Journal of Environmental Management

Dr. Julie Groce wearing a beige hat and shirt smiling in the foreground atop a granite ridge with bushland in the background

Vegetation Link's own Dr. Julie Groce, alongside her colleague Carly Cook, have published an article for Volume 305 of the Journal of Environmetal Management titled Maintaining landholder satisfaction and management of private protected areas established under conservation agreements. To say we're a little proud is an understatement!

The abstract reads:

"Permanent protection of biodiversity on private lands is achieved through various mechanisms around the world. In Australia, conservation covenants are widely used to dedicate private lands to biodiversity conservation. The permanency of covenants necessitates similarly long-term commitment by landholders to meet and maintain the conservation obligations under the covenant. To better understand the effectiveness of conservation covenants as a tool for on-going environmental stewardship, we examined the relationship between landholders’ initial motivations to covenant, their current perspectives on covenants and their management practices. We compared two groups of covenantors, those who initiated a covenant (original signees) and those who acquired a property with a covenant already in place (successive owners). We found the motivations and views of original signees and successive owners were similar overall, showing strong pro-environmental perspectives, and the majority of landholders were continuing to undertake management activities for the benefit of biodiversity. A small portion of respondents were dissatisfied with the covenant mechanism or covenant provider. This group tended to include successive owners and landholders who covenanted for regulatory reasons or financial incentives. Fewer dissatisfied landholders were actively managing the covenanted land compared to those who were satisfied. Considering the impending increase in successive owners as aging covenantors transfer ownership of their properties, the growing potential for covenants required under regulatory arrangements, and decreasing support within covenanting programs, this study identifies a risk that the satisfaction of landholders may decrease over time. Recognizing and addressing the challenges faced by landholders can bolster the commitment to covenant obligations and the longevity of covenants as a mechanism for positive conservation outcomes."

To view the full article, click here.

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