Communication and Education

The Principles of Pride: The science behind the mascots

Butler P, Green K, Galvin D. The Principles of Pride: The science behind the mascots. Arlington, Virginia: Rare; 2013. Available from: http://www.rare.org/sites/default/files/Principles%2520of%2520Pride%25202013%2520lo%2520res.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

Rare trains local conservation leaders all over the world to change the way their communities relate to nature. Its signature method is called a “Pride campaign” – so named because it inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique, while also introducing viable alternatives to environmentally destructive practices.

Pride campaigns are based largely on principles of social marketing, a field that draws on the behavioral sciences and uses techniques of commercial marketing to change behavior to achieve a specific social goal (Andreasen 1995; Kotler and Zaltman 1971). Until recently, the social marketing approach has been applied mostly to the field of public health, however conservationists have begun to embrace it as a way to move beyond traditional approaches to raising awareness. The principles of social marketing teach that to change behavior we must first identify and understand the motivations of the specific group of people whose behavior we want to change. The approach also highlights the need to appreciate the barriers that may prevent the group from changing their behavior, regardless of their knowledge of or attitude toward the issue at hand. Many of the more important tenets of the behavioral sciences and social marketing inform the Pride approach to behavior change.

Pride campaigns are run by local partners over a two to three-year period while they are trained and closely supported by Rare. At its core, a Pride campaign inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique, while also promoting alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Rare’s partners borrow proven private sector marketing tools – like mascots, billboards, public events and radio shows – to promote more sustainable behaviors that benefit people and nature. Often times, the first thing people recognize about Rare Pride campaigns are the charismatic mascots creatively designed by partners to represent a flagship species for each and every campaign.

The following pages outline the guiding principles of Rare’s Pride program and the scientific foundations upon which they are based. It is not a step-by-step manual on how to design and implement a Pride campaign, but rather a synopsis designed to help staff, partners and other stakeholders understand how and why Pride works to change behaviors so that people and nature thrive. Entire volumes can and have been written on the extensive theory that informs these principles – duplicating that effort here is impossible. Rather, the Principles of Pride are a quick guide to the essence of Rare’s social marketing approach, its underlying theory, and the key principles which guide it. It is based on over 25 years of lessons learned from more than 250 Pride campaigns in 57 countries across the globe. Where relevant, references are cited throughout the document to enable the curious reader to explore topics in greater detail. 

Anthropomorphized species as tools for conservation: utility beyond prosocial, intelligent and suffering species

Root-Bernstein M, Douglas L, Smith A, Veríssimo D. Anthropomorphized species as tools for conservation: utility beyond prosocial, intelligent and suffering species. Biodiversity and Conservation [Internet]. 2013 ;22(8):1577 - 1589. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10531-013-0494-4
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Anthropomorphism has recently emerged in the literature as a useful tool for conservation. Within the current conservation literature, description of the development of anthropomorphisms and the range of species that can be anthropomorphized overlooks established and emerging evidence from anthropological and other social science studies of human–animal relationships. This research shows that people anthropomorphize a very broad range of species, including plants. We discuss how people construct anthropomorphic meanings around species, through a diversity of mechanisms and with both positive and negative effects. We then review the many gradations and forms of anthropomorphism, and some related conceptions in non-Western cultures, which have different types of utility for conservation. Finally we discuss cases where animals are anthropomorphized but with negative outcomes for human-animal interactions and conservation. Limiting the use of anthropomorphism in conservation to prosocial, intelligent, suffering animals risks suggesting that other species are not worthy of conservation because they are not like humans in the “right” ways. It would also mean overlooking the application of a powerful tool to the promotion of low-profile species with high biological conservation value. We emphasize that negative outcomes and conflicts with ecosystem-level conservation actions are also possible and need to be carefully managed. Use of anthropomorphism in conservation must take into account how people engage with species and attribute value to their characteristics.

Using social marketing concepts to promote the integration of systematic conservation plans in land-use planning in South Africa

