ASSESSING A SOCIAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN ON WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN NAM ET - PHOU LOUEY NATIONAL PROTECTED AREA, LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
Reducing, or even eliminating, poaching in Nam Et – Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA), in Laos, has been on the agenda of involved conservation parties for some time, and understanding local people’s intentions related to reporting poaching was considered paramount to ultimately modifying anti-conservation into pro-conservation behaviors. I reviewed literature about conservation-related applications of Rare’s Theory of Change (TOC) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). I found that each of these two theories was useful on some level in addressing conservation behaviors. Next, I employed Rare’s TOC to assess a social marketing campaign (SMC) geared towards inducing people to report poaching more frequently. The SMC apparently did not affect an increase, but rather seemed to result in a decrease in poaching reporting, possibly because the SMC may have raised additional questions related to poaching enforcement and other issues. Also, the SMC did not appear to affect people’s environmental knowledge, attitude to report poaching, and perceived barriers to reporting, all considered pre-stages to changing people’s conservation related behavior. As similar changes in attitudes and perceived barriers occurred in both treatment and control areas, there is a possibility that communication between people from these areas obscured results or, that a third variable (e.g. time, politics) led to this change, and the SMC had nothing to do with it. I also investigated the utility of applying TPB in determining local people’s intentions to report poaching, as well as determining how TPB constructs related to each other according to the model. While some of the TPB constructs related to each other according to the model, other constructs did not, and TPB ultimately failed to predict people’s intention to report poaching. Family size emerged as an important factor correlated with reporting poaching, as it perhaps reflects socio-economic differences and/or factors relating to social network size. Overall, people may have perceived possible costs of reporting poaching, such as upsetting community members, to be greater than potential benefits, such as monetary rewards. Implications of social network size and perhaps interpersonal communication need to be better understood to increase effectiveness of future conservation initiatives in NEPL NPA. Such conservation initiatives should involve employing SMC alternatives, such as engaging entire communities in reporting-poaching, supplementing cognitive with technical approaches to reduce poaching, and fostering alternative pro-conservation behaviors that improve people’s socio-economic situations and thus alleviate poaching pressures.
Environmental education; theory of planned behavior; Lao PDR; Nam Et - Phou Louey NPA; Poaching; Social marketing campaign; Theory of Change; Natural resource management; Wildlife conservation
Krasny, Marianne Elizabeth
Stedman, Richard Clark; Lassoie, James Philip; Schuldt, Jonathon Paul
Ph. D., Natural Resources
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis