Communicating and changing human behaviour for biodiversity conservation

To be most effective, conservation decisions need to consider people’s values, attitudes and behaviours. We are therefore interested in understanding these human elements of biodiversity conservation in order to inform public and stakeholder engagement strategies.

We use three approaches to explore this human side of conservation: behaviour change, strategic communications (including message framing), and education.

Examples of questions we are currently working on:

  • Prioritising human behaviours and behavioural interventions for more effective conservation on a local and national scale? (Matthew Selinske, Postdoctoral researcher)

  • What are the environmental and cultural benefits of reconnecting primary school students with local biodiversity and cultural heritage? (Natasha Ward, Michael Harrison, Sarah Bekessy) Link to NESP project description

  • Message framing for biodiversity conservation (Alex Kusmanoff)

  • Are optimistic or pessimistic messages more effective in inspiring behaviour change? (Lindall Kidd, PhD candidate)

  • How can we be more strategic about planning and designing conservation messages? (Emily Gregg, PhD candidate)


This theme was supported by the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub (Project 6.3) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.

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