Training in economic valuation

Published: 12 October 2015
Last edited: 12 January 2017
The bulk of our capacity building effort in Belize was aimed at enabling stakeholders to replicate our valuation methods. We focused at the MPA level, where we worked with a number of NGOs, as well as Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Fisheries Department, to develop a template for applying the national valuation methods in MPAs. We worked with co-managers for several MPAs in Belize to compile data on use of the reserves for fishing and tourism. For many MPAs, this exercise highlighted gaps in current data collection, and drew attention to chronic undercounting of visitors and user fees. We produced preliminary valuations for all of the MPAs we worked with. We conducted a workshop summarizing our efforts in November 2008 and invited all organizations working on MPAs to attend. A great deal of interest was expressed in the economic valuation template. We have made it available electronically along with a detailed user’s guide. Several MPAs have already committed to adapting their current data collection efforts to better support economic analysis.


Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

- Multiple training opportunities in different formats geared toward end users (workshops and one-on-one trainings)

Lessons learned

The experience of training MPA managers in economic valuation drove home the important lesson that lack of time and high turnover rates make it especially difficult for many groups to replicate these studies; however, it did validate our belief that the method should be kept simple and straightforward, making it relatively easy to pass on the valuation techniques to new staff. We also feel that emphasizing collection of the relevant information for a valuation study (for instance, how many people are actually diving, snorkeling, or visiting the reef) can also lead to better management outcomes.