Classifying values for planning the conservation and use of natural resources.

Published online
14 Feb 2019
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Wallace, K. J. & Kim, M. K. & Rogers, A. & Jago, M.
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Understanding values and their interaction is fundamental to the wise conservation and use of natural resources. However, a confusing mixture of value classifications is applied in natural resource management. This is unhelpful where the aim is to implement values-based planning through group deliberative processes. At the same time, classifications described in the literature are rarely supported by explicit criteria and assumptions. Thus, their conceptual basis may be obscure, and they are therefore difficult to interpret and apply in practice. To address these issues, we develop two classifications of values grounded on clearly stated assumptions and criteria that facilitate interpretation, application, and adaptation. These classifications involve two distinct, but related, concepts of values: 'end state values' such as recreational satisfaction, spiritual-philosophical contentment, and adequate resources of food and water; and 'principles', which are the preferred ethical properties of human behaviour such as 'honesty', 'fairness', and 'prudence'. The proposed classifications are compared with a representative sample of alternative approaches including those based on 'needs', 'capabilities', and various socio-psychological constructs. The outputs are designed to support group deliberative processes including expert analysis. At the same time, this work contributes to resolving the confusion of approaches described in the literature.

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