Trust Versus Content in Multi-functional Land Management: Assessing Soil Function Messaging in Agricultural Networks

Lilian O’Sullivan*, Cees Leeuwis, Linde de Vries, David P. Wall, Talke Heidkroß, Kirsten Madena, Rogier P.O. Schulte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Growing sustainability demands on land have a high knowledge requirement across multiple scientific domains. Exploring networks can expose opportunities for targeting. Using mixed-methods combining social network analysis (SNA) and surveys, networks for key soil functions in case studies in Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands are explored. We find a diversity of contrasting networks that reflect local conditions, sustainability challenges and governance structure. Farmers were found to occupy a central role in the agri-environmental governance network. A comparison of the SNA and survey results indicate low acceptance of messages from many central actors indicating scope to better harness the network for sustainable land management. The source of the messages was important when it came to the implementation of farm management actions. Two pathways for enhanced farmer uptake of multi-functionality are proposed that have wider application are; to increase trust between farmers and actors that are agents of multi-functional messages and/or to increase the bundling or multi-functionality of messages (mandate) of actors trusted by farmers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1185
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • AKIS
  • Functional land management
  • Social network analysis
  • Soil functions
  • Sustainability

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