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Conservation Reasoning and Proposed Actions for the Protection of Threatened Plant Species: Insights From a Sample of Rural and Urban Children of Cyprus

Demetra Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, Konstantinos Korfiatis, Andreas Ch. Hadjichambis & Margarita Arianoutsou (2012): Conservation Reasoning and Proposed Actions for the Protection of Threatened Plant Species: Insights From a Sample of Rural and Urban Children of Cyprus, Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal

Abstract Investigating children’s beliefs and values toward threatened biodiversity can contribute to their understanding about nature and to the prevention of sociopolitical issues that may emerge when nature policy is being implemented. This study investigates children’s beliefs about threats to plants, the personal values associated with conservation, and actions children consider desirable regarding the conservation of three threatened plant species of Cyprus. Photos of threatened plants were used during interviews with 60 students (30 urban and 30 rural residents) aged 10–12 years. Results showed that participants deemphasized anthropogenic threats, while attitudes of individual responsibility were prevalent. Participants proposed actions of higher effectiveness mainly when they felt that they would be able to implement them. Findings suggest that an educational policy on threatened plant conservation should adopt a social character, focusing on attitudinal development and participatory learning approaches that will enhance children’s sense of ownership and efficacy.

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