We undertook a systematic review of the empirical valuation literature relating to benefits associated with Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs), revealing that some benefits are quantified in monetary terms more frequently than others, both in Australia and elsewhere. This does not mean that the quantified benefits are more important than other benefits. Instead it indicates that they are easier to quantify. As a result, there are substantive gaps in our understanding of numerous benefits – of their value to different people, in different contexts, in their entirety, and relative to other benefits (Section 5). Our research indicated that while a lack of price does not mean lack of value, it often means lack of ‘visibility’ or ‘presence’. So, vitally important non-market goods and services associated with IPAs may be overlooked, particularly by decision-makers who are driven by quantitative and/or economic data. It is important to find ways of highlighting the importance of those non-market benefits, so that resources can be directed in a manner that generates most benefit per dollar spent.
Farr, M., Stoeckl, N., Esparon, M., Grainger, D., & Larson, S. (2016). Economic values and Indigenous protected areas across Northern Australia. Final report. Technical report for the Northern Australian Environmental Resources Hub of the National Environmental Research Program, Project 5.1 Research priorities for Indigenous Protected Areas across Northern Australia. Townsville: James Cook University.
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