Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry (full report)

A Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

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, flood 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 checklist 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.


Published: 2005, World Resources Institute
PDF Version: Download

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Business and Industry Synthesis Team

Synthesis Team Co-chairs
Steve Percy, CEO, BP America (formerly)
Jane Lubchenco, Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University

Synthesis Team Members
Fernando Almeida, Business Council for Sustainable Development-Brazil
Paul Armsworth, University of Sheffield
Andrew Bennett, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture
Kristie Ebi, Exponent Health Group
John Ehrmann, Meridian Institute
James Griffith, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Pushpam Kumar, Institute of Economic Growth
Stefano Pagiola, The World Bank
Glen Prickett, Conservation International
David Richards, Rio Tinto
Jorge Rivera, George Washington University
Valerie Thompson, World Resources Institute
Axel Wenblad, Skanska AB
Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University

Terms of Use

The copyright for material on this page is the property of the World Resources Institute. Click here for the terms of use.

Disclaimer: This chapter is taken wholly from, or contains information that was originally written for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as published by the World Resources Institute. The content has not been modified by the Encyclopedia of Earth.



(2011). Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry (full report). Retrieved from


To add a comment, please Log In.