The role of social capital in adoption of sustainable practices in Chile and Indonesia
von Gracia Maria Lanza Castillo
Datum der mündl. Prüfung:2018-01-24
Betreuer:Prof. Dr. Meike Wollni
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Marcela Ibanez
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Alejandra Engler
EnglischThe world food and non-food needs are expected to increase from 2005/2007 to 2050 by 60 percent, raising concerns on how this demand will be fulfilled sustainably (Le Mouël and Forslund, 2017). To cope with this increase in demand, the agricultural sector faces an essential decision between land sparing and land sharing, a debate particularly active in the last decade (Alexandratos et al., 2012; Harrison, 2002; Le Mouël and Forslund, 2017; TheRoyal Society (London), 2009). On the one hand, central elements of the debate concern the effects of agricultural intensity (or yield) on biodiversity, while land-sharing integrates nature conservation approaches into agricultural production across a region but characterized by low-yielding farmland with higher biodiversity, but with less land available for the sole purpose of nature conservation. The increase of agricultural land is of particular attention because it expands through the alteration of forests, swamplands, and other pristine habitats (Barbier, 2004). On the other hand, land-use change to expand agriculture increases Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and is accountable for 12-17% of the total global GHG emissions, negatively impacting biodiversity and ecosystem services (Hamilton et al., 2015; Pradhan et al., 2015). On the other hand, an increase of yields requires an increase in production which will be constrained by the finite resources provided by Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere (Godfray et al., 2010); therefore, producing more food from the same area of land while reducing negative environmental externalities, can be accomplished by the use of existing sustainable practices (FAO, 2011; Godfray et al., 2010; Jordan, 2015; Tubiello et al., 2014). Farmers' decisions regarding adopting agricultural practices are based on pre-existing networks, organizations, and other relationships among individuals (Ostrom and Ahn, 2003). Although adoption has been widely studied, it shows a disciplinary fragmentation (Pannell et al., 2006). Social capital is a concept that helps integrate with the economic analysis of communities' cultural, social, and institutional dynamics. Social capital is a mechanism that helps to overcome market imperfections and promotes collective action, generating positive externalities that facilitate cooperation to achieve goals. Still, it can also have a negative side (Ostrom, 2007). This dissertation aims to analyze the role of social capital through two case studies; one, which analyses how social capital and its interaction with psychological constructs affects the decision to adopt pressurized irrigation systems using a cross-sectional survey. The second case study focuses on social capital and incentives effects on pro-social behavior, especially looking at land allocated for the cultivation of rubber agroforestry in Indonesia under individual and collective Payment for Environmental Services (PES) schemes applying a framed-field experiment. Results show that social capital plays an important role in adopting sustainable practices in the agricultural sector. On the one hand, we provide empirical evidence about the significant and positive influence of social capital variables on the level of perceived control and intention to perform the adoption of pressurized irrigation. On the other, we show that social capital, in the form of a network, could negatively influence conservation behavior when the social norm is to cultivate the more profitable crop, as in Indonesia's oil palm under PES schemes. We find that individuals were more susceptible to social capital variables under collective schemes than in the individual scheme. Social capital in the form of a network shows a negative and significant influence on the share of land allocated to rubber agroforestry. In contrast, membership and environmental awareness of the network have a positive influence. Individual characteristics such as individual environmental perception, land tenure, and if the participant cultivates rubber agroforestry were more relevant in the individual scheme. When comparing both case studies, the differences in the sign of the effect of social capital, precisely the effect of a social network, reaffirm the need to design context-specific strategies and consider each site's social dynamics. In addition, the results show that land heterogeneity matters; collective schemes may be especially suitable to engage large landowners, who may feel the moral pressure to contribute their share under such institutional arrangements. In contrast, smaller farmers respond to individual and collective incentives. However, it should be kept in mind that the effectiveness of PES is highly place-specific and depends on the social norms prevalent in the communities. Our empirical results have important policy implications. In the case study from Chile, we identified that attitude campaigns are not enough to influence intentions. The government could target and change the norm of superficial irrigation by convincing people of core beliefs associated with water conservation awareness and boost farmers' trust in water organizations that could foster cooperation to adopt pressurized irrigation systems as a norm. In the case study in Indonesia regarding Payment for Environmental Services, our findings have important implications for REDD focus countries, which is the most crucial arena for collective PES nowadays. Policymakers can build upon existing social norms; provide economic incentives for conservation, and complement informal institutions. Future PES should focus and be tailored to the participants' characteristics in terms of endowment and should have a better understanding of the social norms of the context.
Keywords: Field experiment; Payment for Environmental Services