IRCP
Pacific Coral Reef Institute
EPHE

Economic Valuation Of Mangrove Ecosystem Services In Vanuatu: Case Studies of Crab Bay (Malekula Is.) And Eratap (Efate Is.)

Executive summary

Objectives and context
This study objective is to produce the economic valuation of mangrove ecosystem services in Vanuatu. It is part of the MESCAL project developed to address the main challenges to mangrove management and conservation. Specifically, the study contributes to the outcome n°1 (National Baseline Information about Climate Change Scenarios, use and values of Mangroves and Associated Ecosystems) as well as to the outcome n°4 (Increased Awareness, Advocacy and Capacity development).
In response to market failures, economic valuation of mangrove ecosystem services (ES) is viewed as a promising approach at different levels. In this study the ES evaluation was undertaken to raise awareness among decision-makers, policy-makers and the public regarding the benefits of the environment for society. Based on the general recognition that “money talks”, its role will be to strengthen the support to environment regulation and resource management actions. At the same time, this study can be part of a monitoring routine to inform management with economic indicators (“we manage better what we can measure”).

Annual value of the ecosystem services of the mangroves
Based on the economic evaluation of 9 ecosystems services (ES1 to ES9), we found the following results:
In Crab bay, mangrove ecosystems (136.5 ha) have produced in 2012 a total of Vt 53M (equivalent to US$ 586K) comprised between Vt 36M an Vt 70M, In Eratap, the mangrove (31.2 ha) was estimated to produce annually a value of Vt 24M (equivalent to US$ 266K) with a minimum of Vt 17M and a maximum value of Vt 31M.
For comparison between sites this is equivalent to Vt 386k per year per ha ($US 4300.y-1.ha-1) in Crab bay and Vt 768k per year per ha ($US 8500.y-1.ha-1) in Eratap.
In Crab bay, the principal ecosystem services in economic terms are the value of carbon sequestrated (ES9), the proteins from subsistence fishery (ES1), the commercial fisheries (ES2) and the wood extraction (ES4) summing almost 98% of the total value.
In Eratap, the principal ES are the value of carbon sequestrated (ES9), the revenues from tourism linked to mangroves (ES5), the avoided costs from coastal protection against flood (ES6) and proteins from subsistence fishery (ES1) for a total of 85% of the total value. Commercial Fishery (ES2), wood extraction and recreative fishery are the orther ES.

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