Millennium Ecosystem Assessment - MA (2005) project

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Application type: 1. Global integrated assessment
Role of IMAGE framework: Assessment of four global scenarios on the development of ecosystem services up to 2050. The IMAGE framework was used to focus on the role of ecosystem services to support human development.
Summary: The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment project assessed the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being. From 2001 to 2005, the MA involved the work of more than 1,360 experts worldwide. Their findings provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide, as well as the scientific basis for action to conserve and use them sustainably.
Partner(s): UNEP
Key publication(s): MA, 2005
Referred by: Drivers, Ecosystem services, Livestock systems, Terrestrial biodiversity

The IMAGE implementation of the MA scenarios

The Millennium Ecosystem Scenarios were developed using both qualitative (“storytelling”) and quantitative tools (“modeling”). While these different approaches were used to enforce each other and consistency checks were made, it was also accepted that too some degree differences between the different elaborations of the scenarios could remain emphasizing uncertainty. The IMAGE implementation of the scenarios is one of the elaborations (and other elaborations of the same scenarios exist). The IMAGE results have formed the backbone of the quantitative chapter in the Scenario Volume of the MA.

Scenario set

The set of MA scenarios explore changes in ecosystem services and their drivers across a set of four scenarios. These scenarios are:

  • Global Orchestration

This scenario assumes a world with rapid economic growth based on a high level of socially conscious globalization and macro-scale policy reform. The main focus in this world is on human development and the approach towards environmental problems is reactive.

  • Order from Strength

This scenario assumes a retreat from global institutions results in a fragmented world. In the scenario international blocks of states are formed that focus on national security and protectionism. As a result, there are large differences in wealth across the world. Technology development under this scenario is assumed to be slow).

  • Technogarden

This scenario emphasises the development of green technologies, partly as substitutes for ecosystem services. The scenario also assumes a globalized world and a proactive approach to manage environmental problems.)

  • Adapting Mosaic

In this scenario, local institutions are strengthened in order to protect ecosystems. Important elements in this scenario are learning processes at the local scale.