WASS Seminar: Accounting for Landholder Behaviour When Designing and Implementing Environmental Policy

Environmental managers often fail to account well for landholder behaviour when designing environmental projects or prioritising amongst potential environmental projects. In working with environmental managers, I have often found that they either fail to consider likely landholder behaviour in their decision making, or else are overly optimistic about what degree of behaviour change is realistic to expect. In this presentation, I will outline three strands of research and tool development that are intended to assist environmental managers in this regard. One tool provides advice on the most appropriate type of policy mechanisms for environmental projects, based on predicted landholder responses and other factors. The second tool embeds predictions of landholder adoption of new conservation practices within a broader framework for evaluating and ranking potential environmental projects. The third tool assists managers to make predictions of landholder adoption of conservation practices, based on responses to 22 key questions about the practices and the population of potential adopters. This third tool is based on a framework developed following an extensive multi-disciplinary review of research on landholder adoption conservation practices in Australia.