Value of the Storm-Protection Function of Sundarban Mangroves in Bangladesh

  •  A. H. M. Raihan Sarker    
  •  Mohammad Nur Nobi    
  •  Eivin Roskaft    
  •  David J. Chivers    
  •  Ma Suza    


Globally mangrove forests are among the most severely threatened ecosystems. The protection value of mangrove forests is important for policy makers as a means of increasing forestation in coastal areas. Only a few economic studies have estimated the protective value of mangrove ecosystems. None have estimated the value of this service in the Sundarban of Bangladesh. In this study, we estimated the economic value of storm-protection services of the Sundarban Reserve Forest during cyclone Sidr in 2007 by valuing and comparing the economic damage and losses of households at two sites (i.e., near the Sundarban and far from the Sundarban). In total, 1,525 households from 9 upazillas (sub-districts) were sampled, all located within 1 km distance of the embankment. Applying the Damage-Cost-Avoided (DCA) method, the storm-protection value of the Sundarban is estimated at USD 543.30 million. The estimated value of the damage cost avoided per household (as of 2015 consumer price) also implies that the installation of a one-km width of intact mangrove forest can save USD 396 to each household during cyclones and storm surges. Conservation and restoration of the ecological status of Sundarban is, therefore, urgently needed for the continued existence and sustainable use of Sundarban’s ecosystem services in the long term.

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