

Sub-Global Assessment

Working Group




MA Organisation

MA Board

Review Board Chairs

Assessment PanelWorking Group Chairs

Support Functions

Highly Distributed Secretariat

Outreach & Engagement

Chapter Review Editors

Global Assessment Working Groups


Launch and design

Core assessment work

Review process

1st working group meetings

3rd working group meetings



2nd working group meetings

Combined working group meeting

1st design


Board approval



2nd design


Release of assessment and synthesis reports; Outreach

Release of Conceptual Framework report

UN Launch







Current status 1 st round review
Current status: 1st Round Review

  • 1st Report (MA Conceptual Framework) completed

  • 800 Authors, 85 countries

  • Review Board established

  • Chapters made available for review early January; reviewers had ten weeks to submit review comments

  • Reviews invited from approximately

    • 750 Expert Reviewers

    • 600 National Focal Points

      • Focal points for the CBD, CCD, Ramsar Convention, CMS, and UNFCCC in ~180 countries

    • 15 “Affiliated Scientific Organizations and National Academies of Sciences (ASOs)

  • 6900 Review comments received from approximately

    • 215 Expert reviewers

    • 35 National Focal Points

    • 4 ASOs

  • Draft chapters being revised and available in June 2004 for in-depth review

Ecosystem services the benefits people obtain from ecosystems
Ecosystem ServicesThe benefits people obtain from ecosystems


Goods produced or provided by ecosystems

• food

• fresh water

• fuel wood

• genetic resources


Non-material benefits from ecosystems

• spiritual

• recreational

• aesthetic

• inspirational

• educational


Benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes

• climate regulation

• disease regulation

• flood regulation


Services necessary for production of other ecosystem services

• Soil formation

• Nutrient cycling

• Primary production

Consequences of ecosystem change for human well being






Material for

Good Life








Good Social




Consequences of Ecosystem Change for Human Well-being

Ecosystem Services

Constituents of Well-being

Ma working groups

Sub-Global Assessment Working Group

All of the above… at sub-global scales

MA Working Groups

Condition Working Group

  • What is the current condition and historical trends of ecosystems and their services?

  • What have been the consequences of changes in ecosystems for human well-being?

Scenario Working Group

  • Given plausible changes in primary drivers, what will be the consequences for ecosystems, their services, and human well-being?

Responses Working Group

  • What can we do to enhance well-being and conserve ecosystems?

Condition working group
Condition Working Group


  • Methods, Drivers of change, Biodiversity, HWB and Vulnerability

    Ecosystem Services

  • Analysed by major clusters of ecosystem services


  • Multiple services from various systems.


Technical chapters examine current status and trends of ecosystem services across ecosystem types
Technical chapters examine current status and trends of ecosystem services across ecosystem types

A) Provisioning

Chapter 8. Freshwater

Chapter 9. Food

Chapter 10. Timber, Fiber, Fuel

Chapter 11. Novel Products and Industries from Biodiversity

B) Supporting and Regulating

Chapter 12. Biodiversity regulation of ecosystem services

Chapter 13. Nutrient cycling

Chapter 14. Air quality and climate regulation

Chapter 15. Human infectious disease agents

Chapter 16. Waste processing and detoxification

Chapter 17. Natural Hazard regulation

C) Cultural

Chapter 18. Cultural and amenity services

Then examine the status of different ecosystems in providing these ecosystem services
Then examine the status of different ecosystems in providing these ecosystem services

Ch. 19 Cultivated Systems

Ch. 20 Dryland systems

Ch. 21 Forest systems

Ch. 22 Urban systems

Ch. 23 Inland Water systems

Ch. 24 Coastal systems

Ch. 25 Marine systems

Ch. 26 Polar Systems

Ch. 27 Mountain systems

Ch. 28 Island systems

Example questions being answered by the condition working group
Example questions being answered by the Condition Working Group:

  • What have been the consequences of ecosystem degradation for human health?

  • What have been the economic costs and benefits of changes to ecosystems?

  • What have been the trends in the supply of services from ecosystems?

  • How will current trends play out in the near future?

  • How has the capacity of ecosystems to provide services changed in the recent past

  • What are the trends in the capacities of ecosystems to continue to provide services.

