Economic instruments for mangroves conservation in Brazilian protected areas

Roughly 90% of mangrove ecosystems in Brazil are located in Protected Areas (PA). However, there are important deficiencies in terms of financial sustainability and resource management in these areas that affect natural capital stocks, biodiversity and local communities that depend on natural resources.

In this context, CSF-Brazil conducted a project in 2016 on the management of mangrove ecosystem services and launched the publication "The values of ecosystem services of the Brazilian mangroves, economic instruments for its conservation and the Salgado Paraense case study".

This study aimed to:
1) describe the values offered by mangroves according to the ecosystem services approach;
2) estimate values of the benefits of ecosystem services provided by the Salgado Paraense mangroves, opening the discussion on the efficient design of investments for ecosystem management; and
3) elucidate how economic instruments can benefit the conservation of mangroves.

We conducted a vast literature review on mangroves' ecosystem services and their values. In our publication, we conducted a case study and discussed the use of economic instruments related to PA management. Our case study focused on the Salgado Paraense region, one of the largest mangrove areas in the world, found on the northern coast of Brazil. In this region people depend on the mangroves, especially the crabs and fish that live there. However, predatory fishing techniques are negatively impacting these resources by decreasing the population density of some species and preventing the reproduction of others. Moreover, the PA are are hindered by serious institutional deficiencies which prevent them from regulating the use of natural resources in mangrove areas.

To find ways to address these challenges, we reviewed the policies that use economic instruments for mangrove management and highlighted successful experiences in several countries, most notably the Seguro Defeso and Bolsa Verde programs in Brazil.

Through this research and discussion, we hope to contribute ideas for improving the configuration of economic instruments, with the ultimate goal of mangrove conservation and sustainable use in PA.

This study was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant financing in the scope of the GEF Mangue (Project Mangroves from Brazil), and was conducted in partnership with the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) / Brazilian Ministry of Environment / Brazilian Federal Government and the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity (FUNBIO).

Please click here to download our full report (in Portuguese) and here to read about our field trip for data collection.

Photo: Mangrove area in the Salgado Paraense region, in the northern coast of Brazil.
Photo credit: Camila Jericó-Daminello.