Can economic incentives help reducing wildfire risk?: Reviewing economic tools to motivate more fire-resilient land management
Wildfires can be considered a public bad, or disservice from forests, bushlands,
and other biomass-accumulating land-cover types. Fire impacts can affect not
only landowners’ own property, but also extensive surrounding society within a
defined ‘firescape’, creating a spatial externality problem: landowners and
managers may come to underinvest in wildfire risk reduction, due to their insufficient
organisation, know-how, capacity, and/or motivation1. If so, this would justify
policy intervention, aimed at reducing wildfire risk more than land managers
themselves would have done. To the extent that land managers’ own motivation
is insufficient, incentivizing and compensating them for incremental risk reduction
costs can be one recommendable pathway (‘carrots’). Using disincentives (e.g.
taxes, fines, liability fees) can be a complementary strategy (‘sticks’).
Wunder, S., Fraccaroli, C., Górriz-Mifsud, E., Varela, E.