Using concepts of biodiversity value in structured decision-making

Authored by: Lynn A. Maguire

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138827738
eBook ISBN: 9781315530215
Adobe ISBN: 9781315530208


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Structured decision-making augments human intuition by organizing decisions that are difficult because of trade-offs among multiple goals or because of uncertainty about outcomes, or both. Breaking complex decisions into simpler parts makes it is easier for human decision-makers to make choices that are (a) consistent with their underlying beliefs and values, (b) transparent to participants and to wider audiences, and (c) repeatable and correctable, in case of new information becoming available. In this chapter, I am going to focus on problems involving trade-offs among multiple goals; such problems are ubiquitous in conservation decision-making. Some examples include (a) public land management agencies struggling to satisfy the disparate interests of recreationists, conservationists, and extractive users such as mining companies; (b) conservation organizations wondering how to allocate limited resources among many candidate sites or species; and (c) individuals trying to align their housing, transportation, consumer purchasing, and other personal choices with their conservation aspirations.

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