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The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report boils down the findings of the four working groups into a simple, straightforward description of Earth's ecological health and its linkages to human well-being. It answers a series of key questions, such as
How have ecosystems changed over the past 50 years?
What are the most critical factors causing ecosystem damage?
What options do we have for better conserving, restoring, and benefiting from ecosystems?
The volume then presents a snapshot of the health and prospects for each of the main services that ecosystems provide, including the provision of food, water, timber, fuel, climate regulation, disease prevention, and others. The Synthesis Report will prove ideal for students and laypersons interested in a quick, but nuanced, understanding of the state of Earth's ecosystems.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's work is overseen by a 45-member Board of Directors, co-chaired by Robert Watson, Chief Scientist and Senior Advisor for the Environment of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank, and A.H. Zakri, director of the United Nations University's Institute of Advanced Studies. The Assessment Panel, which oversees the technical work of the MA, includes 13 of the world's leading social and natural scientists. It is co-chaired by Angela Cropper of the Cropper Foundation and Harold Mooney of Stanford University. Walter Reid is the director of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.