Past, current and future drivers for DSS development

11.28.2013 |
Harald Vacik's picture
During the last decades, forestry has passed through a considerable change of its sociocultural acceptance and public perception. Due to the often conflicting interests in land-use planning, decision makers recognized the need to involve stakeholders who are affected by the decisions they take, and who have the power to influence their outcome. Through growing public participation in decisions about the management of natural resources, new demands emerged for tools that support understanding of environmental issues, developing and evaluating alternatives and projecting the consequences of different courses of action. Given the huge uncertainties regarding to future environmental conditions as well as societal demands adaptive management has recently been viewed as a very promising conceptual framework for implementing strategic ecosystem management. The need for climate change adaptation has evoked additional interest in adaptive management approaches in decision support as well. Hence, the different issues emerging in forest management stimulated the development of DSSs and increased the demand to integrate various techniques, models and methods in a holistic and flexible manner. Objectives and approaches in forest management as well as technologies have been changing throughout history. Accordingly, the demand for tools to support planning and decision-making has evolved. In the past, the drivers evolving from forest management as well as decision support technologies have influenced the way of how models and methods have been applied as well as how DSS architectures have been designed. It can be concluded that in the future, the challenges for DSS development will increase, as the complexity of decision-making processes and the related models will compete with the user demands which ask for simplicity.