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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/5717

Title: Incorporating stakeholder preferences in the selection of technologies for using invasive alien plants as a bio-energy feedstock: applying the analytical hierarchy process
Authors: De Lange, WJ
Stafford, WHL
Forsyth, GG
Le Maitre, DC
Keywords: Invasive alien plants
Bio-energy
Analytical hierarchy process
Multi-criteria decision analysis
Biomass
Agulhas Plain region
Issue Date: May-2012
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: De Lange, WJ, Stafford, WHL, Forsyth, GG and Le Maitre, DC. 2012. Incorporating stakeholder preferences in the selection of technologies for using invasive alien plants as a bio-energy feedstock: applying the analytical hierarchy process. Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 99, pp 76-83, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.01.014
Series/Report no.: Workflow;7473
Abstract: Invasive alien plants (IAPs) impose significant social costs on the population of the Agulhas Plain region in South Africa due to their adverse impacts on ecosystem goods and services (decreased water supply and increased fire risk). While the cost of clearing IAPs is considerable, this paper assesses opportunities to reduce some of the social and environmental burdens (e.g. disruptions of ecosystems which have negative impacts on livelihoods) by using IAP biomass to produce bio-energy. However, such an initiative could increase financial dependency on these plants and is thus considered to be a major risk factor which could create adverse incentives to illegally grow these plants. A participatory decision-making process with active stakeholder participation is a key element in managing such an initiative. The authors used a multi-stakeholder engagement process and the analytical hierarchy process to define and weigh suitable criteria for the assessment of different “IAP biomass to bio-energy” technology scenarios on the Agulhas Plain. Feasible scenarios were constructed by means of an expert panel which were then ranked according to stakeholder preference. The six criteria were: minimising impacts on natural resources; job creation; certainty of benefits to local people in the study area; development of skills for life; technology performance and cost efficiency. This ranking was largely determined by the preference for resource efficiency in terms of minimising impacts on natural ecosystems and the localisation of benefits. The smaller, modular technologies were consequently preferred since these realise direct local benefits while developing local skills and capacity in their manufacture, sales and maintenance. The rankings as obtained in this study are context-bound, which implies that the findings only have limited application to areas with similar biophysical and socio-economic characteristics. However, the method itself is fully generalisable, and the same prioritisation process can be followed in any study area to ensure that a participatory decision making process fulfils local energy needs and contributes to sustainable development.
Description: Copyright: 2012 Elsevier. This is the post-print version of the work. The definitive version is published in Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 99, pp 76-83, doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.01.014
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479712000151
http://hdl.handle.net/10204/5717
ISSN: 0301-4797
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
General science, engineering & technology

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