Economic Valuation of Mangrove Ecosystem Services

Shoreline Protection in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica


Master's Thesis, 2013
64 Pages

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Table of Contents

Abstract

Acknowledgments

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

Chapter I: Introduction
1.1 Research objective and hypothesis
1.2 Literature review
1.3 Description of the study area
1.4 Materials and methods
1.4.1 Approach and methods
1.4.2 Database ofthe study
1.4.3 Data collection limitations

Chapter II: Theoretical background
2.1 Coastal protection
2.2 Ecosystem-based Adaptation
2.3 Economic valuation of ecosystem services

Chapter III: Empirical strategies and results: Shoreline Protection in the Savegre Delta
3.1 Economic valuation of shoreline protection
3.2 Mangrove conservation project
3.2.1 Ecosystem services and total economic value (TEV) of mangroves
3.2.2 Benefits of the mangroves
3.2.3 Project costs
3.2.4 Cost-benefit analysis
3.3 The hypothetical dike construction project
3.3.1 Project benefits
3.3.2 Project costs
3.3.3 Cost-benefit analysis
3.4 Comparison of the projects

Chapter IV: Discussion

Chapter V: Conclusions and recommendations

References

Appendix

List of Tables

Table 1 : Steps to carrying out a CBA

Table 2: Databaseof the study

Table 3: Oceanographic data base ofthe study

Table 4: Total benefits of oil palm

Table 5: Total benefits of rice

Table 6: Total benefits of grassland

Table 7: Calculation of the economic value of the protected lands

Table 8: Avoided cost method

Table 9: Total economic value of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta

Table 10: Ranking ofthe environmental benefits

Table 11: Co-benefits ofthe mangroves in the Savegre Delta

Table 12: Total economic value of ecosystem services

Table 13: Maintenance costs attributed to the mangroves in the NPMA

Table 14: Cost-benefit analysis mangrove conservation without co-benefits

Table 15: Cost-benefit analysis mangrove conservation

Table 16: Costs of dike construction

Table 17: Cost-benefit analysis dike construction

Table 18: Comparison ofthe projects without co-benefits

Table 19: Comparison ofthe projects

List of Figures

Figure 1: Study area in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Figure 2: Mangrove lost since 1949

Figure 3: Methodological Framework

Figure 4: Factors affecting wave attenuation by mangroves

Figure 5: Valuation techniques for wetlands

Figure 6: Altimetry analysis ofthe vulnerable area in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Figure 7: Vulnerable area to extreme weather events in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Figure 8: Vulnerable area protected by mangroves in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Figure 9: Land cover type analysis ofthe protected lands

List of Abbreviations

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Abstract

More than 50% of human population lives along the coast building big cities with high population densities. Nowadays these cities are exposed to several meteorological and geophysical hazards such as extreme weather events, storms and floods. Therefore there is a need for the implementation of adaptation measures to protect human populations and vulnerable communities against these impacts. Most of the protection measures focus on hard engineering solutions, but there is also a new focus on natural protection by ecosystems like mangroves in the context of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). This study aims to fill the information gaps pertaining to the economics behind the usage of natural protection barriers in comparison to hard engineering structures. Therefore two coastal protection projects are compared within a cost-benefit analysis, the mangrove conservation project and the construction of a dike. The net present value (NPV) criterion is used to determine the more profitable option of these two projects to protect the shore of the Savegre Delta. Moreover, a special focus of the study lies on the detailed economic valuation of the ecosystem service of shoreline protection provided by the mangroves with the avoided cost method (ACM). As a result of the comparison of the two protection projects, the study indicates that the NPV for mangrove conservation is higher than that of the construction of a dike. This result implies that shoreline protection through natural ecosystems can be a cost- effective alternative to the hard engineering solutions. It also entails that the mangroves in the Savegre Delta and worldwide are worth conserving, because besides the benefit of shoreline protection, they also provide a wide range of ecosystem services bound to a high economic value.

Acknowledgments

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisors Prof. Dr. Federico Foders and Dr. Linda Kleemann of the Kiel Institute of World Economy (IfW) for their encouragement, advice and support.

I owe sincere thankfulness to Dr. Michael Schlönvoigt, Patricia Ruiz and to all BIOMARCC colleagues of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for their help and support during the data gathering process in Costa Rica.

Special thanks of mine goes to the members of the following Institutions for their commitment and support: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Costa Rican National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), Costa Rican Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC), National Park Manuel Antonio (NPMA), Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), Palma Tica Company (NUMAR Group), National Rice Corporation Costa Rica (CONARROZ), National Chamber of Palm Producers Costa Rica (CANAPALMA), Center of Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR), the University of Costa Rica (UCR), Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA), Airborne Research Programme Costa Rica (PRIAS) and Coopesilencio. In addition I would like to thank the following persons: Alfredo Grajal, Henry Chaves, Thomas Unmut and Jutta Köhler

I wish to thank my family and my boyfriend, for their unlimited support, which helped me and encouraged me to finish this thesis.

Chapter I: Introduction

Since decades humans have migrated to the coast for many reasons, most of them associated to the ecosystem services provided by marine and coastal ecosystems, such as food, recreation/tourism, spiritual benefits. More than 50% of the human population lives along the coast, building big cities with high population densities, including also poor communities that are dependent on ecosystem services (Hale et al. 2009).

Humanity is facing the impacts of climate change and coastal zones are more dynamic than ever. The increase of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is raising the temperature of the air and the sea, which induces changes in precipitation patterns and sea level rise. Experts say that the combination of sea level rise and higher surface temperature of the oceans result in a higher frequency of extreme weather events, like cyclones and hurricanes, leading to mass mortality in ecosystems like mangroves and to high damages in infrastructure (USAID 2009).

The pacific coast of Costa Rica has already been impacted by severe weather events. In the years 1996 and 1997 extraordinary tides impacted the island of Damas in Quepos (Lizano 1997). Taking into account the threats of living along the coastline, human populations need to protect the shoreline and adapt to the natural disasters and climate change impacts. On these regards, most adaptive responses focus on anthropogenic solutions, like hard engineering structures, but there is also a new focus on natural protection barriers, like the one offered by mangroves (Hale et al. 2009).

Mangroves are widespread along the coasts of Costa Rica and most of them are a part of a natural protected area, like the ones in the National Park Manuel Antonio (NPMA). These mangroves are being conserved mainly because of their high biodiversity, recreational purposes and their intrinsic value. However, the service of shoreline protection is becoming more important due to the already occurring natural hazards and the impacts of climate change.

1.1 Research objective and hypothesis

Research objective

The objective of this study is to make an economical cost-benefit analysis of two coastal protection projects: Mangrove conservation vs. dike construction, to compare them and to determine which alternative is economically more profitable to protect the shoreline of the Savegre Delta area. A special focus lies on the detailed economic valuation of the shoreline protection service offered by the mangroves.

Hypothesis

To assure the shoreline protection of the vulnerable lands of the study area in the Savegre Delta, it is economically more profitable to conserve the mangrove ecosystem than to invest in the construction and maintenance of a hypothetical dike.

1.2 Literature review

The linkages between ecosystems, ecosystem services and human well-being have become very important over the past decades (TEEB 2010). One of the first pioneers who examined the interactions between ecosystems and economics was Westman (1977) in a paper called “How much are nature’s services worth?”. But it was not until the 90s when the term ecosystem service gained an importance with publications from Costanza et al. (1992) and Daily (1997), where the natural capital and nature’s services where further discussed. Furthermore, there was a growing interest on economic methods to estimate the value of these services. For example, Costanza et al. (1997) published a document called “The value of world’s ecosystem services and natural capital”, where the economic value of 17 ecosystem services was estimated (Costanza et al. 1997).

In the year 2003, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) set a milestone by classifying the ecosystem services in 4 categories: supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural[1]. Since then the term ecosystem service is more considered in the policy agenda and the publications about the topic shifted considerably (Gómez et al. 2009).

The economic valuation of ecosystem services became more important (Pagiola et al. 2004, Costanza et al. 2010, UNEP 2010) and so did the economic valuation of marine ecosystems services (Remoundou et al. 2009, Chong 2005, Nunes et al. 2009). Concerning economic valuation of mangroves the two outstanding authors are Barbier et al. (1997) who wrote about the economic valuation of wetlands and Bann (1998) who published a manual for the economic valuation of mangroves.

Since then, several mangrove economic valuation studies followed, focusing mainly on the total economic value (TEV) of these ecosystems (Sathirathai 1998, Hoberg 2011, World Resources institute). Furthermore, the costs and benefits of mangroves were compared within a cost-benefit analysis by Fernandez et al. (2006), to analyze the net benefits of mangrove reforestation, by Padilla et al. (1996) to analyze the option of mangrove conversion into aquaculture and by Ruitenbeek (1991), to analyze the management options of mangroves in Bintuni Bay.

The service of shoreline protection provided by mangroves has also gained interest, particularly on the context of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) which is considered as the alternative to the hard engineering structures, because it is a coastal protection option which focuses on the restoration and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems to attenuate waves and reduce storm damages (Hale et al. 2009). Chong’s (2005) study focused particularly on the service of shoreline protection provided by coral reefs and mangroves and Rusyan (2006) analyzed the value of mangroves in reducing tsunami impacts in Sri Lanka.

