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Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

In 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was published. Involving the work of 1360 experts, it is the most comprehensive review of the state of the planet ever conducted.

The Assessment revealed that we are depleting Earth’s natural capital and 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. Society has caused irreversible changes that are degrading the ecological processes that support life on Earth. But the assessment also shows that with appropriate actions, it’s still possible to reverse the degradation of many ecosystem services over the next 50 years. However, the changes in policy and practice needed to do this are substantial and not currently underway.

Some findings:

  • 60% of world ecosystem services (such as fresh water and timber) have been degraded
  • Of 24 evaluated ecosystems, 15 are being damaged
  • About 20% of corals were lost in just 20 years; 20% degraded
  • Nutrient pollution has led to eutrophication of waters and coastal dead zones
  • Species extinction is now 100-1,000 times above the normal background rate

Source: This information has been taken from www.maweb.org

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