• Guidance

Addressing politics when conducting valuation for decision-making

This guidance recommends three steps to address social and political context in values-based decision making.


Decision-makers have to consider diverse and often conflicting economic, cultural, social and environmental values.

Officials advising decision-makers want best practice valuation frameworks and methods to render decision making more objective and less political. However, politics and social context unavoidably shape the way that information is generated and decisions get made. Attempting ‘best practice’ valuation without attention to this social and political context has consequences for local democracy and the environment.

This guidance offers recommendations to help advisors recognise and choose how to ethically and responsibly respond to this context.

What is valuation?

Holistic ecosystem-based management (EBM) of the marine environment seeks to recognise and accommodate the multiple ways in which people relate to and use the environment.

Valuation – the collection of information about people’s values and relationships to the environment – is often used to inform decision making. By systematically identifying, collecting, and analysing peoples’ economic, cultural, social and environmental values, decisions that affect people’s values can be made more transparent and democratically accountable.

  • Guidance Addressing politics when conducting valuations

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