Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer
Chapter 18: Economic analysis of alternative mangrove management strategies in Cambodia
18. Economic analysis of alternative mangrove management strategies in Cambodia Camille Bann 1 INTRODUCTION There are estimated to be 85100 hectares of mangroves in Cambodia occurring in fringe coastal areas along the Gulf of Thailand (Mekong Secretariat, 1991). The vast majority (63700 hectares) of Cambodia’s mangroves are located in Koh Kong Province. While the total area of mangrove forest in Cambodia is small compared to surrounding countries’, these forests, particularly in Koh Kong Province, have been relatively undisturbed until recently. However, Cambodia’s mangroves are now under intense pressure from competing resource uses. Two important threats to the mangrove resource are the clearance of mangrove areas for intensive shrimp farming and charcoal production.1 Neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam have seen widespread destruction of their natural coastal resources as a result of unmanaged exploitation. Sound management strategies for Cambodia’s mangrove areas are urgently needed to avoid a similar outcome. Koh Kong’s mangroves are economically valuable in terms of their products, such as fuelwood, food and construction materials. Their ecological services are also of economic importance (for example, they support local and commercial ﬁsheries by acting as nurseries and shelters for commercially important ﬁnﬁsh and crustaceans, and their storm protection function helps safeguard property and economic activities). Furthermore, local communities in Koh Kong are heavily dependent on the mangrove resources for their livelihood. Community-based alternatives to current unsustainable practices are thus central to the success of any management strategy in Koh Kong. In certain circumstances, using the mangrove resource for...
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