A participatory approach to design a toolbox to support forest management planning at regional level

A.F. Marques, J. G. Borges, J. Garcia-Gonzalo, Beatriz Lucas, I. Melo


Aim of the study: Forest management planning in a region typically involves multiple stakeholders. Decisions processes are idiosyncratic, driven by individual goals and supported by segmented forest-based information. Nevertheless, stakeholders’ decisions do impact one another leading to complex interaction networks where communication, cooperation and negotiation play a key role. This research addresses the need to develop decision tools to support these roles. Emphasis is on the integration of participatory planning tools and techniques in the architecture of a regional decision support toolbox.

Area of the study: The proposed approach was applied in the Chamusca County in Central Portugal although it is easily extended to other regions.

Material and methods: This research proposes an Enterprise Architecture methodological approach to design a toolbox that may address distinct stakeholders’ interests and decision processes, while enabling communication, cooperation, negotiation and information sharing among all those involved in the regional interactions network.

Main results: the proposed approach was tested in a regional network involving decision processes and information shared by 22 entities clustered into 13 stakeholders groups, including industrial owners, and non-industrial private forestland owners (NIPF) - acting individually or grouped into associations and federations -, national and regional offices of the forest authority, forest services providers, non-governmental organizations and research centers. Results suggest that the proposed approach may provide a toolbox that may effectively address stakeholders’ decision processes and goals and support the regional interaction network.

Key-words: forest management; multiple stakeholders; decision support systems; enterprise architecture; participatory process.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2013222-03120

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