Evaluating taboo trade-offs in ecosystems services and human well-being
Environmental management inevitably involves trade-offs among different objectives, values, and stakeholders. Most evaluations of such trade-offs involve monetary valuation or calculation of aggregate production of ecosystem services, which can mask individual winners and losers. We combined a participatory, modeling, and scenarios approach to identify social–ecological trade-offs in a tropical fishery and the implications on well-being of different stakeholders. Such trade-offs are often ignored because losers are marginalized or not represented by quantification, and because the nature of underlying values may result in socially “taboo” trade-offs that pit incommensurable values against one another. This approach was selected because a participatory modeling and scenarios approach can increase awareness of such trade-offs, promote discussion of what is socially acceptable, and potentially identify and reduce obstacles to compliance.