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Experiences on applying MCDM tools in natural resources management. The 21st International Conference on Multiple Criteria Decision Making Jyväskylä, 14 June 2011 Jyrki Kangas, Metsähallitus. Contents. Metsähallitus Natural resource planning at Metsähallitus

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experiences on applying mcdm tools in natural resources management

Experiences on applying MCDM tools in natural resources management

The 21st International Conference on Multiple Criteria Decision Making

Jyväskylä, 14 June 2011

Jyrki Kangas, Metsähallitus

  • Metsähallitus
  • Natural resource planning at Metsähallitus
  • MCDM methods applied in natural resource planning
  • Experiencies on MCDM methods
mets hallitus

Metsähallitus is a state-owned enterprise that runs business activities while also fulfilling many public services and also some administration duties

Manages practically taken all the state-owned lands and waters

Provides natural resources sector services to a diverse customer base, from private individuals to major companies

Operations are based on the knowledgeable and co-operative use of state land and water areas

lands and waters managed by mets hallitus

Forest land in multiple-use forests, 3.6 million ha

Poorly productive and non-productive land, 1.5 million ha (non-protected)

Protected areas, wilderness reserves and other areas, 4.0 million ha

Water areas, 3.4 million haPublic water areas

In total 12.5 million ha = 1/3 of the country

Lands and watersmanaged by Metsähallitus
we serve the finnish society
We serve the Finnish society
  • Areas of different administrative status, with different natural conditions, and with different objectives are managed as one whole
  • Metsähallitus strives at managing these areas in a way that benefits Finnish society to the greatest extent possible
  • Our tasks can be organised into three categories: natural heritage services (costs 54 MEUR, mainly from the state budget), business operations (turnover 367 MEUR, profit 114 MEUR), and considering ecological, social and cultural benefits in business operations (decreases the profit by about 50 MEUR)
  • To ensure balanced and sustainable use of the resources, Metsähallitus uses modern planning systems and state-of-the-art information systems
  • A key tool in that is Participatory Natural Resource Planning
comprehensive planning systems for multi objective natural resources management
Comprehensive planning systems for multi-objective natural resources management
  • Up-to-date information on natural resources
  • Data on approx. 1.5 million forest and other compartments (measurement units) in the GIS

Site-specific operationalplanning

Planning of management and use at special sites

Sub-sectional ecological analysis

Regional natural resourceplanning

natural resource planning
Natural resource planning
  • 7 natural resource plans cover all the areas
  • Participatory planning processes; open interaction using regional co-operation groups, local meetings and other public participation techniques and channels
  • Sum of natural resource plans should fulfil the overall aims determined by the owner, i.e. the state, via democratic system
  • Multiple criteria and multiple stakeholders are involved in all natural resource planning processes
  • The plans are based on the use of simulation, analysis, optimisation and decision-support methods

Results include: land-use guidelines, timber cutting and forestry plan, biodiversity conservation program, choice of areas where recreation and tourism are specially promoted as well as those for reindeer husbandry (=> profit & decrease of it!)

