Social valuation of mangroves in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

Godstime K. James, Jimmy O. Adegoke, Sylvester Osagie, Saba Ekechukwu, Peter Nwilo, Joseph Akinyede

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Scopus citations


    Worldwide, the mangrove ecosystem is in serious decline. The continuous conversion of mangrove vegetation to alternative usage is attributable to the lack of appreciation for the many ecological services, as well as products from the vegetation. As a result, seminal studies have been conducted severally to estimate the economic value of products and services derived from mangroves. However, mangroves also exhibit social value which has been called cultural services of ecosystems, cultural capital of ecosystems and sociocultural perspective of critical natural capital. The social value of mangroves is qualitative and thus antithetical, as well as distinguishable from quantitative economic value in which money is the natural common measurement unit. It is for this very reason that the social value of mangroves is often not captured for policy- and decision-making. This study, therefore, focuses on the social valuation of mangroves in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria using the following social value variables: therapeutic value, amenity value, heritage value, spiritual value and existence value. Results from household surveys conducted in Buguma, Burutu and Kuruama communities in the Niger Delta, as part of this study, revealed various degrees of social value for mangroves in the three communities. A major policy implication emanating from this finding indicates that the decision to convert mangrove vegetation in the Niger Delta to alternative use should be based on the consideration of the pluralism of the value of mangroves. This includes consideration for the economic as well as the social value of mangroves.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)311-323
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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