Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Strengthening Capacity to Manage Ecosystems Sustainably for Human Well-Being

Sub-Global Assessments: Moving Forward

Although the design of the sub-global assessment selection criteria and selection process took longer than originally envisioned, both the criteria and process were approved by the MA Board in January 2002. The sub-global component of the MA is one of the most innovative aspects of the process and is likely to play a particularly important role both in meeting information needs at national scales and in building capacity. Since September 2000, the Sub-Global Working Group and MA Secretariat have worked to develop a user-driven, clearly defined, and scientifically rigorous process for identifying and incorporating sub-global assessments into the MA. The current list of assessments approved by the Board includes: Alternatives to Slash and Burn sites, Integrated Assessment of Western China, India local assessments, Norway national assessment, Small Islands of Papua New Guinea, SAfMA (Southern African Millennium Ecosystem Assessment), and Sweden local assessments. Other representatives of candidate assessments are in consultation with the Secretariat to develop full proposals to be considered by the Board. By the end of 2002, the Secretariat will have identified all official component assessments of the MA, but fully expects to offer guidance and support where possible to other activities that develop in 2003 and beyond. With the Board approval of the sub-global selection process and the first set of assessments, the first milestone in this process has been achieved, but the real work is just beginning.