Biodiv Sci ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 23155.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023155

• Original Papers: Biosafety and Nature Conservation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analysis of factors influencing farmers’ protection willingness based on structural equation model: Taking the Hunchun area of Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park as an example

Yuchen Du, Beimeng Liu, Junfeng Chen, Hao Wang, Yi Xie*()   

  1. School of Economics and Management, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
  • Received:2023-05-19 Accepted:2023-11-24 Online:2024-01-20 Published:2023-11-29
  • Contact: *E-mail:


Aims: The significance of community farmer involvement in biodiversity conservation practices in China originated from the community co-management initiatives that began in the late 20th century. Given the pivotal role of national parks in biodiversity conservation, the selection of national parks and their adjacent communities as focal research areas to analyze farmers’ willingness to engage is not only pertinent to the establishment and growth of national parks, but also crucial in forming public participation mechanisms for biodiversity conservation. This study aims to examine the disposition of farmers in the surrounding communities of national parks to participate in ecological conservation and investigate the factors influencing their willingness to engage, which will aid in discovering effective methods to motivate farmers for active involvement in conservation efforts.

Methods: This study utilized exploratory structural equation modeling to examine the factors influencing residents’ participation in conservation in communities surrounding the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park. A total of 534 valid questionnaires were obtained through one-on-one interviews with residents in the Hunchun area of the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park between July and August 2022. A structural equation model was employed to explore the determinants of local farmers’ willingness to participate in conservation efforts. The willingness of households to engage in conservation serves as the dependent variable, with individual attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioral control as independent variables. The scale’s reliability and validity were assessed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) value tests, while the questionnaire structure was analyzed through exploratory factor analysis. Additionally, the measurement model’s soundness was confirmed via confirmatory factor analysis. Subsequently, the overall structural equation model was constructed, and model fit, and hypothesis testing were performed.

Results: (1) Farmers’ positive attitudes toward protection significantly influenced their willingness to engage. Elevated assessments in value, experience, and outcome by farmers correspond to higher willingness to participate in conservation efforts. (2) The individual norms among farmers exerted a significant positive impact on their inclination to protect, being the most influential factor among the three. Specifically, value and outcome evaluations hold more sway over farmers’ willingness to participate in conservation, while empirical evaluation holds relatively less influence. (3) Perceived behavioral control notably impacted farmers’ willingness to protect positively. A lower perceived difficulty in terms of time investment, economic investment, and professional skills investment directly correlates with a stronger willingness among farmers to participate in conservation efforts. (4) Age significantly and positively impacted farmers’ inclination to protect.

Conclusion: It is suggested to enhance farmers’ willingness to protect by strengthening the policy guidance function, encouraging long-term training activities, and expanding farmers’ protection participation channels.

Key words: Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, willingness of protection, theory of planned behavior, structural equation modeling