Mangrove 400x return

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Mangrove Forests Unveil a 400-Fold Return When Measured Against Their True Economic Value 🌱

Putting a monetary value to the natural world is an incredibly difficult task, primarily because the vast contributions of nature are often significantly under-appreciated in economic terms.

Take mangrove trees for example, important providers of a diverse range of ecosystem services, including:

🐟 Fishery Products 🌳 Forestry Products 🧬 Medicinal Resources 🌿 Carbon Sequestration 🐠 Nursery Grounds for Marine Life 🌊 Coastline Storm Protection (as seen in the video below) 💧 Seawater Intrusion Prevention (protecting groundwater)

Diving into the numbers:

A comprehensive study examining the economic valuation of mangroves in Indonesia estimated the worth of their ecosystem services to be $4,000 to $8,000 per hectare (1).

With an average density of 5,000 trees per hectare (2) and a lifespan of 40 to 100 years (3), and considering a 20% mortality rate (which can vary from 1% to 50%), a single mangrove tree's lifetime value, as per this study, ranges from $25.60 to $128.

Using the median per hectare value of $6,000 and a median lifespan of 70 years, again accounting for a 20% mortality rate, we land at a lifetime value of $84 per tree.

At Earthly our collaborations with pioneering mangrove restoration projects, from Pakistan to Madagascar, reveal a striking 400-fold difference between the cost of planting (starting at $0.21 per tree) and the tree's median lifetime economic value of $84. This highlights not only the financial feasibility of restoration initiatives but also their vast environmental and economic benefits.

I guess my main point here is to really highlight the irreplaceable value of mangroves and the broader natural world, emphasising the crucial environmental wealth that sustains our planet.

Now imagine this example applied globally across all natural ecosystems.

While it may seem crude to assign monetary values to nature, sometimes understanding something’s worth is often key to truly appreciating its significance.

What do you think?

(1) Economic Valuation of Mangroves for Comparison with Commercial Aquaculture in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Forests 2015, 6(9), 3028-3044;

(2) Mangrove Restoration Toolkit SGP UNDP

(3) The World Mangrove Atlas / The Ecology of Mangrove and Related Ecosystems - Wetlands Ecology and Management

(Video Credit: Deltares)

#MangroveRestoration #NaturalWealth #EcosystemServices #NaturalCapital

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https://ap5.fas.nus.edu.sg/fass/geofd/friess et al 2022 achieving mangrove restoration.pdf