The destruction of mangrove forests for commercial gain is one of the most pressing environmental problems facing Southeast Asia. This study has shown that it makes better economic sense to conserve this vital resource than to destroy it. The study looked at the Surat Thani Province of southern Thailand, where substantial areas of mangrove have been cleared for shrimp farming. It compared the financial returns to this commercial exploitation with the economic benefits of sustainably using the remaining mangrove. It concluded that while mangrove clearance for shrimp farming is lucrative for individual entrepreneurs it economically disadvantages local communities. Furthermore, the study found that local people have the capability to sustainably manage the mangrove resource themselves, conserving the environment along with their livelihoods.
Costing Coastal Conservation: The Case for Community-led Mangrove Protection