Special Issue "Rescaling Conditions Enabling Pro-Environmental Behavior in the Light of Behavioral Geography and Environmental Psychology"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Geography and Social Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Heiko Faust
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Geography, Division of Human Geography, University of Goettingen, Goldschmidtstr. 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Interests: social geography; sustainable resource use; land use science; social-ecological transformation
Prof. Dr. Susanne Stoll-Kleemann
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Ludwig Jahnstr. University of Greifswald, , 17489 Greifswald, Germany
Interests: behavioral geography; sociol-ecological transformation; behavior change; climate and environmental justice; sustainable land management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pro-environmental behavior can be approached from various disciplines and perspectives. One particular discipline is behavioral geography, which attempts to understand human activity in space, place, and environment by studying it at the disaggregate level of analysis—at the level of the individual person. Behavioral geographers analyze data on the behavior of individual people, recognizing that individuals vary. A key tenet of behavioral geography holds that models of human activity and interaction can be improved by incorporating more realistic assumptions about human behavior. Another important discipline in this context is environmental psychology which complements the view of behavioural geography in particular by using different methodological approaches such as experiments.

To identify opportunities and constraints for behavioral change, we will approach the spatial relevance of actors’ behavior on individual and societal levels. Therefore, we want to investigate individual indicators (i.e., values, knowledge, perception, and communication) as well as societal contexts (i.e., institutions, policies, economy, and culture). We invite quantitative as well as qualitative (case) studies as well as meta-studies that highlight the effective power and spatial relevance of pro-environmental behavior.

Prof. Dr. Heiko Faust
Prof. Dr. Susanne Stoll-Kleemann
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Behavioral Geography
  • Human behavior
  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Behavioral change
  • Individual perceptions, initiatives, and constraints
  • Social-ecological transformation
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Environmental Justice

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Factors for Self-Protective Behavior against Extreme Weather Events in the Philippines
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6010; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156010 - 27 Jul 2020
Abstract
We report the results on factors for self-protective behavior against weather extremes such as extreme heat events, drought, and heavy precipitation. Our research draws on the Model of Private Proactive Adaptation to Climate Change (MPPACC). We developed a survey instrument incorporating the main [...] Read more.
We report the results on factors for self-protective behavior against weather extremes such as extreme heat events, drought, and heavy precipitation. Our research draws on the Model of Private Proactive Adaptation to Climate Change (MPPACC). We developed a survey instrument incorporating the main aspects of the MPPACC and other factors from related research work that are assumed to explain why some people show self-protective behavior while others do not. The interview survey was conducted with a non-random sample of 210 respondents from three Philippine cities, namely Baguio, Dagupan, and Tuguegarao. The results reveal the importance of adaptation appraisal, including the perceived feasibility of self-protective measures, the perceived adaptation knowledge, and, with limitations, the perception of actions taken by neighbors or friends. We also show that perceptions of past weather trends are closely linked to risk perception but are only partly corroborated by weather station data. Implications for fostering self-protective behavior are making use of time windows right after an extreme weather event and focusing on enhancing adaptation appraisal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Perceptions of Tree Shelterbelts on Agricultural Land in Rural Kyrgyzstan
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031093 - 04 Feb 2020
Abstract
The reestablishment of agroforestry systems in Central Asia, combining crop production with protective tree shelterbelts, provides significant potential to improve farming systems. This includes increasing crop yields, additional income from timber, as well as reducing soil degradation and wind erosion. Thus, adopting shelterbelts [...] Read more.
The reestablishment of agroforestry systems in Central Asia, combining crop production with protective tree shelterbelts, provides significant potential to improve farming systems. This includes increasing crop yields, additional income from timber, as well as reducing soil degradation and wind erosion. Thus, adopting shelterbelts as a form of pro-environmental behavior provides a number of socio-economic benefits, although some trade-offs need to be considered as well. This paper investigates factors that shape the perception of—and attitude towards—the establishment of tree shelterbelts by farmers in two case study regions in Kyrgyzstan. Applying a conceptual framework distinguishing between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, research methods included semi-structured interviews with farmers and local policy makers. The results show spatial differences in the perception of shelterbelts, both on the regional and on the village scale. In general, shelterbelts were negatively perceived by more than half of the farmers. The main concern raised by farmers was the shading of crops by shelterbelts, resulting in a decrease of yield. In addition, small field sizes and potential conflicts with neighbors were key concerns. Furthermore, rules set by local self-government bodies were inconsistent with the legislative framework, posing significant restrictions to the adoption of sustainable land use practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Revisiting the Psychology of Denial Concerning Low-Carbon Behaviors: From Moral Disengagement to Generating Social Change
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030935 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper reassesses the scope for shifting high-carbon personal behaviors in the light of prevailing insufficient political and regulatory action. Our previous research has shown that citizens regard such behavioral shifts as extremely daunting and create a number of psychological denial mechanisms that [...] Read more.
This paper reassesses the scope for shifting high-carbon personal behaviors in the light of prevailing insufficient political and regulatory action. Our previous research has shown that citizens regard such behavioral shifts as extremely daunting and create a number of psychological denial mechanisms that draw attention to the inaction of others, including governments. Further theoretical insights and relevant new findings have been attained from a more recent survey of more than 1000 German residents. This reveals that direct denial of anthropogenic climate change is replaced by a denial of responsibility for individual climate action. Ways of moral disengagement play a more dominant role, such as the diffusion and displacement of responsibility, although a majority is aware of—and very much concerned about—the climate crisis. More attention needs to be given for further reinterpretation of the role of moral disengagement to single out adequate strategies for different individuals and groups of people, such as making role models more visible to encourage social learning that could accelerate further necessary moral and behavioral transformations. Full article
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