Environmental management problems can be dealt with by combining participatory methods, which make it possible to include various stakeholders in a decision-making process, and multi-criteria methods, which offer a formal model for structuring and solving a problem. This paper proposes a three-phase decision making approach based on the analytic network process and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. The approach enables inclusion of various stakeholders or groups of stakeholders in particular stages of decision making. The structure of the proposed approach is composed of a network consisting of an objective cluster, a cluster of strategic goals, a cluster of SWOT factors and a cluster of alternatives. The application of the suggested approach is applied to a management problem of Pohorje, a mountainous area in Slovenia. Stakeholders from sectors that are important for Pohorje (forestry, agriculture, tourism and nature protection agencies) who can offer a wide range of expert knowledge were included in the decision-making process. The results identify the alternative of “sustainable development” as the most appropriate for development of Pohorje. The application in the paper offers an example of employing the new approach to an environmental management problem. This can also be applied to decision-making problems in various other fields.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2015
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