Opportunities to quantify the value of supporting ecosystem services

In the City of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the wholesale value of fish landings in 2008 was estimated at 1 million AED (US$272,294) for the Inner Islands Lagoon and 104.8 million AED (US$28.5 million) for the UAE as a whole (Hartmann et al. 2009). Mangroves provide an important supporting service, the value of which is easily determined through the value of the fishing landings, as nursery grounds for several of these commercially important fish species, as well as for other species which contribute to ecosystem functioning. By restoring and protecting mangroves, many other benefits are also afforded to the city, including protection from storms and the control of soil erosion. Through the direct intervention in the late 1970s of the former President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, mangrove replanting schemes were implemented adjacent to the city, and currently the adverse effects of recent development around the city have also prompted the EAD and the UPC to mitigate the loss of mangroves by requiring developers to replant lost mangroves. As a result, in the Emirates as a whole, the area of mangroves has actually increased.

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