Despite legal protection, mangroves were being cleared for shrimp farming by non-local investors. In a multi-day workshop, the ideas was to learn from local community stakeholders and participating scientists about the problems surrounding the conversion of mangrove ecosystems to shrimp aquaculture.
The aim was to develop potential solutions to the problems and communicate results to the authorities to take action. The main questions to be answered were: How to compare the value attached to shrimp farming with the value of maintaining mangroves? How can the economic, social and ecological benefits of intact mangroves to human wellbeing be communicated to local government, decision makers and the broader public to convince them to protect mangrove ecosystems?
The loss of various ecosystem services to the local community were being explored in order to convince local government to stop mangrove conversion. The participatory process with foreign experts and local stakeholders helped legitimize and communicate this view. The collaboration succeeded in stopping the conversion of mangroves by demonstrating the significantly higher benefits of intact mangrove ecosystems for local communities.