A study of the University of California (Bren School of Environment Science & Management) valued different coastal adaptation options for the coast of the South Pacific Islands, using different scenarios. In most scenarios, the study comes to the conclusion, that the net present value (NPV) for constructing seawalls is generally higher than for the conservation and restoration of mangroves. However, in some scenarios mangroves perform better than seawalls (Clark et al.).

The literature review showed that economic valuation of ecosystem services has become very important over the last decades. There is a growing interest in valuing mangroves ecosystem services economically and to compare their benefits with other management options. In the context of coastal protection, there is a higher awareness of the provision of shoreline protection by mangroves. However, there is still a need for more information about the economic value of shoreline protection. Also the use of economic analysis to assess the costs and benefits of different coastal protection measures should be further developed. On these regards, the present study aims to fill in this gap.

1.3 Description ofthe study area

The study area is located at the delta of the Savegre River, at the central pacific coast of Costa Rica and it contains the mangroves of the National Park Manuel Antonio (NPMA). The NPMA is situated 7km south of the town of Quepos, Canton Aguirre, Province of Puntarenas and has a land area of 1.612 hectares and a marine surface of 42.016 hectares. The Park was created in 1972 and in the year 2000 the area of “Playa el Rey” and the Delta of the Savegre River were annexed. It is administrated by the Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC), the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAET) (ACOPAC-INBio 2005). The NPMA is located in the Central Pacific climate region with a tropical monsoon and an average temperature of 26,5°C. The dry season is from January to March and the rainy season lasts from April to December (Onca Natural 2012).

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Figure 1: Study area in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Source: own representation in cooperation with Leupolz, ArcGis 10.1, Land coverby PRIAS, Regularization of cadastre and registration of Costa Rica: IDB Cadastre Programme (2008, Satellite Picture by RapidEye 2010.

The mangroves in the study area (Figure 1) have a total of 246,91 ha and are located in the south of the NPMA, in the Delta of the Savegre River. The mangroves are mainly composed of Avicennia sp. and Rhizophora sp., mixed with other plants and beach palms (Onca Natural 2012). They provide habitat for bird species, mollusks, and fishes and play an important role in the regulation of tides and currents of the area. The mangroves in the Savegre Delta are categorized as “restricted area” because of its high ecological values and ecosystem services. There are only a few activities allowed in this area, for example scientific investigations of the area which have been properly authorized or activities that aim the restoration or protection of the area. With an official permission of the administration of the NPMA, tourism is also allowed. However the development of tourism for the area has to be on an ecological basis and the tour has to be guided by an authorized person, to protect the wildlife and the nature. Furthermore it is prohibited to construct buildings or permanent facilities, only very rustic rails are allowed for touristic purposes (ACOPAC-INBio 2005).

Since 1949 more than 60% of the pristine mangrove forest in the Savegre Delta has been lost (Figure 2) (own calculation in cooperation with Leupolz based on IGN 2005). One of the main reasons for the degradation of the mangroves is the forward moving agricultural frontier. Mangroves are being drained and filled to be converted into rice fields, oil palm plantations or for livestock. Due to the lack of surveillance and control there are many illegal rice and palm plantations in the study area. Further pressures are: the contamination due to chemicals or wastewater, the extraction of wood for firewood and the extraction of construction materials from the rivers (ACOPAC-INBio 2005).

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Figure 2: Mangrove lost since 1949

Source: own representation in cooperation with Leupolz, ArcGis 10.1, Land coverby PRIAS, Satellite Picture by RapidEye 2010.

1.4 Materials and methods

1.4.1 Approach and methods

The methodological approach of this study (Figure 3) is to perform a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of two projects for coastal protection: The conservation of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta and the construction of a dike. First the service of shoreline protection of the mangroves is valued with the avoided cost method (ACM). As a second step the costs and benefits of mangrove conservation in the Savegre Delta are assessed within a cost-benefit analysis (CBA). Then a CBA is conducted for the dike construction project considering the investment and maintenance costs and the benefit of shoreline protection. Finally, the NPV of the two projects is compared to identify the more profitable option for the given area.

Framework

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Figure 3: Methodological Framework

Source: Own representation

Step 1:

As a first step, a detailed economic analysis of the ecosystem service of shoreline protection is conducted, using the avoided cost method (ACM). According to Barbier et al. (1997) the avoided cost method can be used to value the indirect-use values of mangroves, as it is the regulating service of shoreline protection. The method is a part of the cost-based approaches[2] (Barbier et al. 1997) and concentrates on the costs which are avoided because a given ecosystem is present (WRI 2009). Although the costs-based approaches are seen as the second best options since they tend to overestimate the costs (Nunes et al.2009), they are used very frequently in valuation studies because they are useful when there are time and resources limitations (Bann 1998). Therefore, the ACM is used in this study instead of hedonic pricing or contingent valuation[3].

For the application of the method in practice a step-by-step ACM approach developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) is used. The method calculates the likely damage and the related economic losses to a coastal area with a given storm event scenario, with and without the coastal ecosystem (Kumar 2010). The economic losses avoided because of the ecosystem are the “damages avoided” (WRI 2009). This method has been applied in several case studies to value the ecosystem service of shoreline protection of mangroves and coral reefs, e.g. in Tobago and St. Lucia, Belize and Jamaica (WRI 2009).

The methodological procedure for the ACM developed by the WRI (2009) was adapted to the study area in Costa Rica, taking into account the availability and quality of the data.

The steps to undertake an ACM are:

1. Identify the land vulnerable to storm damage

The land vulnerable to storm damage is defined as the land within 2km of the coast which is lower than the combination of a storm surge and the wave height expected during a storm event.

2. Identify the land which is protected by a mangrove ecosystem

The land protected by mangroves is the area behind the mangroves which was before classified as vulnerable.

3. Conduct a land cover type analysis of the protected lands in ArcGis[4]

4. Determine the value of the vulnerable land protected by a mangrove ecosystem

In this step the value of the vulnerable land protected by a mangrove ecosystem is calculated, estimating the value of infrastructure, houses, agricultural land, etc.

5. Determine the share of coastal protection attributed to mangroves

In this step the percentage of coastal protection attributed to mangroves is calculated. Due to the lack of information for the study area, the percentage of protection provided by the mangroves is assessed with the help of experts in the area and with a literature review.

6. Calculation of the “damages avoided”

The damages avoided are calculated by taking into account the total value of the vulnerable land protected by mangroves, the probability of an extreme weather event per year occurring in the pacific coast of Costa Rica and the share of shoreline protection given by mangroves. The value of shoreline protection in US$/year is calculated by multiplying the total value of the protected land with the likelihood of any severe weather event in the Costa Rican Pacific coastline per year by the share of shoreline protection provided by mangroves.

7. Reflection of uncertainties

To reflect the uncertainties of these calculations a margin of (+/- 20%) is considered. Source: WRI 2009 and Horberg 2011

Step 2:

As a second step, the benefit of shoreline protection and the co-benefits provided by the mangroves are compared to the costs of its conservation within a CBA with a 10 year timeframe and two discounting rates, 5 and 10%.

The economic analysis of this study is a cost-benefit analysis, as it considers the economic costs and benefits on the well-being of society (Bann 1998). CBA is an economic decision tool, which evaluates projects based on the comparison of their costs and benefits (Nyborg 1996). The standard reference to perform a CBA can be found in “The theory of Cost-Benefit Analysis” (Dréze and Stern 1987). This study analyses two mutually exclusive projects, thus the NPV criterion is used to determine which project should be pursued (Remer et al. 1995). The following formula is assumed:

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With NPV= Net Present Value, B = Benefits, C= Costs, t= number of years, r= discounting rate, n=duration ofthe project

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With NB=Net Benefits

Source: Adapted from Fernandez et al. 2006, Barzev 2002 and Burbridge et al. 1981.

This criterion is one of the most widespread techniques because of its easy way of evaluating projects by moving all the net benefits to the present (Remer et al. 1995). For the project two conditions are evaluated with the NPV criterion, to determine which project to choose.

Condition 1: NPV > 0

If the NPV is greater than zero, then the project is profitable and is accepted (Takatsu 1984).

Condition 2: NPV Project A > NPV Project B

The alternative with the highest NPV is chosen (Michel 2001).

For carrying out the cost-benefit analysis, an applied methodology is used, following the “Economic Valuation of Mangroves: A Manual for Researchers” (Bann 1998). This document gives a broad overview of the step-by-step methodology to perform a CBA for a mangrove project and its management alternatives. The methodology has been adapted for the study, as shown in table 1. In addition Camille Bann (1998) suggests undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment[5] and a sensitivity analysis[6] to integrate the results within the CBA. These two steps will not be part of the study, however the sensitivity of the variable discounting rate has been addressed by using two different discounting rates.

Table 1: Steps to carrying out a CBA

Source: own representation adapted from Bann, 1998 “The Economic Valuation of Mangroves: A Manual for Researchers”, p.13

Step 1: Identification of the ecosystem services of the mangrove and classification within a Total Economic Valuation (TEV)[7] framework

Step 2: Ranking and estimation of environmental benefits

Step 3: Calculation of conventional project costs

Step 4: Implementation of a CBA using the chosen decision criterion

The steps to carrying out a CBA mentioned in table 1 are applied in chapter 3 for each project.

