News FocusECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT

New Survey to Collect Global News You Can Use

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Science  08 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5485, pp. 1676-1677
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5485.1676

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Summary

Researchers are hoping that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a new 4-year, $20 million project that will get under way early next year, will synthesize what's known about the world's ecosystems and help policy-makers deal with those that are under siege. The assessment will turn loose ecologists and social scientists to gather and analyze data on the state of the world's ecosystems, assess nature's ability to provide essential "services" such as food and clean water, and project environmental trends such as deforestation, loss of species, and pollution. But some say that the assessment could end up a victim of its own lofty goals--to evaluate ecosystem health, supply data to implement treaties, and sell the message that ecosystems have economic value.