DEFORESTATION PERCEPTIONS

By Lucio Muñoz

munoz@interchange.ubc.ca or http://www.truesustainability.com

 

Deforestation Perceptions

With the purpose of validating the qualitative information generated based on the secondary information collected, a questionnaire was passed to determine deforestation perceptions at the local and regional level focused on the 11 factors that are considered to be within the most likely causal factors. The same questionnaire was passed in each country to government officials and to non-government officials. Moreover, the same questionnaire was passed to non-local officials to determine their perceptions about regional deforestation causality in Central America. Non-local officials here are divided into four groups, ground researchers(non-local officials working in projects in Central America), non-ground researchers(non-local officials working in the area of deforestation or related areas relevant to Central America, but doing it from outside the region); financial institutions(officials overseeing projects on behalf of financial institutions in the region); and non-financial institutions (officials overseeing projects on behalf of non-financial institutions in the region).

The question asked was to provide their personal perceptions with respect to the relative importance that each of the 11 factors has as a causal factor by indicating if these factors were in their opinion not important (NI) or important(I), or very important(VI) as causal agents of deforestation at a specific level, country or regional.

See a sample of the perception questionnaire passed here.

The questionnaire was send by fax to a list of key informants working in the area of deforestation, conservation, forestry, sustainable development and so on who were recommended to me before hand or who I identified though the process of perception collection. Completed questionnaires were returned by fax, mail, and a few e-mails. The goal was to achieve as much variability as possible and to have a sample that can be grouped and regrouped to trace perception variation. It must be expected that deforestation perceptions may very within groups(local and non-local) and between groups(local and non-local), which have strong implications in terms of theory validation, theory reformulation or theory generation ;and on expected or potential biases that can result when having local or regional conferences to discussed options or issues..

Country perception data

The perception data collected from local officials are organized in perception data tables per specific group of local officials: government officials, non-government officials, and all officias, as shown in the tables below:

See here country perception tables, Belize

See here country perception tables, Costa Rica

See here country perception tables, El Salvador

See here country perception tables, Guatemala

See here country perception tables, Honduras

See here country perception tables, Nicaragua

See here country perception tables, Panama

Regional perception data

Regional deforestation perceptions where determined directly from non-local officials and indirectly from local officials.

*Regional perception data, non-local officials

The perception data collected from non-local officials is organized in perception data tables per specific group of non-local officials, as shown in the tables below:

See here regional perception tables, ground researchers

See here regional perceptions, Researchers

See here regional perceptions , Institutions

See here regional perceptions, Researchers and Institutions

*Regional perception data, local officials, five countries

The deforestation perceptions of all government officials, all non-government officials, and all officials from all five countries were combined to gain an insight on causal perception commonalities across countries and groups. The information generated is presented below:

See here regional perception tables, Five Countries

Regional perception data, local officials, seven countries

The deforestation perceptions of all government officials, all non-government officials, and all officials from all seven countries were combined to gain an insight on causal perception commonalities across countries and groups and to see the impact of including Belize and Panama on the information generated by the five countries mentioned above.

See here regional perception tables, Seven Countries

Ranking deforestation perceptions

Two new qualitative ways of ranking deforestation perceptions are the average perception rule and the simple majority perception rule. Each of these rules can generate information either in trichotomy or dichotomy form depending on how strict our requirements are. The working of these rules and the information generated are provided below.

-Trichotomy average perception ranking

The average rule procedure used to rank local and non-local perceptions in trichotomy form has two main steps: a) the determination of the average perception score(AV) for each row in the perception tables; and b) the classification of the score found as being either Not Important(NI) or Important(I) or Very Important(VI).

How the average score can be determined?

