The Aysén Region, located in the Chilean Patagonia, is a territory of 11 million of hectares inhabited by nearly 90 thousand of people. This region has faced the possible construction of one of the biggest smelter aluminium plant in the world. The project would produce irreversible changes to the region's development path. The authorization of the Chilean environmental authorities, based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project, is needed to carry out the plan. However, the problem structuring of the EIA System (EIAS) procedure is inadequate to understand and resolve complex problems. The improvement of this kind of decision-making processes, implemented in more than 100 countries, is then needed. This paper proposes the Social Multi-criteria Evaluation (SMCE) framework [Munda, G., 2004. Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation (SMCE): Methodological Foundations and Operacional Consecuentes. European Journal of Operacional Research, vol. 158/3, pp. 662-677] to deal with this kind of situations. SMCE calls for a decision-making process using information coming from a multi/inter disciplinary work and participatory approaches. Then, the problem is structured in a multi-criteria fashion considering several perspectives. The case study is used to illustrate this suggested process. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Environmental impact assessment
- Multi-criteria analysis
- Social multi-criteria evaluation