For the benefit calculation of the mangrove conservation project, the value of shoreline protection is added to the other co-benefits provided by the mangroves. The detailed economic valuation of the co-benefits of the mangroves is not part of this study. The values are defined by the analysis of different case studies similar to the study area in the Savegre Delta (defra 2007) (see Appendix 1). For the analysis the highest and the lowest value are identified (Super 2010) and then the total value of each ecosystem service is calculated with the average value. The costs of the mangrove conservation project are obtained by interviews and second gathering data methods from official sources. For a detailed description of the data used for this section, see “Database of the study”.

Step 3:

As a third step, a CBA is conducted for the dike construction project. The dike constructed is a substitute for the mangroves of the Savegre Delta, thus the shoreline protection benefits of the dike are equal to those provided by the mangroves. The costs and structure of the dike are determined by interviews, secondary data gathering and complemented by site visits. For a more detailed description of the sources, see “Database of the study”.

Step 4:

Finally, the NPV calculated for both projects are compared and analyzed according to the conditions mentioned above.

Assumptions:

- Mangrove conservation (by the NPMA) is a condition for the provision of the shoreline service
- The mangroves of the Savegre Delta can provide the service of shoreline protection during the next 10 years
- The reference value is a damage of a 100%: If an extreme weather event occurs without any coastal protection on site, the destruction would reach the highest degree.
- The valuation of the “avoided damages” is static. This means there are no changes in the economic values of the different land covers for a period of 10 years
- For a dike construction, it is assumed that the mangrove is completely degraded and the provision of shoreline protection can no longer be provided
- The dike constructed is a perfect substitute for the mangrove and offers the same value of shoreline protection
- The dike proposed is the least cost alternative
- The maintenance costs of the dike are 4% of the initial construction costs (Clark et al.)
- Sunk costs are not considered in the CBA
- Option and non-use values[8] are not part of the economic analysis
- Environmental impacts and costs are not assessed in this study

Parameters

- The duration of the project is n=10 year, as it is the useful life of the proposed dike. After 10 years the dike has to be replaced by a new dike if the shoreline protection factor is to remain constant
- Baseline year is 2012
- All values are presented in 2012 US Dollars (US$). Values that were published in the Costa Rican currency (Colones) were converted using the exchange rate 1 US$ = 501,75 Colones (National Bank of Costa Rica 21.10.2012)
- Two discounting rates are used for the study 5 and 10%. These discounting rates are taken as a reference from similar studies (Fernandez et al. 2006, Ruitenbeek 1991)

1.4.2 Database of the study

The data for the present study was collected between May and October 2012. The data was primarily collected through secondary data gathering from governmental agencies, e.g. the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the National Park Manuel Antonio (NPMA) and the Electricity Institute of Costa Rica (ICE). Also from non-governmental organizations, e.g. the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and private institutions like the Chambers of Palm producers (CANAPALMA), CONARROZ and Palma Tica. In addition interviews were conducted with a panel of experts e.g. biologists, oceanographers and complemented by site visits and field work. The main data sources are listed below in table 2. The validity of the data is classified in limited, satisfactory and high degree of certainty.

Table 2: Database of the study

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Source: own representation

1.4.3 Data collection limitations

The effective collection of the data for the study was difficult and limited due to a number of reasons. There was no database set for the study area, instead the data was spread along companies, governmental agencies and private consultants. This delayed the process of recollecting the data needed for the study. Furthermore, there was a lag of time between the requesting and the obtaining of the data. Letters and application had to be written and on some occasions, they were rejected because of the confidentiality of the data.

In some cases, it was difficult to obtain updated information. It took several month to get the satellite pictures and the land cover from the study area in the year 2010. Furthermore, it was very difficult to access the oceanographic information. In Costa Rica only little research has been done in the topic of adaptation to climate change and sea level rise, thus only few experts knew about the situation in the country and had very limited data.

Chapter II: Theoretical background

2.1 Coastal protection

The effects of climate change, like sea level rise, flooding and increased frequency of natural hazards, are already impacting communities and ecosystems (UNFCCC 2011). In the last decades, human population migrated to coastal areas and big cities developed. Nowadays these cities are exposed to several meteorological and geophysical hazards, such as extreme weather events, storms and flooding. According to estimations, already 200 million people in the planet are vulnerable to coastal flooding during extreme weather events and already 20 million people live below the tide levels. The number of threatened population is increasing and will continue to increase in the coming years and decades. Adaptation approaches and advanced management plans are needed to protect this high population density, the infrastructure and the economic activities lying in low coastal areas (Nicholls 2011).

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), adaptation strategies to the impacts of climate change can be classified in three main categories: Retreat, accommodation and protection (Figure 4). According to Nicholls, the planned adaptation strategy of retreat, allows the impacts of sea-level rise to occur and human impacts are minimized by abandonment of the vulnerable area and resettlement of the population (Nicholls et al. 2010 and Nicholls 2011). In the strategy of accommodation, the impacts to humans and infrastructure are minimized for example by preparing the houses for flood resilience (raising them with pilings and other requirements) (IPCC CZMS 1990).

Accommodation and retreat are two strategies which require the acceptance that some coastal zones values could be lost. On the other hand, the protection strategy involves defensive measures to protect the areas against inundation and other weather events (IPCC CZMS 1990). Nicholls et al. (2010) describes a tendency to protection by hard engineering approaches along the history of adaptation, more than by retreat and accommodation (e.g. 22000 km2 of the coastal zone in Europe are covered with concrete) (Hale et al. 2009). A reason for this is the population moving actively towards the sea, claiming the coastal area (Nicholls et al. 2010).

In the strategy of protection, “hard and soft structures” are used to protect the shore against the impacts (Nicholls et al. 2010). Depending on the site conditions “soft and hard” approaches can be used alone or in combination (IPCC CZMS 1990). However, according to Nicholls et al. (2010), complete protection is not achieved and some residual risk always remains. In the following the two approaches “hard and soft structures” are further explained:

Hard structures

According to the IPCC, the hard structures concentrate on engineering and technical solutions. One of the options is the construction of seawalls and dikes. These structures are raised to protect the coast from floods, waves and storms. Other hard structural options mentioned by the IPCC are groins and detached breakwaters. Groins are placed perpendicular to the coast with the goal of trapping sediment to widen the beach and prevent it from eroding. Breakwaters on the other hand are constructed offshore and parallel to the coast with the goal of dissipating wave energy to reduce damage by storms and erosion. Regarding the hard structures, it should be considered, that this option is associated with high costs of investment which could be a barrier for its implementation, especially in development countries (IPCC CZMS 1990).

Soft structures

According to the IPCC, soft structures focus on other types of adaptation strategies. One option is beach filling and subsequent re-nourishment, which involves the replacement of sand along the coast. With this filling, a more width and long shoreline is achieved which will dissipate better wave energy and improve the beach for recreational purposes. Another option is the building and preservation of sand dunes along the coast. In combination with a long beach, these dunes offer a protection against storms and waves to the properties and humans living along the coast. Other possible solutions are the research on ecosystems that could reduce the vulnerability of the coast, like mangroves, artificial seaweed and reef creations. Enhancing the growth of these ecosystems could increase coastal protection (IPCC CZMS 1990).

2.2 Ecosystem-based Adaptation

Along the adaptation history, there has been a growing interest in the natural shoreline protection provided by coastal ecosystems (Hale et al. 2009). As already indicated in the chapter above, the implementation of soft structures and the research on ecosystems that could reduce the vulnerability of the coast is also an approach for coastal protection.

As mentioned earlier, the adaptation through hard engineering structures is often associated with high construction costs, which is a barrier for its implementation especially in developing countries. Therefore vulnerable communities in developing countries are mostly dependent on the well-functioning of marine and coastal ecosystems and their service of shoreline protection. Shoreline protection and erosion prevention through mangroves and coral reefs are of vital importance for these communities, considering the lack of adaptive capacity of the population and the lack of financial means and engineers of the governments. This type of adaptation through ecosystems is a part ofthe Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach (Hale et al. 2009). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change defines the Ecosystem-based Adaptation as “(...) a range of local and landscape scale strategies for managing ecosystems to increase resilience and maintain essential ecosystem services and reduce the vulnerability of people, their livelihoods and nature in the face of climate change” (UNFCCC 2009, p.3). The Ecosystem-based Adaptation approach focuses on several adaptation measures to reduce the vulnerability of communities and one of the most important actions is the restoration and conservation of ecosystems, like mangroves, as a cost-effective solution to protect the shoreline and the communities against flooding and natural hazards (UNFCCC 2011).

To clarify the concepts, the TEEB defines ecosystem services as “the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being” (TEEB 2010). TEEB classifies the ecosystem services in four main categories: provisioning, regulating, habitat and cultural services, with a total of 22 services (TEEB 2010). Provisioning services are the products that we can obtain from the ecosystems, like food and water. Regulating services, on the other hand, are the benefits that can be obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes such as climate regulation and erosion prevention. The habitat services, like lifecycle maintenance and gene pool protection, are necessary for the maintenance and production of all other ecosystem services. Their impact on humans is more indirect and occurs during a long period of time. Finally, cultural services are described as nonmaterial benefits. People can benefit from these services in forms of recreation, spiritual enrichment and reflection (UNEP 2006).

