Communicating climate change risks to forest owners

Abstract

Communication is a popular method to raise awareness and promote action against the impacts of climate change. However, there is little scientific evidence that climate change communication can influence individual engagement with adaptation. This study combines qualitative and quantitative data to assess long-term cognitive and behavioral changes among Swedish forest owners who took part in climate change communication. Overall, the results suggest that climate change communication has only limited direct effect on individual engagement with adaptation. While the data show that climate change communication can have strengthened forest owners’ perceived knowledgeability and belief in climate change, they had also become less concerned about climate change risks and did not change how they managed their forest. The study concludes that researchers and practitioners should learn how to better tailor climate change communication to the personal experiences and decision-making needs of their target audience and involve trusted peers and information channels.

 

Link to paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09640568.2019.1646228

Mark Rounsevell

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Calum Brown

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