Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Sense of Place and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Change of Vietnamese Community in Marine Protected Area

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: McKinley, Mezzanine Level

This paper raises the new factors and mechanism that drive the pro-environmental behaviour of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) community on Cu Lao Cham Island, Hoi An, Vietnam. There is a strong view that Cu Lao Cham residents have changed their environmental behaviour since Cu Lao Cham became an MPA in 2005. The phenomenon in The World Biosphere Reserve brings hope for future environmental behaviour change. This research uses “sense of place” concept to explore why these people have quickly changed their behaviour.  The “sense of place” concept including place attachment and place meaning has been used for research on the topic of environmental education by geographers, ecologists, and psychologists during the last several decades. The first component of the concept, “place attachment”, refers to a place’s capacity to satisfy individual needs, including economic, emotional and mental health needs, while the second component, “place meaning”, indicates a symbolic or value laden meaning of place that is part of the inhabitants self-identity. This research is conducted based on a field study involving participant observation and interviews that target fishermen and local tourist service groups. The results show that people who feel that a place has value and meaning to them tend to more strongly protect that place than others.  The data further indicates that MPA activities provide a mechanism for local people to 'transfer' their pro-environmental behaviour through developing their 'attachment' to their place of residence. 

Ngoc Pham

University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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