GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis applied for environmental issues; the Greek experience
From: International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences(Vol. 7, Issue 3)
Publisher: Research India Publications
Document Type: Article
Length: 5,645 words
Environmental problems are often difficult to be solved due to the large number of parameters, data required and the conflicting interests of stakeholders. Multi-criteria decision analysis is considered as an analytical approach that is used to simultaneously take into account the multiple parameters, and incorporate the perspectives and preferences of the stakeholders to find the optimal solutions. For spatial applications multi-criteria decision analysis can successfully be integrated with geographic information systems (GIS) that are considered as the most modular spatial decision support system. GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis can be applied to support decisions for a vast number of environmental issues. This article is a review of the literature that utilized GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis for environmental problems in Greece. The main objectives were: a) to provide a clear overview of the Greek experience so far in this decision supporting approach, b) to identify the trends, developments and prospects, c) to note the potential applications in environmental issues of Greece that could also benefit from GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis implementation and d) to enhance the usability these methods by Greek researchers. Results showed an accelerating increase of GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis implementation in Greek case studies. The articles reviewed covered five broad thematic categories, ecology, water management, hazard/risk, renewable energy sources and land suitability analysis that could be further subdivided into sixteen subject matters that included landscape quality, habitat diversity, conservation restoration, pollution, water allocation/management, waste water, groundwater, landslides, floods, fires, wind/energy, bio-energy, waste-to-energy, landfill location, other facilities location/allocation. Despite the variety of subject matters these methods have been be applied to, there are more environmental fields that could benefit from their utilization, since Greece faces many environmental problems and has limited funds available. Finally, only a narrow spectrum of the GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis methods available, have been used by Greek researchers. Keywords: Multi-criteria decision analysis, GIS, environmental management, Literature review, Greece
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