THE H. JOHN HEINZ III CENTER FOR SCIENCE,
ECONOMICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
(202) 737-6307 [log in to unmask]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 14, 2003
Heinz Center Issues First Annual Update to The State of the Nation's
Washington, D.C.: The first annual update of the landmark 2002 report The
State of the Nation's 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 Nation's
Ecosystems report. The first State of the Nation's 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 .
"Tracking changes in the condition and use of our nation's precious
ecosystems is as important as annual medical checkups," said Thomas E.
Lovejoy, President of The Heinz Center, "And 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."
Update 2003 includes updated data for 25 indicators. This represents a
quarter of the indicators presented in the Center's 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 nation's forests and farmlands, contamination in coastal waters, carbon
storage in forests, and key ecosystem "goods and services," 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
Update 2003 also includes first-time data for one indicator (Recreation in
Forests) for which no data were available in 2002. "We are extremely
gratified to be able to report this progress in improving and extending our
characterization of the State of the Nation's Ecosystems," said William C.
Clark, project head and professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of
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 Nation's Ecosystems Project
The State of the Nation's Ecosystems is a periodic report on the condition
and use of the nation's 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 Nation's 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
Nation's Ecosystems project may be obtained from Robin O'Malley, Program
Director, at (202) 737-6307, [log in to unmask]; or Kent Cavender-Bares,
Fellow, at (612) 624-6182, [log in to unmask]
The Heinz Center: www.heinzctr.org
State of the Nation's Ecosystems Project home page:
State of the Nation's Ecosystems report:
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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