Development and prioritization of socio-economic strategies to elevate public participation in natural resource management using TOPSIS approach; Case Study: Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province (Iran)
Proper implementation of the participatory projects to conserve national natural resources has become much more important over the recent decades. This socio-economic research seeks developing effective strategies to increase public participation in experts' opinions of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province (Iran), in order to achieve sustainable and integrated management of natural resources. In the first step, the literature review led to the identification of 57 social parameters influencing public participation in the province. In the second step, from the parameters identified, with the help of the Delphi technique, 15 parameters were finalized by experts. This led to the formulation of the effective socioeconomic strategies in the study area. The next step was to prioritize these parameters. For this purpose, the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) was used in Topsis solver software. The study’s statistical population was comprised of the executive experts of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. The results of the prioritization indicated that the strategy of "the development of alternative livelihoods (A6)" ranks first with normal weight of 0.31, followed by "focus on profitable projects (A2)" with the normal weight of 0.2, and "strengthening social cohesion and trust (A7 )" with the normal weight of 0.12, as the most important strategies to increase public participation. The results of this study can be used by managers and executive decision-makers to protect natural resources and increase feasibility of management activities in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province.
Keywords: Strategies effective on public participation, Delphi technique, Executive experts, TOPSIS, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province