Valuation and Evaluation of Management Alternatives for the Pagbilao Mangrove Forest
Mangrove forests and swamps are rapidly declining in many parts of the world. This decline has resulted in the loss of important environmental and economic functions and products, including forest products, tidal wave control, breeding ground for fish etc. One of the major threats to mangroves in the Philippines is the rapidly increasing aquaculture industry. To understand the importance of mangroves insight into the total economic value of mangroves is important. Comparisons are made with the total value generated by alternative uses such as aquaculture and forestry. In addition to economic value, equity and sustainability objectives are taken into account and analyzed according to the perspective of different types of decision makers involved. ~The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the use of results obtained from valuation of mangroves to support an evaluation of management alternatives for the Pagbilao mangrove forest. The structure of this paper is as follows: first the study site is introduced; this is followed by a review of management alternatives for the Pagbilao mangrove forest, and an assessment of the values of the goods and services linked to these management alternatives. Next, the results from the valuation are used to support the selection of the preferred management alternative, first in a cost-benefit approach, then combined with other types of information in a multi-criteria approach. This paper concludes that if economic efficiency is maximized, conversion to aquaculture is the preferred alternative. However if equity and sustainability objectives are included, commercial forestry is the preferred alternative.