Using structured decision making to set restoration objectives when multiple values and preferences exist


Clear objectives are a necessary prerequisite for efficient restoration, but restoration projects often concern numerous and diverse stakeholders with different objectives and different values. A  recent publication led by CEED researcher Angela Guerrero demonstrates how restoration projects can integrate the values and preferences of multiple stakeholders. Using a case of restoration decision-making in southeast Queensland, Guerrero and colleagues demonstrate how this can be done using a combination of stakeholder surveys and workshops within a structured decision-making framework (SDM).

The study shows how the adoption of a SDM framework can also incorporate stakeholders’ expectations and preferences for when outcomes are delivered to help make decisions about time frames for achieving a trajectory of restoration objectives. At the core of the approach is the “why is that important? test” (i.e. the WITI test), which can be used to help separate fundamental objectives from a much larger list of means, process, and strategic objectives. “Our approach allowed us to ascertain more broadly held underlying values and time frame considerations, alerted us of process issues and time frames that mattered to stakeholders, and helped us facilitate transparent and inclusive establishment of restoration objectives”.

The article can be viewed at   Media information can be found in Featured Articles, the Society for Ecological Restoration.