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Linking human and ecosystem health: the benefits of community involvement in conservation groups

Moore, Megan, Townsend, Mardie and Oldroyd, John Charles 2006, Linking human and ecosystem health: the benefits of community involvement in conservation groups, Ecohealth, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 255-261, doi: 10.1007/s10393-006-0070-4.

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Title Linking human and ecosystem health: the benefits of community involvement in conservation groups
Author(s) Moore, Megan
Townsend, Mardie
Oldroyd, John Charles
Journal name Ecohealth
Volume number 3
Issue number 4
Start page 255
End page 261
Publisher Springer
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2006-12
ISSN 1612-9202
1612-9210
Keyword(s) conservation
community
health
well-being
social capital
Summary This study explored the health, well-being, and social capital benefits gained by community members who are involved in the management of land for conservation in six rural communities across Victoria. A total of 102 people participated in the study (64 males; 38 females) comprising 51 members of a community-based land management group and 51 controls matched by age and gender. Mixed methods were employed, including the use of an adapted version of Buckner’s (1988) Community Cohesion Scale. The results indicate that involvement in the management of land for conservation may contribute to both the health and well-being of members, and to the social capital of the local community. The members of the land management groups rated their general health higher, reported visiting the doctor less often, felt safer in the local community, and utilized the skills that they have acquired in their lifetime more frequently than the control participants. Male members reported the highest level of general health, and the greatest satisfaction with daily activities. Members also reported a greater sense of belonging to the local community and a greater willingness to work toward improving their community than their control counterparts. Of equal importance is evidence that involvement in voluntary conservation work constitutes a means of building social capital in rural communities which may help reduce some of the negative aspects of rural life.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10393-006-0070-4
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003951

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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