Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 359–375

The value of a mangrove area in Sarawak

  • Elizabeth L. Bennett
  • Colin J. Reynolds

DOI: 10.1007/BF00114040

Cite this article as:
Bennett, E.L. & Reynolds, C.J. Biodivers Conserv (1993) 2: 359. doi:10.1007/BF00114040

Many arguments have been presented to justify the conservation of tropical forests. In the case of mangrove forests, their preservation can be argued using economic and employment grounds alone. A case study of the Sarawak Mangroves Forest Reserve, Malaysia is presented. Here, the mangroves support marine fisheries worth US$21.1 million p.a. and up to 3000 jobs, timber products worth US$123,217 p.a., and a tourist industry worth US$3.7 million p.a. If the mangroves were to be damaged, all of the fisheries and timber and many of the tourism benefits would be lost. In addition, highly expensive civil engineering works would be incurred to prevent coastal erosion, flooding and other damage. The area is also one of the only remaining refuges for mangrove flora and fauna in Sarawak. If the area were to be converted to aquaculture ponds or oil palm plantations, levels of revenue would be greatly reduced, and the multiple other benefits of mangroves would be lost. Coastal land pressure is not a limiting factor in the State. Considering their economic, employment, coastal protection and species conservation values, mangroves should be conserved and their importance taken into account at all levels in development planning.


mangroveSarawakeconomic valuemultiple values

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth L. Bennett
    • 1
  • Colin J. Reynolds
    • 1
  1. 1.Sarawak Forest DepartmentNational Parks and Wildlife OfficeKuchingMalaysia
  2. 2.Wildlife Conservation InternationalNew York Zoological SocietyKuchingMalaysia