Trends In Community Support For Soil Conservation 1985-1994

In the past soil conservation may have been perceived primarily as a problem for the rural landdholder. It is now generally accepted that both the causes and mitigation of land degradation involve the whole community, both urban and rural. The importance that all sectors of the community place on the issue, will strongly influence both the availability of funds and the urgency with which the problems are addressed. This paper describes a study undertaken between September and November 1994 which obtained views from 1200 households across New South Wales. Households were selected by stratified random sampling methods from high, medium and low income suburbs of Sydney, country towns across NSW, and rural villages. Additionally, a broad sample of primary producers were surveyed. as were sample households from an area regarded as being a source of considerable onsite and offsite land degradation. The paper reports on the community's priorities for different kinds of resource and environmental management, and their relative willingness to pay for land conservation. These 1994 results are then compared with results obtained in similar research reported by Sinden (1985) and Yapp, Young and Sinden (1990).

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