Protection of mangrove forests entails the decrease and restriction of their injudicious uses by local people and therefore imposes opportunity costs on poor local communities, which often depend on these forest resources for their subsistence. This study aims to quantify the economic opportunity cost of conservation for coastal communities living in areas adjacent to mangrove forests in the southern coasts of Iran. The main commercial uses of the mangrove forests in this area are restricted to fishing, tourist boating trips, and limited leaves cutting. We applied a choice experiment method to measure the costs of the forest exploitation reduction under hypothetical protection scenarios in which local users would receive monetary compensation to lessen or forgo mangrove forest utilization. The results showed that local communities are willing to accept lower compensation when the protection is meant to decrease the frequency of Hara cutting and fishing, as opposed to banning recreational opportunities. The mean WTA was estimated to be 55 662 500 IRR.hsld(-1).yr(-1) (2026 USD), which was generally lower than opportunity costs in the form of foregone income. Before implementing any policies related to equity, our findings can provide policymakers with useful prior knowledge and prescription.
Mashayekhi, Z., Danehkar, A., Sharzehi, G. A., & Majed, V. (2016). Coastal Communities WTA Compensation for conservation of mangrove forests: a choice experiment approach. Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems, (417), 20. https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2016007