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Attitudes of UK and Australian farmers towards monitoring activity with satellite technologies: Lessons to be learnt

Purdy, R; (2011) Attitudes of UK and Australian farmers towards monitoring activity with satellite technologies: Lessons to be learnt. Space Policy , 27 (4) 202 - 212. 10.1016/j.spacepol.2011.09.011.

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Abstract

Governments are increasingly using satellite technologies to check for compliance with legislation, e.g. to verify that farmers are complying with environmental legislation on vegetation clearance in Australian states. As the detail of what can be seen by satellite technologies continues to improve and they are likely to become ever more attractive to those monitoring compliance with numerous different laws, it is important to consider the attitudes of those groups currently being monitored this way. Two surveys, the first of their kind internationally, were undertaken in the UK and Australia to assess attitudes in regulated communities (here farmers) where satellite monitoring was already being used. The aim was to understand attitudes to this method of monitoring, including its perceived benefits and drawbacks. Many of the farmers surveyed were either positive, or ambivalent, about satellite monitoring taking place. Only about a quarter of Australian farmers and a third of UK farmers were against being monitored this way. Large numbers actually wanted satellite monitoring to be used as a method of checking compliance, although if something was detected by a satellite many wanted any subsequent investigation to be done on the ground by humans. There were high levels of support for the use of satellite technologies because these were seen to be fairer, and more equitable than conventional methods, but concerns over how satellite monitoring might affect privacy and the technology not being used properly, or producing inaccurate results were expressed. Communication between regulator and regulated should be encouraged wherever possible, because many of the concerns of farmers and other potential regulated groups might be reduced if more information was given to them. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Type:Article
Title:Attitudes of UK and Australian farmers towards monitoring activity with satellite technologies: Lessons to be learnt
DOI:10.1016/j.spacepol.2011.09.011
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws

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