Environmental Attitudes of Stakeholders and their Perceptions Regarding Protected Area-community Conficts: A Case Study in China


Liu, Jing; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Miao, Hong

Journal or Book Title: Journal of Environmental Management

Keywords: Environmental attitudes; New ecological paradigm; Local community; Conflict; Perception; Protected area management

Volume/Issue: 91/11

Page Number(s): 2254-2262

Year Published: 2010


Large numbers of people living in and around protected areas are highly dependent on the natural resources. However, simply excluding them from the area management has always inevitably resulted in conflicts. We conducted a case study of the Protected Area of Jinyun Mountain (PJM) in China to evaluate social context variables, environmental attitudes, and perceptions regarding protected area-community conflicts. Data were collected through questionnaire surveys administered to four stakeholder groups (i.e. local farmers, government staff, business persons, and tourists). A total of 112 questionnaires were completed in December 2008, after the Sichuan Earthquake. The questionnaire consisted of three parts, social context (gender, race, age, income, and education level), protected area-community conflicts, and environmental attitudes. The New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scores, which were employed to evaluate environmental attitudes, differed significantly among the stakeholder groups (P < 0.01). Specifically, government staff reported the highest and business persons did the lowest. Among the five items evaluated, anti-exemptionalism received the lowest score, while nature’s balance did the highest. Evaluation of the protected area-community relationship indicated that harmony and conflict both exist in the PJM, but have different forms among different stakeholders, and seem to be opposite between government staff and local farmers. Among the indexes, tourism primarily contributed to the harmonious aspect, while collection of NTFPs did to the conflicting one. Conflict scores were positively related to age and negatively related to education level. Respondents with higher NEP scores were more partial to the park management. Besides, the respondents with higher annual incomes tended to support the policy of harmonizing the relationship and lessening the harm of local communities to the area. To promote proenvironmental attitudes and alleviate the protected area-community conflicts, we recommend improving environmental education, establishing community co-management, and launching substitute sources of cash for traditional cultivation.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.06.007

Type of Publication: Journal Article