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

Norwegian Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Pilot Study


The assessment will focus on main themes relevant to cross-sectoral issues. Thus different ecosystems throughout Norway will be the focus of the assessment.

Lead institutions

Institutions currently involved in this assessment include the Directorate for Nature Management, the Ministry of the Environment, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and the Nordic Council of Ministers. It is expected that other institutions will join the assessment as it gets underway.

Contact information:

  • Dr. Signe Nybø
    Directorate for Nature Management
    Tungasletta 2
    7485 Trondheim Norway
    Tel: + 47 73 580 631, Fax: + 47 73 58 05 01

Focal issues

The aim of the Norwegian full-scale study is to prepare the ground for Norwegian political decision-makers with a view to the comprehensive and sustainable management of the natural environment. This will be done through the following activities:

  • An overview of the provision of goods and services and their impact on human health and well-being.
  • An evaluation of the condition and trends of Norwegian ecosystems, related to the goods and services overview.
  • Case studies. A selected number of parameters with data availability over 20-100 years illustrate the goods and services and the management trade-offs.

Ecosystem services being assessed

  • Cultural landscape services: cleansing of water, soil and air, the exchange of nutrients in the soil and grazing for farm animals
  • Mountain services: water reservoirs, rough pasture areas, recreation and biological diversity
  • Bogs and wetland services: water reservoirs, pastures for wild animals and biodiversity
  • Ocean services: cleansing of seawater, carbon retention and use for fisheries, tourism and recreation
  • Forest services: carbon retention, climate control, nutrient exchange, stabilization of the hydrological cycle, water reservoirs, pasture and biodiversity
  • Freshwater services: cleansing of water, feeding resources, hydrology and flood modification and biodiversity and recreation
  • Coastal services: cleansing of water, soil and air, pollution reduction, feeding resources, biodiversity, recreation and breeding.

Project outputs

The report from the Norwegian Pilot Project was released in 2002. In 2003 a project on scenarios of the outlets of Glomma was released.

Key features of assessment

Of particular significance to this assessment is the influence that the weakening of the condition of the environment has for production in different sectors. For instance air pollution can lead to faster destruction of buildings and capital equipment and to the deterioration in the health of the workforce, while reductions in biodiversity can undermine the basis for effective food production and the development of new medicinal products. Reduced water quality can weaken the basis for the tourism industry. The total economic value of all the resources which society can use for value-creation constitutes a national asset. The full value of environmental resources should also reflect their future value, both for our own and future generations.

Timeframe, budget

The Ministry of Environment in Norway funded US$70,000 to finalize the Pilot Study in 2002. A smaller project on scenario building on the outlets of Glomma river is ongoing in 2003 and 2004. This project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, about US$20,000.