Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Using social marketing tools to increase fuel-efficient stove adoption for conservation of the golden snub-nosed monkey, Gansu Province, China

Published source details

DeWan A., Green K., Xiaohong L. & Hayden D. (2013) Using social marketing tools to increase fuel-efficient stove adoption for conservation of the golden snub-nosed monkey, Gansu Province, China. Conservation Evidence, 10, 32-36

Summary

Fuel wood is a key source of energy for many families in developing areas of China.  Fuel efficient stoves are often identified as a win-win solution for forest protections and public health/development in China and across the globe. However, the communication and connection between stoves and biodiversity conservation has been less clear, by both those who are promoting their use as well as those adopting the technology. Social marketing is the application of marketing principles used to sell products applied to “sell” ideas, attitudes, and behaviours to benefit the public good. The Campaign to Protect the Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey in the Yuhe Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China, was initiated in 2008 in an effort to inspire communities to protect forest habitat in the reserve, and quickly adopt fuel-efficient stoves.  Results of this study show significant increases in knowledge, attitudes, and interpersonal communication pre and post campaign (16 – 49 percentage points).  Post-campaign (within 1 year) results concluded 28.0% and 43.1% of those surveyed within 1 year of and 2.5 years adopted the technology.  For those households that adopted fuel-efficient stoves, consumption and gathering time were reduced by 40.1% and 38.2% respectively.  Finally, preliminary research suggests that adoption of fuel-efficient stoves also lead to a reduction in forest destruction, with a 23.7 % reduction in the number of newly felled trees in areas where the stoves had been adopted by greater than half of the surrounding community.  The results of this study suggest that social marketing can be an effective tool for improving community knowledge and attitudes, decreasing destructive behaviour, and reducing threats to biological important forests in China.