Motivations and attitudes influence farmers' willingness to participate in biodiversity conservation contracts

Greiner, Romy (2015) Motivations and attitudes influence farmers' willingness to participate in biodiversity conservation contracts. Agricultural Systems, 137. pp. 154-165.

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Abstract

Increasingly, voluntary conservation programs are targeted at farmers to contribute to biodiversity conservation through tailored on-farm conservation activities. Such programs are part of a growing suite of agri-environmental or payment-for-environmental services schemes, which can be an effective and efficient way of complementing the formal nature reserve system, provided they attract sufficient participation. In countries with little or no experience with such schemes there is an absence of observable participation behaviour and the use of stated choice methods is required to inform program design. This research employs the theory of planned behaviour to help explain attitudinal and motivational influences on farmers' choices to participate in conservation contracts. The paper reports the findings of a choice experiment involving farmers – more specifically pastoralists and graziers – across north Australia's rangelands. The experiment gauged their willingness to participate in conservation contracts and estimated the influence of contract attributes, business characteristics and personal aspects. Personal aspects included motivations and attitudes, for which constructs were derived from Likert-type scales through factor analysis. Latent class modelling was used to illustrate the various influences of motivations, attitudes and preferences on stated contract participation. The findings assist in tailoring the design, negotiation and roll-out of PES-style conservation initiatives for farmers in northern Australia to incentivise participation. The research highlights the opportunity for paid-for private conservation on parts of large pastoral stations and the need for contract tailoring to biodiversity requirements while responding to the motivations and attitudes of landholders and land managers. It also emphasises the key role that suasion measures play in shaping biodiversity-relevant attitudes and consequently participation by landholders in private conservation.

Item ID: 38990
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2267
Keywords: payments for environmental services; stewardship; empirical research; Northern Australia; tropical savannas; rangelands
Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP) North Australia Hub, Charles Darwin University
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 03:49
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960704 Land Stewardship @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 40%
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