This post is in response to a request from my friend Ramesh. Ramesh was asking me whether there is any paper highlighting the importance of Nature Experience vis-a-vis future conservation initiatives. I drew his attention to the paper “The Impact of Nature Experienceon Willingness to Support Conservation” by Patricia A. Zaradic, Oliver R. W. Pergams , Peter Kareiva. Ramesh was thrilled and requested me to post an item in Highrange Tidings even though I had put a small write up in Tahrcountry couple of months ago. So here it comes.
Patricia, Oliver and Peter hypothesized that willingness to financially support conservation depends on one's experience with nature. They used a novel time-lagged correlation analysis to look at times series data concerning nature participation, and evaluate its relationship with future conservation support. Future contributions to conservation NGOs was taken in to reckoning. The results suggest that the type and timing of nature experience may determine future conservation investment. Time spent hiking or backpacking is correlated with increased conservation contributions 11–12 years later. Each hiker or backpacker translated to $200–$300 annually in future NGO contributions.
The paper has very clear message for us. Kerala forest department regularly conducts nature camps for students and other interested groups. The paper cited gives a very clear indication that the nature camps are indeed an investment for future. The rider is that the camps have to be run on professional basis. It would be worthwhile if an analysis of the camps is done in Kerala. It would be an eye opener for other states also.
Citation: Zaradic PA, Pergams ORW, Kareiva P (2009) The Impact of Nature Experience on Willingness to Support Conservation. PLoS ONE 4(10): e7367. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007367