Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour to assess how coral reef conservation programs can generate positive environmental behaviours. A qualitative case study on a rural fisher community in north Bali, Indonesia

Authors: Boakes, Z., Luh Putu, M., Hall, A., Jones, G., Cvitanovic, M. and Stafford, R.

Journal: PLoS One

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

ISSN: 1932-6203


Coral reefs are well known as important ecosystems that are in need of conservation management and there are many organisations worldwide that conduct reef restoration activities for ecological gain. However, the potential for coral reef conservation programs to generate pro-environmental behaviours in the communities where they are based is understudied. We used the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to assess the impact of a coral reef conservation program on pro-environmental behaviours within a rural fisher community in north Bali, Indonesia. Semi-structured interviews with individuals and multi-stakeholder focus groups were conducted in Tianyar Village, where the ‘North Bali Reef Conservation’ (locally known as ‘Yowana Bhakti Segara’) coral reef conservation program was based. We present the results as a TPB model with key interview themes listed within three constructs. The model showed that there were a number of factors influencing pro-environmental behaviours, including attitudes towards behavioural change (such as perceived changes in fishing yield), subjective norms (such as influence from local leaders) and perceived behavioural control (such as lack of environmental knowledge). Overall, the interviews showed that the conservation program has led to an increase in the communities pro-environmental behaviours, including improving waste management, supporting conservation work and establishing new environmental regulations. Based on the responses of interviewees, we make recommendations on how coral reef conservation in Indonesia (and other low-middle income nations) can increase community support, socio-economic benefits and generate pro-environmental behaviours. These include (1) continuing environmental education within the community, (2) strengthening regulations and improving enforcement, (3) increasing financial and logistical support for waste management and ecotourism, (4) continuing building and deploying artificial reefs, ensuring that ‘best practice’ recommendations are followed, and (5) utilising the influence of local leaders to create positive environmental behaviours

Source: Manual