The findings of the MA not only demonstrated the importance of ecosystem services to human well-being, but also showed that at global scales, many key services are being degraded and lost. As a result, in 2007 the House of Commons Environmental Audit recommended that 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 (House of Commons Environmental Audit 2007).
The UK NEA will help people to make better decisions that impact on the UK’s ecosystems to ensure the long-term sustainable delivery of ecosystem services for the benefit of current and future populations in the UK, thereby addressing the needs set out in Defra’s current Action Plan (2007) for embedding an ecosystems approach.
The UK NEA will also support global and regional obligations such as the Convention on Biological Diversity’s call on countries to conduct such assessments and the European Union Water Framework Directive, which encourages the management of ecosystem services.
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