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The Role of Information Systems in Sustainable Forest Management: Comparison and Future Direction

Ronald Berger
Seoul National University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Program in Regional Information, South Korea

Forest management is gradually changing from a model of maximum economic yield for timber management to a multi-objective, sustainable practice using criteria not just for timber production but for carbon storage, recreation, and wildlife preservation. Policies could encourage stakeholders to identify and assess the economic interests of key actors and hold them accountable for sustaining forest ecosystems. Decision-makers need access to a combination of ecological and socio-economic information for making proper business decisions. The literature suggests that economic values have been rarely utilized in forest decision support systems. We posit that managing for sustainable forest ecosystems requires adequate economic data. This paper provides a critical review based on subjective analysis of six existing forest management information systems and their extent of economic valuation analysis. We conclude that three of the six models are unclear for their application of non-market economic valuation, while the other three models indicate no usage. We posit that although reliable and valid non-market values can be difficult to obtain because predicting stakeholder behavior and preferences are not always directly observable, future research should attempt to integrate such measures (e.g., cost-benefit analysis, contingent valuation, hedonic property value) into forest information systems for improving decision-making and stakeholder negotiation, and increasing forest ecosystem sustainability.

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Reference:Berger, R. (2011). "The Role of Information Systems in Sustainable Forest Management: Comparison and Future Direction," Proceedings > Proceedings of SIGGreen Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 11(12). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/11-12
Keywords:Green IT, economic modeling, ecosystem management, forest information systems, sustainability
Item Type:Article - Volume 11 Article 12 (2011)
Email: Ronald Berger (ronberger@snu.ac.kr)
Additional Information:Refer to: Dr Helen Hasan Associate Professor, Information Systems, Director of the Social Innovation Network, SInet Leading SIGGreen of the AIS, School of Economics Faculty of Commerce, University of Wollongong Wollongong 2522, Australia Phone: +61 2 42213757 (office) Mobile: 0419403699 Fax: +61 2 42213725

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