This study reviewed the potential benefits of a Millennium Assessment (MA) type ecosystem assessment to enhance the current ability to assess, predict, understand and respond to impacts of environmental, economic and social change on the natural environment, and to make recommendations for a model that might be most suitable to meet our assessment needs and how this could be operationalised.

This included:

·Reviewing evidence needs relating to the delivery of healthy ecosystems and the sustainable supply of ecosystem services. In reviewing evidence needs, the study drew on as full a range of sources as possible, including existing reviews and evaluations of the MA.

·Reviewing the extent to which current research programmes and monitoring and assessment procedures are able to meet these needs

·Making recommendations on whether and how an MA type assessment could help meet evidence needs, including on how such an assessment could make use of existing monitoring and assessment processes as well as address any gaps.

·Presenting a range of feasible options, with estimated costs, on the scope and scale of such an assessment and how this could be operationalised.

·For each of the options identifying the practical benefits.

·Exploring synergies with relevant UK and EU initiatives.

·Exploring creative opportunities for financing.

·Employing means to engage key partners and stakeholders in the study, including those across sectors whose activities impact on the natural environment.

·Setting up a steering group for the project and means to engage members of the steering group on a regular basis.

Name of Client

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Project Dates