Book Chapter
The Management of Coastal Wetlands

Economic Analysis of Combined Ecologic-Economic Systems

Coastal wetlands are complex and they tend to be very sensitive to changes in hydraulic conditions: natural and human-made. Such wetlands provide various ecological functions, including groundwater recharge, flood control, nutrient retention, and micro-climate stabilization. They are also a source of various products including water supply and fisheries. Despite these direct and indirect values, they are often subject to development pressures (i.e., converting the wetlands for other purposes such as land development), usually based on benefit cost analysis (BCA). The chapter argues that an extended benefit cost analysis that includes the external and environmental benefits is needed. Six case studies of valuation of services of mangroves are discussed, including those of Thailand, Fiji, and Indonesia. Based on these, it is argued that a combined economic-ecologic analysis is needed to analyse properly management and development options for coastal wetlands.