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Integrating multiple criteria decision analysis in participatory forest planning

experience from a case study in northern Sweden

Nordström, Eva-Maria and Eriksson, Ljusk Ola and Öhman, Karin (2010). Integrating multiple criteria decision analysis in participatory forest planning. Forest policy and economics. 12 :8 , 562-574
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2010.07.006


Forest planning in a participatory context often involves multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests. A promising approach for handling these complex situations is to integrate participatory planning and multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The objective of this paper is to analyze strengths and weaknesses of such an integrated approach, focusing on how the use of MCDA has influenced the participatory process. The paper outlines a model for a participatory MCDA process with five steps: stakeholder analysis, structuring of the decision problem, generation of alternatives, elicitation of preferences, and ranking of alternatives. This model was applied in a case study of a planning process for the urban forest in Lycksele, Sweden. In interviews with stakeholders, criteria for four different social groups were identified. Stakeholders also identified specific areas important to them and explained what activities the areas were used for and the forest management they wished for there. Existing forest data were combined with information from interviews to create a map in which the urban forest was divided into zones of different management classes. Three alternative strategic forest plans were produced based on the zonal map. The stakeholders stated their preferences individually by the Analytic Hierarchy Process in inquiry forms and a ranking of alternatives and consistency ratios were determined for each stakeholder. Rankings of alternatives were aggregated; first, for each social group using the arithmetic mean, and then an overall aggregated ranking was calculated from the group rankings using the weighted arithmetic mean. The participatory MCDA process in Lycksele is assessed against five social goals: incorporating public values into decisions, improving the substantive quality of decisions, resolving conflict among competing interests, building trust in institutions, and educating and informing the public. The results and assessment of the case study support the integration of participatory planning and MCDA as a viable option for handling complex forest-management situations. Key issues related to the MCDA methodology that need to be explored further were identified: 1) The handling of place-specific criteria, 2) development of alternatives, 3) the aggregation of individual preferences into a common preference, and 4) application and evaluation of the integrated approach in real case studies.

Authors/Creators:Nordström, Eva-Maria and Eriksson, Ljusk Ola and Öhman, Karin
Title:Integrating multiple criteria decision analysis in participatory forest planning
Subtitle:experience from a case study in northern Sweden
Series Name/Journal:Forest policy and economics
Year of publishing :2010
Page range:562-574
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E20 Organization, administration and management of agricultural enterprises or farms
K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 107 Other Natural Sciences > Other Natural Sciences
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:Analytic Hierarchy Process, Decision support, Forest management planning, Public participation, Stakeholders
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Type of IDID
Alternative URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VT4-50PJJDM-1/2/198e31aae53859c41052404d1032b8c2
ID Code:8106
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
External funders:Holmen and Lycksele kommun and Skogssällskapet and Sveaskog and Svenska cellulosa AB and Svenska kyrkan
Deposited By: Dr Eva-Maria Nordström
Deposited On:04 May 2011 11:28
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:46

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