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

Cross Cut Meetings: Results and Next Steps

The final MA Cross-cut meeting was held on the topic of drylands. The meeting “Drylands in the New Millennium” was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on August 12 – 15, 2003. United Nations University supported this meeting as part of its series of annual workshops on dryland issues. Participants were invited to submit papers on drylands topics, and these papers with the proceedings of the workshop will be published by UNU at the end of 2003. The meeting was hosted by the International Center for Agricultural Reseach in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

As described in the previous edition of MANews, the MA cross-cutting meetings were developed to address several issues of importance to each working group: drivers of ecosystem change, human health, biodiversity, food and cultivated systems, freshwater and inland water systems and services, and drylands. MA authors and independent experts reviewed chapters of the MA relevant to each cross-cutting theme. The results of the review were captured in a report with specific recommendations for MA authors and working groups. In October 2003, the MA will coordinate a special joint meeting of all working groups in Prage, Czech Republic. At this meeting, a special review will be made of the existing assessmetn draft chapters in light of recommendations from the cross-cut meetings.

Cross-cutting meetings for biodiversity, freshwater and inland water, and drylands also set the stage for the preparation of synthesis reports originally planned for the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar convention on Wetlands, and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The meeting on food and cultivated systems exposed significant interest in the development of an additional synthesis report dealing with agriculture, which may eventually be incorporated into the workplan of the MA.