A trade-off is a situation where an improvement in the status of one aspect of the environment or of human well-being is necessarily associated with a decline in or loss of a different aspect. Trade-offs characterize most complex systems, and are important to consider when making decisions that aim to improve environmental and/or socio-economic outcomes. Trade-offs are distinct from synergies (the latter are also referred to as “win-win” scenarios): synergies arise when the enhancement of one desirable outcome leads to enhancement of another.