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Public attitudes and decision making in environmental resource planning — a perception gap

Alexander, KA ORCID: 0000-0001-8801-413X, Freeman, S and Angel, DL 2018 , 'Public attitudes and decision making in environmental resource planning — a perception gap' , Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 80 , pp. 38-43 , doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.11.012.

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Recent research has suggested that decision makers may misunderstand public attitudes regarding natural resource use. Using research on Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in six European countries, we illustrate one case in which this is true. We describe two studies: one revealing stakeholders’ beliefs about the environmental sustainability of IMTA in addition to their beliefs regarding public perceptions of the same; and a second investigating perceptions held by the public. In comparing the studies, we identified a gap between what decision-makers believe the public perceives and what the public actually perceives. There is reason to believe that this phenomenon is not sector-specific because policy and planning mechanisms for incorporating the views of stakeholders and the larger public tend to be the similar, regardless of sector. This may cause a dilemma for developing natural-resource based industries, as well as public policy. For this reason, we suggest, as an alternative to over-reliance on citizens’ initiative, making greater use of mechanisms that actively elicit opinions, such as deliberative consultation/engagement models that both inform and elicit pReferences

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Alexander, KA and Freeman, S and Angel, DL
Keywords: perception gap, public attitudes. natural resources, sustainability, governance
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Science and Policy
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN: 1462-9011
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.envsci.2017.11.012
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

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