UC San Diego
Ecological Estimation, Economic Valuation, and Policy Implications of Carbon Stocks and Sequestration in Mexican Mangroves
- Author(s): Kumagai, Joy Alice Megumi
- Advisor(s): Aburto Oropeza, Marco Octavio
- et al.
Mexican mangroves are being deforested at an average rate of 1.15% per year, yet these essential ecosystems provide surrounding communities with increased fishery yields, protection from hurricanes, and run off filtration. Additionally, mangroves are well known for their ability to sequester and store carbon and have gained international recognition for this ecosystem service. The purpose of this study is to estimate current carbon stocks and sequestration rates and quantify their economic value at a local level throughout Mexico. We analyzed data from literature and calculated municipio-specific estimates of carbon. We found average carbon stocks of 519.3 MgC ha-1, with sequestration rates between 0.63 to 3.46 MgC ha-1 yr-1. Using the social cost of carbon, we estimated that the total carbon stocks in Mexican mangroves is worth 62 trillion US dollars. If baseline deforestation continues from 2016 to 2040, Mexico will lose more than 3 trillion dollars. Currently, each hectare of mangroves deforested costs an average of 42 thousand dollars between oxidation of carbon stocks and lost sequestration. In most places, the damages from deforestation outweigh the opportunity costs of cattle ranching and agriculture, which are common alternative land uses. In addition, the cost of investing in mangroves to meet Mexico’s climate goals is less than the damages resulting from deforestation per area, although targeted management is necessary. The calculated value of carbon and cost of deforestation versus the price of investment in each municipio should be used to inform mangrove conservation policy in Mexico.