The aim of this study was to identify and examine potential benefits of undertaking an ecosystem assessment for England. The need for such a study has arisen largely as a result of the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) which not only demonstrated the importance of ecosystem services to human wellbeing, but also showed that at global scales, many key services are being degraded and lost.
The contribution that the MA has made globally was acknowledged by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, which reviewed its relevance in the UK context. They noted the slow uptake of the implications of the MA in the UK, and recommended that 'ultimately the Government should conduct a full MA-type assessment for the UK to enable the identification and development of effective policy responses to ecosystem service degradation'.
However, the Committee took its evidence at the end of 2006, and clearly the situation may now be different. The motivation for this study is therefore to take stock of what has been achieved and test the case for MA-type assessment for England critically.
Haines-Young, R., Fish, R., Potschin, M., Brown, C.; Tindall, C. and S. Walmsley (2008): Scoping the potential benefits of undertaking an MA-style assessment for England. Full Technical Report to Defra (Project Code NR0118).
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