Environmental self-efficacy, attitude and behavior among small scale farmers, Zambia.

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Mweemba, Liberty
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Environment, Development and Sustainability
The rural livelihood system in Zambia is essentially agriculture, and agriculture is the main link between people and their environment. Through agricultural activities, people seek to husband the available soil, water and biological resources so as to ‘harvest’ a livelihood for themselves. The aim of this study is to examine Zambian farmers’ awareness and attitude toward the degradation of the environment and their relationships with a set of beliefs to evaluate their perceived capacity to take actions to improve the environment. Results of the study revealed that perception of the severity of environmental degradation had a positive influence on both awareness of and attitude toward land degradation (b = 0.47; p\.001). Perception of susceptibility and benefits significantly influence farmers’ attitude toward environmental degradation (b = 0.51; p\.001). Awareness of environmental degradation is a significant precursor of environmental selfefficacy and behavior (b = 0.38; p\.001). Increasing severity of environmental degradation tends to promote a positive attitude of Zambian farmers toward the environment (b = 0.27; p\ .001). Greater awareness of environmental degradation enhances farmers’ capacity in making decisions to improve the situation. Greater environmental awareness leads to greater involvement in land management programs. Greater awareness of the degradation of the environment leads to a more positive environmental behavior. The more individuals are aware of the existence of the degradation of the environment and of its consequences, the more likely they are to do something about it in order to ameliorate the situation (b = 0.36; p\ .001). Farmers’ environmental self-efficacy also plays a significant role in their decision to change their behavior. Greater perception of one’s capability to improve the environment is significantly associated with a more positive environmental behavior (b = .39; p\.001). Keywords Environment , Degradation , Awareness , Susceptible , Severity , Self-efficacy
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