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Sustainable use of ecosystem services under multiple risks – a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia

Author

Listed:
  • Roland Olbrich

    () (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    () (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

Abstract

Studying the sustainable use of ecosystem services under uncertainty requires the consideration of the stochastic dynamics of the system under study, risk and time preferences, risk management strategies and normative views pertaining to sustainability. To gather this information for an important ecological-economic system, we conducted a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands of Namibia, a system that features risks on various space and time scales. Here we present a description of the research aims, design and conduction of the survey, and analyze and discuss the homogeneity and representativeness of our survey population. The survey consisted of a mail-in questionnaire and in-field experiments. We combined two existing farm-address databases, reaching 77% of the estimated 2,500 cattle farmers. The return rate of questionnaires exceeded 20%, and response rate to individual questions surpassed 95% and 90% for the majority of non-sensitive and sensitive questions, respectively. Distinct sub-sample groups within the survey population did not differ in the analyzed characteristics with the exception of ethnicity, regional location of farmland and an intentionally induced bias for residency on farm. It has turned out that we have undersampled distinct population segments of farmers, such as indigenous farmers or farmers not belonging to the main interest group of commercial cattle farming. Notwithstanding, we consider the survey to be highly successful, yielding a rich dataset which allows diverse analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2009. "Sustainable use of ecosystem services under multiple risks – a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 137, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:137
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin F. & Frank, Karin & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2011. "Pitfalls and potential of institutional change: Rain-index insurance and the sustainability of rangeland management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2137-2144, September.
    2. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Personal Norms of Sustainability and Farm Management Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(8), pages 1-28, August.
    3. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Andreas Haensler & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Risk preferences under heterogeneous environmental risk," Working Paper Series in Economics 208, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. Matthias Schröter & Oliver Jakoby & Roland Olbrich & Marcus Eichhorn & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2009. "Remote sensing of bush encroachment on commercial cattle farms in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia," Working Paper Series in Economics 131, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    5. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Personal norms of sustainability and their impact on management – The case of rangeland management in semi-arid regions," Working Paper Series in Economics 209, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    6. Roland Olbrich & Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2012. "Characterizing commercial cattle farms in Namibia: risk, management and sustainability," Working Paper Series in Economics 248, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    survey; cattle farming; semi-arid; rangeland management; sustainability; risk;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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