Evaluation and Analysis of Environmental Awareness in Rural Settlements around Yasuj City

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of geography and rural planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of geography and rural planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 MA in geography and rural planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The awareness of environment state and examination of its changes are among the issues having attracted the attention of many researchers during recent years. This tendency has been so strong that it can determine the required changes in management and to present managerial plans in a correct recognition of environment state. Awareness about the consequences of wrong behaviors can decrease their occurrence. Villages are important human settlements having very close connection to the environment, in a way that they mutually influence each other. Most of economic activities in these regions are based on direct relationship with nature. The appearance of villages around the cities is different from other villages because of the different system of settlement relationships and the presence of forces resulting from them. Achieving the rural environmental sustainability is under the influence of public environmental awareness that, in turn, is also affected by various factors. Accordingly, the present study was conducted to examine the environmental awareness of villagers around Yasuj City. The purpose of the study is to analyze environmental awareness of villagers living in the suburbs of Yasuj City. 
The present study has an analytical-descriptive method. The first step in the environmental awareness evaluation was to prepare the criteria. To have an effective evaluation, it is required to determine measureable, scientific and acceptable factors by researchers and experts in this study. The indices and variables of the study were selected based on the opinions of professors and researchers in the field of rural studies in accordance with the region under study and with consideration of the theoretical bases and the review of related literature in the environmental awareness and behavior domains. The environmental awareness and tendency to destroy natural resources were evaluated using 11 and 2 variables, respectively. The study population was settlements around Yasuj City. Ten villages were selected among all the villages around the city using randomized cluster sampling. Cochran formula was used to determine the size of the sample population. Accordingly, 384 households were selected to complete the questionnaires. In order to evaluate the reliability of the data, we used Cronbach’s alpha. Results showed that the questionnaire has an appropriate reliability.  
Results and discussion
By examining the status of environmental awareness in the villages under study, it can be understood that these settlements have coefficient of 22.3 and a medium sustainability. Results of coefficient analysis showed that there is significantly negative correlation between the environmental awareness and respondents’ age. There is no significant relationship between environmental awareness and respondents’ gender. There is a significantly positive relationship between environmental awareness and respondents’ education level. Furthermore, results of correlation analysis showed that there is a significantly negative relationship between inhabitants’ environmental awareness level and the tendency to destroy the nature. The highest average belongs to the variable “If the way of treating nature is not adjusted, the environment will face disaster”, and lowest average belongs to the variable “The most important factor in Ozone layer depletion is Carbon dioxide gas”.
This study has evaluated the status of environmental awareness within rural settlements around Yasuj City. Environmental awareness is the individual’s information about environmental issues as well as the factors influencing their spread and recognition of proper treatment to obviate them. Operationally, environmental awareness includes people’s information regarding the importance and role of environment in their life. Villages are faced with many environmental problems and some of the most common problems are including improper way of collecting the rubbish and its disposal, providing potable water, water treatment networks, cutting the trees, putting jungles on fire and etc. Generally, the best instruments to enlighten rural societies, promote publics sensitivity, attention and knowledge about environmental aspects is to educate them on environment which is very important regarding the influence of humans on the environment. Therefore, if the inhabitants are lacking environmental awareness, unregulated exploitation from surrounding natural resources will play a fundamental role in creation of environmental damages.
After analyzing the results, it was found that 53 percent of the respondents have a higher level of environmental awareness than the median level; and 47 percent of them have a lower level of awareness than the median level. This shows that rural settlements are on a median level of environmental awareness. The results are in line with the results presented by Cruise et al. (2014). On the other hand, the findings are inconsistent with the findings of Saho et al. (2015) and Sanjai (2013). In addition, regarding the gender of the respondents and their environmental awareness, the findings of the present study disapprove the findings of Blaji (2017). As a fact, villagers’ environmental awareness plays an important role in achieving rural environmental sustainable development.


Main Subjects

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