This book is the result of some years of research carried out at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The awareness of actual and potential conflicts between economic progress in production, consumption, and technology and the environment has led to the concept of "sustainable development", implying that economic and ecological values are well balanced in evaluation and decision making. The linkages between ecosystems and economic systems are the focus of ecological economics. In ecological economics, a multidimensional approach to economic and policy-making is emphasised. In this book, the introduction of multicriteria decision aid techniques in the framework of ecological economics is widely discussed. Since such techniques are based on a "constructive" rationality and allow one to take into account conflictual, multidimensional, incommensurable and uncertain effects of decisions, they can be considered perfectly consistent with the methodological foundations of ecological economics. Since here the assumption is accepted that efficiency, equity and sustainability are the three conflictual values of economics, a mathematical procedure able to deal with these issues in an operational framework is developed, with a particular view on imprecise information in a practical environmental planning context. Given the problem of the differences in the measurement levels of the variables used for economic-ecological modelling, multicriteria methods able to deal with mixed information (both qualitative and quantitative measurements) can be considered particularly useful. Another problem related to the available information concerns the uncertainty (stochastic and/or fuzzy) contained in this information.
Table of Contents1 Environmental Issues and Evaluation Methods.- 1.1 Environmental Problems.- 1.2 Scope and Aim of this Study.- 1.3 Multicriteria Evaluation in Environmental Management.- 1.4 Qualitative Information in Environmental Evaluation Models.- 1.5 Structure of the Book.- Measurement Scales.- A Theoretical Analysis of Cost-Benefit Analysis and Multicriteria Evaluation.- 2 from Environmental Economics to Ecological Economics.- 2.1 Introduction.- 2.2 The Concept of Sustainable Development.- 2.3 Neo-Classical Environmental Economics.- 2.3.1 Basic Principles.- 2.3.2 A Different View: Maintaining the Natural Capital Stock.- 2.4 Ecological Economics.- 2.4.1 Epistemological Foundations.- 220.127.116.11 Ecological Economics as a Post-Normal Science.- 18.104.22.168 The Revolutionary Paradigm.- 2.4.2 Economy-Environment Interactions.- 22.214.171.124 The Issue of Scale.- 126.96.36.199 The Entropy Law and the Economic Process.- 2.4.3 What is Ecological Economics?.- 2.5 Conclusions.- 3 Cost-Benefit Analysis.- 3.1 Introduction.- 3.2 The Philosophical Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis.- 3.3 Valuation Approaches of Costs and Benefits.- 3.3.1 Conventional Markets.- 3.3.2 Implicit and Artificial Markets.- 3.4 The Social Rate of Discount.- 3.5 The Construction of a One-Dimensional Performance Indicator.- 4 Multiple Criteria Evaluation Methods.- 4.1 Introduction.- 4.2 Philosophical Foundations of Multiple Criteria Decision Aid.- 4.3 Some Basic Definitions.- 4.4 Problem Definition.- 4.5 Definition of a Set of Evaluation Criteria.- 4.6 Choice Between Continuous and Discrete Methods.- 4.6.1 Interactive Multiobjective Programming Methods.- 4.6.2 Discrete Methods.- 4.7 Choice of an Aggregation Procedure.- 4.7.1 Utility Theory Approaches.- 188.8.131.52 Multiattribute Utility Theory (MAUT).- 184.108.40.206 The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).- 220.127.116.11 Utility Theory Approaches to Qualitative Multicriteria Evaluation.- 18.104.22.168 Outranking Methods.