Evaluating a collaborative decision-analytic approach to inform conservation decision-making in transboundary regions | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
April 2019
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Conservation decision-making in transboundary regions presents considerable challenges for protected area managers working in countries with differing languages, laws, and cultures. Collaborative decision analysis has informed real-world conservation decisions in non-transboundary contexts. Here we evaluate for the first time its application in two transboundary regions in Europe: Julian Alps along the Italian–Slovenian border, and the Bavarian–Bohemian Forest along the German–Czech border. A collaborative-decision analysis (CDA) led to bilateral agreements about multi-year resource allocations by protected areas (PAs) in these two transboundary regions of Europe. Steps included problem framing, formulation of objectives, consideration of external factors, alternative strategies, consequences and tradeoffs, sensitivity analysis, and recommendations. In collaboration with stakeholders we developed Bayesian decision networks to structure and support problem solving in two cases focused on bear management and a joint communication strategy. Expected stakeholder satisfaction differed by >10% when comparing allocation options. Although the preferred option in one case depended on the set of stakeholder inputs used for the analysis, expected value of perfect information was low (i.e., ≤5% increase in expected stakeholder satisfaction; possible range: 0–100%). Decision making was successfully supported in both case studies. Each step of the CDA process was informative and useful for the decision makers, and the expected challenges with transboundary conservation were overcome in both cases. For example, to overcome the language barrier we used translation software so that the respective management plans were understandable for all participants. We believe the process can be used in other transboundary contexts around the globe to ensure lasting engagement and commitment to coordinated conservation and management on both sides of the border.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Mattsson, Brady J.
Arih, Andrej
Heurich, Marco
Santi, Stefano
Štemberk, Josef
Vacik, Harald


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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