Meaning, belonging and well-being: the socio-psychological benefits of engaging in private land conservation
Yasue, M and Kirkpatrick, JB and Davison, AG, Meaning, belonging and well-being: the socio-psychological benefits of engaging in private land conservation, Conservation and Society pp. 1-12. ISSN 0975-3133 (2020) [Refereed Article]
While the economic and ecological benefits of private land conservation (PLC) programmes are well known, their contribution to socio-psychological well-being is less understood. Thus we applied the concept of basic psychological needs (BPN) from self-determination theory (SDT) to document these well-being impacts and understand the experience of landowners engaged in PLC programmes in Tasmania, Australia. We developed and administered an online survey (n = 193) that adapted items from SDT scales and used SDT as a framework to code data derived from semi-structured landowner interviews (n = 60). The interviews explored the ways in which participation in PLC supported the three basic needs of autonomy (the need to act according to personal values and desires), competence (the need for perceived efficacy), and relatedness (caring relationships and social belonging). PLC programmes supported autonomy by helping landowners align private land management decisions with deeply held environmental values. These programmes fostered competence and relatedness by developing trust and shared purpose amongst the people engaged in PLC, enabling personal and social learning, and enhancing life purpose and belonging. The scale and longevity of PLC programmes, and thus, the ecological and economic benefits flowing from them, may be increased through attending to, documenting and communicating the well-being benefits of participation.