Conflict resolution method for ill-defined resources management cases: application to the La Albufera natural reserve in Spain


Current methods for conflict resolution present serious difficulties when applied to social conflicts arising from clashes among purposes relating to conservation, traditional uses and development in environmental management. This is because conflict can be ill-defined and some necessary data are not available at the required time. DIFUCO, a method inspired by fuzzy cognitive maps [15][11], can be applied to such situations. It is presented, applied to a specific conflictive case (a wetland natural reserve) and compared with the only usable alternative for this case: an Analytic Hierarchy Process. The results of DIFUCO and AHP differ basically because their respective assumptions vary. DIFUCO can adopt the assumptions of AHP, but not conversely, provides more information than AHP, and is more stable and flexible. DIFUCO compiles and processes conflict-related information that lies in the minds of those people involved. Moreover, it offers priorities and guidance to define possible intervention strategies for governors or arbitrators with comparatively more flexibility in less time and with fewer means and efforts.

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