AEZWIN An Interactive Multiple-Criteria Analysis Tool for Land Resources Appraisal.
Since the early 1980's, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have been collaborating on expanding FAO's Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) methodology of land resources appraisal by incorporating decision support tools for optimizing the use of land resources. Agro-ecological zoning involves the inventory, characterization and classification of the land resources for assessments of the potential of agricultural production systems. The characterization of land resources includes components of climate, soils and land form, basic for the supply of water, energy, nutrients and physical support to plants. When evaluating the performance of alternative land utilization types, often the specification of a single objective function does not adequately reflect the preferences of decision-makers, which are of multi-objective nature in many practical problems dealing with resources. Therefore interactive multicriteria model analysis (MCMA) has been applied to the analysis of AEZ models. A user friendly interface has been developed and documented in order to permit use of the software by persons with only very basic computing experience. The methodology of MCMA is illustrated in the companion paper by a detailed tutorial example.
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