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Valuing Nature: Assessing Protected Area Benefits

Cristina Lasch

​Over the last two years, TNC has been developing and piloting ‘Valuing Nature’ campaigns oriented to assessing protected area benefits. These campaigns aim to identify and communicate social, cultural and economic benefits from the goods and services provided by protected areas. The identification of benefits at national and site levels is done through a careful compilation and analysis of available data from existing research, by carrying out socio-economic valuation studies. and by gathering testimonies through stakeholder interviews. The results are disseminated to target audiences through communication campaigns oriented to mobilize political will, build public support and increase domestic and international funding.

This guide brings together some results and lessons learned from the project, and leads practitioners through a step-by-step process for developing their own ‘Valuing Nature’ campaigns. Although such projects may seem like a lot of work to protected area practitioners already struggling to conserve biodiversity in the areas they are managing, there is an urgent need to explain the crucial role protected areas play – not just in conserving biodiversity but in providing many other benefits that contribute to human well-being. And this need is getting more urgent each day.