Comprehensive Monitoring and Assessment of Terrestrial Ecosystems in China

China (2nd phase)

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment National
Country or countries covered China
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

The project’s primary goals are to develop an integrated ecosystem simulation and analysis platform on the basis of field observation network and earth observing system, to analyze the evolution trends of environment problems for vulnerable ecosystem regions, and to assess the changing trends of macroscopic ecosystem structures and service functions of terrestrial China. Furthermore, the project aims to construct an integrated ecosystem monitoring, assessment and decision support system, which could be operated according to a certain time period by multi-departments, and to supply national ecosystem assessment reports and relative scientific basis for policy makers and planners of environment protection in five-year plan in China.

Mandate for the assessment

The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA)

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

System(s) assessed

  • Forest and woodland
  • Cultivated/Agricultural land
  • Grassland

Species groups assessed

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Water


  • Climate regulation
  • Regulation of water flows
  • Erosion prevention

Supporting Services/Functions

  • Nutrient cycling
  • Soil formation and fertility
  • Primary production

Cultural Services

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish


Periodicity of assessment

One off

Assessment outputs



Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Spatial patterns and driving forces of land use change in China during the early 21st century

The integrated assessment indicator system of grassland ecosystem in the Three-River Headwaters region

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Modelling
  • Trade-off analysis
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Indicators
  • Scenarios
  • Stakeholder consultations

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Key stakeholder groups engaged

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process


Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge
  • Citizen science

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

The assessment provided a lot of important recommendations for China’s western development program and was enrolled into Twelfth Five-year plan.

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Access to funding, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Workshops, Developing/promoting and providing access to support tools, Formal training

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information