A tropical freshwater wetland: III. Direct use values and other goods and services

Type Journal Article - Wetlands Ecology and Management
Title A tropical freshwater wetland: III. Direct use values and other goods and services
Volume 13
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Page numbers 685-693
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Katherine_Ewel/publication/226468264_A_Tropical_Freshwater_Wetl​and_III_Direct_Use_Values_and_Other_Goods_and_Services/links/5499ba780cf2d6581ab151f9.pdf
Understanding the economic value of a wetland as well as how people perceive its role in providing goods and services can provide insight into the wetland's actual role and the kinds of policies needed to ensure sustainable use. On the island of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, freshwater forested wetlands dominated by Terminalia carolinensis (hereafter called Terminalia) are often found just upslope from mangrove forests, which appear to be hydrologically connected to them. Many of these Terminalia forests have been converted into agroforests. A survey of 10% of the households on Kosrae showed that 89% owned some Terminalia land. Most grew taro, bananas, and sugar cane, either in or immediately adjacent to Terminalia forests. Most owned canoes constructed of Terminalia logs, and nearly half had harvested trees from these forests during the past year: 64% to clear land for agricultural purposes, 36% for building canoes, and 31% for other uses. Terminalia forests provided over $3.1million worth of goods to Kosraeans, primarily from agricultural production. Approximately 2/3 of those surveyed understood that Terminalia grows best in a wetland setting. Most thought that Terminalia forests provide erosion protection and improve water quality. However, very few were cognizant of the ecological links between Terminalia and mangrove forests. Kosraeans attached little importance to the fact that Terminalia is endemic to the eastern Caroline Islands. If human dependence on these wetlands increases, the integrity of Terminalia forests, as well as adjacent mangrove forests, could be at risk.

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