How do you put a price on the environment?
Making a real change for the future.
“I’d like to see climate change and the environment fully considered and accounted for in all decisions, whether it’s a government project, or someone concreting over their garden to create a barren space,” says Dr Dugald Tinch, an environmental economist at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.
With a long-time interest in the interaction between humans and nature, Dr Tinch focuses his research on 'ecosystem services' – the values people derive from the natural environment.
“The problem with the traditional economic approach is that groups that don’t appear in the market don’t have a price, and therefore they’re not adequately provided for,” he explains.
“For example, pollution doesn’t have a proper price associated with it, so if someone is polluting, they don’t have to pay for that, so they tend to over-pollute.”
Dr Tinch’s vision is to develop a research methodology, or ‘toolbox’, to identify these values, so they can be applied to every decision at an individual, community, policy, and government level when it affects the environment.
“For politicians to understand the value of the environment from a policy perspective, it’s not enough to just say, ‘This is really important’. You need to say, ‘I can show you its worth,’” says Dr Tinch.
“Whether it’s the cost of pollution through the damage it’s doing elsewhere in the economy, such as making people sick, or the fact that the pollution is preventing us from developing land for something else, if you start identifying these values, then you can start to get the policy people to pay attention to what’s going on.”
The best way to do this, says Dr Tinch, is to put it in dollar terms. “We’re not saying they’re precise – but we’re saying, let’s consider this in a framework that makes sense to the widest range of people.”
Dr Tinch says that with climate change, the challenge is to identify and place a value on the potentially devastating effects of global warming on various ecosystems and economic capacity, to ensure that policy-makers pay attention.
“It’s a contentious thing to be doing. In the UK, it’s much more accepted in government circles that this is actually relevant. Cost-benefit analysis and environment valuation is much more accepted as standard,” he says.
“I’m really passionate about trying to get this to the point where it’s more accepted in Australia, so we can start considering what the economic impact would be across everything that will be impacted, both market and non-market.”
Dr Tinch’s work often also involves directly identifying what the public wants through public preference surveys.
“That’s the key in driving value – the public getting the value they want from an environment,” he says.
His work runs the full gamut of where people and the environment interact, from agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture, to marine ecology and tourism.
“I’m a multi-disciplinary researcher, I always have been, and I like working with people from various backgrounds and bringing together our different knowledge,” says Dr Tinch. “I’m working with as many people and institutions as I can.”
This year, Dr Tinch will be working with the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils; the Forestry Practices Authority; and the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).
He frequently works with ecologists, using economic frameworks to inform his work and make it as policy-relevant as possible, which will help inform decisions made by government and industry.
“It’s about being able to sit down and not just speak in jargon, and having a single mind about what you want to do,” he says.
“You need to be open to other ideas, and see how your theories and practices can tie into theirs, so you can make sense of complicated problems.”
Research that makes a difference
Dr Dugald Tinch is a lecturer in Resource Economics at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics. His recent research has been focussed in the field of ecosystem services, having worked for a number of government departments and NGOs in this field. He has an expertise on environmental valuation and marine systems. He has recently secured funding relating to Antarctica and Tasmanian tourism. He is a multidisciplinary researcher who is published in both the economics, policy and ecology literature.
Dugald completed his BA(Hons) in Geography and Economics from the University of Stirling in 1997, his MSc in Environmental Economics and Management from the University of York in 2000 and his PhD in Economic from the University of Stirling in 2009. Before joining UTas in 2014, Dugald was previously employed as part of the Marine Alliance of Science and Technology Scotland (Masts) and the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow.
|Degree||Title of Thesis||University||Country||Awarded|
|PhD||Upland Landscapes: Who Wants What, Why do They Want it and Can They Have it All||University of Stirling||United kingdom||2009|
|MSc||The Value of the Decision to Protect: An Analysis With Case Studies From Lingerbay and Jabiluka||University of York||United Kingdom||2000|
|BA(Hons)||An Analysis of Air Pollution in Glasgow||University of Strathclyde||United Kingdom||1997|
Languages (other than English)
Survival / pub Russian, smattering of Gaelic and French
Coordinator Economics and Finance Seminar Series and internal workshops in Economics. Member of Centre for Marine Socio-ecology
Resource Economics, Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, Ecological Economics, Micro-Economics, Cost-benefit analysis, Macroeconomics, International Trade, Economics of Journalism
- Marine Alliance of Science and Technology – focus on research on the economics of marine and coastal environments. (5 year fully funded research fellow position)
- University of Stirling – focus on the economics of upland ecosystems.
- Tromso University – plus 5 partner institutions in Norway to provide expert advice on choice experimentation.
- EU – Marnet – collaboration of 8 EU research institutes identifying socio-economic values of marine environments.
- Natural England, UK Environment agency and others in relation to environmental valuation.
Resource Economics, Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, Ecological Economics, Cost-benefit analysis, the Economics of Happiness, Behavioural Economics, Psychological Well-being, discrete choice experiments, random utility models.
