Understanding the human value for local wildlife and how a connection with nature can contribute to well-being

Brock, Michael (2014) Understanding the human value for local wildlife and how a connection with nature can contribute to well-being. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The most popular way environmental economists have quantified the worth we hold for wildlife has been through calculating a value for conservation or preservation practices. These typically focus upon endangered or charismatic species, and to an existence or non-use value which somebody holds for the creature in question.
This thesis recognises that our value for wildlife may be more diverse than this. Indeed, it is highly feasible that people can derive an important yet cognitively disparate benefit from the animals and plants which they experience every day and which reside within close proximity to their homes.
Using a combination of inter-disciplinary theories and techniques, this doctorate seeks to explore how mankind receives ‘nature connectivity’ value from local wildlife. This work implies that by undertaking a ‘warden-style’ role when interacting with the flora and fauna which resides upon our doorsteps, humans can satisfy a separate and distinct aspect of their subjective well-being from that which they establish through classic conservation mechanisms. Furthermore, this satisfaction may act as a substitute for other local social activities which are dwindling in modern UK society, including the participation in community or religious groups.
The potential impact of these findings are that we may want to rethink the ways we approach the natural world if people are to maximise the participation in and welfare derived from their engagement with it. This includes attending to the behavioural and social infrastructure which can facilitate the opportunities for people to express and enjoy a connection with nature.
More generally, the conjectures made here indicate the importance of understanding not only if values exist for environmental entities, but comprehending when these will be dampened or elevated. Until this can be done successfully, environmental economists will forever be fighting a losing battle to retain natural resources at socially optimum thresholds.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 11:27
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 11:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53363


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