In many tropical countries, mangrove forests are a crucial component of coastal resources. Nowhere is this more evident than in Thailand where their continued destruction due to shrimp farm expansion is impacting upon forestry, fisheries and the quality of the coastal environment.
In addition to the environmental damage caused, mangrove loss is also a serious social problem. Many people live and work among the mangrove forests and the destruction of the resources and ecological functions these forests provide affect the economic livelihoods and cultural heritage of many communities. Against these losses must be weighed the considerable commercial and foreign exchange benefits of shrimp aquaculture and production, which is a major export industry in Thailand. Through in-depth case studies of local communities in four distinct coastal areas in Southern Thailand, the authors are able to assess objectively the underlying economic causes, and consequences, of mangrove deforestation due to the expansion of shrimp farms.
Economists, ecologists, sociologists and coastal management specialists will all welcome this unique inter-disciplinary appraisal of the ecological, economic and social implications of shrimp farm expansion and mangrove conversion. It will also be of particular value to international and national policymakers concerned with coastal management in tropical countries.
Edited by Edward B. Barbier, Professor of Economics, Senior Scholar, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, US and Suthawan Sathirathai, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction: Global Mangrove Loss and Economic Development Part I: National Trends and Analysis of Mangroves 2. The Importance of Mangroves: Ecological Perspectives and Socio-Economic Values 3. Overview of Shrimp Farming and Mangrove Loss in Thailand 4. Analysis of Shrimp Farm Expansion and Mangrove Conversion in Thailand, 1979-1996 Part II: Case Studies: Phang-nga and Nakhon Si Thammarat 5. Analytical Background of the Case Studies and Research Sites: Ecological, Historical and Social Perspectives 6. Mangrove Dependency, Income Distribution and Conservation 7. Household Use of Mangrove and Mangrove Conservation Decisions 8. The Effects of Mangrove Loss on the Labor Allocation of Households 9. Analysis of Shrimp Farms' Use of Land 10. Coastal Communities, Mangrove Loss and Shrimp Farming: Social and Institutional Perspectives 11. Comparative Returns of Mangroves for Shrimp Farming and Local Direct and Indirect Uses in Surat Thani Province Part III: Mangrove Loss and Shrimp Farming in Thailand: Conclusions 12. Conclusions of the Study and Policy Recommendations References Index