The average score can be determine by the following formula:

AV = N1.(1) + N2.(2) + N3.(3) / NI + N2 + N3

Where;

AV = Average Value

N1 = Number of officials indicating that the factor was Not Important(NI)

N2 = Number of officials indicating that the factor was Important(I)

N3 = Number of officials indicating that the factor was Very Important

.(1) = quantitative weight for the characteristics NI

.(2) = quantitative weight for the characteristic I

.(3) = quantitative weight for the characteristic VI

Notice that N1(1) + N2(2) + N3(3) = Sum Xi and that N1 + N2 + N3 = n and therefore, the average rule above(AV) is consistent with the standard quantitative definition of average.

How to classify in trichotomy form the relative importance of the average score(AV) found?

The following rules can be used to allocate the relative importance to the average score(AV) in trichotomy form:

If AV < 1.5 = NI = Not Important

If 1.5 \< AV < 2.5 = I = Important

If AV >/ 2.5 = VI = Very Important

For example, if N1 = 0 ; N2 = 4 ; N3 = 6 we have the following:

AV = 0(1) + 4(2) + 6(3) / 0 + 4 + 6 = 0 + 8 + 18 / 10 = 26 / 10 = 2.6

 

Since AV = 2.6 >/ 2.5 = VI = Very Important. Therefore, in this case, the characteristic displaying the perception values of N1 = 0 ; N2 = 4 ; and N3 = 6 has an average score(AV) of 2.6, which classifies as Very Imporant(VI). This means that the average trichotomy perception for this characteristic is Very Important.

Applying this trichotomy average perception rule or approach described above to the local and regional perception data relevant to specific groups of individuals or countries, the following information is generated:

*Trichotomy country perceptions per group of local officials

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, Belize

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, Costa Rica

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, El Salvador

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, Guatemala

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, Honduras

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, Nicaragua

See here average trichotomy country perceptions, Panama

*Trichotomy regional perceptions per group of non-local officials

See here average trichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers

See here average trichotomy regional perceptions, Institutions

See here average trichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers and Institutions

*Trichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, five countries

See here average trichotomy regional perceptions, Five Countries

*Trichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, seven countries

See here average trichotomy regional perceptions, Seven Countries

 -Dichotomy average perception ranking

The average rule procedure used to rank local and non-local perceptions in dichotomy form has also two main steps: a) the determination of the average perception score(AV) for each row in the perception tables; and b) the classification of the score found as being either Not Very Important(NVI) or Very Important(VI).

How the average score can be determined?

The average score can be determine by using the same formula as above:

AV = N1.(1) + N2.(2) + N3.(3) / NI + N2 + N3

Where;

AV = Average Value

N1 = Number of officials indicating that the factor was Not Important(NI)

N2 = Number of officials indicating that the factor was Important(I)

N3 = Number of officials indicating that the factor was Very Important

.(1) = quantitative weight for the characteristics NI

.(2) = quantitative weight for the characteristic I

.(3) = quantitative weight for the characteristic VI

Notice that N1(1) + N2(2) + N3(3) = Sum Xi and that N1 + N2 + N3 = n and therefore, the average rule above(AV) is consistent with the standard quantitative definition of average.

How to classify in dichotomy form the relative importance of the average score(AV) found?

The following rules can be used to allocate the relative importance to the average score(AV) in dichotomy form:

If AV < 2.5 = NVI = Not Very Important

If AV >/ 2.5 = VI = Very Important

For example, if N1 = 0 ; N2 = 4 ; N3 = 6 ; then AV = 2.6

Since AV = 2.6 >/ 2.5 = VI = Very Important. Therefore, in this case, the characteristic displaying the perception values of N1 = 0 ; N2 = 4 ; and N3 = 6 has an average score(AV) of 2.6, which classifies as Very Imporant(VI) also in dichotomy form. This means that the average dichotomy perception for these characteristics is Very Important(VI).