This study has a special focus on mangrove ecosystems as they provide many ecosystem services and are one of the most important ecosystems in tropical marine and coastal zones (MCZ). Mangroves are coastal tree species capable of living in saltwater or in salty soil regimes that grow in subtropics and tropic sheltered coastlines and provide a wide range of services important for human well-being and nature (Clark 1998). They are subject to natural and anthropogenic drivers of change, which can affect their intrinsic nature. However, they are very strong and adaptable ecosystems, daily they are exposed to tidal changes in temperature, to waves, water and salt. Furthermore, they exhibit a high degree of persistence, which refers to the constancy over time and ecological resilience, which means they have the ability to recover from disturbance (Alongi 2008).

Regarding the ecosystem services, they provide e.g. leaf litter that is an essential food source for many fish species and shrimps and are a sheltered place for young fish, mammals, reptiles and bird species. They also play a significant role in climate regulation by sequestrating significant amounts of CO2 (Clark 1998). Furthermore, these ecosystems provide cultural services, such as recreation, tourism, and spiritual significance and supporting services, such as nursery areas for fish species (UNEP 2006). Concerning the regulating services, mangroves improve water quality because of their capacity to absorb chemical pollutants in the water, stabilize the coastal shoreline and protect the coast from erosion by acting as a buffer against destructive storms and floods (Clark 1998).

Mclvor et al. (2012) describes these ecosystems as strong and resilient and with the ability to protect the shore against natural hazards. Although mangroves usually settle on shores with little wave energy, they may be exposed to larger waves during hurricanes, storms and periods with high wind speed (Mclvor et al. 2012). Mangroves have several key characteristics that contribute to their resilience to disturbance to extreme weather events. Some of the most important characteristics are: a great reservoir of low lying nutrients to buffer nutrient loss, fast recovery because of nutrient-use efficiency and complex and efficient biotic controls, a simple architecture which facilitates the rapid reconstruction and recovery and an immense attain of biomass and height. There are several factors which influence the extent of the protection provided by mangroves (Figure 4), for example the width of the forest, the density, diameter and height of the trees, the biomass vested in the roots, presence of other ecosystems in the foreshore (coral reefs, seagrass, dunes) and the force and speed of the extreme weather event (Alongi 2008).

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Figure 4: Factors affecting wave attenuation by mangroves

Source: Mclvor, Anna; Möller, Iris; Spencer, Tom; Spalding, Mark (2012): Reduction of Wind and Swell Waves by Mangroves. Natural Coastal Protection Series: Report 1. Published by Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International. University ofCambridge. Cambride, Uk., p.3.

The characteristics of the mangrove vegetation are a very important factor for wave attenuation. For example the Rhizophora mangrove has roots, which form a network above the substrate and make resistance to the water flow. The Avicennia has aerial roots which project out of the substrate and can reach to 30cm height. The density of the obstacles that waves encounter while they pass through the mangroves is very important for the wave attenuation (Mclvor et al. 2012).

Several studies have been made to measure the wave attenuation by mangroves and all come to the conclusion that there is a reduction in wave energy and height as the waves passed through the mangrove. Some studies found out, that with a 100 meter mangrove belt, wave energy can be reduced by 13 and 66%. Other studies suggest that across a 500 meter width mangrove belt, wave height could be reduced by 50 to 99%. The studies defer in their findings and most of them measured wave attenuation with relatively small waves, because the measurement during extreme waves is dangerous and difficult (Mclvor et al. 2012). However, there are studies that used data from the tsunami 2004 in South-East Asia, which also measured the wave attenuation by mangroves, with waves up to 30 meters height. A research was conducted in the Adam Islands, a low lying area populated by pristine mangrove forests. Only 30 villages of 418 where severely devastated along the Adam coast during the tsunami, which represents only a 7% of destruction. In comparison in other areas where mangroves had been deforested and degraded because of aquaculture and tourism this percentage is between 80 to 100% (Dahdouh-Guebas 2006). Taking 80% as representative the percentage of protection by mangroves is estimated to be approximately 73% with big waves (Hoberg 2011). However in this research field more data about the characteristics of mangroves and its potential for shoreline protection is needed.

In the context of Ecosystem-based adaptation, the shoreline protection provided by mangroves is considered as a complement to the soft structures and as a way to improve or replace the hard structures (Jones et al. 2012). By conserving or restoring mangroves, not only the service of shoreline protection is provided, but also a number of financial, ecological and socio-cultural co-benefits (UNFCCC 2011). For example, natural shoreline protection is less expensive, requires less maintenance and affords larger areas of protection (Hale et al. 2009). Other co-benefits are the enhancement of ecosystem services and support to local fisheries, employment, food security, income generation through the trade of mangrove products, etc. Residual benefits include the conservation of biodiversity and species living in mangroves and the sequestration of carbon as a mitigation effort tool (UNFCCC 2011). Further benefits are the provision of shelter for important and endangered species and the enhancement of the resilience of ecosystems, especially vulnerable systems such as coral reefs and mangroves (Hale et al. 2009).

The review of case studies and the lessons learned show the advantages of implementing the Ecosystem-based adaptation and integrating it in national adaptation strategies. The approach offers cost-effective opportunities to accomplish several objectives and is very accessible by most vulnerable communities (UNFCCC 2011). In the Turks and Caicos Island, located in the Caribbean, for example, the protection provided by coral reefs against erosion and wave damage was estimated at US$16,9 million per year. On the other hand, the costs of implementing hard engineering solutions, like the constructing of a dike, was estimated at US$ 223 million, which represents 8% of its gross domestic product (Jones et al. 2012). In Vietnam experts calculated that with an investment of US$ 1,1 million on the restoration of almost 12.000 hectares of mangrove, the country saved about US$ 7,3 million per year in the maintenance of a dike (UNEP 2007).

The TEEB Study wrote in 2011, Ecosystem-based approaches “(...) represent potential triple-win measures: they help to preserve and restore natural ecosystems; mitigate climate change by conserving or enhancing carbon stocks or by reducing emissions caused by ecosystem degradation and loss; and provide cost-effective protection against some of the threats resulting from climate change” (TEEB 2011).

Despite the evidence of the utility of the EbA approach, uncertainties and challenges remain. For example, the uncertainty of the provision of the ecosystem services, the behavior of ecosystems under stress factors like climate change and the protection provided by ecosystems in comparison to hard engineering solutions. More research and reliable data is needed to fill this information gap (Jones et al. 2012).

2.3 Economic valuation of ecosystem services

Economic valuation is considered one of the most challenging tasks modern economics is confronted with (Nunes et al. 2009). It is a way of comparing the costs and benefits the ecosystems provide by expressing them in monetary units. It is a way of making “apples and oranges comparable” (Pagiola et al. 2004 p.10). There are a number of reasons to carry out a valuation study. For example the missing markets for regulating services, market failures, uncertainty involving the demand and supply of natural resources, economic decision making, etc. (TEEB 2010). Also, economic valuation is a way of considering the environmental costs and benefits in policy decisions and private investment (Remoundou et al. 2009). In fact this is one of the main reasons economic valuation is conducted, because of its potential for cost-benefit analysis which is the key element for any policy design and decision. Hereby, the project or policy is approved if the benefits outdo the costs and so the need arises to estimate all the range of economic values an ecosystem provides (Nunes et al. 2009).

To address the need of determining whether an environmental project will pass the CBA, economists have developed several approaches and economic valuation methods. The most common approach to value ecosystem services (ES) is the total economic value (TEV) approach, which classifies the ES in four different categories: direct use value, indirect use value, option value and non-use value (Figure 5). The direct use value includes consumptive uses, like timber, food, etc. and non-consumptive uses like recreation and cultural activities. The indirect use value refers to the indirect support of the ecosystems, like the storm protection, carbon sequestration and watershed protection. The option value relates to the option of using the ecosystem in future and the non-use value relates to the satisfaction of knowing that the ecosystem and its services are present (Pagiola et al. 2004).

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Figure 5: Valuation techniques for wetlands

Source: Barbier, Edward;Acreman, Mike; Knowler, Duncan (1997): Economic Valuation ofwetlands:A guide for policy makers and planners. Gland, Switzerland, p.42

Within the TEV approach, there are diverse valuation methods to assign a monetary value to the ecosystem services and in literature there are different classifications for these methods (TEEB 2010).

The TEEB (2010) did a compilation of several classifications and unified them as follow:

1. Direct market valuation approaches, which derive the necessary information of market transactions that are directly linked to the ecosystem service. It is divided into three approaches:

a) market price-based approaches
b) cost-based approaches
c) production functions approaches

2. Revealed preference approaches, which use parallel market transactions associated to the service valued. Following two valuation methods belong to this approach:

a) Travel cost method (TCM)
b) Hedonic pricing (HP)

3. Stated preference approaches, which use hypothetical markets to value the services. It is divided in three valuation methods:

a) Contingent valuation method (CVM)
b) Choice modeling (CM)
c) Group valuation

In figure 5 Barbier et al. (1997) classified the most commonly used methods for the different ES of wetlands. The ACM is used to value indirect services, like shoreline protection and belongs to the cost-based approaches, which are based on the estimation of the costs incurred in the absence of an ecosystem service (Liu, Costanza et al. 2010). Cost-based approaches are categorized as “second best valuations techniques” because they are related to many uncertainties and tend to overestimate the costs (Bann 1998). Furthermore, among critics it is very discussed if the estimation of the costs avoided can equal the benefits of the service (Kumar 2010). However, cost-based approaches are implemented very frequently in valuation studies because they are useful when there are time and resources limitations. Economic valuation methods that are more precise to value indirect services like shoreline protection are, for example, the contingent valuation method, which is based on questionnaires to people, asking explicitly of how much they are willing to pay for the provisioning of the service or the hedonic pricing method, which determines the value of a service by calculating the change in demand (e.g. change in the value of a property if it’s near a mangrove forest). However, in practice these methods are almost not applicable in developing countries because of the need of good quality of data and complex statistical analysis (Bann 1998).

