Does membership matter? Individual influences in natural resource management decision making

Increasingly, natural resource management decision making is being undertaken by management committees that consist of a range of stakeholder groups. Representatives on these committees potentially have widely differing objective preferences. Consequently, there exists the potential for management decisions to be affected not only by the type of representation, but by the individuals themselves. In this paper, the robustness of management decision making to both the stakeholder representation and the individual representatives is tested using the case of fisheries management, for which a number of studies have been undertaken in Australia to assess objective preferences within a multi-objective framework. The results suggest that, in most cases, management decisions are robust to membership, but in a small number of instances the actual composition of individuals in a committee may result in different decisions.

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