Running a structured decision making process: the triage process

It is important to follow a structured decision making process which is intended to help define the aim, scope, methods and tools necessary for the marine ecosystem services assessment.

This wil ensure that it will be:

  • meaningful: interpretable
  • useful: in relation to management concerns, needs and projects
  • feasible: according to the available knowledge and resources.

The principle of a structured decision making process is to run steps in order to decide what evaluation to run for what objective in which context. A method proposed here in order to reach this objective is called the TRIAGE process [Pendleton et al., 2014].

Its principle is to provide a procedure for delimiting the scope of a potential marine ecosystem services quantitative assessment using a step-wise process to refine the initial broad-scale analysis and to consider, as objectively as possible, the relevance of marine ecosystem services assessment and valuation in a particular situation.

The triage process aims to identify:

  • the policy issues for which a marine ecosystem services assessment is expected to provide new evidence
  • the parts of the system to be considered in relation to these policy issues
  • the sensitivity of the considered marine ecosystem services to natural or social factors of change
  • the appropriate methods for valuation
  • the feasibility of a marine ecosystem services assessment in practice

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