Structuring contrasting forest stakeholders' views with the Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) approach

The study reported here aimed at presenting the structuring of a complex problem that emerges from contrasting perspectives of different stakeholders on the use and conservation of native forests in a context where regulations restrict their management, as occurs in Santa Catarina State, Brazil. The methodology adopted in this work consisted both in the construction of a causal map, based on interviews with stakeholders of Santa Catarina native forests, and in the analysis of the map using techniques of the Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) approach. The analyses carried out indicated that the economic valuation of forest resources as well as the monitoring of forest cover are key issues for the management of Santa Catarina’s native forests. In addition, the information generated by the causal map analysis can assist not only the process of designing innovative and all-inclusive policies for the management of native forests, but also the modeling process based on Systems Dynamics in order to evaluate the impacts of policies on the dynamics that govern the conservation and use of the resources of native forests. The adopted SODA approach also proved to be effective in structuring the complex problem situation addressed in this study.