Inderscience Publishers

Multi-criteria decision-aid: local method for sustainable management of groundwater quality in the agricultural sector

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Sustainable development, on a local level, requires incentives whose comprehension and identification depend on various stakes and the involvement of socio-economic actors. The complexity of the task could not be compounded without the aid of modern decision-methods such as Multi-Criteria Decision-Analysis (MCDA). This paper proposes an MCDA framework to promote sustainable development. The relevance of this analysis will be tested while being used in a regional agricultural sector. The implementation of MCDA is described in order to answer a question posed by researchers of the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique). They were particularly interested in knowing how IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, can be adopted by horticulturists on a voluntary basis. The final purpose of this paper is to contribute to help local authorities to determine the requirements of their own agricultural sector and to propose an adapted environmental policy.

Keywords: groundwater quality, horticultural sector, incentive instruments, local public authorities, multicriteria decision analysis, MCDA, sustainable agriculture, sustainable development, sustainable management, agriculture, integrated pest management, environmental policy

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