Managing ecosystems for multiple ecosystem services and balancing the well-being of diverse stakeholders involves different kinds of trade-offs. Often trade-offs involve noneconomic and difficult-to-valuate values, such as cultural identity, employment, the well-being of poor people, or particular species or ecosystem structures.
Although trade-offs need to be considered for successful environmental management, they are often overlooked in favor of win-wins. Management and policy decisions demand approaches tha can explicitly acknowledge and evaluate diverse trade-offs. We identified a diversity of apparent trade-offs in a small-scale tropical fishery when ecological simulations were integrated with participatory assessments of social–ecological system structure and stakeholders’well-being. Despite an apparent win-win between conservation and profitability at the aggregate scale, food production, employment, and well-being of marginalized stakeholders were differentially influenced by management decisions leading to trade-offs. Some of these trade-offs were suggested to be "tabo trade-offs" between morally incommensurable values, such as between profits and the well-being of marginalized women.
The concept of taboo trade-offs suggests that psychological bias and social sensitivity may exclude key issues from decision making, which can result in policies that are difficult to implement. Our participatory modeling and scenarios approach has the potential to increase awareness of such trade-offs, promote discussion of what is acceptable, and potentially identify and reduce obstacles to management compliance.
Research news | 2018-12-13
Money sent home by migrants can prevent undesired farmland abandonment, as well as the promise of extensive forest regrowth
Research news | 2018-12-09
Amid transitions from swidden agriculture to market-driven oil palm plantations, women remain disadvantaged when it comes to access to land, labour and social capital
Research news | 2018-12-03
Review paper summarizes scholarship of resilience and economics, and projects how management of resilience could benefit sustainability measurement
Research news | 2018-11-28
The seventh in a series of seven "deep dives" looking into the connections between resilience and development
Research news | 2018-11-25
Not enough city dwellers are exposed to nature in cities. That could have serious impacts on their health
Research news | 2018-11-20
The sixth in a series of seven "deep dives" looking into the connections between resilience and development