Quantifying and monetizing the wildfire impact on human welfare

This project aims to quantify the damages from wildfires using economic valuation methods, specifically stated preference valuation methods focussing on rural and urban/peri-urban environments in the European Mediterranean. It also aims to improve the understanding of the human-wildfire relationship by analysing the effects of wildfires on human wellbeing. In turn, the thesis will produce outputs that allow scientists and policymakers to better understand the relationship between wildfires and society.

The objectives of this thesis are as follows:

1.Identify the impacts wildfires have on humans

a) Undertake a review of the impacts of wildfires on ecosystem services, recreation and human health.

b) How these impacts relate to individuals’ risk perception

c) What valuation methods are used to assess them.

2. Contribute to the evidence base by assessing wildfire impacts on rural populations using stated preference valuation techniques.

a) Undertake extensive interviews with relevant stakeholders and researchers around the island to better understand wildfires in Crete

b) Design and implement a choice experiment to estimate cost of damages of wildfires. The choice experiment will understand people’s preferences to support a wildfire mitigation programme on the island. Specifically, the proposed programme addresses and implement the following issues identified in Crete and will be part of the: to reduce the risk of wildfire, risk of post-wildfire damages, loss of agriculture and implement hard engineering to maintaining the cultural and traditional landscape of Crete. Overall, this choice experiment will determine the damages associated with wildfires. Furthermore, this objective also complements objective 1 as it identifies and evaluates the impact of wildfires on humans.

3. Contribute to the evidence base by assessing wildfire impacts on Urban/peri-urban populations using stated preference valuation techniques. This is yet to be implemented but will be in another urban location within the European Mediterranean, possibly still in Greece.

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