Restoring natural wetlands with conservation projects is an urgent task for human well-being. This paper introduces the Interval linear programming (ILP) method in wetland restoration projects for the first time and builds an optimization model. The purpose of the optimization model is to find an optimal restoration measures allocation pattern that can minimize the total investment in wetland restoration projects and obtain additional ecological environment and socio-economic benefits. The optimization model can also decrease the influence of interval uncertainty in the system by expressing the executed solution as interval numbers with an upper bound and a lower bound. The result of the optimization model for the wetland restoration project indicated a range of 6.84%⁻15.43% reduction on comparison with the original scheme which verified the effectiveness and validity of this optimization model. Our findings indicate that higher ecological and social benefits of wetland restoration projects can be achieved with lower restoration investment on the application of the reasonable and optimal restoration measures allocation pattern by the optimization model. The results of interval solutions can provide guidance for project managers to select a satisfactory decision-making plan by adjusting the decision variables in the interval solutions according to the practical situation. It can be seen that reeds were suggested to be planted over 46.75 km², with the same lower bound and higher bound. Meanwhile, populus euphratica, and dryland willow were recommended to be planted in a mixed forest pattern within the interval of 30.54 km² to 37.25 km², and so forth. With the optimal solutions obtained from the model, the total project investment would be in the range of 2193.14 (10⁴ CNY) to 2416.01 (10⁴ CNY). Future improvements of our optimization model in wetland restoration projects should consider other kinds of uncertainties in the system such as stochastic uncertainties, fuzzy uncertainties, and integrated uncertainties.
Keywords: interval linear programming; optimization model; uncertainty; wetland management; wetland restoration project.