Environmental Conservation

THEMATIC SECTION: Payments for Ecosystem Services in Conservation: Performance and Prospects

Mangrove ecosystem services and the potential for carbon revenue programmes in Solomon Islands

KIMBERLEY WARREN-RHODESa1 c1, ANNE-MAREE SCHWARZa2, LINDA NG BOYLEa3, JOELLE ALBERTa1, STEPHEN SUTI AGALOa4, REGON WARRENa1, ANDREW BANAa5, CHRIS PAULa1, RINGO KODOSIKUa4, WILKO BOSMAa4, DOUGLAS YEEa6, PATRIK RÖNNBÄCKa7, BEATRICE CRONAa8 and NORM DUKEa9

a1 The WorldFish Center-Solomon Islands, PO Box 77, Gizo, Solomon Islands

a2 The WorldFish Center-Solomon Islands, PO Box 438, Honiara, Solomon Islands

a3 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

a4 National Resource Development Conservation, Solomon Islands

a5 Western Province Government, Solomon Islands

a6 Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Honiara, Solomon Islands

a7 SWEDESD and Department of Biology, Gotland University, Visby, Sweden

a8 Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

a9 University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

SUMMARY

Mangroves are an imperilled biome whose protection and restoration through payments for ecosystem services (PES) can contribute to improved livelihoods, climate mitigation and adaptation. Interviews with resource users in three Solomon Islands villages suggest a strong reliance upon mangrove goods for subsistence and cash, particularly for firewood, food and building materials. Village-derived economic data indicates a minimum annual subsistence value from mangroves of US$ 345–1501 per household. Fish and nursery habitat and storm protection were widely recognized and highly valued mangrove ecosystem services. All villagers agreed that mangroves were under threat, with firewood overharvesting considered the primary cause. Multivariate analyses revealed village affiliation and religious denomination as the most important factors determining the use and importance of mangrove goods. These factors, together with gender, affected users’ awareness of ecosystem services. The importance placed on mangrove services did not differ significantly by village, religious denomination, gender, age, income, education or occupation. Mangrove ecosystem surveys are useful as tools for raising community awareness and input prior to design of PES systems. Land tenure and marine property rights, and how this complexity may both complicate and facilitate potential carbon credit programmes in the Pacific, are discussed.

(Received November 03 2010)

(Accepted March 10 2011)

(Online publication September 22 2011)

Correspondence

c1 Correspondence: Kimberley Warren-Rhodes, Current address: NASA-Ames Research Center MS 245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA e-mail: kwarrenrhodes@gmail.com