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Conserv Biol. 2013 Oct;27(5):936-44. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12090. Epub 2013 Jul 21.

Use of multicriteria decision analysis to address conservation conflicts.

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  • 1James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, United Kingdom.


Conservation conflicts are increasing on a global scale and instruments for reconciling competing interests are urgently needed. Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a structured, decision-support process that can facilitate dialogue between groups with differing interests and incorporate human and environmental dimensions of conflict. MCDA is a structured and transparent method of breaking down complex problems and incorporating multiple objectives. The value of this process for addressing major challenges in conservation conflict management is that MCDA helps in setting realistic goals; entails a transparent decision-making process; and addresses mistrust, differing world views, cross-scale issues, patchy or contested information, and inflexible legislative tools. Overall we believe MCDA provides a valuable decision-support tool, particularly for increasing awareness of the effects of particular values and choices for working toward negotiated compromise, although an awareness of the effect of methodological choices and the limitations of the method is vital before applying it in conflict situations.

© 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.


conflicto ambiental; conservation planning; decision-support tools; environmental conflict; herramientas de apoyo de decisión; negociación de pros y contras; negotiating trade-offs; participación de interesados; planeación de la conservación; stakeholder participation

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