Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis in forest operations research and development
Swedish forestry is strongly export oriented, and operates under fierce global competition. The overarching goal is to supply wood at a cost that ensures competitiveness on the market for forest products. Traditionally, the criterion for decisions is “cost per unit wood”. Hence, supply cost should be kept as low as possible, unless otherwise motivated by 1) security of supply or 2) additional restrictions as given by legislation and policies. The restrictions of point 2) have grown in importance since the 1960’s. In fact, environmental and social restrictions are today often considered as goals rather than restrictions.
Since decision making in forestry is complex, Multiple Criteria Decision Making methods (MCDM) have been widely used in decision making pertaining to planning procedures aiming to fulfil the wood supply goal under constraints such as other economic stakeholders, environmental issues and social issues. However, MCDM has not been thoroughly tested to support development of forest operations (e.g. methods and technologies), although such development sets the scene for the possible paths of future’s forestry. The doctoral work aims to develop and evaluate a multi-criteria approach to increase the purposefulness of decision support offered to decision makers in forest operations, already in the development phase where the technology and methods of future Swedish forestry are developed. The work will be integrated with ongoing development efforts undertaken by SLU and Skogforsk together with Swedish forestry.
Host company: Skogforsk