| Project objectives:
The aim of the SNOWMAN-MCA project is to demonstrate the use of multi-criteria analysis (MCA) in evaluating management and remediation alternatives to
access their overall impact, with focus on soil function (ecosystem services and goods) and sustainability. As some aspects of soil function cannot be easily
quantified in monetary terms, MCA offers a complementary approach in comparison to cost-benefit analysis (CBA). Maintained soil function is a key parameter
in sustainable developments and the proposed project will demonstrate a method for including soil function and related geographical, cultural and soil use
aspects of soil function into MCA.
The deliverables of the SNOWMAN-MCA project are be aligned with the first topic of the SNOWMAN 2nd coordinated call, Area management of contamination, and
targets the following questions listed in the scope of the call:
* Which cost/benefit analyses can be applied with area management approaches of contaminated land?
* How can we calculate the economical and societal costs for land use restrictions caused by contamination?
Additional questions will also be addressed, including:
* What is the impact of remediation scenarios on soil function?
* What are the consequences of geographical, cultural and soil use differences when ranking aspects of soil function?
* What is the impact of geographical (e.g. soil properties and morphology) and climate (e.g. temperature and precipitation) differences on the outcome
of different remediation scenarios?years.
The project will be based on studies of a few representative polluted sites and include a range of conventional and innovative remediation technologies
and strategies. The impact of the remediation strategies on soil function will be assessed and used as input during the MCA.
Management of contaminated sites is associated with high costs to problem owners and society. For sound use of society´s limited resources, priority should
be given to alternatives that are considered best with respect to agreed and well-defined criteria. A key criterion in environmental decision-making is sustainable
development. However, procedures for explicitly evaluating sustainability of remediation alternative are lacking. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) has
repeatedly been suggested for evaluating sustainability but practical applications for remediation projects are still rare. An important reason is limited
knowledge on how to evaluate ecological effects of remediation. Ecological effects may be addressed using the concept of soil function (SF), e.g. the soils´
ability to provide services and goods. The European Commission has recognized SF as crucial for human and ecosystem survival. The overall objective of this
recently started research project is to develop a procedure for MCA that can be practically applied for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives.
Specific goals are to: (1) incorporate effects on soil system functions for evaluating ecological sustainability, and (2) prepare a prototype for MCA for
identifying sustainable remediation alternatives. This project will provide novel research on how to better incorporate ecological effects in sustainability
appraisal at contaminated sites. The results will support more sustainable remedial actions.
The project will be based on studies of a few representative polluted sites, and include a range of conventional and innovative remediation technologies,
including “soft”, low cost on‐site, “harder” on‐site, and off‐site strategies. The impact of the remediation strategies on soil services
will be assessed with respect to identified sustainability criteria and used as input in the MCA. The analysis will also include a wider perspective, putting
the results of the remediation projects in relation to baseline levels and fate of contaminants on a regional and global scale.
The EU knowledge network for healthy soils, SNOWMAN, provides funding for the project. The project will be carried out in cooperation between the Soil remediation
Center North (MCN) at Umeå University, Sweden, the Forum for Risk Investigation and Soil Treatment (FRIST) at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden,
and the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), Austria.
Please contact the SNOWMAN-MCA project coordinator Dr. Magnus Bergknut, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.