Social Cost-Benefit Analysis of Mangrove Restoration in Mozambique
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The people of Icidua, a neighbourhood of Quelimane (Mozambique), rely on logging their local mangrove population for their livelihood to survive. Unfortunately, these same practises are causing environmental degradation, the erosion of their natural riverbanks, resulting in floods which wash away their homes. 50% of the community suffers from damage to their property caused by floods and erosion. The main reason is exploitation of the mangrove forest due to the lack of alternative means to generate income. Van Oord aims to restore the depleted mangroves in the area following the nature-based solution approach. An integral factor in this methodology is community engagement. To promote an increase in community participation of mangrove restoration efforts, this study assessed potential alternative livelihoods. These were derived from existing literature and narrowed down by the local community and relevant stakeholders. Two policy plans were compared: 1) Business as Usual (BaU), and 2) Alternative Livelihood Development (ALD), both composed after a field visit in June 2022. The BaU alternative was designed based on current data of mangrove-related practices obtained from a baseline survey and community consultations. This scenario forecasted the collapse of the bridge connecting Icidua to the rest of Quelimane, and a total disappearance of all adult mangrove trees. These combined events would be sure to devastate the community and are guaranteed if current erosion trends of up to 6.5 m per year continue. The ALD policy was co-created with community members and stakeholders based on their self-selected top three preferred livelihoods: 1) aquaculture, 2) agriculture, and 3) chicken farming. This research further assessed the long-term Net Present Value (NPV) of the economic benefit of the current practices and implementing alternative livelihoods using a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA) over a 20-year timeframe. Results showed a net positive economic impact of the ALD policy (NPV = 8,500,000 MZN (Mozambican Metical) per ha), as opposed to a net negative outcome of the BaU policy (NPV = -1,000 MZN per ha). A sensitivity analysis showed that BaU would lead Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) smaller than 1 for discount rates of 5% and 10%. On the contrary, the ALD policy resulted in BCR larger than 1 for discount rates of 5%, 10% and 15%. Therefore, this thesis shows Van Oord the necessity and positive viability of including alternative livelihoods in their mangrove restoration project plan.
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