A greater understanding of community's values, worldviews can help avoid tension and improve successful land management. A recent paper published in the Journal of Environmental Management used a mixed-methods survey to elicit local community's environmental values, ecological world views and perceptions of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve (GSABR). A semi-structured mixed-methods survey revealed that residents of the GSABR greatly value wildlife and beauty of nature, and that most the respondents showed concern for the environment from an ecocentric worldview. Results also revealed that the most influential tested socio-demographic characteristic affecting people's relationship to their environment is their professional affiliation. Tourism and recreation were seen as major benefits of the recent biosphere designation. Results did highlight contrasting benefits from the designation for different stakeholder groups, which could potentially lead to tensions and should be considered in the reserve management. Given the community's supportive world views and perceptions, greater participation in the biosphere's management in likely to be welcomed and should be used to avoid or mediate any conflicts.
The full paper is available through open access here:
Hernes M.I., and Metzger M.J. (2017). Understanding local community’s values, worldviews and perceptions in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve, Scotland. Journal of Environmental Management 186:12–23.
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