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Economic Valuation of Mangroves and the Roles of Local Communities in the Conservation of Natural Resources: Case Study of Surat Thani, South of Thailand

  • Suthawan Sathirathai

    ()

    (Centre for Ecological Economics, Chulalongkorn University)

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    Mangrove ecosystems are a very important category of wetland systems that shelter coastlines and estuaries. Mangroves, especially in the tropics, are rich in flora and fauna. Their major environmental services include storm protection, shore stabilization, and control of soil erosion and flooding. They are also a biomass export and a nursery ground for marine life. In Thailand, however, mangroves rapidly disappear at the alarming rate of approximately 38,909 rai (6,225 ha) per year (Table 1.1). One of the major causes of mangrove clearance is the conversion of mangrove areas into the intensive shrimp farms which have become a very popular business venture, especially in the South of Thailand (CORIN 1995). Mangrove swamps are targets for shrimp farming because the areas are flooded with brackish water which become potential areas for aquaculture (Hassanai 1993). In fact, culture of banana shrimps ( ) and greasy shrimps ( ) has been practised for more than 50 years. In traditional methods, mangroves are only partially cleared but the intensive culture of black tiger shrimps ( ) requires full conversion of mangrove areas. This type of shrimp culture started as early as 1974. However, it was in 1985 when Japan's increasing demand for shrimps pushed up the price to $100 per kilogram, and intensive shrimp farming boomed (Bantoon 1994).

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    File URL: http://www.eepsea.net/pub/rr/10536137110ACF9E.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1998
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    Paper provided by Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) in its series EEPSEA Research Report with number rr1998061.

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    Date of creation: Jun 1998
    Date of revision: Jun 1998
    Handle: RePEc:eep:report:rr1998061
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.eepsea.net

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    1. Roger Sedjo & Joe Wisniewski & Alaric Sample & John Kinsman, 1995. "The economics of managing carbon via forestry: Assessment of existing studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(2), pages 139-165, September.
    2. Freeman, A. III, 1991. "Valuing environmental resources under alternative management regimes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 247-256, September.
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