Economic Valuation of the Mangroves Ecosystem in the Limpopo River Estuary
Dr. Sennye Masike
Mangroves act as vital carbon sponges and as buffers to storms surges but have been depleted and degraded in many areas. This report explains the economic value of mangroves, making the business case for their conservation specifically in the Limpopo River Estuary.
It notes that mangroves have an economic value in the estuary of about 8.4 million (MZN 424 million). This is based on both their direct value - for fuel wood, timber, fish, crustaceans and traditional medicine - and indirect value as fish nurseries and carbon sinks. Explaining this valuation is an important part of building support for protecting and reforesting mangroves. In a survey, 80 percent of community members in the Limpopo River Estuary said they would be willing to pay for efforts to achieve this aim. The vast majority supported doing so through labor, while 16 percent said they would prefer to pay cash.
The study also quantified the economic sustainability of reforestation at a 236 percent rate of return in 50 years.
It issued many recommendations, including improving monitoring and law enforcement concerning the use of mangrove products. This can be achieved by including community members in the management of mangroves.
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