The chapter deals with intangible cultural heritage (ICH), based on the definition reported in the 2003 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH. This definition covers a large range of material and immaterial expressions of local cultures, considered as a living cultural treasure for local communities. The reasons that – after almost 30 years from the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage – led UNESCO to focus on the preservation of ICT are explained. In particular, we consider the economic phenomena that threaten the survival of the immaterial culture widespread in the world; usually a tacit knowledge, transmitted with difficulty through codified procedures and protected by intellectual property rights. The economic reasons that justify the preservation of ICH are investigated, underlining the role that ICH can play in fostering creativity and innovation. The real enforcement capacity of UNESCO Conventions, and other local and national policies, are discussed.
This chapter describes in detail the main characteristics of the contingent valuation (CV) method. This method aims to estimates the economic value of non-market goods in monetary terms. Contingent valuation is a stated preference (SP) method based on individual preferences declared in surveys where hypothetical market is mimicked. We consider the circumstances under which it can be preferable to other methods in the valuation of cultural assets. The main issues of the theoretical debate on the pros and cons of CV are summarized, and a short review of the main fields of application of CV studies on cultural heritage is reported. Moreover, we trace out the future of the research on CV, from theoretical and applied points of view. Finally, we discuss the cultural policy implications of recurring to CV and other SP models.