7. Implementation and follow-up

6. Elaborating a program for putting the plan into practice

  • 1. Analysis of the present situation
  • Natural resources
  • Operating environments
  • Success of the previous plan
  • 5. Comparison and choice
  • Comparing alternative plans
  • Decision-support calculations
  • Negotiating on the choice
  • Choosing one plan as the basis
  • 2. Analysis of objectives
  • Aims and restrictions by the owner
  • Demand from the markets
  • Expectations and wishes of stakeholders and the public
  • 4. Producing and analysing
  • alternative plans
  • Analysing the production possibilities
  • Generating alternative plans
  • Analysing the alternatives
  • 3. Data aquisition
  • Analysing the available data
  • Gathering additional data needed
mcdm methods applied already in the previous century
MCDM methods applied already in the previous century
  • AHP
    • First efforts in 1991
    • First application to participatory planning in 1992-1993
  • A’WOT = SWOT + AHP
  • ”Interactive Utility Analysis (IUA)”
    • Combination of AHP and SMART (Value Tree analysis)
    • Only tested, not gained real practical application
more recently applied mcdm methods
More recently applied MCDM methods
  • Multicriteria Approval (MA)
  • Multicriteria Approval Voting (MAV)
    • An elaboration of MA, MESTA software
    • MAV + IUA (ordinal + cardinal)
  • Traditional voting techniques, e.g. cumulative voting and borda count
  • SMAA methods
    • Under consideration just now, not yet applied in practice
  • System intelligence in approaching and structuring the choice problem, and in analysing the success of the current plan and fine-tuning it
experiences on using mcdm methods in practical planning processes
Experiences on using MCDM methods in practical planning processes
  • Different methods often give different results in the same choice problem; these may be due to:
    • differencies in preference estimation processes, in choice problem formulations, in calculation procedures
    • ability to make full use of different kinds of data
  • Normally, this is not so serious since e.g.
    • information is always more or less incomplete
    • each method can give some additional decision aid
    • differences in results make people involved think harder
    • differencies in results help to learn about methods applied and on how their results should be interpreted
    • differencies in results make people understand the uncertainty involved in any planning calculation
there is room for a variety of methods
There is room for a variety of methods
  • There is no universally the best method or methods; no method is always suitable but all methods may have their applications in natural resource management
  • The MCDM methods should be chosen in line with the decision problem, e.g., so that all the information available can be utilised and people can provide the preference information required
  • It normally makes sense to invest in acquiring as high-quality data as possible (on preferences, and priorities of alternatives); and to use corresponding methods
  • However, we often have to content with low-quality information; then methods developed for dealing with that kind of information are worth applying
behavioral aspects are important especially in participatory processes
Behavioral aspects are important, especially in participatory processes
  • Required inquiries should not be too difficult
    • e.g. if it is hard for stakeholders to express cardinal importance for the criteria, forcing them to answer corresponging inquiries might lead to biased results
  • Many people more easily accept a satisfactory solution the rationale of which they can understand than results of optimisation that is too complex for them
  • Easiness to use and understand especially important in group decision support and participatory approaches
    • Fascilitators, visualisation, etc needed to interpret calculations, alternatives, results
  • A problem: applying an easy, simple method might lead to underutilisation of the available information
  • Applying MCDM may really provide education and learning
integrated use of mcdm methods may strengthen planning processes
Integrated use of MCDM methods may strengthen planning processes
  • Applying more than just one MCDM method as complementary tools in a planning process often useful (especially from the learning point of view)
  • Easy & more difficult; qualitative & quantitative; ordinal & cardinal
    • e.g. MA & IUA (or SMAA); applying first an easier one gives a sound basis for performing deeper analyses; both in behavioral and technical sense
  • Familiar & new
    • e.g. A’WOT = SWOT + AHP; ”new” method (AHP) easy to introduce in a familiar framework (SWOT)
sometimes we really need to apply
Sometimes we really need to apply
  • After all, it is often more important how the method is applied than which method is applied
  • Interactivity is a precondition of the effectiveness of most decision support processes (with any method)
  • Methods should sometimes be fine-tuned for practical tasks; even some violence against the very fundamentals of the methods and theories…
  • Valuable feedback for method development work can be gained via practical applications => less violence will be needed in the future?
final remarks
Final remarks
  • Metsähallitus is proud to announce that it has been, is, and will be in the forefront of practical MCDM application (at least in the field of natural resources management)
  • Experiences in using MCDM methods in natural resource planning at Metsähallitus have been good
    • Applying MCDM may really provide education and learning
    • We will continue making use of them
    • We are interested in still developing the methods and their applications, especially for participatory processes
  • At the moment, methods based on social choice theory for participatory phases and more versatile MCDM methods for deeper calculations by experts are of special interest
  • In order to enhance the development of MCDM applications, co-operation of method developers, application builders and practitioners is called for



Etunimi Sukunimi