Policy challenges and approaches for the conservation of mangrove forests in Southeast Asia uri icon

abstract

  • Many drivers of mangrove forest loss operate over large scales and are most effectively addressed by policy interventions. However, conflicting or unclear policy objectives exist at multiple tiers of government, resulting in contradictory management decisions. To address this, we considered 4 approaches that are being used increasingly or could be deployed in Southeast Asia to ensure sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. First, a stronger incorporation of mangroves into marine protected areas (MPAs) (that currently focus largely on reefs and fisheries) could resolve some policy conflicts and ensure that mangroves do not fall through a policy gap. Second, examples of community and government co-management exist, but achieving co-management at scale will be important in reconciling stakeholders and addressing conflicting policy objectives. Third, private-sector initiatives could protect mangroves through existing and novel mechanisms in degraded areas and areas under future threat. Finally, payments for ecosystem services (PES) hold great promise for mangrove conservation; REDD-style carbon schemes (known as blue carbon) are attracting attention. Although barriers remain to the implementation of PES, the potential to implement them at multiple scales exists. Closing the gap between mangrove conservation policies and action is crucial to the improved protection and management of this imperilled coastal ecosystem and to the livelihoods that depend on them
  • Many drivers of mangrove forest loss operate over large scales and are most effectively addressed by policy interventions. However, conflicting or unclear policy objectives exist at multiple tiers of government, resulting in contradictory management decisions. To address this, we considered four approaches that are being used increasingly or could be deployed in Southeast Asia to ensure sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. First, a stronger incorporation of mangroves into marine protected areas (that currently focus largely on reefs and fisheries) could resolve some policy conflicts and ensure that mangroves do not fall through a policy gap. Second, examples of community and government comanagement exist, but achieving comanagement at scale will be important in reconciling stakeholders and addressing conflicting policy objectives. Third, private-sector initiatives could protect mangroves through existing and novel mechanisms in degraded areas and areas under future threat. Finally, payments for ecosystem services (PES) hold great promise for mangrove conservation, with carbon PES schemes (known as blue carbon) attracting attention. Although barriers remain to the implementation of PES, the potential to implement them at multiple scales exists. Closing the gap between mangrove conservation policies and action is crucial to the improved protection and management of this imperiled coastal ecosystem and to the livelihoods that depend on them.
  • Resumen
  • Retos Politicos y Estrategias para la Conservacion de los Manglares en el Sureste Asiatico Muchos factores causantes de la perdida de los manglares operan a grandes escalas y son abordados mas efectivamente con las intervenciones politicas. Sin embargo, existen objetivos politicos conflictivos o confusos a multiples niveles del gobierno, lo que resulta en decisiones de manejo contradictorias. Para abordar esto, consideramos 4 estrategias cuyo uso se ha incrementado o que podrian implementarse en el sureste asiatico para asegurar medios de vida sustentables y la conservacion de la biodiversidad. Primero, una mayor incorporacion de los manglares dentro de las areas marinas protegidas (AMP) (que actualmente se enfocan en su mayoria en los arrecifes y los sectores pesqueros) podria resolver algunos conflictos politicos y asegurar que los manglares no caigan en un vacio de politicas. Segundo, existen ejemplos de co-manejo entre las comunidades y el gobierno, pero lograrlo a escala sera importante en la reconciliacion de los accionistas y el acercamiento a los objetivos politicos conflictivos. Tercero, las iniciativas del sector privado podrian proteger a los manglares por medio de mecanismos existentes y novedosos en las areas degradadas y en las areas bajo amenaza a futuro. Finalmente, los pagos por servicios ambientales (PSA) son muy promisorios para la conservacion de los manglares; los esquemas de carbono (conocidos como carbono azul) llaman la atencion. Aunque permanecen barreras ante la implementacion de los PSA, el potencial de implementarlos a escalas multiples existe. Cerrar el vacio entre las politicas de conservacion de los manglares y la accion es crucial para mejorar la proteccion y el manejo de estos ecosistemas costeros en riesgo y para los medios de vida que dependen de ellos.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016