A Multi-Objective Framework for Environmental Management Using Goal Programming

Demetrios Panagiotakopoulos

DOI: 10.2190/1217-CT4F-3FJX-9FFX


The scope of environmental management is to reach as much as possible a socially acceptable balance between economic benefits and resulting environmental quality; such a balance is defined in terms of politically established criteria and goals. Environmental management should also be concerned with integrating the often conflicting sub-goals of the economic, environmental, and technological components of the economic-environmental system into a multiple objective for guiding the development and evaluation of alternative policies. This paper presents a prescriptive framework for environmental management at the regional level which allows for a sufficiently realistic representation of the total system, deals systematically with multiple objectives through goal programming optimization techniques, and suggests an effective interaction between the decision-maker and the analyst for devising compromises among conflicting objectives. This is designed as an improvement over the ad hoc trial-and-error analysis based on tradeoff relations. In essence, the procedure outlined here is directed toward establishing the economic-growth/environmental-quality possibility frontier of a region.

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