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Public attitudes and decision making in environmental resource planning — a perception gap


Alexander, KA and Freeman, S and Angel, DL, Public attitudes and decision making in environmental resource planning a perception gap, Environmental Science and Policy, 80 pp. 38-43. ISSN 1462-9011 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2017.11.012


Recent research has suggested that decision makers may misunderstand public attitudes regarding natural resource use. Using research on Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in six European countries, we illustrate one case in which this is true. We describe two studies: one revealing stakeholders’ beliefs about the environmental sustainability of IMTA in addition to their beliefs regarding public perceptions of the same; and a second investigating perceptions held by the public. In comparing the studies, we identified a gap between what decision-makers believe the public perceives and what the public actually perceives. There is reason to believe that this phenomenon is not sector-specific because policy and planning mechanisms for incorporating the views of stakeholders and the larger public tend to be the similar, regardless of sector. This may cause a dilemma for developing natural-resource based industries, as well as public policy. For this reason, we suggest, as an alternative to over-reliance on citizens’ initiative, making greater use of mechanisms that actively elicit opinions, such as deliberative consultation/engagement models that both inform and elicit pReferences

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:perception gap, public attitudes. natural resources, sustainability, governance
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Alexander, KA (Dr Karen Alexander)
ID Code:122738
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2017-11-24
Last Modified:2019-02-21

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