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Open AccessArticle

Expanding the Role of Biodiversity in Laypeople’s Lives: The View of Communicators

1
Science Communication and Society, Leiden University, 2333 BE Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Naturalis Biodiversity Center, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2768; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072768
Received: 3 January 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 1 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-Ecological Interactions and Sustainable Development)
Biodiversity is a fundamental part of sustainable development, yet it is threatened by numerous factors associated with human population growth. The current lack of broad-based support for biodiversity conservation may be explained by the widening gap between people and nature. In order to conserve biodiversity, people should be engaged in biodiversity, yet it is not yet clear what potential is present in highly urbanized environments. We conducted semi-structured interviews with twelve biodiversity communicators in the Netherlands, a highly urbanized country, and used their perceptions and experiences to explore motivations, opportunities and challenges for expanding the role of biodiversity in people’s lives in an increasingly urban world. Overall, the interviewees perceived the current role of biodiversity in laypeople’s lives to be too limited, but they were positive about the potential to expand the role. Based on communicators’ perceptions potential lies in a combination of direct exposure to biodiversity outdoors, the media, and education. Furthermore, strategically designed communication is also expected to play an essential part in opening people’s eyes for biodiversity. The results are valuable both at national and international levels, as they can motivate and aid professionals operating in urbanized contexts at reaching out to their audiences about biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity communicators; qualitative study; lay perceptions; urban biodiversity; best practices; effective communication; biodiversity awareness biodiversity communicators; qualitative study; lay perceptions; urban biodiversity; best practices; effective communication; biodiversity awareness
MDPI and ACS Style

Hooykaas, M.J.D.; Schilthuizen, M.; Smeets, I. Expanding the Role of Biodiversity in Laypeople’s Lives: The View of Communicators. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2768.

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