Personal circumstances and social characteristics as determinants of landholder participation in biodiversity conservation programs

Moon, Katie, Marshall, Nadine, and Cocklin, Chris (2012) Personal circumstances and social characteristics as determinants of landholder participation in biodiversity conservation programs. Journal of Environmental Management, 113. pp. 292-300.

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Abstract

Adequate conservation of biodiversity on private land remains elusive due, in part, to a failure to understand the personal circumstances and social charactersitics of private landholders. Our aim was to identify those personal and social dimensions of landholders that might contribute to improved conservation policy and program design and, thereby, participation in private land conservation. We tested whether personal circumstances of landholders (e.g., lifestyle and wellbeing, information and knowledge, financial security) and social characteristics (e.g., attitudes, norms, and trust) would be important predictors of handholders' capacity and willingness to participate in biodiversity conservation programs. Forty-five participants and twenty-nine non-participants of biodiversity conservation programs in north Queensland, Australia, were surveyed to: 1) examine differences between their personal circumstances and social characteristics that may influence participation; and 2) explore whether personal circumstances and social charactersitics were influenced by participation. The results revealed that, compared to participants, non-participants in conservation programs had significantly different personal circumstances and social charactersitics for four of eight measured variables. Compared to participants, non-participants demonstrated a reduced capacity and willingness to participate in conservation programs. Participation did not appear to have a strong influence on participants' personal circumstances or social characteristics, and when social norms supported conservation, programs did not demonstrate additionality. Conservation policies that maintain or improve landholders' personal circumstances and that promote pro-environmental norms may result in increased participation and thereby conservation outcomes.

Item ID: 24446
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: attitudes, biodiversity, personal circumstances, policy, social determinants, trust
ISSN: 0301-4797
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 06:09
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960804 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960704 Land Stewardship @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961305 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland @ 40%
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