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Valuing the Environment in Developing Countries

Case Studies

Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer

In this book, the first of two volumes, the authors provide detailed case studies of valuation techniques that have been used in developing countries. They demonstrate that valuation works and that it can yield significant insights into policy-relevant issues regarding conservation and economic development. The authors address a whole range of environmental issues under the broad themes of water and air quality, biological diversity and forest functions. The economic approaches covered include contingent valuation, hedonic property prices, travel cost methodologies and benefits transfer.
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Chapter 18: Economic analysis of alternative mangrove management strategies in Cambodia

Case Studies

Camille Bann


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 productive purposes, such as charcoal production or shrimp farming, may...

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