The central Uzbek government needed to be convinced that investments in the Amu Darya delta would make social, ecological and economic sense. Ecosystem services of the delta were valued for three situations: the situation before degradation, the present degraded and the potential restored situation.
Recognition of ecosystem services was instrumental in changing the course of development from sectoral, technocratic and unsustainable interventions, towards the restoration of natural processes. The ecosystem service concept helped to overcome two obstacles: - identify the relevant stakeholders and the central trade-offs amongst them. - sensitise the stakeholders that they all depend on the same ecosystem, which is affected by their land use practices.