Integrating Ecosystem Services into Assessment of Different Management Options in a Protected Area: A Deliberate Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Approach

Agricultural University of Tirana, Kam√ęz-Tirana, Albania


GRAZHDANI, D., 2014. Integrating ecosystem services into assessment of different management options in a protected area: a deliberate multi-criteria decision analysis approach. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 20: 1311-1319


Nature provides us with the very essentials of life. It gives us clean air and water; enables us to produce and gather food, fuel and raw materials from the land and sea; regulates our climate; stems flood waters and it filters pollution. It also gives us personal benefits from enjoying it that increases our health and happiness. Collectively, these benefits are known as ecosystem services. Wetlands provide people with a wide range of benefits. Prespa Park is a good case study, as it is a wetland area of high biodiversity and long human history. It is situated in the Balkan Peninsula and is shared among the three neighboring countries Albania, FYR of Macedonia and Greece. A study to obtain information concerning ecosystem services issues in the Albanian part of Prespa Park (AL-Prespa) basin, south-eastern Albania, was conducted from 2008-2010. The main aim of the study was providing an assessment of services coming from a range of AL-Prespa ecosystems, and benefits of the services under different management options. In this study, the problem of how to address and solve the complex issues of assessing ecosystem services is addressed, using a public participation process aided by multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method. The main elements of the approach presented in this paper are: an inventory process to focus on sets of ecosystem services in AL-Prespa, and the development of specific management practices for management of ecosystems services in AL-Prespa. The next step in the process used an options analysis approach to look at the highly ranked issues and services in more detail. This approach presents an important tool in an analysis of ecosystem services and is essential for identifying and prioritizing the relative importance of the services by ecosystems in a protected area.

Key words: AL-Prespa, protected area, multi-criteria evaluation method, deliberative process, citizen’s jury, stakeholders

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