The Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of Western China is one of the first five sub-global assessments launched by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA)in 2001.
The scientists conducted a full review on the current status, changes and scenarios of ecosystems and their services in western China, with the help of systematic modeling and GIS. The assessment shows that under the impact of climate change and human activities, various ecosystems in western China have experienced different degrees of degradation over the past two decades. Areas of permanent ice and snow are decreasing while the deserts are on the rise. However, the ecosystem diversity here is steadily increasing and the region has become an important carbon sink in China.