Chapter III: Empirical strategies and results: Shoreline Protection in the Savegre Delta

3.1 Economic valuation ofshoreline protection

In the following section, the ecosystem service of shoreline protection is valued with the avoided cost method.

Following information is required for the economic valuation:

1. The oceanographic data base: The annual probability of an extreme weather event in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the storm surge and the wave height in meters expected during an extreme weather event
2. Satellite pictures of the study area in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica
3. Information about the land cover type of the study area
4. The prices of each land cover type to calculate the avoided costs
5. The altimetry of the area to calculate the vulnerable area to a given storm event
6. The percentage of wave attenuation by mangroves of the study area

As a first step the lands vulnerable to storm damage are identified in the study area. For this step, the oceanographic data base is used along with the satellite pictures and the altimetry analysis of the study area.

Table 3: Oceanographic data base of the study

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Source: Own representation with data obtained from Omar Lizano

Vulnerable lands are defined as those within 2km of the coast and that are lower than the combined height of storm surge and wave height expected during an extreme weather event. To identify the vulnerable land, the satellite pictures of 2010 and the altimetry of the study area are processed in ArcGis 10.1.

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Figure 6: Altimetry analysis of the vulnerable area in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Source: own representation, ArcGis 10.1, Land cover by PRIAS, Satellite Picture by RapidEye 2010.

Figure 6 illustrates the altimetry of the area, which is classified in intervals of 1 m, represented as different colors. The red colored area has an altitude of max. 1 m, the orange area of max. 2 m, the yellow area of max. 3 m, the green area of max. 4 m and the light blue of max. 5 m. The blue area has an altitude of more than 5 m but lower than 7 m. As a result of the analysis of the oceanographic data, the combined height of storm surge and wave height for the study is 8,10 m (Table 3). This means that all the land within 2km of the coast is classified as vulnerable to the impacts of an extreme weather event.

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Figure 7: Vulnerable area to extreme weather events in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica

Source: own representation, ArcGis 10.1, Land cover by PRIAS, Satellite Picture by RapidEye 2010.

To analyze the economic importance of the vulnerable lands, a land cover type analysis is conducted for the study area (Figure 7). For this, the land cover information obtained from the PRIAS is adapted to the study area and is processed in ArcGis 10.1. The analysis shows that the most widespread land cover types are rice and oil palm plantations.

As a next step, the protected land is identified, which is defined as the area behind the mangrove ecosystem classified as vulnerable. Figure 8 shows the different land cover types that are protected by the mangroves in case of an extreme weather event. In the study area almost 23% land is protected by mangroves and more than 77% is exposed to the effects of an extreme weather event (own calculation based on the land cover type analysis of the PRIAS).

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The land cover type analysis of the protected lands is very important for the economic analysis and the calculation of the values within the avoided cost method. The different land cover types of the protected lands are: 78,96% rice plantations, 7,2% forest, 4,76% bare soil, 4,47% oil palm plantations, 2,97% grassland and the others are sand (river), wetland, clouds and river with 1,64%, as shown in figure 9 (own calculation based on land cover analysis of the PRIAS).

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Figure 9: Land cover type analysis of the protected lands

Source: own representation based on land cover type analysis

As a next step, the economic value of the different land cover types is calculated. For the calculation of the values of the protected lands, three land cover types are of economic importance: Oil palm plantations, rice plantations and grassland. Other land cover types such as forest, river and river (sand) might also have economic values, however due to lack of that these values are not part of this study.

To determine the economic value that could be lost, the sales (total benefits) are calculated for the different land cover types with the following formula:

Sales = harvest/ha/vear x price

For the calculation of the value, the total benefits are considered without subtracting the costs, because it is assumed that if a wave damages the palm or other crops, the total benefits and the investment is lost.

For the calculation of the value of oil palm in US$/ha/year, it is assumed that the oil palm in the study area has an age of 10 years, according to interviews with Palma Tica. As shown in table 4, the total benefits of oil palm are US$ 2.877 ha/year.

Table 4: Total benefits of oil palm

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Source: own representation based on CANAPALMA 2012 and interview with Palma Tica

In Costa Rica, the rice is harvested twice a year according to an interview with National Rice Corporation Costa Rica (CONARROZ). In practice the second period can sometimes be less productive than the first period. To value the total benefits of rice plantation, it is assumed that both periods are equally productive, because there is a lack of precise documentation of the productivity in the second period. The total benefits of rice amount to US$ 5.270,86 ha/year (table 5).

Table 5: Total benefits of rice

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Source: own representation based on CONARROZ 2010

The total benefits of grassland are not valued directly. According to interviews with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and farmers the grasslands are used for the so called “farm animal boarding”. It is a payment from the cattle owner to the grassland owner for the cattle fattening. Based on interviews it is assumed that two heads of cattle feed on one hectare of grassland. The total benefits of grassland amount to US$ 239,16 ha/year (table 6).

Table 6: Total benefits of grassland

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Source: own representation based on interviews

The other land cover types are set a value of US$ 0 because it is assumed that they have no significant economic value. The total economic value of the protected lands per year is US$ 1.514.729,17 which is the sum of the total value US$/year of rice, oil palm and grassland (Table 7).

Table 7: Calculation of the economic value of the protected lands

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Source: own representation with the land cover information ofthe PRIAS, information about oil palm prices, rice prices and grassland prices.

The next step is to determine the share of coastal protection which is attributed to the mangroves in the Savegre Delta of Costa Rica. With the opinion of biologists, experts of the area and research in literature, the protection coefficient of 0,7 is chosen for the mangroves of the Savegre Delta. This coefficient is attributed to the mangroves of the study area, because it is a width mangrove belt and the mangrove trees are healthy and tall. For comparison, a second coefficient is set at 0,4, as a worst-case scenario.

As a last step, the “avoided damages” are calculated considering the above collected data. Due to uncertainties in data, a margin of +/- 20% is considered.

Table 8: Avoided cost method

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Source: own representation based on calculations

As presented in table 8, the value of shoreline protection with a coefficient of 0,7 ranges from US$ 171,17 ha/year to US$ 257,66 ha/year. For comparison, assuming the protection of the mangroves could be lower as estimated, the value with a coefficient of 0,4 ranges from US$ 98,16 ha/year to US$ 147,23 ha/year. It is to consider, that the value used for the further calculations is the total value calculated with a 70% protection factor.

3.2 Mangrove conservation project

To analyze the economic efficiency of the provision of shoreline protection by the mangroves in the Savegre Delta of Costa Rica, its maintenance costs and its benefits are compared within a cost-benefit analysis using a 10 year time frame and two discounting rates 5 and 10%. As a first step, the total economic value (TEV) of the mangroves is identified. Thereafter, the economic value of shoreline protection is added to other co-benefits and then compared to the maintenance costs within a CBA.

3.2.1 Ecosystem services and total economic value (TEV) of mangroves

The mangroves of the Savegre Delta are categorized as “restricted area”. This status restricts the use of the ecosystem services of mangroves, for example, it is illegal to fish in the area and to harvest the wood from the mangroves. In this study most of the ecosystem services (actual and potential use) provided by the mangroves in the Savegre Delta are valued, besides the fish and timber provision. As described above, fishing and selling mangrove wood have potential uses, however it is assumed that the use will be illegal in the next 10 years. The most important ecosystem services are listed below and only these services will be considered for the economic valuation:

1. Shoreline protection:

The mangroves of the Savegre Delta are very healthy ecosystems that have the ability to protect the shore against natural hazards.

2. Recreation and Tourism:

The natural beauty of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta could attract many tourists for sightseeing and canoe tours. However, the eco-tourism potential of the area has not been utilized, but there already exist management plans to increase the tourism in the zone.

3. Carbon sequestration:

The mangroves in the Savegre Delta are healthy ecosystems that provide the service of carbon sequestration. In Costa Rica, there are already some attempts to market the service in the international carbon market.

4. Biodiversity:

Even if the mangrove has been invaded by the agricultural frontier, the remaining mangroves still preserve a relatively pristine condition with high biodiversity.

5. Nursery and breeding grounds for fish:

The mangroves in the Savegre Delta play an important role as a nursery and breeding habitat for the young fishes. This is important for example for the fishing industry from Quepos. A study from Takeda (2012) shows that the fishing activities in Quepos are very close to the shoreline where mangroves exist.

In table 9, the ecosystem services mentioned above are classified within the framework of the total economic value. According to the different value types presented in the classification, different economic valuation methods are used to determine the economic value, as described in chapter 2.3 and illustrated in Figure 5. Shoreline protection has an indirect value and was therefore valued with an avoided cost method. The detailed economic valuation of the other ecosystem services is not part of this study, but the classification of the value types can give us an insight on the valuation techniques that could be used for each ecosystem service. Option value and non-use values are not a part of the economic valuation of the mangroves of the Savegre Delta.