Whilst Dugald's research overlaps will all of the research themes of the University it most closely aligns with those of Marine, Antarctic and Maritime and Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Dugald's previous research has covered a range of topics from investigation of sustainability at a country level through identification and valuation of Ecosystem Services for the UK for a range of habitat types (as part of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment – a follow on from the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment). He is currently involved in projects relating to the value of the Antarctic to Australia, costal management in Norway and, as part of the Sense-T project, the valuation of environmental quality to tourists to Tasmania.
Marine Alliance of Science and Technology Scotland – all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes within Scotland.
A range of Norwegian Universities and Research Institutes – project looking at the value of marine and coastal environments and investigating the use of deliberative monetary assessment.
Marnet – pan European project, UK, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain / Basque Country investigating the economic value of the Atlantic Periphary
Centre for Marine Socio- Economics – UTas
Sense-T – UTas
IMAS - UTas
The value of the Antarctic and Southern Oceans to Australia
Fields of Research
- Environment and Resource Economics (140205)
- Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience (150606)
- Tourism Management (150603)
- Aquaculture (070401)
- Ecosystem Function (050102)
- Economic Development and Growth (140202)
- Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment (070402)
- Environment Policy (160507)
- Natural Resource Management (050209)
- Fisheries Management (070403)
- Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology (160808)
- Ecological Economics (149902)
- Tourism Policy (160513)
- Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (960506)
- Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity (960810)
- Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments (960504)
- Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Environments (960510)
- Climate and Climate Change (960399)
- Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils (961402)
- Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation (960699)
- Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments (960507)
- Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection (960601)
- Coastal and Marine Management Policy (960701)
- Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Land and Water Management (960901)
- Tourism (900399)
- Tourism Infrastructure Development (900303)
- Economic Growth (910103)
- Aquaculture Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) (830102)
- Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (960502)
- Economic Issues in Tourism (900301)
- Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism (900302)
- Communication (950299)
- Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production (839899)
- Management and Productivity (910499)
- Ecological Economics (919902)
- Sustainability Indicators (960609)
Journal Article(13 outputs)
|2018||Aanesen M, Falk-Andersson J, Vondolia G, Borch T, Navrud S, et al., 'Valuing coastal recreation and the visual intrusion from commercial activities in Arctic Norway', Ocean and Coastal Management, 153, (1) pp. 157-167. ISSN 0964-5691 (2018) [Refereed Article]|
|2015||Oliver DM, Hanley ND, Neirkerk van M, Kay D, Heathwaite AL, et al., 'Molecular tools for bathing water assessment in Europe: Balancing social science research with a rapidly developing environmental science evidence-base', Ambio, 45, (1) pp. 52-62. ISSN 0044-7447 (2015) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
|2014||Dallimer M, Tinch DR, Hanley N, Irvine KN, Rouquette JR, et al., 'Quantifying Preferences for the Natural World Using Monetary and Nonmonetary Assessments of Value', Conservation Biology, 28, (2) pp. 404-413. ISSN 0888-8892 (2014) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 17Web of Science - 16
|2014||Foley NS, Corless R, Escapa M, Fahy F, Fernandez-Macho J, et al., 'Developing a Comparative Marine Socio-Economic Framework for the European Atlantic Area', Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics, 1 Article 3. ISSN 2373-8456 (2014) [Refereed Article]|
|2014||LaRiviere J, Czajkowski M, Hanley N, Aanesen M, Falk-Petersen J, et al., 'The value of familiarity: Effects of knowledge and objective signals on willingness to pay for a public good', Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 68, (2) pp. 376-389. ISSN 0095-0696 (2014) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 26
|2014||Tinch DR, Colombo S, Hanley N, 'The impacts of elicitation context on stated preferences for agricultural landscapes', Journal of Agricultural Economics, 66, (1) pp. 87-107. ISSN 0021-857X (2014) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
|2013||Hynes S, Tinch DR, Hanley N, 'Valuing improvements to coastal waters using choice experiments: An application to revisions of the EU Bathing Waters Directive', Marine Policy, 40 pp. 137-144. ISSN 0308-597X (2013) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 25
|2009||Dallimer M, Tinch DR, Acs S, Hanley N, Southall H, et al., '100 years of change: examining agricultural trends, habitat change and stakeholder perceptions through the 20th century', Journal of Applied Ecology, 46 pp. 334-343. ISSN 0021-8901 (2009) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 36Web of Science - 34
|2009||Hanley N, Tinch DR, Angelopoulos K, Davies A, Barbier E, et al., 'What drives long-run biodiversity change? New insights from combining economics, palaeoecology and environmental history', Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 57, (1) pp. 5-20. ISSN 0095-0696 (2009) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 11