Applying this dichotomy average perception rule or approach described above to the local and regional perception data relevant to specific groups of individuals or countries, the following information is generated:

**Dichotomy country perceptions per group of local officials

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, Belize

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, Costa Rica

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, El Salvador

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, Guatemala

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, Honduras

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, Nicaragua

See here average dichotomy country perceptions, Panama

**Dichotomy regional perception per group of non-local officials

See here average dichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers

See here average dichotomy regional perceptions, Institutions

See here average dichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers and Institutions

**Dichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, five countries

See here average dichotomy regional perceptions, Five Countries

**Dichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, seven countries

See here average dichotomy regional perceptions, Seven Countries

-Trichotomy simple majority ranking

The simple majority rules used to rank local and non-local perceptions in trichotomy form are the following:

VI > I > NI or VI > NI > I ------------à VI

I > NI > VI or I > VI > NI ------------à I

NI > I > VI or NI > VI > I -----------à NI

VI = I and NI = 0 ----------------------à VI

VI = I and NI > 0 ----------------------à I

VI = NI and I = 0 -----------------------à VI

VI = NI and I > 0 ---------------------à NI

I = NI and VI = 0 ---------------------à NI

I = NI and VI > 0 ---------------------à I

VI = I = NI --------------------------à     I

Where:

VI = number officials who said that a factor was Very Important(VI)

I = number of officials who said that a factor was Important(I)

NI = number of officials who said that a factor was Not Important(NI)

For example, if NI = 0 ; I = 4 ; and VI = 6

Since 6 = VI > 4 = I > 0 = NI, then this factor is classified as Very Important(VI). In this case, since there is a clear majority, it is easy to determine the ranking of the characteristic by looking at the attribute that has the higher value, in this case VI = 6.

Applying this simple trichotomy majority rule presented above to the local and regional perception data relevant to specific groups of individuals or countries, the following information is generated:

*Trichotomy country perceptions per group of local officials

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, Belize

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, Costa Rica

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, El Salvador

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, Guatemala

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, Honduras

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, Nicaragua

See here simple majority trichotomy country perceptions, Panama

*Trichotomy regional perceptions per group of non-local officials

See here simple majority trichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers

See here simple majority trichotomy regional perceptions, Insititutions

See here simple majority trichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers and Institutions

*Trichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, five countries

See here simple majority trichotomy regional perceptions, Five Countries

*Trichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, seven countries

See here simple majority trichotomy regional perceptions, Seven Countries

-Dichotomy simple majority ranking

The simple majority rules used to rank local and non-local perceptions in dichotomy form are the following:

VI >/ I + NI --- ------------à VI

VI < I + NI ----------------à NVI

Where:

VI = number officials who said that a factor was Very Important(VI)

NVI = number of officials who said that a factor was Not Very Important(NVI)

For example, if NI = 0 ; I = 4 ; and VI = 6

Since VI >/ I + NI = 6 >/ 0 + 4 = 6 >/ 4 -----à VI, then this factor is classified as Very Important(VI) in in simple majority dichotomy form. Notice that since VI = 6 is an absolute majority, both the simple majority trichotomy and dichtomy rankings are the same, Very Important(VI). Notice too, that because of these clear absolute majority, the average perception ranking, both trichotomy and dichotomy also coincide with the simple majority rule ranking. When there is not a clear absolute majority, things are different.

Applying this simple dichotomy majority rule described above to the local and regional perception data relevant to specific groups of individuals or countries, the following information is generated:

**Dichotomy country perceptions per group of local officials

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, Belize

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, Costa Rica

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, El Salvador

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, Guatemala

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, Honduras

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, Nicaragua

See here simple majority dichotomy country perceptions, Panama

**Dichotomy regional perception per group of non-local officials

See here simple majority dichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers

See here simple majority dichotomy regional perceptions, Institutions

See here simple majority dichotomy regional perceptions, Researchers and Institutions

**Dichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, five countries

See here simple majority dichotomy regional perceptions, Five Countries

**Dichotomy regional perceptions per group of local officials, seven countries

See here simple majority dichotomy regional perceptions, Seven Countries

 

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