Wilhelm-Rechmann A, Cowling RM, Difford M. Using social marketing concepts to promote the integration of systematic conservation plans in land-use planning in South Africa. Oryx [Internet]. 2014 ;48(01):71 - 79. Available from: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Local land-use planning procedures are increasingly recognized as potentially crucial to ensure off-reserve biodiversity protection. Mainstreaming systematic conservation planning maps in these decision-making procedures has been proposed as a mechanism to achieve this. However, research is lacking on how to convince officials and politicians to change their behaviour and include the maps in their decision-making. Social marketing is a tool commonly used to effect behaviour change in many sectors but its application in conservation is limited. In the formative research phase of a social marketing study we interviewed locally elected politicians in four coastal municipalities in South Africa. We found that conservation and environmental issues play virtually no role in their work; however, they do attribute value to the natural environment. Land-use planning procedures are considered important but dysfunctional and the role of conservation is perceived negatively in their municipalities. Their information-seeking behaviour is clearly localized. We present a marketing analysis of these results and argue for improving the attractiveness of the product: the maps should be more option- than veto-based and should identify locally relevant ecosystem services. Locally significant information should be provided at a time and location convenient for politicians. We conclude that engagement with councillors should be proactive, refer to land-use planning and services from ‘nature’ rather than ‘biodiversity’ and use terminology and information that is locally oriented and meaningful from the politician's perspective. The analysis highlights the usefulness of the marketing approach for conservation.

The flipside of the flagship

Douglas LR, Winkel G. The flipside of the flagship. Biodiversity and Conservation [Internet]. 2014 ;23(4):979 - 997. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10531-014-0647-0
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Flagships remain a key approach for motivating and mobilizing conservation actions and interests. This study quantified attitudes towards two endemic globally threatened Amazona parrots, one of which was developed as a popular flagship in the 1980s. We used a mixed methods approach that included qualitative and quantitative interviewing and a newspaper content analysis to provide empirical evidence that the process of creating this conservation flagship inadvertently fostered negative attitudes and behaviors towards its non-flagship congener. We argue that, similar to other commercially branded goods and services, popular conservation flagships can produce powerful standards of comparison that may decrease the attractiveness and public acceptance of non-flagship species. These results parallel findings from the fields of consumer research and marketing psychology showing that “top-of-the-line” products may hurt sibling models. We therefore suggest that this is an important unintended consequence of the flagship approach and encourage the conservation community to learn from commercial brand developers who have been wary of the potential for exclusionary contrast effects of flagship brand deployment.

Using a Systematic Approach to Select Flagship Species for Bird Conservation

Veríssimo D, PONGILUPPI TATIANA, SANTOS MARIACINTIAM, DEVELEY PEDROF, Fraser I, Smith RJ, MACMILAN DOUGLASC. Using a Systematic Approach to Select Flagship Species for Bird Conservation. Conservation Biology [Internet]. 2014 ;28(1):269 - 277. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12142/abstract
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Conservation marketing campaigns that focus on flagship species play a vital role in biological diversity conservation because they raise funds and change people's behavior. However, most flagship species are selected without considering the target audience of the campaign, which can hamper the campaign's effectiveness. To address this problem, we used a systematic and stakeholder-driven approach to select flagship species for a conservation campaign in the Serra do Urubu in northeastern Brazil. We based our techniques on environmental economic and marketing methods. We used choice experiments to examine the species attributes that drive preference and latent-class models to segment respondents into groups by preferences and socioeconomic characteristics. We used respondent preferences and information on bird species inhabiting the Serra do Urubu to calculate a flagship species suitability score. We also asked respondents to indicate their favorite species from a set list to enable comparison between methods. The species’ traits that drove audience preference were geographic distribution, population size, visibility, attractiveness, and survival in captivity. However, the importance of these factors differed among groups and groups differed in their views on whether species with small populations and the ability to survive in captivity should be prioritized. The popularity rankings of species differed between approaches, a result that was probably related to the different ways in which the 2 methods measured preference. Our new approach is a transparent and evidence-based method that can be used to refine the way stakeholders are engaged in the design of conservation marketing campaigns.

Evaluating Conservation Flagships and Flagship Fleets

Veríssimo D, Fraser I, Girão W, Campos AA, Smith RJ, MacMillan DC. Evaluating Conservation Flagships and Flagship Fleets. Conservation Letters [Internet]. 2014 ;7(3):263 - 270. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12070/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Flagship species are widely used in conservation but this single species approach has attracted criticism. One response is the “flagship fleet,” which uses several flagship species in one conservation marketing campaign. However, marketing theory suggests multibrand campaigns can be counter-productive. Here, we develop an evaluation strategy for conservation flagships, and use it to: measure the effectiveness of an existing bird flagship species; detect whether additional species are needed; and, if appropriate, identify which species should be added to create a flagship fleet. We show the bird species has high levels of visibility and recognition, but has traits that appeal to only half the target audience. We also show that this shortcoming could be overcome by forming a flagship fleet based on adding an endemic mammal or fish species but there are additional strategic considerations that must be taken into account, namely in terms of costs and potential future conflicts.

