Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (5): 856-869.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.05.05

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Farming households’ proenvironmental behaviors from the perspective of environmental literacy

GUO Qinghui, LI Shiping(), NAN Ling   

  1. College of Economics and Management, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
  • Received:2019-08-16 Revised:2019-12-22 Online:2020-05-25 Published:2020-07-25
  • Contact: Shiping LI


Agricultural non-point source pollution has become one of the most significant and prominent environmental problems in China, which directly threatens the quality and safety of China’s agricultural products, human health, and ecological safety, and has become an important factor restricting the sustainable development of China’s national economy. Under this background, it is urgent to change the existing agricultural production mode, encourage farming households to implement green and sustainable proenvironment agricultural production behaviors, reduce agricultural environmental pollution, and ensure food safety and ecological security. To alleviate the agricultural environmental problems, this study examined farming households’ proenvironmental behaviors from the perspective of environmental literacy, which is divided into three dimensions environmental cognitive, environmental responsibility, and environmental knowledge and skills, and the moderating effect of the situational factor social norm on farming households’ proenvironmental behaviors. It used the field survey data of 1023 farming households in Jiangsu, Anhui, Gansu, Shaanxi, and Shanxi Provinces. The results show that: (1) Environmental responsibility and environmental knowledge and skills can promote farming households’ proenvironmental behavior, and the promoting effect of environmental knowledge and skills are stronger; environmental cognition, however, has no significant effect on farming households’ proenvironmental behavior; after considering endogenous problems caused by reverse causation and missing variables, the above conclusions remain valid. (2) Social norm can positively regulate the role of environmental responsibility and environmental knowledge and skills in promoting farming households’ proenvironmental behaviors. (3) Farmers with more education, higher family income, and lower land fragmentation are more likely to engage in proenvironmental behaviors. Meanwhile, compared with men, multiple occupation farmers, and farmers who rent land from others, women, professional farmers, and farmers who grow their own land are more likely to engage in proenvironmental behaviors. On this basis, some policy recommendations are put forward, including cultivating farming households’ environmental responsibility, establishing field schools, and establishing models and benchmarks for the implementation of proenvironment behaviors, among others.

Key words: proenvironmental behavior, environmental literacy, social norm, farming households, regulatory effect, structural equation model, hierarchical regression