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Title: Development of a decision support system for resolving conflicts in environmentally sensitive areas
Author: Aly Abdelrehim, Ahmed Mohamed
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 6332
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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The aim of this research is to develop a new methodology to assist decision-makers in assessing and measuring the degree of stakeholder conflict in environmentally sensitive areas. The research tried to answer the following question: How can the understanding of the magnitude and direction of consensus among conflicting stakeholders shape the management of an environmentally sensitive area? The case study area of Lake Maryout, Egypt, provided a good example of failure in the management of natural resources. It demonstrated that conflict among different stakeholders coupled with contradiction in the current policies and legislation play a role in exacerbating the deterioration of its environmental quality. The methodology therefore, is applied on simplified application of analytical hierarchical structure as an example to identify the main variables underpinning Lake Maryout‘s stakeholders‘ conflicting priorities. The research adopted both a qualitative and quantitative mixed methodology. The underpinning data was collected through expert and stakeholder questionnaires, interviews, public hearings, field survey and remotely sensed data. The research methodology applies Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), with the support of Geographic Information System (GIS), and the Driving Forces–Pressures–State–Impacts–Responses (DPSIR) analytical framework. The research has shed light on the dynamics of environmental conflicts, illustrating the formation and direction of disagreements between various stakeholders. Results showed that areas of consensus between various conflicting stakeholders could be identified, measured and located within a uniform scale. Results provided insight of how different sustainable development pillars interact with respect to the available alternative actions. Research results showed changes in synthesised stakeholder preferences when applying comparative differentiated power. Results indicated that environmental conflicts were exacerbated by the differentiated degree of stakeholder influence ratio. The analysis of Lake Maryout‘s environmental policies and legislations highlighted two main concerns. First, Sustainable development is difficult when the available alternatives are conflicting; and secondly, the current Egyptian environmental policies create more environmental conflict than protection of the environment. The new methodology is intended to assist decision-makers overcome the limitations of the human mind to handle multiple objectives complex problems. It assists decision-makers to prioritise their decisions‘ elements in order to unveil the various alternatives of compromises and trade-offs. The research suggests that identifying the root causes and the particular areas of stakeholder conflict can assist decision-makers to take the necessary measures to minimise the possible consequences in order to improve the environmental quality of the natural resource. Results of this study provide a roadmap to improve policy-making and planning towards better environmental management of Lake Maryout.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available