Table 9: Total economic value of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta

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Source: own representation based on Bann 1998

3.2.2 Benefits of the mangroves

As a first step for the calculation of the benefits of the mangroves, the environmental benefits are ranked depending on their importance for the outcome of the valuation in Table 10 (Bann 1998).

Table 10: Ranking of the environmental benefits

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Source: own representation based on Bann 1998

The benefits classified as “high” are very important for the outcome of the valuation. The benefits classified as “medium” should be considered as co-benefits, but are also important for the valuation.

Co-benefits

As described in the methodology, only the ecosystem service of shoreline protection is valued in detail. The values of the co-benefits of the mangrove are assessed with a case study review (see appendix 1). The values chosen for the economic valuation of the co­benefits are rather conservative, because the study takes place on a small scale, not to be compared with e.g. Mexico where Cabrera et al. (1998) calculated US$ 1.578,6 ha/year for nursery and breeding ground fish and Belize where Cooper et al. (2009) calculated US$ 3.976,19 ha/year for shoreline protection. Table 11 shows the economic value of the co­benefits of the conservation of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta with a value of US$ 126.669,77 per year.

Table 11: Co-benefits of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta

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Source: own representation based on Appendix 1

In table 12 the value of the co-benefits is added to the calculated value for shoreline protection, which results in a total economic value of US$ 179.685,29 per year.

Table 12: Total economic value of ecosystem services

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Source: own representation based on calculations

3.2.3 Project costs

Taking into account that it is not a reforestation project, but a conservation project, the only expenditures considered for the project are the yearly maintenance costs of the National Park Manuel Antonio attributed to the mangroves conservation.

For the calculation following information is required:

1. Total expenditures for maintenance in the NPMA
2. Percentage of the costs of the NPMA attributed to the mangroves protection

Table 13 presents the detailed maintenance costs of the NPMA with US$ 468.855,82 per year. The administrator of the NPMA attributed approximately 20% of the total expenditures to the maintenance of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta, leading to a total of US$ 93.771,16 per year. This value is an approximate, taking into account that there is no precise calculation of the real costs of maintenance just for the mangrove in the national park. The sunk costs invested in the installations of the national park are not included in these calculations.

Table 13: Maintenance costs attributed to the mangroves in the NPMA

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Source: own representation based on the information of the administration of the NPMA

3.2.4 Cost-benefit analysis

The above calculated costs and benefits are assessed within a CBA, to determine if the project is economically profitable.

For comparison, the CBA of table 14 considers only the benefit of shoreline protection provided by the mangroves (without the co-benefits) and the costs of conservation. The value of shoreline protection is lower than the yearly expenditure in maintenance costs for mangrove conservation and thus the net benefits are negative. As a result, the NPV with a 5% discounting rate amounts to US$ - 314.704,25 and the NPV with a 10% discounting rate amounts to US$ - 250.425,76.

Table 14: Cost-benefit analysis mangrove conservation without co-benefits

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Source: own representation based on own calculations

Table 15 shows a CBA with the complete range of benefits provided by the mangroves (shoreline protection + co-benefits). For the mangrove conservation project, the total value of benefits is higher than the yearly maintenance costs and thus the net benefits are positive. The NPV calculated with a 5% discounting rate amounts to US$ 553.094,94 and the NPV with a 10% discounting rate amounts to US$ 527.905,13. This means, the mangrove conservation project is economically profitable for both discounting rates.

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Source: own representation based on calculations

3.3 The hypothetical dike construction project

If the mangroves in the Savegre Delta would disappear completely due to the pressures described above, a dike could to be constructed to protect the vulnerable lands against natural hazards. This hypothetical project aims to show what would happen if the mangroves would be fully degraded and cannot further provide shoreline protection. For this study, a total length of 3,48 km of mangroves are replaced by a dike. The costs and benefits of this project are analyzed within a cost-benefit analysis with a 10 year time frame and two discounting rates, 5 and 10%.

3.3.1 Project benefits

The direct benefit of the construction of a dike is the protection of the vulnerable land. The dike constructed is assumed to be a substitute for the mangroves of the Savegre Delta, thus the shoreline protection benefits of the dike are equal to those provided by the mangroves in the Savegre Delta. The value of shoreline protection is taken from the calculating above with US$ 53.015,52 per year.

Co-benefits

The construction of a dike can also generate co-benefits besides its shoreline protection benefits. The identified co-benefits are for example, job creation for the construction of the project and enhancement of the property or land value (Clark et al.). The relation between the construction of a dike and the creation of these co-benefits is however very difficult to measure, taking into account the location of the study area and the lack of information e.g. of the preferences of the landowners.

3.3.2 Project costs

For the calculation of the costs for the construction of a dike following information is required:

1. Height, width and length of the proposed dike
2. Material costs
3. Maintenance costs of the dike

The hypothetical construction of a dike in the Savegre Delta was discussed with a coastal engineer of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and with “La Marina Pez Vela”, the navy in Quepos. The proposed dike presents the least cost substitute for the shoreline protection service of the mangrove in the Savegre Delta, therefore the costs are calculated on a rather conservative basis. The project is based on a project in Guanacaste in the north of Costa Rica, where the community constructed a dike with old tires to protect themselves from the floods. Together with the experts in coastal protection, the dimensions of the dike were set, so that the dike could provide at least the protection that the mangroves provided. The height of the dike is 3 m and the width 2,6 m. The costs presented in table 16 are an approximate based on the prices of the goods in Costa Rica (Jica 2010). It must be taken into account, that the labor costs are not included, because it is a community project where the community builds the dike with the help of a non-governmental agency. The costs per 1 meter of dike amount to US$ 372 and the total construction costs for a total length of 3.478 meters amount to a total of US$ 1.293.816. The annual maintenance costs were set at 4% of the initial construction costs and amount therefore to US$ 51.752,64 per year (Table 16).

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Source: own representation based on Jica 2010.

Although this CBA does not include an EIA, it has to be considered that besides the construction costs, the dike also causes environmental costs and impacts. The dike construction could lead to more erosion at the coasts, loss of the sandy beach, retention of sediments and disruption of some natural processes such as the migration of wetlands (IPCC CZMS 1990). Therefore, it is always necessary to make an EIA before implementing the project and to consider these environmental costs as part of the CBA.

3.3.3 Cost-benefit analysis

With the collected data, a cost-benefit analysis is conducted with a 5 and a 10 % discounting rate. As shown in table 17, the costs and the benefits of the dike construction project are compared. The yearly net benefits of the project are positive, because the yearly maintenance costs are lower than the yearly benefits of shoreline protection. However, the initial investment costs of building a dike are too high to be absorbed. As a result, the NPV with a discounting rate of 5% amounts to US$ -1.222.918,45 and the NPV with a 10% discounting rate amounts to US$ -1.169.141,95 (Table 17).

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Source: own representation based on calculated data

The NPV for the dike construction project is negative for both discounting rates. This means, the project of constructing a dike in this area is unprofitable. The construction and maintenance costs are too high in comparison to the yearly benefits of shoreline protection.

3.4 Comparison ofthe projects

In this section, the final results of the CBA of the two projects are compared to identify the most profitable coastal protection option for the region. Table 18 shows the comparison of the NPV of the mangrove conservation (without considering co-benefits) and the dike construction project. In both cases, the NPV are negative and don’t meet condition 1 and thus condition 2 is also not achieved. The projects are not economically profitable if the co­benefits of the mangrove are not considered.

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Source: own representation based on own calculations

Table 19 shows the comparison of the two projects when all benefits are considered. It stands out that when the total economic value of the mangroves is considered, the NPV is greater than zero. The NPV of the dike construction project remains lower than zero. The mangrove conservation project is economically more profitable than the dike construction project when all benefits are considered.

Table 19: Comparison of the projects

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Source: own representation based on own calculations

Chapter IV: Discussion

In the present study the economic profitability of two coastal protection projects was analyzed: The conservation of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta and the construction of a hypothetical dike. At the beginning of the study, it was expected that for the protection of the vulnerable lands in the Savegre Delta it is economically more profitable to conserve the existing mangroves, than to invest in the construction and maintenance of a hypothetical dike.

As a first step the benefit of shoreline protection was valued, using the avoided cost method. The value for shoreline protection of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta with a 0,7 protection coefficient, ranks between US$ 171,77 ha/year and US$ 257,66 ha/year and results in a total value of US$ 53.015,52 per year. As a comparison, by reducing the coefficient to 0,4, the value ranks between US$ 98,16 ha/year and US$ 147,23 ha/year, resulting in a total value of US$ 30.294,58 per year.

The co-benefits of the mangroves were assessed using the values of similar case studies and amount to US$ 126.669,77 per year. Adding the value of shoreline protection with a 0,7 protection coefficient to the co-benefits, the total economic value of the mangroves amounts to US$ 179.685,29 per year. On the other hand, the maintenance costs of the mangrove were estimated at US$ 93.771,16 per year.

