An integrated MCDA software application for forest planning: a case study in southwestern Sweden

Anu Korosuo, Peder Wikström, Karin Öhman, Ljusk Ola Eriksson


Forest planning in Sweden today translates not only into planning of timber production, but also for the provision of other functions and services. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methods provide a way to take also non-monetary values into account in planning. The purpose of this study was to gain experience on how to use a forest decision support system combined with an MCDA tool in practical forestry. We used a new forest planning tool, PlanWise, which includes an integrated MCDA module, PlanEval. Using the software, the decision maker can compare different forest plans and evaluate them against his/her objectives in a structured and analytical manner. The analysis thus provides a ranking of the alternatives based on the individual preferences of the decision maker. PlanEval and the MCDA planning process are described in a case study, where the manager of a forest estate in southwestern Sweden used the program to compare different forest plans made for the estate. In the paper, we analyze possibilities and challenges of this approach and identify problems such asthe adherence to formal requirements of MCDA techniques and the difficulty of comparing maps. Possibilities to expedite an MCDA planning process further are also discussed. The findings confirm that integration of an MCDA tool with a forest decision support system is valuable, but requires expert assistance to be successful.


Keywords: AHP, case study, forest decision support system, Heureka, multi-criteria decision analysis


AHP; case study; forest decision support system; Heureka; multi-criteria decision analysis

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