Mangroves provide valuable ecosystem services for the wellbeing of coastal communities. Assessment and valuation of these mangroves services are increasingly advocated in development and conservation decision-making. Translating the values of services into more explicit monetary terms requires understanding of stakeholder activities, socio-economic context and local organizational structure to effectively support decision-making. Based on a survey of 100 households of three villages of Sundarban in Bangladesh, mangroves services to local communities were identified and their economic values estimated. The households perceived 18 mangroves services, of which capture fisheries, fuel energy, storm protection, habitat for fish breeding and nursery grounds and aesthetic enjoyment were ranked the most important. For provisioning services, households obtained important monetary benefits annually from capture fishery (US$ 976 per ha), fuel energy (US$ 80 per ha), honey (US$ 53 per ha) and fodder (US$ 26 per ha). The average annual willingness to pay for storm protection, erosion control and habitat for fish breeding and nursery services were estimated, respectively, as US$ 13 per ha, US$ 2 per ha and US$ 9 per ha. However, unsustainable exploitation and salinity intrusion impacted the services provided by mangroves. This study provides an important insight into the services and values of mangroves for local welfare, and thus can inform policy for protection and better use of mangrove resources.
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