presented on various scales and in ways most useful to those charged with managing natural resources.

  • No simple models or approaches can adequately capture both market and nonmarket values of biodiversity in a simple, objective manner. Traditional and emerging benefit-cost approaches to valuing biodiversity can contribute important and relevant information to decision-making. But the wide ranges of values and value systems held by those affected by resource decisions and the inherent difficulties in quantifying nonmarket values place some limits on the role of models in these decisions.
  • There is great power in using an analytic deliberative process, which is inherently qualitative, in making decisions about biodiversity, although the ultimate decisions themselves must be made by the managers or policy makers. This includes using the process to weigh the different kinds of values that are involved.
  • Most decisions affecting biodiversity will be made on a local scale, but the aggregate of these decisions will affect biodiversity on regional and even global scales. Therefore, there is an urgent need for periodic regional assessments of the state of biodiversity so that managers can assess the consequences of their decisions in broader and more ecologically meaningful contexts.

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