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The role of established voluntary neighbourhood groups in disseminating environmental information

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McDonnell, Jennifer (1998) The role of established voluntary neighbourhood groups in disseminating environmental information. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the role of voluntary established neighbourhood groups
in the dissemination of environmental educational material. It used a
participatory case study approach to involve eight neighbourhood groups in
an education program disseminating information about wood-smoke
pollution and how smoke could be minimised through correct woodheater
operation. A primary goal of the program was to determine whether or not an
environmental issue such as wood-smoke pollution could be linked in and
'piggybacked' on established groups which have other principal interests.
An information kit about the problems associated with wood-smoke and clear
steps that can be taken to reduce wood-smoke was prepared and given to
eight neighbourhood groups in Hobart and Launceston, Tasmania. The
information kit comprised of overheads for a seminar, an information
booklet, and a pamphlet. The groups were asked to disseminate the
information in any way they thought fit. The researcher acted as a facilitator
and was available to participate in education efforts and provided support to
the groups.
The neighbourhood groups were surveyed to see what initiatives they took to
distribute and promote the wood-smoke educational material. Observations
were also made about the group processes within neighbourhood groups
involved in the case study. The outcomes of the case study indicated that a
considerable multiplier effect can occur by using established neighbourhood
groups and their existing communication networks and interpersonal
channels. The education activities carried out by the neighbourhood groups
included public seminars on the topic of wood-smoke pollution, a door
knocking campaign with wood-smoke pamphlets from the information kit,
and education information was published in numerous newsletters. Overall
the findings from the thesis indicate that established neighbourhood groups
are willing to take environmental issues 'on-board' that are outside their
principal interest. Observations of the groups that became more fully involved in the education
program were encouraging, and a range of group characteristics were
identified which would be useful to target suitable neighbourhood groups for
future studies. Assessment of the information kit showed that the pamphlet
and seminar materials were of high quality. A telephone survey conducted as
part of the assessment of the case study activities revealed that council
newsletters may have limited success as a means of disseminating
information.
This thesis has revealed that there are neighbourhood groups in the wider
community that have established infrastructure, communication networks
and channels that can benefit the distribution of environmental information.
Supplying information to these groups on urban environmental issues such as
the wood-smoke issue may provide a double benefit. Environmental
education could be spread in an interpersonal manner and public interest and
support for neighbourhood groups may increase.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Keywords: Citizens' associations, Environmental education, Environmental protection, Wood
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1998 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

3 pamphlets in back pocket. Thesis (M.Env.Mgt)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 02:39
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2017 05:35
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