A selection of draft findings from the condition working group
A selection of Group:DRAFT findings from the Condition Working Group:

Ecosystems and Human well-being

  • Although on average human well-being has improved in the recent past, human populations are growing faster in ecosystems characterised by low well-being and low productivity, and there is a growing number of people at high risk of adverse ecosystem changes.

  • The world is experiencing a worsening trend of human suffering and economic losses from natural disasters. The capacity of ecosystems to regulate such natural disasters has diminished.

    • Flood damage in Europe in 2002 was higher than in any previous year.

  • The impacts of declining ecosystem services are often shifted from the groups responsible for the decline onto others.

A selection of draft findings from the condition working group1
A selection of Group:DRAFT findings from the Condition Working Group:

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

  • The loss of biodiversity has lead to measurable reductions in aspects of human well-being.

  • The composition of communities of species, rather than numbers of species is most important in determining the capacity of the system to provide ecosystem services.

  • The integrity of interactions between species is critical for the preservation of long-term human food production on land and in the sea (e.g. pollination and pathogen control).

  • Among plants and vertebrates, the great majority of species are declining in distribution, population size, or both. We are not likely to meet the CBD 2010 target.

    • Overfishing is the dominant factor reducing marine biodiversity.

    • Most terrestrial extinctions are predicted to occur in tropical forests.

A selection of draft findings from the condition working group2
A selection of Group:DRAFT findings from the Condition Working Group:

Ecosystem services

  • There is a slower rate of growth of water use, although global per capita water availability is falling. Water withdrawal is currently about 10% of global continental runoff.

  • The growth of world cereal production has slowed recently, and the supply of fish as a cheap source of protein for developing countries has declined. There is an accelerating demand for livestock products.

  • Global consumption of fuelwood peaked in the 1990s, and is now declining, due to the availability of alternative fuel sources.

  • Terrestrial ecosystems were a sink for a third of historical CO2 emissions and a fifth of 1990s emissions. The sink was partially due to afforestation/reforestation in Europe and other regions.

A selection of draft findings from the condition working group3
A selection of Group:DRAFT findings from the Condition Working Group:


  • Societies in coastal systems are increasingly impacted by fisheries failures in coastal and marine systems, exacerbated by pollution and development.

    • Islands are all coast, and are especially vulnerable

  • Climate change is having a real impact on polar systems

    • But there is a high coping capacity in Polar countries, and so the vulnerability of Polar societies is low.

  • The capacity of wetlands to deliver services is deteriorating around the world, and is worse than any other system type.

  • In Europe, the negative impacts of urban settlements on ecosystem services and human well-being has become more delayed and dispersed.

Scenario working group

Scenario Name 1990-2000

Dominant Approach for Sustainability

Order from Strength

Reserves, parks, national-level policies

Global Orchestration

Economic growth, public goods

Adapting Mosaic

Local-regional governance, common-property institutions


Green technology

Scenario Working Group

What are the consequences for ecosystem services and human well-being of alternative worlds in which different approaches to sustainability are emphasized?

Scenarios W.G. 29 Apr 04

Approach to quantifying the ma scenarios
Approach to quantifying the MA scenarios 1990-2000


Global Orchestration, Techno-garden, etc.

Model Outputs

Provisioning Services

- Food (meat, fish, grain production)

- Fiber (timber)

- Freshwater (renewable water resources & withdrawals)

- Fuel wood (biofuels)


- Climate regulation (C flux)

- Air quality (NOx, S emissions)


primary production

Links to human wellbeing


Global change


World water resources


Global change

Model Inputs

Demographic Economic




World food production

Chapters of scenarios assessment report
Chapters of Scenarios Assessment Report 1990-2000

Summary for Decision Makers (SDM)

Chapter 1: Summary of MA Conceptual Framework

Chapter 2: Global scenarios in Historic Perspective

Chapter 3: Why is it important to include Ecology in Global Scenarios

Chapter 4: State of the Art in Describing Future Changes in Ecosystems

Chapter 5: Scenarios for Ecosystem Services: Rationale and Overview

Chapter 6: Methodology for Developing the MA Scenarios

Chapter 7: Drivers of Change in Ecosystem Conditions and Services

Chapter 8: Four Scenarios

Chapter 9: Changes in Ecosystem Services and their Drivers

Chapter 10: Biodiversity Across Scenarios

Chapter 11: Human Wellbeing Across Scenarios

Chapter 12: Synergies and Trade-offs among Ecosystem Services

Chapter 13: Synthesis: Lessons Learned

Chapter 14: Synthesis: Policy Implications

Millennium ecosystem assessment ready for the second review

Scenarios: Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions 1990-2000

The probability is small of any one scenario is the real future

The future will be a mix of approaches and consequences

described in the scenarios, plus events and innovations that

have not been imagined at the time of writing.

None of the scenarios is “business as usual”, though all

scenarios have elements of the world as it exists today.

None of the scenarios is a “best” path or “worst” path. Significantly better or worse outcomes could be developed using different mixes of the policies and practices addressed in the scenarios.

The scenarios are a menu of choices and their conse-quences. Readers may use this menu to consider their priorities, preferences and choices.

Millennium ecosystem assessment ready for the second review

Scenarios 1990-2000: Selected Draft Headlines

Demand for provisioning services (food, fiber, water, etc.)

increases in all scenarios. This increases stress on

the ecosystems that provide these services.

By 2050, 10% to 20% of current grassland and forest

land will be lost, mostly due to expansion of agriculture.

By 2050, water stress increases in arid regions of Africa

and Asia. The number of people living in water-stressed

areas increases 200% to 300%. Globally, the volume of

polluted fresh water increases. Water availability declines,

mostly due to changes in climate and water withdrawal.

Ecosystems currently sequester CO2, but the future of this

service is in doubt. The CO2 sink decreases in the

Order from Strength scenario

Millennium ecosystem assessment ready for the second review

Scenarios 1990-2000: Selected Draft Headlines

Diversity (vascular plants) declines in all scenarios

(most in Order from Strength, least in TechnoGarden and Adapting Mosaic). Greatest losses in warm mixed forest, savanna, scrub, tropical forest & woodland.

Fish populations are lost due to declining water availability.

Differences among scenarios are minor. Most losses of

fishes occur in poor tropical and subtropical countries.

Our ability to reduce the rate of loss of species’ populations by 2010 is in doubt. Two scenarios (Order from Strength and Global Orchestration) fail to meet the target. The other two may, at best, barely meet the target.

Responses working group
Responses Working Group 1990-2000

Part I: Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Responses

  • Typology of reponses (legal, institutional, economic, technical, ecological)

  • Methodologies to assess responses

  • Uncertainties in the effectiveness of responses

    Part II: Assessment of Past and Current Responses

  • Biodiversity

  • Food, fiber, fresh water, fuel

  • Nutrients, waste, climate

  • Cultural services

  • Integrated responses

    Part III: Synthesis: Ingredients for successful responses

  • Poverty reduction

  • Health

  • Choosing responses

  • Millennium Development Goals

Responses wg definition
Responses WG: definition 1990-2000

Responses are defined as the whole range of human actions, including policies, strategies, and interventions to address specific issues, needs, opportunities or problems

Chapters of responses assessment report
Chapters of Responses Assessment Report 1990-2000

Summary for Decision Makers (SDM)

Chapter 1: Summary of MA Conceptual Framework

Chapter 2: Typology of Responses

Chapter 3: Assessing Responses

Chapter 4: Recognizing Uncertainties in Evaluating Responses

Chapter5: Biodiversity

Chapter 6: Food and cultivated systems

Chapter 7: Water

Chapter 8: Wood, Fuel wood and Non Wood Forest Products

Chapter 9: Nutrient Management

Chapter 10: Waste Management, Processing and Detoxification

Chapter 11: Flood and Storm Control

Chapter 12: Ecosystems and Vector Borne Disease Control

Chapter 13: Responses to Climate Change

Chapter 14: Cultural Services

Chapter 15: Integrated Responses

Chapter 16: Consequences and Options for Human Health

Chapter 17: Consequences of Responses for poverty reduction, Ecosystem services and human wellbeing

Chapter 18: Choosing Responses

Chapter 19 Implications for achieving the MDGs

Some preliminary messages
Some Preliminary Messages 1990-2000

  • Water: Significant opportunities to avoid future water crises exist in areas of improved design and management of water infrastructure, more inclusive and integrated governance and more efficient resource allocation through market based approaches

  • Forests: Strategies to improve the impact of forest product use on ecosystem health and human well being are more affected by decisions taken outside the forest sector than those within it.

