Pro-environmental behaviours in protected areas: A systematic literature review and future research directions

Kourosh Esfandiar*, Joanna Pearce*, Ross Dowling*, Edmund Goh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) in protected areas has attracted considerable research attention. This perennial issue is pertinent in reducing negative compounded impacts and/or increasing positive impacts in protected areas. This study aims to provide a review of the literature to unpack the existing publications of PEBs in protected areas and to scope future research avenues. A total of 88 empirical research journal articles were collected through Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases. Results showed 43.18% of the articles analysed considered PEBs as a general group of behaviours while the remaining 56.82% were specific domains of PEBs including littering, staying on-trail, and car use. The majority of the literature adopted cross-sectional quantitative survey methodology, making limited use of longitudinal, experimental and qualitative research approaches, which may have limitations for future research. The review suggests modelling and predicting PEBs needs to be focused on a specific behaviour of a specific (target) audience in a specific context (time and place). There are avenues for potential future PEBs research; however, its specific domains, theoretical advancement, measurability and cultural influences, require significant rethinking for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100943
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


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