University Of Tasmania

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Do financial incentives motivate conservation on private land?

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 03:07 authored by Yasue, M, James KirkpatrickJames Kirkpatrick
Financial incentives may aid in conservation if they broaden the numbers and types of landowners who engage in protection and conservation management on private land. We examined the hypotheses that financial incentives (1) encourage participation of people with lower autonomous motivation towards conservation and lower self-transcendence (i.e. benevolence and universalism) values compared to participants in similar programmes without such incentives; (2) enable more on-ground works and activities; and (3) enhance feelings of competence and autonomy with respect to conservation actions. We surveyed 193 landowners in private land conservation programmes in Tasmania, only some of whom had received financial incentives. All of these landowners had high self-transcendence values, and autonomous motivation towards the environment. Owners of large properties and participants with higher self-enhancement values, lower self-transcendence values and lower autonomous motivation towards the environment were slightly more likely to engage in incentive programmes. However, people who received funding did not report more conservation actions than people in programmes without incentives. Owners of larger properties receiving incentives reported fewer conservation actions. Thus financial incentives probably recruited a few into nature conservation who may not have otherwise engaged, but did not result in a more intensive level of conservation management. Our results caution against the blanket-use of incentives amongst landowners who may already have values and motivations consistent with environmental action, and point to the need for further research on the socio-psychological characteristics of landowners, to examine the contextual factors that influence the effects of conservation payments.


Publication title







School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Cambridge Univ Press

Place of publication

40 West 20Th St, New York, USA, Ny, 10011-4211

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Fauna & Flora International

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Protection and conservation of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments