This article was originally published at: Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES). 


“Mangroves are weeds; if you give them half a chance they grow in some of the most inhospitable environments, with their knees in seawater and their trunks in the air. They create forested barriers between the wrath of the seas and our coastal communities, providing benefits in coastal defense and fisheries. Unfortunately, between us we have seen too many examples where we have not given mangroves half a chance; hundreds of thousands of hectares have been lost to pollution, aquaculture, and other developments. These represent real losses to the coastal communities – often some of the most vulnerable communities living in the highest risk areas.

Why does this happen? It happens in part because the economic value of the benefits from mangroves and other habitats are not measured in terms relevant to Ministries of Finance, Development, and others and thus discounted in policy and management decisions.

But fortunately this is a problem that can be solved. The Philippines is a country that recognizes that mangroves forest can provide real benefits in risk reduction to people and property –  the big questions were, “When and where do they provide these benefits? and how valuable are they?”…”

Read on at: Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES).