The Role of Hope and Conservation Attitudes in Current Conservation Actions and Future Conservation Intentions
Current community-led conservation (CLC) actions support present and future biodiversity. Present-day conservation volunteer efforts are measurable; however, future CLC activity is uncertain. Understanding what motivates volunteers to take part in CLC activities is therefore essential. This study investigates the relationships between hope, conservation attitudes, current conservation action, and future conservation intention. We use Snyder’s adult hope state scale to explore the relationship between hope, conservation attitudes, self-reported current conservation actions, and future conservation intentions (planting, weeding, predator control) of 243 adult Aotearoa New Zealand participants. The relationship of hope and conservation attitudes to current conservation action and future conservation intention is complex. Specifically, hope relates to future conservation intention but is not associated with current conservation action. Furthermore, hope negatively correlated with intending volunteer belief that nature could heal itself. Volunteers with future conservation intentions hold conservation attitudes that actively connect people to nature and other people and show commitment to the natural world. Intending volunteers also feel able to help others learn about the natural world, value scientific and technological interventions, and the relative importance of individual effort, teamwork, and collaboration. Volunteers currently active in conservation solely held attitudes of connection to nature, connection to other people, commitment to the natural world, and helping others learn about the natural world. Understanding what motivates volunteers to undertake conservation action is critical to designing sustainable CLC projects that deliver positive outcomes for biodiversity in the long term.