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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Aggregation of preferences in participatory forest planning with multiple criteria: an application to the urban forest in Lycksele, Sweden

Nordstrom, Eva-Maria; Romero, Carlos; Eriksson, Ljusk Ola; Ohman, Karin


A promising approach for participatory forest management planning is the combination of multiple-criteria decision-making and group decision making. A crucial part of the participatory multiple-criteria decision-making process is the aggregation of individual stakeholder preferences into a collective preference. In this study, an approach based on the determination of cardinal compromise consensus was applied to a real case of participatory forest planning. Consensus matrices for four different social groups were established from stakeholder preferences in the form of pairwise comparisons of different sets of criteria. Criteria weights were obtained for each social group and used to determine rankings of 12 forest management plans. The rankings of the social groups were aggregated to determine consensus solutions for the choice of the best forest management plan from a collective perspective. In the procedure, control parameters and a distance metric were employed to find solutions that balance the points of view of the majority and the minority. This approach makes it possible to aggregate preferences of different stakeholders and produces a range of different solutions. Furthermore, certain values of the control parameters and the distance metric generate solutions that are promising to present in a participatory situation where stakeholders have very differing preferences.

Published in

Canadian Journal of Forest Research
2009, Volume: 39, number: 10, pages: 1979–1992
Publisher: NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing)