Coastal Guardian Watchmen Business Case

EcoPlan carried out a unique business case to help clarify the total value generated by the Coastal Guardian Watchmen programs. The business case differed from more conventional approaches in that it included both market and non-market costs and benefits in the analysis. This meant that in addition to identifying and measuring financial costs and benefits, the assessment also evaluated costs and benefits associated with a wide range of other value dimensions as well (social, political, cultural, etc.).

The project was commissioned by the Coastal Stewardship Network, a program of Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative, and TNC Canada. EcoPlan worked in partnership with all seven member Nations of the Coastal First Nations to undertake the research and data collection required for the analysis. Its development required three components:

  • an understanding of what was being valued (i.e., a well-defined understanding of the Guardian Watchmen programs including input costs and associated program activities);
  • identification of the relevant benefits resulting from these programs; and,
  • quantitative measures for deriving monetary equivalents for these benefits from which the overall program value could be calculated.


Without baseline data and little monitoring data, the business case used analytical methods from decision analysis to help move beyond anecdotal stories to illustrate the program’s impacts through defensible, quantitative evidence.