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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 433-488

Multiple Criterion Synchronisation for Conservation Area Network Design: The Use of Non-dominated Alternative Sets


Biodiversity and Biocultural Conservation Laboratory, Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, C3500, Austin, TX 78712 -1180, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sahotra Sarkar
Biodiversity and Biocultural Conservation Laboratory, Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, C3500, Austin, TX 78712 -1180
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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This article shows how a standard technique from multiple-criteria decision making, the computation of non-dominated alternative sets, can be adapted to incorporate non-biological criteria such as socio-political ones during the design of bio­diversity conservation area networks. There are three chief advantages of this approach: (a) unlike almost all other methods for incorporating multiple criteria in decision making, this technique avoids making arbitrary utility assignments to alternatives; (b) it only requires comparative rankings of the alternatives under the criteria to be synchronised; and (c) it often results in several alternatives of equal status, leaving a further choice to be made by political decision-making bodies. This allows those bodies to bring into consideration criteria that cannot be satisfactorily formally modelled. The use of this method is demonstrated using a data set from Texas, one from Ecuador and two artificially constructed data sets.


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