Including the intangible benefits of bushfire mitigation in economic analyses: a 'value tool' for informed decision making
|Title||Including the intangible benefits of bushfire mitigation in economic analyses: a 'value tool' for informed decision making|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Rogers, A, Gibson, FL, Florec, V, Hailu, A, Pannell, DJ|
|Publisher||Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC|
Understanding the costs and benefits of bushfire mitigation is imperative for governments to be able to prioritise the strategies that provide the best value for money. The economic damages caused by bushfires and the costs of mitigation are relatively well documented and can be large. But the social and environmental benefits of bushfire mitigation, which can potentially be even larger, have not been well documented. As a result, these types of intangible benefits are often neglected in decision making. We have created a ‘value tool’ that makes information about these intangible benefits accessible to decision makers for use in economic studies such as benefit-cost analyses.
The value tool identifies the types of intangible values that might be affected by bushfires or their mitigation, in terms of health, environmental and social effects. We have compiled a database of different studies that have measured these values in dollar terms reflecting how much they are worth to the community. This means they can be directly compared with other monetary estimates of costs and benefits related to bushfire mitigation. The database comes with a set of user-friendly guidelines that illustrate how the intangible values can be used to make decisions and prioritise bushfire mitigation strategies. For example, a bushfire manager will be able to use the value tool to identify the types of intangible values that might be affected by a prescribed burning plan, such as protecting wildlife and minimising distress to local communities, and find dollar estimates for each of these values. The value tool also provides estimates of intangible values relevant to other types of natural hazards.