Community behaviours towards nature conservation: A theoretical analysis for practical approaches

Nguyen Viet Dung, Trinh Le Nguyen, Hoang Xuan Thuy, Nguyen Danh Tinh.
PanNature, October 2007

Changing community behaviors has been long recognized as both purpose and outcome of any communication, awareness and education programmes towards conservation and management of natural resources. Based on a literature review, this article presents critical analysis and discussion of basic understandings about community behavior, and its relations to knowledge and attitude matters in nature conservation. It defines that (conservation) behavior of community is the interactions between ecosystem and social system under a wide range of various determinants and influences. To investigate and understand community behavior, this article introduces a participatory social assessment methodology, that has been tested in Vietnam. It is an interdisciplinary approach, consisting of three steps: situation assessment, identification of critical behaviors, and identification of determinants and influences of critical behaviors. This method can help conservation managers and practitioners develop proper environmental communication, awareness or education strategies, based on comprehensive understandings of community behavior, and overcome unnecessary assumptions.

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