Participatory multi-criteria assessment for monitoring actions and supporting decision making to combat desertification in the San Simon watershed (Arizona)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/312523
Title:
Participatory multi-criteria assessment for monitoring actions and supporting decision making to combat desertification in the San Simon watershed (Arizona)
Author:
Ocampo-Melgar, Anahi
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Assessment of the myriad of historic attempts to manage and/or restore degraded drylands offers a rich opportunity to learn from the past, particularly if conducted with full stakeholder engagement. Participatory environmental assessment of past land management and restoration actions would contribute to the improvement of future management techniques in a way relevant to the concerns of people involved with or impacted by these actions. This can also help to deal with the often scant information available, conflicting values and perceptions among stakeholders, and the uncertainties inherent to complex dryland systems. In this study I applied and evaluated a participatory protocol that incorporated multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) tools to assess five actions in the San Simon watershed, one of the most extreme examples of degradation and human intervention in southeastern Arizona (U.S.). The participatory assessment process included a semi-structured interview, elicitation of local-based assessment criteria, prioritization of the assessment criteria, estimation of data, a MCDA-based integration and group evaluation of final results. The process was used to evaluate five combinations of grazing management, vegetation management and hydraulic structures implemented between the 1940s and 1980s. The application of this process allowed me to not only evaluate these actions in a participatory way, but also to identify and compare values and perceptions connected to the historic, cultural and scientific narratives used by three different categories of stakeholders (researchers, practitioners and land users). The revised Simos' procedure used to elicit assessment criteria weights proved useful to expose values and perceptions, source of the individual criteria priorities, while revealing conflictive points of views among the stakeholders. The outranking-facilitated participatory assessment, when compared to the unaided baseline assessment, proved useful in making stakeholder preferences explicit in the form of evaluation criteria and weights, while incorporating data and uncertainty. The specific MCDA outranking integration model used, ELECTRE IS, proved to be simple and systematically synthetic, helping stakeholders structure and re-evaluate their unaided assessments. The results of this study provide insights in how stakeholders' knowledge and views can be elicited, explored and effectively incorporated to assess and learn from past land management and restoration actions implemented in drylands.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Dryland restoration; Environmental assessment; Knowledge integration; Multi-criteria decision aiding; Participatory process; Arid Lands Resource Sciences; Decision making
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Arid Lands Resource Sciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Orr, Barron J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleParticipatory multi-criteria assessment for monitoring actions and supporting decision making to combat desertification in the San Simon watershed (Arizona)en_US
dc.creatorOcampo-Melgar, Anahien_US
dc.contributor.authorOcampo-Melgar, Anahien_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractAssessment of the myriad of historic attempts to manage and/or restore degraded drylands offers a rich opportunity to learn from the past, particularly if conducted with full stakeholder engagement. Participatory environmental assessment of past land management and restoration actions would contribute to the improvement of future management techniques in a way relevant to the concerns of people involved with or impacted by these actions. This can also help to deal with the often scant information available, conflicting values and perceptions among stakeholders, and the uncertainties inherent to complex dryland systems. In this study I applied and evaluated a participatory protocol that incorporated multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) tools to assess five actions in the San Simon watershed, one of the most extreme examples of degradation and human intervention in southeastern Arizona (U.S.). The participatory assessment process included a semi-structured interview, elicitation of local-based assessment criteria, prioritization of the assessment criteria, estimation of data, a MCDA-based integration and group evaluation of final results. The process was used to evaluate five combinations of grazing management, vegetation management and hydraulic structures implemented between the 1940s and 1980s. The application of this process allowed me to not only evaluate these actions in a participatory way, but also to identify and compare values and perceptions connected to the historic, cultural and scientific narratives used by three different categories of stakeholders (researchers, practitioners and land users). The revised Simos' procedure used to elicit assessment criteria weights proved useful to expose values and perceptions, source of the individual criteria priorities, while revealing conflictive points of views among the stakeholders. The outranking-facilitated participatory assessment, when compared to the unaided baseline assessment, proved useful in making stakeholder preferences explicit in the form of evaluation criteria and weights, while incorporating data and uncertainty. The specific MCDA outranking integration model used, ELECTRE IS, proved to be simple and systematically synthetic, helping stakeholders structure and re-evaluate their unaided assessments. The results of this study provide insights in how stakeholders' knowledge and views can be elicited, explored and effectively incorporated to assess and learn from past land management and restoration actions implemented in drylands.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectDryland restorationen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental assessmenten_US
dc.subjectKnowledge integrationen_US
dc.subjectMulti-criteria decision aidingen_US
dc.subjectParticipatory processen_US
dc.subjectArid Lands Resource Sciencesen_US
dc.subjectDecision makingen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineArid Lands Resource Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorOrr, Barron J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberOrr, Barron J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarsh, Stuart E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberde Steiguer, J. Edwarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWoodhouse, Connieen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGuertin, D. Philipen_US
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