The costs and benefits of the conservation of the mangroves in the Savegre Delta were assessed within a cost-benefit analysis, with a project lifetime of 10 years and using two different discounting rates (5 and 10%). First, only the value of shoreline protection (without co-benefits) was considered in the CBA. As a result, the NPV amounts to US$ -314.704,25 with a 5% discounting rate and to US$ -25.094,94 with a 10% discounting rate. Then, a CBA was conducted considering the whole range of ecosystem services provided by the mangroves (shoreline protection + co-benefits) and the NPV results in US$ 553.094,94 with a 5% discounting rate and in US$ 527.905,13 with a 10% discounting rate. The mangrove conservation project is only economically profitable when considering also the value of the co-benefits.

Furthermore, the project of a hypothetical dike construction was analyzed, with the same project lifetime and discounting rates. For this purpose the benefit of shoreline protection calculated for the mangroves was taken as the benefits for the dike construction. The costs were calculated for a dike of 3 m high, 2,6 m width and 3,48 km long, using the estimates of a dike construction project in the north of Costa Rica. The total costs of construction amount to US$1.293.816 with yearly maintenance costs of US$ 51.752,64. The costs and benefits were assessed within a cost-benefit analysis resulting in a NPV of US$ -1.222.918,45 with a 5% discounting rate and in a NPV of US$ - 1.169.141,95 with a 10% discounting rate. Given that both net present values are negative, the hypothetical dike construction project is not economically profitable. As a result, the study shows that the conservation of the mangrove is economically more profitable than the construction of a dike when considering all the benefits.

One of the most important values for the calculation of the CBA of this study is the value of shoreline protection. This value indicates that the mangroves in the Savegre Delta protect a high economic value in the vulnerable lands against natural hazards. The calculated results for shoreline protection corroborate with the findings of other similar case studies, which valuated the same service. The table in appendix 1 ranks the values from the selected and reviewed case studies: The lowest value for shoreline protection is calculated by Hoberg (2011) in Kenya with US$76,58 ha/year and the highest value is calculated in Belize by Cooper et al. (2009) with US$ 3.976,19 ha/year. The value of shoreline protection calculated for the study area of the Savegre Delta is located between these two values, but belongs rather to the lower values. A possible explanation for this might be that the vulnerable area in Belize has a higher economic value (high property values) than an area in Kenya or in the National Park Manuel Antonio and thus, the damages cost avoided and the value of shoreline protection is higher. Another reason could be the mangrove protection coefficient used or the overestimation of property and infrastructure values in Belize.

In the present study, two cost-benefit analyses were conducted for the mangrove conservation project. In a first instance, only the benefit of shoreline protection was compared to the costs of conservation during a period of 10 years and discounted with 5 and 10%. As a result, the NPV for the project was negative and unprofitable. Afterwards, the total range of benefits offered by the mangroves was considered and the NPV was positive for both discounting rates. Economically speaking, this indicates that when considering only the benefit of shoreline protection, the conservation of the mangroves is unprofitable. The conservation project is economically profitable only when considering all benefits (shoreline protection and co-benefits) offered by the mangroves. It is important to bear in mind, that this is the reason why the protection of the shore by natural ecosystems like mangroves is very important in the context of Ecosystem-based Adaptation, because by conserving the mangroves for shoreline protection against storms, sea level rise and coastal inundation, simultaneously other social, cultural and economic co-benefits are provided (UNFCCC 2011). For the present study, this means that when adding the total range of benefits provided by mangroves they overpass the costs of its maintenance and result in a profitable project.

More and more national management plans find the way back to ecosystems to protect the shore because it is an overall economically profitable alternative. Countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand are already involved in reforestation projects to protect the shore against natural hazards (UNFCCC 2011). In comparison to the present study, the mangroves had to be reforested and not protected, but the shoreline protection with natural ecosystems can still be a profitable alternative. Fernandez et al. (2006) analyzed for example the net benefits of mangrove reforestation in Sibunag Guimaras, Philippines and came to the result that the NPV for mangrove reforestation, with and without harvesting, was positive for all discounting rates used. Furthermore, in Thailand there are several projects of replanting mangroves in tsunami affected areas because after the tsunami disaster in December 2004 in the Indian Ocean, the important role of the mangroves in attenuating wave energy was more recognized (Barbier 2006).

The project of a hypothetical dike construction was also assessed within a CBA. It was assumed that the dike is a perfect substitute for the existing mangrove and that it would be constructed if the mangrove would be fully degraded and unable to provide the same service of shoreline protection. To substitute the mangrove, a least cost alternative was chosen for the construction of a dike with the help of experts. For the analysis of the costs, the construction of a project in the north of Costa Rica was taken as a guide. The costs of a dike are difficult to estimate because depending on the materials used, it can cost several million dollars to build a proper dike. For example, in New Orleans a 1m high dike costs between US$ 7 and US$ 8 million (Jones et al. 2012). Therefore, it was important for this study to calculate with costs that are more conservative. Although the least cost alternative was chosen for the calculations, the net present value of the dike construction project was negative for both discounting rates, meaning that the project is economically unprofitable. This result was expected, as the initial investment costs were too high to be absorbed by the yearly benefits and the benefits of the dike were set as high as the benefit of shoreline protection provided by mangroves.

At the beginning of this study, the question arises whether the mangrove conservation project or the dike construction project is the most profitable option to protect the vulnerable lands of the Savegre Delta. The economic analysis of the two projects showed that the NPV of the conservation of the mangroves is higher than the NPV of the construction of a dike and thus to assure the shoreline protection of the vulnerable lands in the Savegre Delta, it is more economically profitable to conserve the mangrove ecosystem than to invest in the construction and maintenance of a hypothetical dike.

The findings of the present study corroborate with the declaration of the UNFCCC (2011) which stated that the protection and the restoration of natural ecosystems like mangroves can be a less costly alternative than building hard engineering structures, like dikes and seawalls (UNFCCC 2011). This statement is supported by many authors in the context of an Ecosystem-based Adaptation (Hale et al. 2009, UNEP 2007, Jones et al. 2012). However, in practice little evidence is available to further support the findings of this study. In fact, a study of Clark et al. analyzed the NPV of seawalls and mangroves for different scenarios. Surprisingly, the NPV for seawalls was higher than the NPV for conservation and reforestation of mangroves in almost all scenarios. A possible explanation for this result is the simplistic seawall model used and the protection coefficient. In the study, a complete efficiency of the seawall is assumed (100%), shifting notably the value of shoreline protection provided (Clark et al.).

In the literature, most of the evidence focuses on the service of shoreline protection, for example, in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean the protection offered by coral reefs was estimated at US$ 16,9 million per year and the construction of a hard engineering structure was estimated at US$ 223 million (Jones et al. 2012). Furthermore as already mentioned, both protection approaches can also be complementary to each other. In Vietnam mangroves are being reforested to reduce the dike maintenance costs. It was estimated that an investment of US$ 1,1 million for the reforestation of almost 12.000 ha of mangroves would save around US$ 7,3 million per year in dike maintenance (UNEP 2007). Contrary to this study here the mangroves are being used to avoid the dike maintenance costs instead of property values or agricultural benefits.

The results gained in this study are very important, because worldwide there is a trend of declining coastal ecosystems worldwide, disregarding the high economic value of its conservation. Although a large number of economic valuation studies show the significance and importance of these ecosystems, mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes are being degraded at a rate of 2 to 7% yearly (UNEP 2007). The mangroves in the Savegre Delta are also being threatened by several factors, like the forward moving agricultural frontier, pollution and human activities, although they are protected by the NPMA. The findings of this study indicate that the costs of a dike construction are so expensive that, with high probability, a hard engineering structure would not be constructed if the mangroves in the Savegre Delta would be fully degraded. The lands would be vulnerable to extreme weather events, eventually attached to high economic losses. For the study area of the Savegre Delta, this implies that the agricultural landowners are destroying their natural protection barrier against storms and natural hazards. Furthermore, if the mangroves were completely degraded a high economic value would be lost for society due to the other ecosystem services the mangrove provides besides shoreline protection.

Concerning other locations worldwide, the mangroves not only provide shoreline protection to agricultural lands but to local communities. By conserving the mangroves in the context of EbA, triple win situations can be created, where the ecosystems are protected, cost-effective protection against natural hazards is provided and the communities profit also from the other ecosystem services (TEEB 2011). If these ecosystems are lost, more expensive measures have to be implemented to protect the shore. The problem is that, these other measures are usually very cost intensive and connected with high social and environmental impacts and this makes the vulnerable communities with limited economic resources depend on the functioning of natural ecosystems.

It has to be taken into account that the shoreline protection by natural ecosystems is not to be regarded as a best solution. In some cases, natural protection may not achieve the level of protection needed and hard structures must be implemented. Depending on the study site and on other factors like waves height and storm frequency, the coastal protection measure has to be chosen, but also taking into account that both measures can be implemented complementary to each other.

The findings and data presented in this study are to be interpreted with caution due to a number of limitations. For the economic valuation of the ecosystem service of shoreline protection, very detailed data was needed. However, even after an intensive research many uncertainties remained in the data recollected. Only little evidence was available on the frequency of extreme weather events in the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The data had to be gained by interviews with local experts and is thus bound to some uncertainties. Furthermore, due to price fluctuations, the economic value of the protected land is meant to change and the value of shoreline protection could increase or decreased. The mangrove protection coefficient of 0,7 is also bound to uncertainties and changes: First, because more research on the status quo of the mangroves is needed to determine the exact protection factor and second, because depending on the ongoing health of the mangrove the percentage could increase or decrease. Moreover, the usage of other economic valuation tools like the contingent valuation method or the hedonic pricing could lead to a more precise shoreline protection value. To address some of the uncertainties enumerated, the study calculated the shoreline protection value with two protection coefficients (70% and 40%) and with a margin of error of +/- 20%. Furthermore, for the calculation of the NPV, two discounting rates (5 and 10%) were included.

