Does Knowledge of Environmental Organizations Translate into Pro-Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors? Evidence from an Urbanized Tropical Watershed


Suitable watershed management and stewardship practices are essential in the provision of fresh water services. Several factors contribute to the degradation of surface water resources, including deforestation along coastal lowlands and weak regulatory environments. These conditions are observed in the Manatí river basin, a tropical urban watershed in Puerto Rico. We will explore the association between knowledge of environmental organizations and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors among those who benefit directly from ecosystem services in the Manatí watershed. Currently established measures of environmental consciousness and attitudes were tested to ensure they were not only appropriate for the local culture, but also comparable to a broader cultural context. A 202 person stratified sample with a convenience component was obtained at three watershed sites in Puerto Rico during the summer of 2015. An exploratory analysis revealed that knowledge of environmental organizations is associated with pro-environmental behaviors such as recycling. Less knowledge of environmental organizations and espousing negative views of their role were associated with pessimism toward the possibility of changing the environment through personal behavioral change. Understanding how users' attitudes and behaviors are influenced by knowledge of pro-environmental organizations can help identify effective organizational roles as well as volunteering and stewardship efforts to implement watershed management and conservation strategies.

Author Information
Luis E. Santiago, University of Puerto Rico, USA
Ariam Torres, University of Puerto Rico, USA
Alisa Ortiz, University of Puerto Rico, USA

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2016
Stream: Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Management: Freshwater, Oceans and Seas

This paper is part of the ACSEE2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon