Tropical ecosystems provide a wide and complex range of goods and services to individuals and communities (Box 1). These diverse environmental values include: direct-use values related to natural resources that can be managed and extracted (e.g. timber, minerals and non-timber forest products) and indirectuse values associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services (e.g. hydrological, pollination and climate regulation services, recreation and tourism). Nature also holds intrinsic values and non-use cultural, religious and historical values. There are growing efforts to quantify and assign financial values to these diverse goods and services. These values can be used to inform trade-off analysis, decision making, and calculation of taxes and payment schemes. They can also be used to calculate damages when the environment is harmed.