Regarding the CBA of mangrove conservation, there is high uncertainty in the amount of maintenance costs attributed to the mangroves in the Savegre Delta. As the precise expenditure of maintenance costs was not separately listed, the percentage attributed to the protection of the mangroves was gained by an interview with the park administrator. The 20% attributed to the protection of mangroves is bound to a high uncertainty. Based on the illegal rice and oil plantations located within the National Park it could be assumed, that there is not much surveillance in that area, which could mean that the percentage attributed was too high. However, for the case the maintenance costs would be lower, the NPV would be higher and it would not affect the outcome of the study.

Concerning the costs for a dike construction project, caution must be applied, as costs can be easily overestimated. Taking into account that it is a hypothetical dike construction project, there was no real dike construction in the Savegre Delta which could be analyzed. The proposal of the dike for the area is based on interviews with experts and with a navy in Quepos and is the least expenditure to achieve the same protection valued as the mangrove.

However it is to bear in mind that it is very uncertain to speculate with the prices and the materials which have to be used.

It is to recommend that before constructing a dike an EIA should be conducted to assess the negative impacts of the project and the resulting costs should be included in the CBA. Kortenhaus (1996) also recommends that the interaction between the waves and the dike should be analyzed before constructing or designing a dike. This is not treated in detail in this study due to the lack of experts working in the area and to the restriction of financial resources to hire a coastal engineer for a detailed advisory especially for this area. However, probably the result of a negative NPV would not have changed, as the initial construction costs and the yearly maintenance costs remain expensive and the benefit of shoreline protection is assumed to be the same provided by the mangroves.

It is also important to consider, that the discounting rates were taken from other case studies. Additionally, to determining an appropriate discounting rate for this study, it is recommended to conduct a detailed sensitivity analysis, as it has many variables with very high uncertainty.

Despite the mentioned data uncertainties and study limitations, the findings of the study show a very clear pattern and this is that the NPV for mangrove conservation remains higher than the NPV of a hypothetical dike construction project and thus the mangrove are worth its further conservation and protection.

Chapter V: Conclusions and recommendations

Facing the impacts of climate change and other natural hazards, there is a need for the implementation of coastal adaptation measures to protect vulnerable communities, economic activities and infrastructure. Most of the protection efforts focus on hard engineering solutions, like the construction of dikes and seawalls. However, these constructions are often linked to high investment costs, what makes their implementation difficult particularly in developing countries. A solution to this problem might be the use of natural ecosystems to protect the shoreline from natural hazards, like mangroves and coral reefs or in combination with hard engineering structures. On these regards, there is a need for more information about the cost-effectiveness of the implementation of such solutions, to determine which could be the best alternative for a given area.

The objective of this study was to conduct an economical cost-benefit analysis of two coastal protection projects: Mangrove conservation vs. dike construction and to compare which alternative was economically more profitable to protect the shore of the Savegre Delta. The findings of this study indicate that the NPV of mangrove conservation is positive and higher than the NPV of the construction of a hypothetical dike, when all ecosystem services are considered. As a result this study shows that to assure the shoreline protection of the vulnerable lands of the study area in the Savegre Delta it is economically more profitable to conserve the mangrove ecosystem, than to invest in the construction and maintenance of a hypothetical dike. A possible explanation for this result is the high initial construction costs of the dike which couldn’t be absorbed by the yearly benefits of shoreline protection. On the other hand, the mangrove conservation project is only economically profitable because besides the service of shoreline protection, the mangroves provide several co-benefits with high economic value. The evidence of this study suggests that if the mangroves in the Savegre Delta disappear the further protection of the shore would be linked to high economic investment and to possible negative environmental impacts. It also suggests that the mangroves of the Savegre Delta are worth conserving because they provide a wide range of ecosystem services linked to a high economic value and thus the activities that destroy the mangroves should immediately be stopped.

The NPMA is one of the most famous national parks in Costa Rica. However, the main focus of the park administration relies on the tourist spots of the park like the beaches and forest, close to the city of Quepos. Still, it is important that the park administration focuses more on the well-being of the mangroves, especially after the degradation trend showed since 1949. The further existence and health of the mangroves should be secured by implementing more protection activities such as more surveillance by the park rangers to identify the farmers with illegal plantations and higher monetary sanctions for the farmers. Also, it is recommended to implement a buffer zone of at least 100m or 200m to stop the forward moving agricultural frontier and allow the mangrove to regenerate and migrate. If these suggestions are not taken into account, it is possible that the mangroves will continue degrading and in a near future will not be able to provide further the ecosystem services.

Costa Rica is a country committed in the protection of natural ecosystems. There are several projects on a national and international scale that promote the further protection of marine protected areas. For example, the government of Costa Rica has the goal to at least double the marine protected areas in the country, to increase the management and administrative effectiveness of protected areas and to improve the representativeness and overall ecological integrity of the SINAC (www.costaricaporsiempre.org). These objectives should be accomplished as soon as possible to prevent the further degradation of natural ecosystems in Costa Rica, especially taking into account that the national footprint of the country has turned negative since the 90s due to an increment in agricultural activities, ecosystem loss and population growth (www.footprintnetwork.org).

The findings of this study also suggest several courses of action for policy makers worldwide. The wide-reaching decline of mangroves and other marine ecosystems has to be stopped because these ecosystems are worth conserving due to the range of ecosystems services they provide, which are important especially for vulnerable communities, such as fish provision, tourism, and shoreline protection. Policy makers should focus more on marine and coastal ecosystems and implement harder sanctions to polluters and farmers that damage the ecosystem. The regulation by the government is very important, as the ecosystems are usually regarded as common goods and in most cases the property rights are not well defined.

Regarding the service of shoreline protection, the review of case studies and the lessons learned show the advantages of natural shoreline protection in the context of EbA, as a cost- effective opportunity to accomplish several objectives. Thus, it is very important for policy makers to integrate the approach in national adaptation policies and to notice that natural barriers are very important and they should be taken into account before implementing harder structures. Mangroves become very important especially with regard to the increasing frequency of storms and sea level rise in the context of adaptation to climate change and thus it is important that the threats to marine and coastal ecosystems are addressed and that the resilience of these ecosystems is increased. Furthermore, more economic instruments like payment for ecosystem services (PES) should be considered for the creation of buffer zones near mangrove ecosystems, so that these ecosystems have the possibility to migrate and expand. Such incentive based instruments could also been used to encourage communities and farmers to protect the natural infrastructure and so the government could delegate some responsibility. It would be a much effective way of protecting the ecosystems, as the communities would be on site and would profit from the conservation of the ecosystems in a sustainable way.

The present study has thrown up many questions in need of further investigations. More oceanographic data is needed and more information about the effects of climate change to the coasts of Costa Rica. On these regards, there is too little information about possible impacts on the shore and infrastructure damages. There is also a need of better understanding of the effects that climate change and the impact it will have on the natural ecosystems and to research whether the ecosystems will be able to provide the range of ecosystem services any further. Moreover, McIvor et al. (2012) stated that there are too few studies measuring the wave attenuation by mangroves during storms and extreme weather events because it is too risky and the expensive equipment could be lost. Almost all studies measured the impacts of small waves, therefore further research is needed to explore the interactions between waves and mangroves for more precise economic valuation studies on shoreline protection.

Finally, though there is a high awareness of the provision of shoreline protection by natural ecosystems, but there is still a need for more information about the economic profitability of the implementation of natural protection barriers and hard engineering solutions, including the environmental costs and benefits as well. More studies should use economic decision tools like the cost-benefit analysis and assess the advantages of different coastal adaptation approaches also in the context of adaptation to climate change.

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Appendix

Case study review

Source: own representation based on case study review

illustration not visible in this excerpt

[...]


[1] The classification is further explained in chapter 2.

[2] Cost-based approaches are explained in chapter 2.3

[3] For more information about these methods see chapter 2.3

[4] ArcGis is a geographical information system

[5] An Environmental Impact Assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impacts of a project. It takes the environmental, social and economic aspects into account.

[6] A sensitivity analysis a study of how uncertainty in the output of a for example a project, can be apportioned to different sources of uncertainty in its inputs.

[7] The Total Economic Value (TEV) of mangroves is further explained in chapter 2.3

[8] Option and non-use values are further explained in chapter 2.3

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Title
Economic Valuation of Mangrove Ecosystem Services
Subtitle
Shoreline Protection in the Savegre Delta, Costa Rica
Author
Year
2013
Pages
64
Catalog Number
V263270
File size
4928 KB
Language
English
Tags
economic, valuation, mangrove, ecosystem, services, shoreline, protection, savegre, delta, costa, rica
Quote paper
Natalie Gerlach (Author), 2013, Economic Valuation of Mangrove Ecosystem Services, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/263270

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Title: Economic Valuation of Mangrove Ecosystem Services


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