Economic valuation of mangroves and decision-making in the Pacific

Padma Lal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Economists have always argued that only when people bear true economic costs of using natural resources, such as mangroves, that they will have appropriate incentives to use them efficiently and minimize their degradation and losses. More recently, non-economists, too, have started to call for the use of economic valuation information to argue for conservation of mangroves. This paper briefly examines the role economic valuation information can play, at least theoretically, in encouraging conservation of mangroves and increasing efficiency in resource use. In practice, the paper argues that a number of difficulties are likely to be encountered when determining true economic value of mangroves, particularly when small areas of mangroves are involved. A total reliance on economic valuation-based decision-making is questioned, particularly in the light of minimal ecological information often available in small island nations in the Pacific. An alternative decision-making process is proposed in which the relevance of economic valuation-based decision-making is recognized but at a second tier level.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)823-844
    JournalOcean and Coastal Management
    Volume46
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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