SNOWMAN - MCA: Multi-criteria analysis of remediation alternatives to access their overall impact and cost/benefit, with focus on soil function (ecosystem services and goods) and sustainability
This final report summarises major activities, results and conclusions derived within the SNOWMAN-MCA project. The main objective of the SNOWMAN-MCA project (2009-2013) was to demonstrate the use of multi-criteria analysis (MCA) in evaluating land management and soil remediation alternatives to access their overall impact on sustainability, with focus on soil functions and soil services. Soil functions are critical for ecosystem survival and for ecosystems’ provision of services to humans, and maintained soil function is a key parameter in sustainable development. The SNOWMAN-MCA project was based on studies of three representative polluted sites in Sweden and Austria, and included a range of conventional and innovative remediation scenarios. Key results of the SNOWMAN-MCA project include:
• A suggested hierarchy between soil functions, soil processes, soil services and ecosystem services, resulting in a set of soil function related ecological, socio-cultural and economic criteria and sub-criteria to be used in MCA.
• A suggested minimum data set (MDS) of soil quality indicators for soil function evaluation, and a software tool (SF Box) for calculating changes in soil quality based on the proposed MDS.
• A suggested structured and transparent approach for incorporating soil function and soil use aspects into sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives using MCA.
Using input from research carried out in tandem with the SNOWMAN-MCA project, the impact of remediation in the ecological, socio-cultural and economic domain was further assessed, including suggested criteria for the socio-cultural domain and research on how uncertainty may be addressed in MCA. Based on this research and on previous efforts (Rosén et al., 2009), an MCA software tool (SCORE) was developed, and used for evaluating the sustainability of suggested remedial actions at the studied sites. The results from the SCORE tool are in this report presented together with the results of the SNOWMAN-MCA project, demonstrating a holistic approach to sustainable remediation.
multi-criteria decision analysis