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Doktorsavhandling, 2010

Integrating multiple criteria decision analysis into participatory forest planning

Nordström Eva-Maria


Following the development of sustainable forest management, the focus of forest planning has shifted from being exclusively concerned with timber production to encompassing other benefits of forests as well, e.g. biodiversity and recreation. This frequently results in forest planning situations with multiple stakeholders and con-flicting objectives. Tools for handling these complex situations are needed, and one such tool that has been tested is the integration of multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) into participatory planning. This thesis is based upon case studies in which approaches for integrating MCDA into a participatory forest planning process were examined, by assessing both the in-tegrated process as a whole and focusing specifically on how stakeholder values are included in the process and individual preferences are aggregated into a common pre¬ference. Key tools used in the studies were the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for eliciting preferences and the weighted arithmetic mean method (WAMM), the geometric mean method (GMM) and extended goal programming (EGP) for aggre¬gating individual preferences. The results show that that the integration of MCDA into participatory planning helped to structure the forest planning process in Lycksele and ensured a certain degree of transparency in the decision-making. In addition, MCDA potentially in-creased the substantive quality of decisions by balancing interests against each other, thereby producing solutions of higher overall stakeholder satisfaction. Stakeholders in¬volved in the forest planning process thought in terms of specific areas when they articulated their criteria rather than in general landscape-wide objectives. Interviews and maps were used to capture these place-specific values, but further development and testing of formal approaches for handling place-specific stakeholder values are needed. The aggregation of individual preferences into a common preference was a crucial step of the participatory MCDA process. The aggregation methods tested in the studies resulted in different rankings of alternatives because of different pro-perties. Thus, the choice of aggregation approach should be justified to avoid being arbitrary or manipulative.


forest management; planning; decision making; participation; human behaviour; sustainability; recreation

Publicerad i

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2010, nummer: 2010:77
ISBN: 978-91-576-7522-4
Utgivare: Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences