aSchool of Business, La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga Campus, University Drive, Wodonga Vic 3690, Australia
bDepartment of Accounting & Finance, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic 3217, Australia
Received 27 February 2007. Revised 15 June 2007. Accepted 20 June 2007. Available online 10 August 2007.
Forest management policy decisions are complex due to the multiple-use nature of goods and services from forests, difficulty in monetary valuation of ecological services and the involvement of a large number of stakeholders. Multi-attribute decision techniques can be used to synthesise stakeholder preferences related to regional forest planning because it can accommodate conflicting, multidimensional, incommensurable and incomparable objectives. The objective of this paper is to examine how the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) can be used to incorporate stakeholder preferences in determining optimal forest land-use choices. The Australian Regional Forest Agreement Programme is taken as an illustrative case for the analysis. The results show that the AHP can formalise public participation in decision making and increase the transparency and the credibility of the process.