DIGITALNA ARHIVA ŠUMARSKOG LISTA
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|ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2013 str. 45 <-- 45 --> PDF|
BETWEEN COMPROMISE AND CONSENSUS IN GROUP DECISIONS IN FOREST MANAGEMENT
GRUPNO ODLUČIVANJE U UPRAVLJANJU ŠUMAMA: IZMEĐU KOMPROMISA I KONSENZUSA
Petra GROŠELJ, Lidija ZADNIK STIRN
Forest management has become increasingly complex since economic profit became only one of several important management objectives. Considering a diverse set of goals requires the use of multi-criteria decision making. When the only goal was to maximize timber production, the planning process often involved only one decision maker: the forest owner. In the last 20 years, however, planning has changed to include the interests of multiple stakeholders, including local communities, public representatives, hunters, environmentalists, and recreationists, each of which has different knowledge, experiences, prospects, and interests. The formation of a group of stakeholders can be based on participatory planning. The main challenge in group decision making is to resolve the conflict of the group’s objectives and preferences. Aggregating individual preferences is not only a mathematical problem but also a philosophical one. We present the analytic hierarchy process as suitable multi-criteria method, which has been already applied in areas such as forestry and harvest scheduling, biodiversity conservation, regional planning, and forest sustainability. A case study of the forest area at Pohorje, a mountainous area in northern Slovenia, was conducted in order to implement the described theoretical findings. The aim of the study was to select the optimal alternative for Pohorje development. We identified five possible alternatives based on indicators of sustainability. The alternatives were compared by several stakeholders according to the results of a SWOT analysis performed at a workshop of stakeholders, who discussed individual chapters of forest management scenarios. The results of the analysis show that the alternative benefits for people, which takes into account all of Pohorje’s important aspects, is the most appropriate for Pohorje development.
Key words: forest management; multi-criteria decision making; analytic hierarchy process, group decision making, compromise, consensus, Pohorje, Slovenia
Ever since economic profit ceased to be its only important objective, forest management has become more complex. Socio-cultural and ecological values of forests are now significant goals of many forest landowners and stakeholders. Forests provide a wide range of benefits, including tourism, recreation, hunting, biodiversity, non-timber products, educational opportunities, regulation of climate conditions, and aesthetic value, in addition to timber production.