The Current State and Trends assessment presents the findings of
the Condition and Trends Working Group of the Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment. This volume documents the current condition
and recent trends of the world’s ecosystems, the services
they provide, and associated human well-being around the year
2000. Its primary goal is to provide decision-makers, ecosystem
managers, and other potential users with objective information
and analyses of historical trends and dynamics of the interaction
between ecosystem change and human well-being.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was carried out between 2001
and 2005 to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being
and to establish the basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and
sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being.
Conserving biodiversity and the ecosystem services that they provide is part of the
larger objective of promoting human well-being and sustainable development.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) 2005 has brought about a
fundamental change in the way that scientists perceive the role and value of
biodiversity, and recognizes the dynamics and linkages between people,
biodiversity and ecosystems. Human activities have direct and indirect impacts
on biodiversity and ecosystems, which in turn affects the ecosystems services that
they provide, and ultimately human well-being.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000 in his
report to the UN General Assembly, We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century. Governments
subsequently supported the establishment of the assessment through decisions taken by three international
conventions, and the MA was initiated in 2001.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was carried out between 2001 and
2005 to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being
and to establish the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation
and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human
The notion of Ecosystem Services (ES: (Daily 1997; Carpenter 2003; Kremen and Ostfeld 2005) provides a cohesive scientific view of the many mechanisms through which nature contributes to human well-being. Focusing on both the biophysical mechanisms of ES provision and the economic implications of ES use can allow our societies to balance the sides of the “nature vs. the economy” equation, leading to better management and governance (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2002).
As part of the world’s commitment towards the right to development, peace and security, gender
equality, eradication of multi-dimensional poverty and sustainable human development, the GoN
endorsed the Millennium Declaration in September 2000. In order to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs), the GoN has incorporated the MDGs into the strategic framework of the
country’s Tenth Plan/Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2002/03-2006/07).
The modern notion of ecosystem services can be traced back to at least the early 1970s. Since the late 1990s, however, several well-known studies have codified ecosystem services into generally accepted lists or typologies (Daily 1997; DeGroot, Wilson et al. 2002) The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2002; Mooney, Cropper et al. 2004; Pereira, Queiroz et al.
The designation employed and the presentation of the material in this report including tables and
maps, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health
Organization, UNICEF, WFP and FAO/FSNAU concerning the legal status of any country, territory,
city or area or of authorities or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted
lines on maps represent border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
The consideration of an ecosystem approach recognizes the important link between fish
community structure and its habitat has been further emphasized in the Strategic Vision
Great Lakes Fishery Commission first decade of the new millennium (GLFC 2001).