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

Winter, Susan Jean (2003-12)

Thesis (MScConsEcol) -- Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: 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.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif beskryf die bevindings van 'n opname waarin die houdings en gedrag van private grondeienaars ten opsigte van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld ondersoek word. Altesaam 94% van die oorspronklike renosterveld, 'n hoogs bedreigde, grasagtige struikveld in die laaglande van die Kaapse Planteryk (KPR) , is reeds getransformeer en verander. Persoonlike onderhoude is met 36 boere in die Overbergstreek van die Wes-Kaap gevoer en 'n vraelys is aan hulle gestel. Die "Statistical Package for Social Scientists" (SPSS) is gebruik om die volgende aspekte kwantitatief te beskryf: die bestuur en benutting van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld; die waarde wat toegeskryf word aan hierdie renosterveld; asook grondeienaars se kennis oor die bewaringsbelang van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld en hul bereidwilligheid om dit te bewaar. Houdings jeens aansporingsmiddele om bewaring te bevorder, bewareas en die provinsiale bewaringsowerhede is ook ondersoek. Private grondeienaars se bereidwilligheid om betrokke te raak by bewaringswerk is verder ondersoek deur gebruik te maak van die SPSS-kruistabelleringsanalise. In vergelyking met boere wat nie bewaring ondersteun nie, is gevind dat die meer bewaringsgesinde boere jonger is, nie noodwendig 'n beter opvoeding het nie, en groter plase (>500 ha) besit waarop meer brokkies oorblywende Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld (>300 ha) gevind word. Grondeienaars se houding jeens Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld was grootliks negatief. Dit is as gevolg van sekere verwante plante en diere wat deur boere as probleme ervaar word, en omdat dit nie ekonomies lewensvatbaar is om renosterveld te behou nie. Die beskikbaarheidstelling van aansporingsmiddele (waarvan hulpverlening met omheinings en grondbestuur die aantreklikste was), en 'n toename in landbou-voorligting is egter praktiese en positiewe dryfvere wat bewaring kan bevorder. Daar is ook 'n behoefte vir meer opvoeding van grondeienaars oor aspekte soos die skaarsheid van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld, sodat die verdere transformasie van oorblywende fragmente voorkom kan word. Die tweede gedeelte van die studie was daarop gemik om 'n gebruikersvriendelike indeks te ontwikkel waarmee die bewaringsgesindheid van grondeienaars teenoor die bewaring van renosterveld gemeet kan word. Deur gebruik te maak van Spearman se rangorde-korrelasies en Cronbach se Alpha is die data aan 'n herhalende item-analise onderwerp. Die resultate het 'n indeks met twee dimensies en 'n Cronbach Alpha-koëffisiënt van 0.67 gelewer. Die dimensies of komponente van bewaringsgesindheid jeens renosterveld het onder meer ingesluit: i) 'n grondeienaar se opvatting oor die moontlike voordeel van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld en ii) sy/haar bereidwilligheid om dit bewaar. Die gemiddelde telling vir bewaringsgesindheid was 0.6 (± 0.03), wat in die algemeen 'n simpatieke houding jeens die bewaring van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld onder grondeienaars aandui. Hiervolgens blyk dit dat alhoewel heelwat grondeienaars weens die lae landbouwaarde van renosterveld nie 'n hoë waarde op hierdie plantegroeitipe plaas nie, hulle bereidwilligheid om dit te bewaar soms verwagtinge oortref. Dit is dalk 'n moontlike verklaring vir die bogemiddelde gemiddelde bewaringsgesindheidtelling. 'n Variansie-analise het 'n noemenswaardige, positiewe korrelasie met bewaringsgesindheid ten opsigte van die volgende veranderlikes getoon: i) area van Overberg Kustelike Renosterveld; ii) die grondeienaar se moontlike lidmaatskap van 'n bewaringsgroep; iii) die teenwoordigheid van ekotoerisme-bedrywighede op die eiendom; en iv) die tydperk wat die eiendom al in besit van die grondeienaar se familie is. Die voorgestelde gebruik van die indeks is toepaslik omdat die indeks-tellings (wat vir gebruik in 'n Geografiese Inligtingstelsel databasis aangepas kan word) bewaringslui kan help met besluite random die toekenning van hulpbronne. Die aanname is dat individuele grondeienaars wie hoë tellings aangeteken het, met alle waarskynlikheid meer geredelik aan bewaringsinisiatiewe sal wil deelneem.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18711
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