An Integrative Analytical Framework for Environmental Stewardship

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Environmental stewardship refers to the set of practices, actions and practices that individuals and communities take in order to deal with environmental issues. It is a broad and evolving concept that can be used to describe strict conservation actions, active restoration activities or sustainability-related behavior at multiple scales, from neighborhood to landscape. Stewardship is practiced by individuals or groups with the necessary capacity as well as by government agencies or by nongovernmental organizations like conservation trusts, environmental trusts and community-based organisations.

Many individuals and groups are driven to take action in stewardship, especially when they are motivated by intrinsic rewards rather than benefits that are instrumental. The motivations are intrinsic, and include a sense of relatedness as well as a concern for the environment, personal improvement and/or competence. Researchers have recently put intrinsic motives around the concept civic engagement, a desire for self-actualization, identity or autonomy (Bramston et. al. 2011; Crowell, et. al., 2015).

These individual and collective motives are often obscured however by larger ecological, social or economic contexts. It is therefore crucial that local stewardship groups and/or policymakers understand the configuration of these elements. In addition, a deeper understanding and an analytical framework is required to enhance efforts to promote and support environmental sustainability. This article seeks to solve this problem by providing the descriptive concept and an integrative analytical framework for environmental stewardship. The framework is comprised of the following dimensions:

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