Decisions about the environment are not simply decisions about the environment; they affect individuals, communities, business and commercial interests, and in many cases, entire nations. As a result, these decisions must contend with multiple, conflicting, and frequently poorly understood values; these, in turn, are linked to social, cultural, spiritual, economic, as well as other objectives or concerns.

These challenges are particularly salient in developing communities, where most decisions about the environment directly influence the wellbeing of one or more stakeholder groups. Due to the often precarious socio-economic status of people in these areas, these direct – and even indirect – influences can have devastating effect on the ability of resource-dependent individuals and communities to sustain themselves.

My group’s research strives to identify approaches and tools for directly and meaningfully accounting for the values and objectives of affected people during decision-making about international and community development. All too often, a broad view of “sustainability” in developing communities is downplayed in favor of solutions that account for a very small subset of objectives; the result is outcomes that benefit a small few at the expense of the many, as well as the contribution to conflicts between stakeholders and decision-makers that often persist far into the future.

For more, see:

Bringing Stakeholder Values into Climate Risk Management Programs: Decision Aiding for REDD in Vietnam.  Click here for more.

Improving decisions about energy strategies in developing communities: A case study from Canada’s north.  Click here for more.

Structuring international development decisions: Confronting tradeoffs between land-use and community development in Costa Rica.  Click here for more.

Using choice experiments to understand household tradeoffs regarding pineapple production and environmental management in Costa Rica.  Click here for more.

Risk management in a developing country context: Improving decisions about point-of-use water treatment among the rural poor in Africa.  Click here for more.

Five propositions for improving decision making about the environment in developing communities: Insights from the decision sciences.  Click here for more.