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Farmers' perceptions of private eucalypt plantations in Northwest Tasmania

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Kajitani, M (2007) Farmers' perceptions of private eucalypt plantations in Northwest Tasmania. Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Eucalypt plantations for timber production have been rapidly expanding in Northwest
Tasmania. It is important to understand farmers' perceptions of eucalypt plantations as
they are the key decision makers regarding land use options in the area. This research aims
to evaluate whether eucalypt plantations are a positive land use option from a farmer
perspective in Northwest Tasmania.
A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data on farmers' behaviour and attitudes
towards plantations. The questionnaire was developed based on other studies and current
policy settings related to eucalypt plantations, and delivered using a snowball method. The
questions asked in the survey were about plantations' impacts, plantation policy settings
and frameworks and background information about participants. Most results were
statistically analysed.
It was found that based on average responses farmers in the region generally consider the
impacts of eucalypt plantations on the economy, society, and the environment as negative.
Significant differences were observed between plantation owners and non-owners with
farmers who own plantations valuing the benefits more strongly and considering the costs
to be less significant. This indicates that their decisions on establishing plantations are
influenced by their attitudes towards plantations. Policy settings also had an influence on
their decisions, but to a lesser extent. Regulations for eucalypt plantations influence most
negatively farmers who currently do not own plantations, while Whole Farm Planning,
economic incentives and Private Timber Reserves encouraged others to establish
plantations.
The research generally supported the findings of many other studies about eucalypt
plantations, although some potential benefits of plantations described for other regions
were not identified for Northwest Tasmania. The findings of the research were also
consistent with the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour, which provided the
theoretical basis for the research.
Further studies would be desirable to test the accuracy of their perceptions. This research
could provide useful information for developing policies and strategies to solve problems
and investigate better management options. It could also strengthen analytical frameworks
and provide a useful instrument for studies on similar problems.

Item Type: Thesis (Coursework Master)
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2007 the Author

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 15:18
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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