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Valuing Mangrove Conservation In Southern Thailand


  • S Sathirathai
  • EB Barbier


Mangroves are ecologically important coastal wetland systems that are under severe threat globally. In Thailand, the main cause of mangrove conversion is shrimp farming, which is a major source of export income for the country. However, local communities benefit from many direct and indirect uses of mangrove ecosystems and may have a strong incentive to protect these areas, which puts them into direct confrontation with shrimp farm operators and, by proxy, government authorities. The article examines whether or not the full conversion of mangroves into commercial shrimp farms is worthwhile once the key environmental impacts are taken into account. The estimated economic value of mangrove forests to a local community is in the range of $27,264‐$35,921 per hectare. This estimate includes the value to local communities of direct use of wood and other resources collected from the mangroves as well as additional external benefits in terms of off‐shore fishery linkages and coastline protection from shrimp farms. The results indicate that, although shrimp farming creates enormous private benefits, it is not so economically viable once the externalities generated by mangrove destruction and water pollution are included. There is also an incentive for local communities to protect mangroves, which in turn implies that the rights of local people to guard and protect this resource should be formally recognized and enforced by law.

Suggested Citation

  • S Sathirathai & EB Barbier, 2001. "Valuing Mangrove Conservation In Southern Thailand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 109-122, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:19:y:2001:i:2:p:109-122
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.2001.tb00054.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adolfo Carbal Herrera & Johan Muñoz Carbal & Lindyley Solar Cumplido, 2015. "Valoración económica integral de los bienes y servicios ambientales ofertados por el ecosistema de manglar ubicado en la Ciénaga de la Virgen. Cartagena-Colombia," Revista Saber, Ciencia y Libertad, Universidad Libre - Sede Cartagena, vol. 10(1), pages 125-146, January.
    2. Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, 2002. "The Use of Remote Sensing and GIS in the Sustainable Management of Tropical Coastal Ecosystems," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 93-112, June.
    3. Edward B. Barbier, 2003. "Habitat–Fishery Linkages And Mangrove Loss In Thailand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 59-77, January.
    4. Roumasset, James & Wada, Christopher A., 2013. "A dynamic approach to PES pricing and finance for interlinked ecosystem services: Watershed conservation and groundwater management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 24-33.
    5. Pascal, Nicolas & Allenbach, Michel & Brathwaite, Angelique & Burke, Lauretta & Le Port, Guillaume & Clua, Eric, 2016. "Economic valuation of coral reef ecosystem service of coastal protection: A pragmatic approach," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PA), pages 72-80.
    6. Kluvánková, Tatiana & Gežík, Veronika, 2016. "Survival of commons? Institutions for robust forest social – ecological systems," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 175-185.
    7. Stoeckl, Natalie & Farr, Marina & Larson, Silva & Adams, Vanessa M. & Kubiszewski, Ida & Esparon, Michelle & Costanza, Robert, 2014. "A new approach to the problem of overlapping values: A case study in Australia׳s Great Barrier Reef," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 61-78.
    8. James Roumasset & Christopher Wada, 2013. "Integrating Demand-Management with Development of Supply-Side Substitutes," Working Papers 2013-13, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    9. Rao, Nalini S. & Ghermandi, Andrea & Portela, Rosimeiry & Wang, Xuanwen, 2015. "Global values of coastal ecosystem services: A spatial economic analysis of shoreline protection values," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 95-105.
    10. M. Brander, Luke & J. Wagtendonk, Alfred & S. Hussain, Salman & McVittie, Alistair & Verburg, Peter H. & de Groot, Rudolf S. & van der Ploeg, Sander, 2012. "Ecosystem service values for mangroves in Southeast Asia: A meta-analysis and value transfer application," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-69.
    11. Edward Barbier & Ivar Strand & Suthawan Sathirathai, 2002. "Do Open Access Conditions Affect the Valuation of an Externality? Estimating the Welfare Effects of Mangrove-Fishery Linkages in Thailand," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(4), pages 343-365, April.
    12. Quoc Vo, Tuan & Kuenzer, C. & Oppelt, N., 2015. "How remote sensing supports mangrove ecosystem service valuation: A case study in Ca Mau province, Vietnam," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 67-75.
    13. Mykoniatis, Nikolaos & Ready, Richard, 2013. "Evaluating habitat-fishery interactions: The case of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation and Blue Crab fishery in the Chesapeake Bay," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150272, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "Valuing ecosystem services as productive inputs," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 177-229, January.
    15. Ekka, A. & Pandit, Arun, 2012. "Willingness to Pay for Restoration of Natural Ecosystem: A Study of Sundarban Mangroves by Contingent Valuation Approach," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 67(3), pages 1-11.
    16. Edward B. Barbier & Mark Cox, 2003. "Does Economic Development Lead to Mangrove Loss? A Cross‐Country Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 418-432, October.
    17. Nadia Sitas & Heidi E. Prozesky & Karen J. Esler & Belinda Reyers, 2014. "Exploring the Gap between Ecosystem Service Research and Management in Development Planning," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 1-23, June.
    18. Das, Saudamini, 2017. "Ecological Restoration and Livelihood: Contribution of Planted Mangroves as Nursery and Habitat for Artisanal and Commercial Fishery," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 492-502.
    19. Barbier,Edward B., 2007. "Natural Resources and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521706513.
    20. Barbier, E. B., 2006. "Mangrove dependency and the livelihoods of coastal communities in Thailand," IWMI Books, Reports H039111, International Water Management Institute.
    21. Barbier, Edward B., 2012. "A spatial model of coastal ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 70-79.

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