The Role of Education for Sustainable Development in Maltese Marine Protected Areas: A Qualitative Study

Mifsud MC, Verret M. The Role of Education for Sustainable Development in Maltese Marine Protected Areas: A Qualitative Study. In: Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level. Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level. Springer International Publishing; 2016. pp. 109 - 121. Available from: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-26734-0_8
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Book Chapter

The marine environment plays a crucial role in sustaining life on Earth as well as supporting human well-being. An array of ecosystem services are obtained from the marine environment and efforts have been taken to safeguard these invaluable services, namely through the institution of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The success of MPAs depends heavily on social factors, and therefore Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) can play a vital role in supporting MPAs by fostering related environmental knowledge, attitudes and values among local communities. This study explored the perceptions of key stakeholders in Malta with regards to the current state of play surrounding MPAs and ESD as well as its future direction. The research methodology had qualitative underpinnings and included 12 extended semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders. The study found that there is a lack of ESD addressing the marine environment in Malta but that stakeholders perceive ESD as being of critical importance in achieving effective MPAs. The research indicates that cooperation between stakeholders is the preferred approach to managing the MPAs. Based on the research findings, it is recommended that ESD surrounding the marine environment be further promoted within Malta through various means in order to promote MPA success and increase the engagement of local communities in marine conservation efforts. A contextualized Education Centered Management (ECM) model that illustrates the various connections and influences that lead to an effective MPA is proposed.

The rise of the scientific fisherman: Mobilising knowledge and negotiating user rights in the Devon inshore brown crab fishery, UK

Dubois M, Hadjimichael M, Raakjær J. The rise of the scientific fisherman: Mobilising knowledge and negotiating user rights in the Devon inshore brown crab fishery, UK. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2016 ;65:48 - 55. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15003838
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This article draws on a process of collaborative research associated with the brown crab fishery in Devon, UK. It charts the mobilisation of knowledge in the struggle over ‘ownership’ and influence in the coastal zone. Using methods from the social and behavioural sciences the article outlines different perspectives on a number of key contestations across the domains of sustainable use and a new conservation agenda ushered in by the introduction of European and UK national marine spatial planning tools for the South Coast of England. Along with their introduction and the ‘opening up’ of marine space, new opportunities emerge for fishers, who, by building alliances with scientists and managers, and by drawing upon the methods and materials of science, are better able to negotiate for their own interests over access and control of marine resources. The paper concludes by outlining the emergence of a new type of scientifically literate fisherman, a ‘political actor with a new crew’, better able to implement collective actions towards the sustainable use of brown crab resources.

Bait Shop Owners as Opinion Leaders: A Test of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Pro-Environmental Outreach Behaviors and Intentions

Howell AP, Shaw BR, Alvarez G. Bait Shop Owners as Opinion Leaders: A Test of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Pro-Environmental Outreach Behaviors and Intentions. Environment and Behavior [Internet]. 2015 ;47(10):1107 - 1126. Available from: http://eab.sagepub.com/cgi/doi/10.1177/0013916514539684
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Boaters and anglers who move between bodies of water are a primary cause of the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), which are non-native plants or animals that pose a threat to water quality, disrupt ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, and cause economic harm. Research suggests that engagement with these individuals through opinion leaders within their social networks has the potential to encourage attitude and behavior change. Using the theory of planned behavior as a framework, this article explores factors that may enhance AIS outreach behaviors among opinion leaders, namely, bait shop owners and their employees, to communicate with their customers. The results of this study suggest that perceptions about normative social pressures are a strong predictor of intentions to engage in outreach activities, but perceived behavioral control is a stronger predictor of actual engagement with their customers.

Impact evaluation to communicate and improve conservation non-governmental organization performance: the case of Conservation International

McKinnon MC, Mascia MB, Yang W, Turner WR, Bonham C. Impact evaluation to communicate and improve conservation non-governmental organization performance: the case of Conservation International. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences [Internet]. 2015 ;370(1681). Available from: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1681/20140282
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The rising prominence of more rigorous approaches to measuring conservation outcomes has included greater adoption of impact evaluation by conservation non-governmental organizations (CNGOs). Within the scientific literature, however, little consideration has been given to the unique and specific roles of CNGOs in advancing impact evaluation. We explore these issues in the context of one CNGO—Conservation International (CI)—and its experiences producing, using and funding impact evaluations over the past decade. We examine the contributions of impact evaluation to CI's mission at three different stages of CI's strategy: innovation, demonstration and amplification. Furthermore, we review incentives and barriers encountered by CI in its 10+ years' experience in impact evaluation. More coordinated and strategic use of impact evaluation by CNGOs would facilitate learning and promote accountability across the conservation community.

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