Investment in ecosystem conservation tends to be biased as investment decisions are based on costs and benefits; and more often than not benefits of ecosystem conservation remain undervalued. Recently however, investment in the conservation and management of mangrove ecosystems is increasingly being seen as a key element of sustainable livelihoods and economies, vulnerability reduction and disaster management. For the coastal poor in developing countries as well as the managers of mangrove ecosystems, the value in maintaining them is perhaps not surprising. Local users have long recognized the ecological functions and socio-economic values of mangroves to their lives and livelihoods. Mangrove ecosystems are highly productive areas contributing to the food chains of many species. Mangrove forests are therefore critical components of the ecosystem in that they provide complex habitat structure for numerous juvenile fish species. Overall the awareness about the ecological functions and values of mangrove ecosystems remain low among decision-makers. There is therefore, clearly a need to assess, calculate and share information on the economic values associated with mangroves – and the economic benefits of managing them wisely in the future.
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