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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2003 → Attitudes and behaviour of landholders towards the conservation of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld, a threatened vegetation type in the Cape Floral Kingdom

University of Stellenbosch (2003)

Attitudes and behaviour of landholders towards the conservation of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld, a threatened vegetation type in the Cape Floral Kingdom

Winter, Susan Jean

Titre : Attitudes and behaviour of landholders towards the conservation of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld, a threatened vegetation type in the Cape Floral Kingdom

Auteur : Winter, Susan Jean

Université de soutenance : University of Stellenbosch

Grade : MScConsEcol 2003

Résumé
This thesis describes the findings of a survey to investigate the attitudes and behaviour of private landholders towards the conservation of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld, a highly endangered grassy-shrubland of the Cape Floral Region (CFR) lowlands, now 94% transformed. Personal interviews were conducted with 36 farmers in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, by administering a questionnaire. The following aspects were quantitatively described using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) : Renosterveld management and utilisation behaviour, perceived value of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld ; landholder knowledge of its conservation importance and willingness to conserve it. Attitudes towards incentives for conservation ; conservancies ; and the provincial conservation authorities were also investigated. Willingness to conserve was explored further using SPSS cross-tabulation analyses. It was found that farmers who were more willing to conserve were younger, did not necessarily have a better education, and owned larger farms (> 500 ha) with a greater amount of remnant renosterveld (> 300 ha) than farmers less willing to conserve. Attitudes towards Overberg Coastal Renosterveld were largely negative, due to certain associated plants and animals which are problems for farmers, and because it is not economically advantageous to retain it. However, provision of incentives (of which assistance with fencing and land management was most attractive) and increased extension support will provide practical positive inducements for conservation. There is also a need for more landholder education regarding the scarcity of coastal renosterveld to prevent transformation of remaining fragments. The second component of the study aimed to construct a user-friendly index to measure the conservation attitudes of landholders towards conserving Overberg Coastal Renosterveld. An interative item analysis was executed on the data, using Spearman Rank Order correlations and Cronbach’s Alpha. Results yielded an index with two dimensions and a Cronbach Alpha co-efficient of 0.67. The dimensions or components of conservation attitude towards renosterveld included : (i) a landholders’ perception of the perceived benefit of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld ; and (ii) their willingness to conserve it. The mean conservation attitude score was 0.6 (± 0.03), indicating that landholder attitudes were generally sympathetic towards renosterveld conservation. This suggests that while many landholders do not place a high value on Overberg Coastal Renosterveld due to its low agricultural value, their willingness to conserve it is in some cases higher than expected, which possibly explains the above-average mean conservation attitude score. An analysis of variance showed that the following variables were significantly, positively correlated with conservation attitude : (i) area of Overberg Coastal Renosterveld ; (ii) landholder environmental group membership status ; (iii) presence of ecotourism activities on the property ; and (iv) how long the property had been in the owner’s family. The intended application of the index is that index scores (amenable for use in a Geographical Information System database) can assist conservation practitioners in deciding where resources should be allocated, on the assumption that high-scoring individuals are more likely to want to take part in conservation initiatives

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