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These ecosystems produce a wide variety of goods and serv ices, some of which have not been recognized or valued but all of which sustain human life. The report provides examples of goods and services, such as water purification or pollination, which occur naturally in a healthy ecosystem, but have to be replicated or supplemented if the natural capacity declines.The first step to good management, the report proposes, is to acknowledge the value of these goods and services and the tradeoffs that we often make among them.
The second step is to base decisions on current information about the capacity of ecosystems to continue to provide goods and services. Such information, however, has never before been collected comprehensively. To demonstrate the feasibility of a full-scale Millennium Assessment of Global Ecosystems, the report provides bottom-line judgments based on a survey of cur rent evidence for each ecosystem on food or fiber production, water quantity and quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and recreation.
The final step to good management advocated in the report is an "ecosystem approach" that explicitly recognizes the inter action and tradeoffs among these goods and services, as well as the political and social context in which environmental deci sions are made. Through five detailed case studies and many additional examples, the report demonstrates that people in all parts of the world, rich and poor, have the capacity to improve the way they manage ecosystems.
Like the eight previous editions of World Resources, the mil lennial edition also presents an overview of current global envi ronmental trends in population, human well-being, food and water security, consumption and waste, energy use, and climate change. Comprehensive current data and time series for hun dreds of indicators in more than 150 countries make the World Resources data tables an invaluable reference for environmen tal research and decision making.
World Resources 2000-2001 was produced by the World Resources Institute in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank.