Kamal, Sristi, & Malgorzata Grodzinska-Jurczak (2014). Should conservation of biodiversity involve private land? A Q methodological study in Poland to assess stakeholders’ attitude. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23, 2689-2704. (doi: 10.1007/s10531-014-0744-0)

Abstract: Biodiversity conservation is gradually shifting its dependency on public protected areas to take a more holistic ecosystem and landscape approach that includes private lands in addition to public lands. However, effective practice of biodiversity conservation on private land also depends on landowners’ attitude and their willingness to participate and cooperate. This study focuses on Poland where conservation on private land is a relatively new concept but it is slowly gaining recognition, especially after its accession into the European Union. It investigates and classifies the diverse attitudes among stakeholder groups in Poland toward biodiversity conservation on private land that are part of protected areas. Four primary stakeholder groups were considered: conservation and park authorities, local administrative officials, local conservation based NGOs and private landowners. The study was conducted across three sites that represented three different forms of protected areas in Poland: a national park, a landscape park and a Natura 2000 site. Q methodology, a research method from psychology and other social sciences, was used to classify human subjectivity in stakeholders’ attitude in a more systematic manner. The analysis yielded three predominant factors which highlighted the diversity in attitudes among the stakeholder groups based on their knowledge, concerns and experience in the subject. Additionally, it underlined the common recognition among all stakeholder groups for better policy support, stronger collaboration among stakeholder and more financial or compensatory support for landowners to make private land conservation more feasible. Understanding the differences in attitudes will help bridge the gap between conservation priority and conservation opportunity—a current challenge in the field of biodiversity conservation.

Sristi Kamal <sristi.kamal@uj.edu.pl> and Malgorzata Grodzinska-Jurczak <m.grodzinska-jurczak@uj.edu.pl> are in the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

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