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Millenium Ecosystem Assessment: Ecosystems and human well-being

One important difference between humans and ecosystems, as mentioned above, is that their life spans are on radically different scales, and healthy ecosystems usually looked and functioned differently at different periods of time in the past. Therefore, there can be several valid “ecosystems of reference” that ecological restoration practitioners and stakeholders may choose from to orient and guide the process of restoring a damaged ecosystem (Aronson et al. 1993, SER 2004). In light of anthropogenic climate change, and other major global changes, the appropriate goals for ecological restoration should therefore be restoring fundamental functions and processes (Falk et al. 2006), and recovering “historical continuity” (Clewell and Aronson 2013) so as to increase an ecosystem’s resilience and ability to adapt to future change. But health metaphors and analogies are still very helpful in considering and communicating these goals.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA). 2005b. Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends. Island Press, Washington, D.C., USA.

Synthesis Reports - Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Health Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

" V. 1: Current state and trends. Findings of the Condition and Trends Working Group.- v. 2: Scenarios. Findings of the Scenarios Working Group.- v. 3: Policy responses. Finding of the Responses Working Group.- v. 4: Multiscale assessment. Findings of the Sub-Global Assessments Working Group.- (v. 5): Our human planet. Summary for decision makers.- (v. 6): Wetlands and water. Synthesis. (v. 7): Health synthesis.- (v. 8): Synthesis.- (v. 9): Living beyond our means. Natural assets and human well-being. Statement from the Board "

Ecosystems and Human Well–being: Biodiversity Synthesis

The bottom line of the MA findings is that human actions are depleting Earth’s natural capital, putting such strain on the environment that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted. The assessment also showed that with appropriate actions it is possible to reverse the degradation of many ecosystem services over the next 50 years, but the changes in policy and practice required are substantial and not currently underway.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well‐being: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

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Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Human well-being: “Has several key components: the basic material needs for a good life,... health, good social relations, and personal security” (MEA 2005a:71).

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Multiscale Assessments

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Conceptual framework. Changes in drivers that indirectly affect biodiversity, such as population, technology and lifestyle (upper right corner), can lead to changes in drivers directly affecting biodiversity, such as the catch of fish or the application of fertilizers (lower right corner). These result in changes to ecosystems and the services they provide (lower left corner), thereby affecting human wellbeing. These interactions can take place at more than one scale and can cross scales. For example, an international demand for timber may lead to a regional loss of forest cover, which increases flood magnitude along a local stretch of a river. Similarly, the interactions can take place across different time scales. Different strategies and interventions can be applied at many points in this framework to enhance human wellbeing and conserve ecosystems. Reproduced by permission of World Resources Institute from Ecosystems and Human Well Being: a Framework for Assessment (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment).

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: ..

Some regard the concept of ecosystem health as problematic given that it is difficult to measure and can only be meaningfully assessed over long periods of time (Suter 1993, Rapport et al. 1998). Certainly characterization and measurement of both terms require subjective as well as objective human judgements. We argue, however, that it remains a highly useful metaphorical tool for communication and consensus building (Grifo and Rosenthal 1997).

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis: …

Ecosystem goods and services: “the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human wellbeing” (de Groot et al. 2010:12, emphasis added). Often shortened to ecosystem services (ES). ES are made possible thanks to ecosystem functions and the still deeper ecosystem processes and structure. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005b) recognized four categories of ES, namely, supporting, regulating, provisioning, and cultural. Others, such as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Project, consider that ES serve all species, not just humans, and therefore also recognize “habitat services” (de Groot et al. 2010).

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis: Millennium Ecosystem ..

A classification of ecosystem services assessed by the MA. Reproduced by permission of Island Press from Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) . Island Press.

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