|2008||Hanley N, Davies A, Angelopoulos A, Hamilton A, Ross A, et al., 'Economic determinants of biodiversity change over a 400 year period in the Scottish Uplands', Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, (6) pp. 1557-1565. ISSN 0021-8901 (2008) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 28Web of Science - 26
|2006||Hanley N, Colombo S, Tinch DR, Black A, Aftab A, 'Estimating the benefits of water quality improvements under the Water Framework Directive: are benefits transferable?', European Review of Agricultural Economics, 33, (3) pp. 391-413. ISSN 0165-1587 (2006) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 66Web of Science - 67
|2006||Pezzey J, Hanley N, Turner K, Tinch DR, 'Comparing augmented sustainability measures for Scotland: Is there a mismatch?', Ecological Economics, 57, (1) pp. 60-74. ISSN 0921-8009 (2006) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 23Web of Science - 17
|2006||Tinch R, Tinch DR, 'The Economics of Climate Change', Developments in Economics, 22 ISSN 0951-1407 (2006) [Non Refereed Article]|
Chapter in Book(4 outputs)
|2017||Eccleston RG, Hardy A, Tinch DR, 'Case study: Tasmania driving innovation in the visitor economy', Improving service sector productivity: the economic imperative, CEDA, CEDA (ed), Australia, pp. 112-116. ISBN 0858013134 (2017) [Other Book Chapter]|
Co-authors: Eccleston RG; Hardy A
|2011||Tinch DR, Colombo S, Hanley N, 'Decision versus Experiences Utility: An Investigation Using the Choice Experiment Method', The International Handbook On Non-Market Environmental Valuation, Edward Elgar Publishing, Jeff Bennett (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 1-10. ISBN 978 1 84844 425 6 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]|
|2009||Tinch DR, Hanley N, Dallimer M, Posen P, Acs S, et al., 'Historical Perspectives on the Development of Multifunctional Landscapes: A Case study from the UK Uplands', Multifunctional Rural Land Management: Economics and Policies, Routledge, F Brouwer and M van der Heide (ed), United Kingdom ISBN 978-1-84407-577-5 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]|
|2004||Hanley N, Tinch DR, 'Cost Benefit and Climate Change', The Economics of Climate Change, Routledge, A D, Owen and N, Hanley (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 167-174. (2004) [Research Book Chapter]|
Grants & Funding
Dugald's most recent research grant - The Economic Impact of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Sector on the Tasmanian Economy (2015), University of Tasmania: Grant-Cross-Disciplinary Incentive, $7000 - is a scoping study with the aim of establishing a justifiable methodology to properly evaluate the contribution of this sector to the economy of Tasmania.
His Sense-T Sensing Tourist Travel Project will use real-time sensor-generated data to answer key questions about where different cohorts of tourists travel and how they make spontaneous travel decisions. These unprecedented insights into tourists' travel behaviour and decision-making will create value for the tourism industry and the Tasmanian community, and will help to ensure the tourism sector continues to grow.
Number of grants
- Over the summer of 2015-2016 the innovative and ambitious UTAS Tourist Tracking project successfully tracked the movement of 472 tourists within Tasmania for 4-14 days. The goals of the Phase 2 research program are:1.To prove that techniques developed during our pilot study can be adapted to a completely app-based platform (iOS and Android) suitable for use on visitors personal phones. This will be critical for scaling the method and reducing unit cost;2.To develop and prove incentives to recruit a diverse and significant cohort of visitors to the state on a sustainable basis; and3.To develop a dynamic and user friendly industry/government interface to ensure that end user participants have timely access to key data.
- Department of State Growth (Tas) ($190,000); Federal Hotels ($20,000)
- Contract Research
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Hardy A; Aryal J; Eccleston RG; Booth KI; Tinch DR; Wong TL; Robards BJ
- 2017 - 2018
- This project will use real-time sensor-generated data to address two significant industry-driven research questions, which are designed to provide unprecedented insights into tourists travel behaviour and decision making. Understanding where different cohorts of tourists travel and how they make spontaneous travel decisions will create value for the industry and the Tasmanian community by:Informing more nuanced and effective marketing strategies;Informing tourism related infrastructure and investment decisions, facilitating industry and employment growth;Informing strategies designed to increase the duration of (and spending during) visits; andEnhancing the tourist experience by providing more timely and relevant travel information.
- University of Tasmania ($499,534)
- Grant - Institutional
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Hardy A; Eccleston RG; Robards BJ; Wong TL; Aryal J; Tinch DR; Booth KI; Hyslop SE
- 2015 - 2016
- The project is a scoping study with the aim of establishing a justifiable methodology to properly evaluate the contribution of this sector to the economy of Tasmania.
- University of Tasmania ($7,000)
- Grant-Cross-Disciplinary Incentive
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Tinch DR; Dungey MH; Haward MG; Press AJ
|PhD||Using Integrated Indicators in a Multi-Objective Linear Programming for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management||2016|
|PhD||Mapping Marine Ecosystem Services to the Total Economic Value Framework||2016|
|PhD||The Use of Incentives, Information and Context in the Formulation of Economic Values for the Environment||2017|
|PhD||Measuring Natural Capital at Australian Agricultural Farm||2017|
|PhD||Relative Values of the Coastal and Marine Environment: Ecosystem service valuation in multi-use governance contexts||2017|