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Integrated Scenario Planning and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Framework with Application to Forest Planning

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DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2015.52014    2,612 Downloads   3,367 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This paper explores approaches concerning complex forest planning challenges, such as restoration after large-scale disturbances and under climate change. It introduces a new framework that integrates qualitative scenario planning with quantitative multi-criteria decision analysis. This framework allows stakeholders without background in forestry to express their preferences as a set of scenarios that are further assessed for specific forest management goals and activities using multi-criteria models. The assessment of the modelled scenarios created a common understanding for the stakeholders and experts to compare trade-offs between several management options and needed policy choices. The framework was applied in the case study of forest restoration following insect disturbance in British Columbia, Canada. The framework enabled structured stakeholder groups’ interactions such as industry, business associations, local and regional governments, and non-governmental organizations to identify potential restoration options. Different community futures were envisioned by two scenarios: one resembling current conditions and standard practices, while another promoting diversification of the forestry sector. The results indicated that each of the scenarios leads to different consequences for the community measured by levels of economic benefits, total harvest volumes and harvest flows over time. The results also show that the developed framework linking scenarios and multi-criteria decision analyses proved crucial to broaden the discussion on relevant species mixes and management practices, and their implications for the community and policy development.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Bizikova, L. and Krcmar, E. (2015) Integrated Scenario Planning and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Framework with Application to Forest Planning. Open Journal of Forestry, 5, 139-153. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2015.52014.

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