- 22.214.171.124 Outranking Approaches to Qualitative Multicriteria Evaluation.- 4.7.3 The Lexicographic Model.- 4.7.4 Ideal Point Approaches.- 4.7.5 Aspiration Levels Models.- 4.8 Cost-Benefit Analysis and Multicriteria Evaluation.- B Multicriteria Evaluation in a Fuzzy Environment.- 5 Fuzzy Uncertainty in Decision Models.- 5.1 Introduction.- 5.2 Linguistic Variables.- 5.3 Interactive Graphical Procedures Approach.- 5.4 Fuzzy Numbers.- 5.5 Linguistic Hedges.- 5.6 Linguistic Operators.- 5.7 Level Sets and Decomposition.- 5.8 Measures of Fuzziness.- 5.9 Fuzzy Relations.- 5.10 Multicriteria Evaluation in a Fuzzy Environment.- 6 Comparison of Fuzzy Sets: a New Semantic Distance.- 6.1 The Problem of Comparison of Fuzzy Sets.- 6.2 A New Semantic Distance.- 6.2.1 Properties.- 6.2.2 Results.- 6.3 A Numerical Algorithm for the Computation of the Semantic Distance.- 6.4 A Generalisation of the Minkowski p-metric.- 7 Multicriteria Evaluation in a Fuzzy environment: the Naïade Method.- 7.1 Introduction.- 7.2 The Notion of a Fuzzy Preference Relation.- 7.3 Pairwise Comparison of Alternatives.- 7.4 Aggregation of All Criteria.- 7.5 Evaluation of the Alternatives.- 7.6 An Illustrative Example.- 7.7 Conclusions.- Membership Functions of Some Fuzzy Relations.- Membership Functions of Some Linguistic Variables.- 8 A Fuzzy Cluster Procedure for Environmental Conflict Analysis.- 8.1 Conflicts in Environmental Management Problems.- 8.2 Coalition Formation Theory: a Concise Overview.- 8.3 Some Principles of Game Theory.- 8.4 Power Indices in Comparison.- 8.4.1 The Shapley/Shubik Power Index.- 8.4.2 The Banzhaf/Coleman Power Index.- 8.4.3 Comments.- 8.5 Fuzzy Cluster Analysis in Coalition Formation Theory.- 8.6 Multicriteria Evaluation and Fuzzy Conflict Analysis: Illustration by Means of a Land Use Problem.- 8.7 Concluding Remarks.- 9 Sensitivity Analysis in the NAIADE Method.- 9.1 Introduction.- 9.2 Sensitivity Analysis in the NAIADE Method: an Example.- 9.3 Intensity of Preference in the NAIADE Method: Some Particular Cases.- 9.4 Concluding Remarks.- Pairwise Fuzzy Preference Relations.- Degrees of Truth Obtained by Means of the y-Operator.- C Application to A Real-World Environmental Management Problem.- 10 the River Po Basin Environmental Policy. Background Information and Analytical Framework.- 10.1 Introduction.- 10.2 Pollution Generation Factors.- 10.2.1 Civil Anthropic Activity.- 10.2.2 Industrial Activity.- 10.2.3 Animal-Rearing Activity.- 10.2.4 Agricultural Activity.- 10.3 General Picture of the Critical Areas from the Environmental Point of View.- 10.4 The Po Delta Region.- 10.5 The Po Delta Natural Park.- 10.6 The “Boscone della Mesola” Environmental Management Problem.- 10.7 Flooding of the Valley Area by Building Independent Basins with Different Salt Level.- 11 the Po Delta Natural Park: the “Boscone Della Mesola” Environmental Management Problem.- 11.1 The Productive Use of the Exploited Land of the Falce Valley.- 11.1.1 The Economic Result of the Cultivation of the Falce Valley with the Present Agricultural Practice Criteria.- 11.1.2 The Improvement of Crop-Growing Methods and of Results of Agricultural Management.- 11.2 New Economic Scenario.- 11.3 Evaluation of Different Possible Courses of Action.- 11.3.1 Efficiency: Economic Analysis of Different Activities.- 11.3.2 Economy-Environment Interactions: a Fuzzy Multicriteria Evaluation of Five Possible Courses of Action.- 11.3.3 Equity: an Intra-lnter Temporal Conflict Analysis.- 11.4 Conclusions.- An Example of Fuzzy Relations Obtained for Two Overlapping Fuzzy Numbers.- Pairwise Linguistic Evaluations.- 12 Conclusions: Retrospect and Prospect.- 12.1 Summary.- 12.2 Main Results of the Present Study.- 12.3 Main Limitations of the Present Study and Future Directions of Research.- References and Bibliography.