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3.1 Building a common language: definitions and nomenclatures

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The first aim of this section is to provide a series of standard references and nomenclatures which can be used for describing marine ecosystems and the related social system which will be scrutinised.

This attention paid to terms and categories is fundamental for two reasons.

  • First, the ecosystem services approach brings together concepts which come from several disciplines of natural and social sciences, while being implemented by researchers, managers and stakeholders from various backgrounds: therefore, shared conceptual and analytical frameworks are needed for building a common language [Granek et al, 2010)].
  • Second, the clarification of the terms used for objects, processes and concepts will facilitate the comparability of studies, and also preparation of the quantitative valuation step which requires that the main attributes of the social-ecological system to be assessed have been carefully specified.

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