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Participatory policies and intrinsic motivation to conserve forest commons

Palmer, Charles ORCID: 0000-0002-1252-179X, lara Souza, Grace, Laray, Edilza, Viana, Virgilio and Hall, Anthony (2020) Participatory policies and intrinsic motivation to conserve forest commons. Nature Sustainability, 3 (8). 620 - 627. ISSN 2398-9629

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41893-020-0531-8


Participatory policies for natural resource management and poverty reduction have been implemented worldwide. Inclusive participation and empowerment potentially enhances intrinsic motivation to conserve resources. However, whether participation in activities for poverty reduction enhances intrinsic motivation for resource conservation is unknown. We evaluate the impact of participation, in activities to develop sustainable livelihoods, on the intrinsic motivation of forest-dwelling community members to conserve forest commons. As a component of Brazil’s Bolsa Floresta programme, these activities involve decision making, skills training and knowledge exchange related to sustainable livelihoods. Using a framed common-pool resource game with 160 community members in Amazonas State, we measure intrinsic motivation via members’ extent of cooperation in conservation of trees. We obtain an estimate of impact by exploiting a natural experiment, whereby the treatment group was offered the choice to participate in activities to develop sustainable livelihoods. We find that participation crowds in cooperative behaviour and, hence, intrinsic motivation to conserve forest commons. This result suggests that enabling participation and empowering community members in the development of sustainable livelihoods has a positive effect on conservation behaviour. Our results have critical implications for participatory policies with dual environment–development goals in settings where policy recipients are marginalized.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Springer Nature Limited
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Social Policy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2020 13:36
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2024 02:09

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