Chapter 7: Household Use of Mangrove and Mangrove Conservation Decisions
Edward B. Barbier, Mark Cox and Isra Sarntisart INTRODUCTION The following analysis focuses on the mangrove conservation decisions of households in the four case study coastal villages of southern Thailand. As the previous chapters have indicated, in recent decades the traditional livelihoods of these villagers have been affected by the widespread mangrove deforestation that has occurred in Thailand, especially in southern coastal areas. The major cause of this forest loss has been the conversion of mangroves to commercial shrimp farms, as well as other coastal developments. Given this rapid loss of mangroves, many local communities in southern Thailand have increased their efforts to preserve the remaining forests from which they have traditionally benefited. These conservation efforts have included forest protection and replanting of degraded areas. However, the urban, industrial and tourist developments in the coastal areas not only have contributed to mangrove deforestation but also have led to economic development, demographic change and new employment opportunities in these areas. Therefore, with the rapid demographic, economic and social changes occurring in coastal areas, the willingness of households traditionally dependent on mangroves to participate in local conservation initiatives may vary considerably. This chapter will test the hypothesis that the degree of mangrove dependency is a major causative factor in the active participation of households from the four case study villages in conservation efforts. The hypothesis is that, once households realize that, as mangrove area declines they will experience a reduction in their economic livelihoods, the households will participate in the replanting of...
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