EcoPlan’s Will Trousdale recently spoke on the CBC about ‘non-market valuation’. Non-market valuation is a method to appraise the monetary value of goods and services that have utility and value, but not necessarily a market price.
An important application of non-market valuation methods includes the appraisal of cultural values and historical artifacts, such as the value of a traditional hunting ground. These evaluations can be used in negotiations with governments or companies to ensure that there is fair compensation in the face of development or change that would impact these non-market factors. For example, if road development would pass through a traditional spiritual site and hunting grounds, what is appropriate compensation for the loss of these cultural experiences? This is an interesting and evolving area of research and practice.