Rescue of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Data Completed
From 2001 to 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) brought together more than 1,300 experts worldwide to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being. The MA provided a comprehensive scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and associated services at that time, and articulated the scientific basis for action to conserve and use these ecosystems sustainably. The core data used and developed by the MA had been maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) program, but unfortunately when this program was terminated in January 2012, access to the data ended.
To remedy this situation and to ensure long-term preservation of and access to these important data, the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN obtained copies of the original data and has recently released them as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Collection. The original data consisted of many files that were not well documented or organized, so SEDAC has grouped the data into six separate data sets: population; scenarios; biodiversity; climate and land cover; ecosystems; and rapid land cover change. Although most of the data in the collection have been superseded by newer versions, the data may still be of interest from both scientific and historical perspectives since they reflect the state of knowledge at the time the assessment was completed.
In preparing the collection, SEDAC has sought to provide access to the data in their original formats with basic documentation. Users will need to refer directly to the MA reports for details on sources, methods, and interpretation of the data.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Collection