Integrated management and policy models suggest that solutions to environmental issues may be linked to the socioeconomic and political Characteristics of a nation. In this study, we empirically explore these suggestions by applying them to the wetland management activities of nations. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate a model of national wetland management effort and one of national wetland protection. Using five predictor variables of social capital, economic capital, environmental and political characteristics, and land-use pressure, the multivariate models were able to explain 60% of the variation in nations' wetland protection efforts based on data from 90 nations, as defined by level of participation, in the international wetland convention. Social capital had the largest direct effect on wetland protection efforts, suggesting that increased social development may eventually lead to better wetland protection. In contrast, increasing economic development had a negative linear relationship with wetland protection efforts, suggesting the need for explicit wetland protection programs as nations continue to focus on economic development. Government, environmental characteristics, and land-use pressure also had a positive direct effect on wetland protection, and mediated the effect of social capital on wetland protection. Explicit wetland protection policies, combined with a focus on social development, would lead to better wetland protection at the national level.
Additional publication details
Identifying determinants of nations' wetland management programs using structural equation modeling: An exploratory analysis