The Portuguese Assessment
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is an international assessment designed to meet the needs of decision makers for scientific information, concerning the consequences of ecosystem change for human well being, and options for responding to those changes. The MA was launched by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and was designed to meet some of the assessment needs of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is a multi-scale assessment, consisting of interconnected assessments at the global, sub-global and local levels.
There are about 15 approved sub-global and local assessments, such as Sweden, South Africa, Chile and China. Portugal joined this group in May 2003, in an initiative led by the Centro de Biologia Ambiental of the University of Lisbon. The Portuguese Millennium Assessment (ptMA) is analyzing the condition of ecosystem services in Portugal, recent trends in those services and scenarios based on economic and social drivers for the next 50 years. The ptMA is assessing both extractive services such as fiber production and agricultural production, as well as non-extractive services such as biodiversity and recreation.
The final result of the Portuguese Assessment will be a report with a series of papers that will be published as a book. Each paper will present the evaluation of an ecosystem service at the national level, or a set of ecosystem services at the regional or local level. In the spirit of the MA, the Portuguese Assessment will try to compile data already available, and only when no data are available will new research be done.