Economic vulnerability of fire-prone landscapes in protected natural areas: application in a Mediterranean Natural Park

Abstract

Environmental services and landscape goods are rarely incorporated into economic valuation of natural resources, even though these resources may constitute a large proportion of the total ecosystem value, mainly in natural protected areas. The frequent occurrence of wildfires in Spanish protected areas requires a tool, which allows for the comprehensive management of landscape resource and mitigating the potential economic impacts caused by fire. In this paper, we extend the economic valuation theory to the concept of economic vulnerability. Geographic Information System was used to develop a framework for landscape impact assessment using annual landscape value, vegetation resilience and fire behavior. An economic approach of landscape susceptibility was provided by the integration of these three components. Once landscape susceptibility had been spatially characterized, landscape vulnerability was analyzed from criteria associated with landscape susceptibility and burn probability. There was a notable variation in landscape vulnerability ranging from 412,000 Euros to 1,200,000 Euros in Aracena Natural Park (186,828 ha) according to the selected contingent valuation scenario. The availability of cartography of landscape vulnerability could play a critical role in budget optimization and the decision-making process. In this sense, this approach helps managers to identify different efforts according to spatial distribution of the risk and fuel management strategies to increase economic efficiency of fire prevention activities.

DOI: 10.1007/s10342-017-1059-y

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Cite this paper

@article{Molina2017EconomicVO, title={Economic vulnerability of fire-prone landscapes in protected natural areas: application in a Mediterranean Natural Park}, author={Juan Ram{\'o}n Molina and Francisco Rodr{\'i}guez y Silva and Miguel {\'A}ngel Herrera}, journal={European Journal of Forest Research}, year={2017}, volume={136}, pages={609-624} }