Pricing Mangrove Resources and Amenities
M. SIVAKLMAR, W. ROBERT FERNANDO and P. STEELE
Natural habitats such as mangroves could be conserved and sustainably managed only if local communities have economic incentives to do so Mangrove species, such as Avicennia sp., Rhizophora sp. and Bruguiera sp. provide many direct and indirect benefits to humans.
The cost of replanting mangrove is estimated to be in the order of Rs- 80 per sapling. Since one hectare of healthy mangroves requires about 10,500 saplings, replanting a hectare will cost an estimated Rs. 840,000. Increase in fish catch will be reflected after 1-2 years and if fish are valued at Rs 75 per kg and assuming that the increase of fish yield is 1000 kg/year, this will generate benefits worth of Rs. 75,000 annually. After 4-5 years, the branches and leaves can be collected for fodder, firewood or brush piles. For fodder, Avicennia sp. generates the most benefits at a maximum of 200 kg per plant per year and therefore one hectare of Avicennia sp. generates a maximum of Rs. 4 million per year. After 10 years, the forked poles from the mangroves can be harvested for housing construction and assuming 5 branches per sapling at Rs. 200 per pole , a ha of Rhizophora sp. will generate Rs 1 million revenues.
Economic analysis shows that in the long run, the benefits of mangroves to the local community are much easier than the costs of replanting, but these benefits de reaped after 5 years or so. This suggests that poor communities may require assistance to subsidies replanting. Nevertheless if communities are given an understanding of the economic benefits, and the authority to control access to the mangroves, they have enough incentives to sustainably manage the mangroves.