Which Factors Contribute to Environmental Behaviour of Landowners in Southwestern Ontario, Canada?

Which Factors Contribute to Environmental Behaviour of Landowners in Southwestern Ontario, Canada? Loss of natural heritage is a problem that is particularly prevalent in areas of high population density. We used a survey to understand the factors that drive environmental behavior of landowners in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The survey, which contained questions about environmental attitude, pro-environmental behavior and demographics, was mailed to 18,090 rural route addresses, and we received 3256 completed surveys (18% response rate). Two types of environmental behavior, namely voluntarily increasing the area of land set aside for conservation, and enrollment in a conservation stewardship program, were significantly correlated with a positive attitude towards conservation. Financial considerations also played a role. We showed that the biggest motivator to enroll in a wetland enhancement program was access to ‘more information on how the decline in wetland area affects them personally’, while ‘public recognition’ was the least motivating factor. We suggest that enrollment in voluntary land stewardship programs might be increased by providing information about the effects of ecosystem loss, and by providing financial incentives for participation. In a larger social context, outreach programs by government agencies could focus on improving pro-environmental attitudes, which in turn is likely to result in more pro-environmental behavior of landowners. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Management Springer Journals

Which Factors Contribute to Environmental Behaviour of Landowners in Southwestern Ontario, Canada?

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Environment; Environmental Management; Ecology; Nature Conservation; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Forestry Management; Waste Water Technology / Water Pollution Control / Water Management / Aquatic Pollution
ISSN
0364-152X
eISSN
1432-1009
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00267-017-0849-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Loss of natural heritage is a problem that is particularly prevalent in areas of high population density. We used a survey to understand the factors that drive environmental behavior of landowners in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The survey, which contained questions about environmental attitude, pro-environmental behavior and demographics, was mailed to 18,090 rural route addresses, and we received 3256 completed surveys (18% response rate). Two types of environmental behavior, namely voluntarily increasing the area of land set aside for conservation, and enrollment in a conservation stewardship program, were significantly correlated with a positive attitude towards conservation. Financial considerations also played a role. We showed that the biggest motivator to enroll in a wetland enhancement program was access to ‘more information on how the decline in wetland area affects them personally’, while ‘public recognition’ was the least motivating factor. We suggest that enrollment in voluntary land stewardship programs might be increased by providing information about the effects of ecosystem loss, and by providing financial incentives for participation. In a larger social context, outreach programs by government agencies could focus on improving pro-environmental attitudes, which in turn is likely to result in more pro-environmental behavior of landowners.

Journal

Environmental ManagementSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 22, 2017

References

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