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Multicriteria evaluation of sustainable agricultural land use : a case of Lesvos


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  • Hermanides, Gerda

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Nijkamp, Peter


Sustainable agriculture has become an important policy orientation in the area of land use. It serves as an analysis framework to reconcile conflicting interests. In the paper the notion of sustainable agriculture will be operationalized by using the concept of environmental utilisation space. This concept offers critical threshold values for various socio-economic and environmental indicators.The paper allows for flexibility and variability in expert opinion on sustainable agriculture by distinguishing various ranges of carrying capacity. Pending on the seriousness of the social costs involved, a 'flag model' is used to analyze the various trade-offs. Next, a multicriteria method using the Regime method is introduced in order to identify compromise solutions.The (stepwise) sustainability methodology will be applied to the case of agricuIture on the island of Lesvos, Greece. The Lesvian agriculture is faced with the threat of erosion and degradation caused by various interlinked developments. Three policy orientations on agriculture on Lesvos are evaluated by means of the flag evaluation method and the Regime method. According to the flag approach, a policy of structural support leads to the most sustainable situation. The scenario of environmental care in agriculture is next the most sustainable, while the scenario of liberalisation of agricultural markets and agricultural trade performs worst. This outcome corresponds to the majority of the outcomes of the Regime evaluation. Thus, the sustainability and continuity of agriculture seems to be best served by public, socio-economic support. Liberalisation of agricultural markets may certainly also be opted for, but would make the future of Lesvos undecisive.

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Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0005.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:1997-5

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  1. Blaas, E. & Nijkamp, P., 1992. "Methods of regional impact assessment : a new approach to the evaluation of the performance of the European Regional Development Fund," Serie Research Memoranda 0070, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
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Cited by:
  1. Nijkamp, Peter, 1997. "Environmental security and sustainability in natural resource management: a decision support framework," Serie Research Memoranda 0063, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  2. Nijkamp, Peter, 1999. "Advances in comparative assessment research in the space-economy," Serie Research Memoranda 0005, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  3. Chiara Maria Travisi & Peter Nijkamp & Marco Vighi & Paolo Giacomelli, 2004. "Managing Pesticide Risks for Non-Target Ecosystems with Pesticide Risk Indicators: a Multicriteria Approach," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-009/3, Tinbergen Institute.


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