This is why mangroves are so important now, and will be more so in future. We cannot afford any more damage to the estuary and surrounding mangroves in Hastings Point.
- • This paper reviews valuation of coastal protection provided by mangroves.
- • This benefit is related to wave attenuation and wind buffering by mangroves.
- • Past studies have relied too frequently on second-best replacement cost methods.
- • More promising valuation methods are using the expected damage function approach.
- • Benefit transfer approaches need to be used with caution and more reliably.
Concern over the loss of mangrove ecosystems often focuses on their role in protecting coastal communities from storms that damage property and cause deaths and injury. With climate change, mangrove loss may also result in less protection against coastal storms as well as sea-level rise, saline intrusion and erosion. Past valuations of the storm protection benefit of mangroves have relied on the second-best replacement cost method, such as estimating this protective value with the cost of building human-made storm barriers. More reliable methods instead model the production of the protection service of mangroves and estimate its value in terms of reducing the expected damages or deaths avoided by coastal communities. This paper reviews recent methods of valuing the storm protection service of mangroves and their role in protecting coastal areas and communities of tropical developing countries.