A person’s decision-making process is influenced by values, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs developed throughout the course of a lifetime. Understanding how these concepts apply to landowners’ decision-making with regard to land management practices can help developing more effective strategies to encourage behavioural change. Both literature and practical evidence show that successful behavioural change programmes are those that recognised and support people’s values.
Prior to the study the LCDC had limited knowledge about what drives landowners’ land management decisions and how their values, attitudes, perceptions and beliefs affect willingness to engage in riparian zone management. Our project, a Landholder Value Study, focused on landholders with properties on selected catchment waterways.
Broadly this Study aimed to:
- Capture demographic data from the landowner target group within the study area.
- Identify a set of key/common drivers and barriers to ecological restoration of the riparian zone in the Lower Blackwood District focusing on targeted catchments within the District.
- Identify effective ways to engage landowners on issues such as:
- riparian ecology and the impacts of soil erosion and organic loading to streams,
- riparian restoration works / costs / benefits (to them and the riparian environment), and
- what riparian works success looks like.
The study consisted of two main components, a general demographic survey and a smaller sample group of one to one interviews. The findings are summarised in a Value Study Report and it is intended that the information gained from the Study will aid in the development & implementation of:
- More informed and targeted funding programmes.
- More informed and targeted communication / educational programmes.
This project is funded by the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI), a four-year, $20 million Royalties for Regions program to improve the health of six Western Australian estuaries being delivered in partnership with the Department of Water.