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2.3.1 Preliminary to triage: is an ecosystem services assessment the most appropriate approach?

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It is important to decide at an early stage whether a marine ecosystem services assessment is the most appropriate approach in a specific situation, and also to determine where effort should be focused to make the best use of limited resources.

The assessment and valuation of marine ecosystem services can promote understanding of the services provided by the marine environment, and determine values for the benefits arising from them, in the context of changing levels of pressure and alternative management scenarios. These possibilities make the approach attractive to stakeholders and decision makers.

However, there are alternative approaches that can be used in making natural resource management decisions.  Thus, once the stakeholders are engaged, it is valuable to understand the overarching purposes of the assessment and then to consider in more detail how the assessment should be undertaken.

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