  • People and Ecosystems: Policies and Economic Incentives concerning management systems and conservation strategies that separate people from their environment, freezing both cultures and ecosystems have limited success……

  • Key challenges in the development of effective response strategies arises out of limited knowledge on the complexity and variability of site-specific factors, which determine outcomes and costs

A further insight
A further insight 1990-2000

Integrated responses (IR) are gaining in importance in both developing and developed countries but they have had mixed results.

IR are responses that address degradation of ecosystem services across a number of systems simultaneously, or that also explicitly include objectives to enhance human well-being. IR occur at different scales and across scales, and use a range of instruments for implementation. Increasingly they are associated with the application of multi-stakeholder processes and with decentralization, and they may include actors and institutions from government, civil society and private sector.

Examples include some multi-lateral environmental agreements, environmental policy integration within national governments, and multi-sectoral approaches such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

Although many IR make ambitious claims about their likely benefits, in practice the results of implementation have been mixed in terms of ecological, social and economic impacts.

Assessment outputs global
Assessment Outputs: Global 1990-2000


  • Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Framework for Assessment

  • MA Data Catalog

    • Datasets being used in the MA


  • Edited volume of conference paper: Bridging Scales and Epistemologies in Multi-scale Assessments


  • Technical Assessment Reports (300-800 pages ea.) and Summaries for Decision-makers (SDMs)

    • Sub-global Assessment

    • Condition/Trends Assessment

    • Scenario Assessment

    • Response Options Assessment

    • Summary Volume (SDMs of 4 reports)

Assessment outputs global1
Assessment Outputs: Global 1990-2000

2005 (cont)

  • Synthesis Reports (30-50 page)

    • Overarching Synthesis

    • Biodiversity (CBD)

    • Desertification (CCD)

    • Wetlands (Ramsar)

    • Private Sector

    • Health and Ecosystems (tentative)

    • Food and Cultivated Systems (tentative)

  • Board Summary of Key Messages (10 p.)

  • Other Products

    • Reports available over internet (multiple language for summary docs)

    • Interactive web-based MA indicator exploration capability

    • Partnerships for expanded outreach: radio, theatre, documentaries, film (tentative)

    • Partnerships for capacity-building/training outreach (tentative)

Major expected achievements of ma
Major (expected) achievements of MA 1990-2000

  • Sound baseline information on ecosystems, human well-being and their linkages

  • New concepts, approaches, methodology

  • Networking among scientists and institutions

  • Support to Integrated Ecosystem Assessments at various levels (local to regional/global)

  • Ultimately and most importantly, support to policy development and implementation by various audiences (Conventions, National and local Governments, Private sector)

Ma review process
MA Review Process 1990-2000

Jan 8

Mar 19



First round of Government and Expert Review

Second round of Government and Expert Review

Release of Findings



Comments from 1st review 1
Comments from 1st review (1) 1990-2000

  • Important dimensions that need strenthening

    • Link to human wellbeing and poverty reduction

    • Valuation, including non-economic valuation

    • Generally, not enough on the economic side

    • Gender analysis largely missing

    • Trends and indicators not evident

    • Distinction between trends and thresholds (important for decision making)

    • Thresholds and inertia

Comments from 1st review 2
Comments from 1st review (2) 1990-2000

  • Stronger reference to user needs

  • From review to policy relevant assessment

  • Style of writing/length of some chapters

    • Too theoretical, presentation, weigh and balance

    • Longwinded, difficult to extract main points

    • More clearly need to facilitate the executive summaries

    • Tone: prescriptive, defeatist, advocacy

Rerview page on ma internet http www millenniumassessment org en products chapters aspx
Rerview page on MA Internet: 1990-2000

Millennium ecosystem assessment ready for the second review

Government review organised through CBD National Focal PointsFor Netherlands: Annemarie van der HeijdenDirectoraat voor Europese SamenwerkingDGESemail:annemarie-vander.heijden@minbuza.nlDetails on review process by Netherlands Government will follow