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Understanding drivers of deforestation using socio‐psychological behavioural theory and the capability approach

Understanding drivers of deforestation using socio‐psychological behavioural theory and the capability approach

Robb, Jane Elizabeth (2017) Understanding drivers of deforestation using socio‐psychological behavioural theory and the capability approach. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

There is continuing concern about the rapid loss of forests globally, as the loss of terrestrial carbon stocks has significant implications for our ability to curb the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Understanding drivers of deforestation is essential for developing any successful intervention to reduce forest degradation or loss, yet there remains relatively little consensus or clarity on how drivers should be identified and classified. I therefore propose a model that combines social‐psychological behavioural theory with the Capability Approach to understand and structure drivers of deforestation and forest degradation (DD).

Using a case study in Guatemala, I developed a proof of concept by analysing questionnaire responses from land users using a statistical data reduction technique and validating the resulting interpretations with land users and others in focus group discussions. I then explored the links between shared values and DD behavior, and found that different cultural groups (Q'eqchi Maya and Ladinos) act differently depending on how they relate to their shared values. The results also indicated the presence of value orientations as a mediating factor between shared values and behaviours. These value orientations influenced the capabilities that were relevant to individuals in relation to DD behaviours.

The conceptual model was also used to explore drivers of DD from a Guatemalan REDD+ (reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) decision maker perspective, and how processes within the decision making arena may impact DD. The results suggest that decision makers should take barriers to transformational change into ccount as drivers of DD when designing policies and interventions.

The findings highlight the importance of developing coherent models and approaches to effectively understand and structure analysis of drivers of DD. Additionally, the findings suggest the need for a broader conceptualisation of drivers of DD that includes social and institutional processes that act within the policy and other intervention design arenas.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Drivers of deforestation; anthropogenic climate change; forest degradation; Guatemala
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2019 09:21
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23511

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