A new tool for international environmental policy making : development and application of a multi criteria analysis framework to the aviation-sustainable tourism problem
The environmental problem of regulating emissions from international civil aviation due to their transboundary nature, and the participation of international and domestic players, makes it a 'wicked' international environmental problem. When the aviation industry's forecasted growth is coupled with the aviation emissions' global warming capacity, the problem becomes an immediate and a significant global environmental issue. The tourism sector's contribution to the total emissions from the aviation industry is of a disproportionately high magnitude, and hence is warranted as the focus of this research. The issue of "aviation and tourism" has been used as a case study to develop a policy analysis tool and to evaluate its contribution to the "actual" policy process within an international context. The policy literature review indicates that there is a lack of an "objective" policy analysis tool, mainly due to the highly political, volatile, and contextual nature of international environmental problems. Additionally, given the difficulty in incorporating multiple perspectives in a "solution", conflicts are bound to occur. To this end, the research has developed the Multi Criteria Analytical Framework (MCAF). The MCAF is based on the principles and practices of Integrated Environmental Management, Triple Bottom Line, Multi Criteria Analysis, and Decision Support System development. Central to the development of the MCAF, is the development of the criteria set, which includes environmental, economic, social, and institutional considerations. The criteria set, which reflects the concerns of multiple agents and actors involved in the international aviation policy development process, has been informed by the tourism and aviation literature review, and the modified Delphi technique undertaken in this research. The feasibility of using such a framework in the "actual" decision making processes at the international level has been evaluated, and conclusions have been drawn that the Framework is a useful policy tool especially in the initial stages of policy development. The MCAF is not an alternative to the international policy process, but rather complements that process. Finally, recommendations for improving the policy process have then been suggested, thus achieving the research objective of enhancing the international policy process.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsenvironmental policy; environmental aspects; aviation emissions; global environmental issues; international policy process; integrated environmental management; multi-criteria analysis
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