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Hyland J.J.,Bangor University | Jones D.L.,Bangor University | Parkhill K.A.,University of York | Barnes A.P.,Land economics Research Group | Williams A.P.,Bangor University
Agriculture and Human Values | Year: 2015

Ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture have been set by both national governments and their respective livestock sectors. We hypothesize that farmer self-identity influences their assessment of climate change and their willingness to implement measures which address the issue. Perceptions of climate change were determined from 286 beef/sheep farmers and evaluated using principal component analysis (PCA). The analysis elicits two components which evaluate identity (productivism and environmental responsibility), and two components which evaluate behavioral capacity to adopt mitigation and adaptation measures (awareness and risk perception). Subsequent Cluster Analyses reveal four farmer types based on the PCA scores. ‘The Productivist’ and ‘The Countryside Steward’ portray low levels of awareness of climate change, but differ in their motivation to adopt pro-environmental behavior. Conversely, both ‘The Environmentalist’ and ‘The Dejected’ score higher in their awareness of the issue. In addition, ‘The Dejected’ holds a high sense of perceived risk; however, their awareness is not conflated with an explicit understanding of agricultural GHG sources. With the exception of ‘The Environmentalist’, there is an evident disconnect between perceptions of agricultural emission sources and their contribution towards GHG emissions amongst all types. If such linkages are not conceptualized, it is unlikely that behavioral capacities will be realized. Effective communication channels which encourage action should target farmers based on the groupings depicted. Therefore, understanding farmer types through the constructs used in this study can facilitate effective and tailored policy development and implementation. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Source


Barnes A.P.,Land economics Research Group | Toma L.,Land economics Research Group
Climatic Change | Year: 2012

Dairy farming is an industry which could potentially mitigate a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However, perception and acceptance towards climate change is a significant barrier to voluntary adoption of best practice techniques. A number of countries have set targets for reducing emissions, of which Scotland has one of the most ambitious agendas. This paper presents results from an extensive survey of 540 dairy farmers, conducted in 2009, with the aim of understanding attitudes, values and intentions towards climate change. Only half of these farmers agreed that temperatures would rise in the future and this could significantly hinder adoption of voluntary measures to meet emissions targets. To explore this further a typology was developed on the responses to attitude and value statements, using principal components and cluster analysis methods. Six distinct types were found to exist which had a range of outlooks towards the impact of climate change in the future. However, five of the six types stated no intention to adopt practices which would reduce emissions. The typology approach supports diversified engagement strategies and a more innovation-led or resource maximisation view towards farming was expressed by several of these types. This may indicate that policy makers should focus on 'win-win' technologies as a means to effectively engage with these. However, a number of types were disengaged from the process which was driven by uncertainties towards projections for global warming and this needs to be addressed by both scientists and policy makers to ensure greater participation within the farming community. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Barnes A.P.,Land economics Research Group | Toma L.,Land economics Research Group | Willock J.,Queen Margaret University | Hall C.,Land economics Research Group
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2013

A set of choice related interventions exist for 'nudging' individuals towards socially desirable behaviours. Conversely, regulation, which we refer as 'budging', implies a reduction in the choice-set for these individuals. We compare the voluntary adoption of water quality management techniques between farmers within a designated Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) with those outside the zone across Scotland. Divergent groups emerge towards the purpose of the regulation, responsibility towards water pollution issues and compliance towards the regulation. There were significantly higher levels of adoption of some voluntary water quality measures by members of the non-designated group.We argue that engagement with these farmers should not focus purely on the biophysical division under which they are designated but should include the range of attitudinal alignments should include across designations in order to change social norms. This would be an approach for raising the social capital of farmers within a community and engender long-term behavioural change. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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