Heinz Center Issues First Annual Update to The State of the Nationís Ecosystems

The first annual update of the landmark 2002 report The State of the Nationís Ecosystems: Measuring the Lands, Waters, and Living Resources of the United States has been released by The Heinz Center. Update 2003 includes updated data for 25 indicators. This represents a quarter of the indicators presented in the Centerís 2002 report, and more than 40% of those for which data were available in 2002. Update 2003 also includes first-time data for one indicator (Recreation in Forests) for which no data were available in 2002.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) January 16, 2004 -- The first annual update of the landmark 2002 report The State of the Nationís Ecosystems: Measuring the Lands, Waters, and Living Resources of the United States has been released by The Heinz Center.

Annual updates provide access to data on ecosystem conditions that become available in the 5 years between editions of the full State of the Nationís Ecosystems report. The first State of the Nationís Ecosystems report was published by Cambridge University Press in 2002; the second full edition is scheduled for publication in 2007. Both the 2002 report and the Web-only Update 2003 are available at www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems/report/html.

ďTracking changes in the condition and use of our nationís precious ecosystems is as important as annual medical checkups,Ē said Thomas E. Lovejoy, President of The Heinz Center, ďAnd this first annual update is a crucial step toward making The State of the Nation's Ecosystems into the periodic source of high-quality, nonpartisan information on ecosystems that it was designed to be.Ē

Update 2003 includes updated data for 25 indicators. This represents a quarter of the indicators presented in the Centerís 2002 report, and more than 40% of those for which data were available in 2002. These data provide insights into changes in such key ecosystem characteristics as the area of the nationís forests and farmlands, contamination in coastal waters, carbon storage in forests, and key ecosystem ďgoods and services,Ē such as fish landings, timber harvest, and crop yields. In several cases, Update 2003 also revises data from the 2002 report, based on changes made by the responsible agencies. Overall, however, the new data contained in Annual Update 2003 demonstrate continuation of existing trends; no major deviations were reported.

Update 2003 also includes first-time data for one indicator (Recreation in Forests) for which no data were available in 2002. ďWe are extremely gratified to be able to report this progress in improving and extending our characterization of the State of the Nationís Ecosystems,Ē said William C. Clark, project head and professor at Harvard Universityís Kennedy School of Government.

The Heinz Center and its collaborators are continuing to refine the indicators in the 2002 report as they prepare for the 2007 edition. This work also includes estimation of the cost of filling data gaps identified in 2002, gathering views from a wide range of experts and interested parties on which data gaps should be filled first, and exploring how such a report should be produced over the long term, including its relationship to other environmental monitoring and reporting activities.

About the State of the Nationís Ecosystems Project
The State of the Nationís Ecosystems is a periodic report on the condition and use of the nationís ecosystems. The report is the product of intensive collaboration between representatives of business, environmental organizations, academia, and federal, state, and local government, and the goal is to provide periodic, high-quality, nonpartisan information to decision makers and opinion leaders.

The first report in the series was published in 2002, and future editions will be produced every 5 years, with the next edition due in 2007. Web updates are released annually.

The State of the Nationís Ecosystems is available in full text on the Web at no charge. Please inquire about individual review copies. The report is available through the publisher, Cambridge University Press, at www.cup.org.

Additional information on Update 2003 or on the overall State of the Nationís Ecosystems project may be obtained from Robin OíMalley, Program Director, at (202) 737-6307, e-mail protected from spam bots; or Kent Cavender-Bares, Fellow, at (612) 624-6182, e-mail protected from spam bots.

Web Links
The Heinz Center: www.heinzctr.org
State of the Nationís Ecosystems Project home page: www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems
State of the Nationís Ecosystems report: www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems/report.html
Cambridge University Press: www.cup.org
Annual Update 2003: www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems/intro/updates.shtml

The Heinz Center, established in 1995 in memory of Senator John Heinz, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution dedicated to improving the scientific and economic basis for environmental policy and to developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/1/prweb98853.htm