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A missing piece of the puzzle of on-farm freshwater restoration: What motivates land managers to record and report land management actions?

journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-21, 03:54 authored by Kati Doehring, Nancy Longnecker, Cathy Cole, Roger Young, Christina Robb
Worldwide, progress has been made toward managing productive lands more sustainably to improve freshwater health. However, a lack of national guidance for environmental reporting and recording means that it is not possible to quantify consistently which land management actions that help improve water quality have been implemented, where, when, and to what extent. This situation suggests that information on the effectiveness of these actions is missing or fragmented. Systematic recording and reporting of land management actions is an important piece of a large freshwater restoration puzzle. We investigated what motivates New Zealand land managers to record their actions and report them to their networks by conducting 23 semi-structured interviews. Between February and November 2020, we spoke with food producers, New Zealand Indigenous people of the land tāngata whenua community members, and government and industry representatives. The key themes that described motivators for these land managers to record and report land management actions were collective engagement (e.g., working with catchment care groups), identity and social norms (e.g., being a "socially approved" farmer), and efficient farm management (e.g., using one simple recording tool for multiple purposes to save time). While these findings will be broadly germane to international contexts, they are being used specifically to inform the development of a proposed National Register of Land Management Actions in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's Our Land and Water National Science Challenge (Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai) as part of project Register of Land Management Actions


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  • English

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Journal title

Ecology & Society

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