Project Description

Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection

Donor: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) | Duration: 2015-2016 | Location: Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam

About: Mangroves provide a wide array of benefits to coastal communities, including wood production, non-wood forest products and a range of environmental services. They are also widely considered to be highly valuable in terms of climate change mitigation, due to high rates of primary productivity and the large amounts of carbon contained within the above- and below-ground biomass and soils.

The degradation of mangroves also have an indirect impact on fish stocks, affecting the livelihoods of fishing communities. Payments to fishing communities to conserve and rehabilitate mangroves can lead to increased income via alternative livelihood activities, whilst reducing pressure on fish stocks via increased productivity of mangroves and reduced reliance on fishing.

A 2011 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the potential to generate income from mangroves through carbon credit sales and payments for environmental services found that costs are likely to be greater than the income for all but large areas of mangroves.

The regional ‘Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection’ project was launched to address a potential gap that exists for lower-cost products where values are less accurately quantified and additional assumptions regarding carbon stocking and sequestration rates are made.

Delivering environmental protection and sustainable development as a bundled product (rather than selling carbon credits) is expected to appeal to a range of investors, including national REDD+ funding agencies and CSR-conscious companies. Importantly, a lower-cost mechanism will allow conservation and rehabilitation of smaller areas of mangroves that could otherwise be lost.

Project activities are taking place in Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam. With SIDA as donor, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as resource partner, the project is implemented by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Office (RAP), within the framework of the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative. Technical assistance is provided by the USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) Program, the UN-REDD Programme and the US-based Spatial Informatics Group – Natural Assets Laboratory (SIG-NAL) organisation. Nick Beresnev from ICEM is coordinating and providing technical input to the project.

View project reports published on FAO website:

  • Project goal: To conserve and restore mangroves by introducing sustainable financing for coastal communities.
  • Project aim: To develop a low cost mechanism enabling investors to responsibly promote mangrove conservation, carbon emissions reduction and sustainable development, through the provision of funding to local communities for livelihood diversification, resource enhancement and coastal protection.