Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends: Readers Guide

September 7, 2011, 5:20 am
Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
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This is part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends


The four technical reports present the findings of each of the MA Working Groups: Condition and Trends, Scenarios, Responses, and Sub-global Assessments. A separate volume, Our Human Planet, presents the summaries of all four reports in order to offer a concise account of the technical reports for decision-makers. In addition, six synthesis reports were prepared for ease of use by specific audiences: Synthesis (general audience), CBD (biodiversity), UNCCD (desertification), Ramsar Convention (wetlands), business and industry, and the health sector. Each MA sub-global assessment will also produce additional reports to meet the needs of its own audiences.

All printed materials of the assessment, along with core data and a list of reviewers, are available at In this volume, Appendix A contains color maps and figures. Appendix B lists all the authors who contributed to this volume. Appendix C lists the acronyms and abbreviations used in this report and Appendix D is a glossary of terminology used in the technical reports. Throughout this report, dollar signs indicate U.S. dollars and ton means tonne (metric ton). Bracketed references within the Summary are to chapters within this volume.

In this report, the following words have been used where appropriate to indicate judgmental estimates of certainty, based on the collective judgment of the authors, using the observational evidence, modeling results, and theory that they have examined: very certain (98% or greater probability), high certainty (85–98% probability), medium certainty (65%–58% probability), low certainty (52–65% probability), and very uncertain (50–52% probability). In other instances, a qualitative scale to gauge the level of scientific understanding is used: well established, established but incomplete, competing explanations, and speculative. Each time these terms are used they appear in italics.


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This is a chapter from Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends.
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