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An interview methodology for exploring the values that community leaders assign to multiple-use landscapes.

Darla Hatton MacDonald, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Rosalind Bark, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Andrea MacRae, University of Adelaide
Tina Kalivas, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University
Agnes Grandgirard, Pôle Eau-Territoires-Ressources, Service Milieux et Risques Naturels
Sarah Strathearn, University of Adelaide


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We report on a grounded theory research methodology to elicit the values that underpin community leaders’ advice on regional natural resource management. In-depth, semi-structured in-person interviews of 56 community leaders permitted respondents to explore their values and to elucidate some trade-offs. Furthermore, analysis of the coded transcripts provides evidence of the anthropocentric nature of values, and the importance of people, communities, and physical infrastructure. As well, the relative silence by community NRM leaders on supporting and regulating ecosystem services may reveal a lack of understanding of these functions rather than a discord in values. The tested methodology provides one approach to understanding the values of important advisory groups that are increasingly being required to guide regional agencies that implement natural resource management policy. Results indicate that, in practice, the values expressed may at times be confrontingly anthropocentric, although those interviewed also expressed existence values. Greater understanding of values is a prerequisite to the design of improved natural resource management.

Key words

Australia; community leaders; ecosystem services; grounded theory; natural resource management; values

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087