Motivations of Volunteers in Danish Grazing Organizations

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Global biodiversity is under pressure from human activities, and the effort for nature conservation and restoration and the allocation of economic resources for biodiversity policies remain insufficient. In such a context, volunteers can play an important role as a resource in nature conservation projects if their recreational activities interact with the objectives of nature management. In recent years, the number of volunteers in conservation work has increased in Denmark, with more people volunteering to contribute to nature conservation projects. Ensuring that volunteers remain motivated and engaged is crucial for the success of such conservation projects. In this study, we evaluated the motivation among members of grazing organizations, an activity that represents the most prominent voluntary nature conservation initiative in Denmark. We applied an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and an ordinal regression to analyze survey data from 25 Danish grazing organizations. We found that five motivational factors determine the engagement of the volunteers, namely social, nature value, instrumental, identification, and personal benefit. Whereas the social, nature value and personal benefit are factors also identified in the existing literature, the instrumental and identification factors add new perspectives to the motivation of environmental volunteers. We found that place attachment is an important driver, and that the chairpersons/coordinators of the grazing organizations especially emphasized the sharing of values and knowledge with their members as a driver. Lastly, volunteers were reluctant to support the idea of forming a more formal setup in terms of a “grazing organization union”.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8163
Issue number15
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Grazing organizations, Motivational factors, Nature conservation, Volunteers

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