Assessing the Priorities Using A'WOT Among Resource Management Strategies at the Finnish Forest and Park Service

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We examined a hybrid method, referred to here as the A'WOT [Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in SWOT analysis], for improving the usability of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. A commonly used decision analysis method, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and its eigenvalue calculation framework are integrated with SWOT analysis. The connection of AHP with SWOT yields analytically determined and quantifiable priorities for the factors included in SWOT analysis. The aim in applying the hybrid method is to improve the quantitative basis of strategic planning processes. After applying the A'WOT method, decision-makers have information at their disposal about how alternative strategies are congruent with internal and external environmental factors. In a decision–making process, this information can be utilized in concert with other produced decision–support elements.

The A'WOT was used in connection with the strategic planning of natural resource management at the Finnish Forest and Park Service (FFPS). Four alternative strategies were produced during the planning process. The alternatives produced were Forestry Strategy (emphasis on sustainable economic use of forests); Recreation Strategy (emphasis on recreational use of forests and social and economic sustainability); Protection Strategy (emphasis on nature protection and ecological sustainability); and the Basic Strategy (current land allocation and forestry practice principles). Opportunities determined by the priorities of the scaling factors had the greatest weight in all the business units of the FFPS. The most important internal factors included both strengths (know–how, land, and water property ) along with a couple of weaknesses (lack of information concerning biodiversity due to insufficient planning resources, age, and development class structures of forests). FOR. SCI. 47(4):534–541.

Keywords: AHP; SWOT; decision analysis; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest planning; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; strategic planning

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Senior Researcher Finnish Forest Research Institute, Unioninkatu 40 A, Helsinki, Phone: +358 9 857 051; Fax: +358 9 857 05 717 2: Research Scientist Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111 Joensuu, 80101, 3: Head of Station Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 44 Kannus, 69101, Phone: +358 6 8743212 4: Education Chief Rural Education, Pohjois–Savo Polytechnic, Kotikyl√§ntie 254, Iisalmi, 74100, 5: Project Leader Finnish Forest and Park Service, P.O. Box 94 Vernissakatu 4, Vantaa, 01301,

Publication date: November 1, 2001

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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