This fisherman catches a kilogram of shrimp every day, thanks to the nursery habitat that mangroves provide, Indonesia (Picture: Alexander van Oudenhoven)


Mangrove Capital: Benefits of mangrove restoration in Indonesia

Mangrove ecosystems provide habitat and nurseries for many (shell)fish species, they sequester carbon, remove water pollutants and protect coastal cities and agricultural fields against wave impacts and coastal abrasion. Yet, almost 90% of Java’s natural mangroves have disappeared as a result of intensive farming, logging, aquaculture and infrastructure development.
The Indonesian government now wants to restore 100.000ha of mangroves on Java and Wetlands International has started a project called “Mangrove Capital” to investigate the best options for restoration from an environmental. engineering and socio-economic perspective. As part of the Mangrove Capital Project, the Environmental Systems Analysis group is conducting an inventory of the services and values of mangrove ecosystems in literature as well as by gathering new information from local case studies in Java, Indonesia.


The aim of the ESA-sub-project is to analyse the ecological, socio-cultural and economic value of various management options of mangrove ecosystems in Java, Indonesia.


Based on literature and expert interviews, different mangrove management options in Indonesia are identified and information on the ecosystem services provided is collected. During this first phase (January – August 2012) several interns were involved in close collaboration with Wetlands International  and the Ecosystem Services Partnership.

In September 2012, fieldwork has started on Java to collect more detailed information on the relationship between different management options and the quantity and value of ecosystem services provided. A team of five researchers from different backgrounds, supervised by experts from local universities and the Wetlands International Indonesia Programme, is currently conducting ecological surveys and interviews with local stakeholders about the role of mangroves in their personal lives and local culture.

In the final phase of the project (2013-2014) we will perform an integrated cost benefit analysis, thereby incorporating local and more general information on the value of mangrove ecosystems.

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group is responsible for Work Components 3 & 8; Socio-cultural, ecological and economic valuation of mangrove management options (due February 2013), and Integrated Costs and benefit analysis of mangrove- and non-mangrove management scenarios (due end 2013).