Assessing conservation opportunity on private land: Socio-economic, behavioral, and spatial dimensions

Raymond, Christopher M. and Brown, Gregory (2011) Assessing conservation opportunity on private land: Socio-economic, behavioral, and spatial dimensions. Journal of Environmental Management, 92 10: 2513-2523. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.05.015


Author Raymond, Christopher M.
Brown, Gregory
Title Assessing conservation opportunity on private land: Socio-economic, behavioral, and spatial dimensions
Journal name Journal of Environmental Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-4797
1093-0191
1095-8630
Publication date 2011-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.05.015
Volume 92
Issue 10
Start page 2513
End page 2523
Total pages 11
Place of publication Camden, London, U.K.
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This study presents a method for assessing conservation opportunity on private land based on landholders' socio-economic, behavioral, and farm characteristics. These characteristics include age, gender, education, level of off-farm income, farm size, proportion of remnant native vegetation on-farm, and ecological value of native vegetation on-farm. A sample of landholders who own greater than 2 ha of land in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin region were sent a mail-based survey about their values and preferences for environmental management (N = 659, 52% response). Cross-tabulations and ANOVA statistical analysis techniques were used to compare the socio-economic attributes across three landholder classes: disengaged, moderately engaged, and highly engaged in native vegetation planting. Results indicate that highly engaged landholders were more likely to be female, formally educated, hobby farmers who managed small parcels of land and have high off-farm incomes, whereas disengaged landholders held significantly stronger farming connections (more farming experience, family have lived on the farm for more generations). Spatial analysis revealed area-specific differences in conservation opportunity and conservation priority. In some areas, properties of high ecological value were managed by highly engaged landholders, but nearby properties of high value were managed by moderately engaged or disengaged landholders. Environmental managers therefore cannot assume areas of high conservation priority will be areas of high conservation opportunity. At the regional scale, the potential for revegetation seems most promising within the moderately engaged landholder group considering the vast amount of land managed by this group in areas of high ecological value, particularly within the less represented Mallee and Coorong and Rangelands sub-regions. We suggest that incentive schemes which purchase conservation need to be targeted at disengaged landholders; mentoring schemes led by commercial farmers highly engaged in native vegetation planting should be directed at moderately engaged landholders, and; awards programs which acknowledge conservation successes should be targeted at highly engaged landholders.

Highlights: ► In this study we present a method for assessing conservation opportunity on private land based on landholders' socio-economic, behavioral, and farm characteristics. ► We compare the socio-economic attributes of landholders disengaged, moderately, and highly engaged in native vegetation planting and then spatially examine the relationships between the properties owned by the three landholder classes and the ecological value of their land. ► We find significant differences in socio-economic attributes among the three landholder classes, and area-specific differences in conservation priority and opportunity. ► We conclude that environmental managers cannot assume areas of high conservation priority will be areas of high conservation opportunity.
Keyword Conservation opportunity
Conservation priority
Socio-demographic factors
Economic factors
Conservation behavior
Native vegetation conservation
Ecosystem services
Farmers adoption
Biophysical data
Australia
Participation
Management
Agriculture
Values
Areas
Implementation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2012 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 34 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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