In Ecuador, 100% of the mangroves are protected through different mechanisms: protected areas, community mangrove concessions, and protective forests. However, there is still deforestation of the mangroves, even in protected areas, which is caused mainly by the construction/expansion of shrimp pools. Shrimp is currently Ecuador’s first non-oil export product. The Sustainable Use and Mangrove Custody Agreements are very important because they cover an area almost similar to that of protected areas. This mechanism is effective because it allows the sustainable extraction of resources from the mangrove, but forces the “custodians” to protect this ecosystem. This chapter includes a case study on the management of the “mangrove concessions” of the province of El Oro, southern Ecuador, in which the management effectiveness of these areas is analyzed. We found that despite the limited resources that these mangrove concessions have, the level of management is “satisfactory”, which means that most of the management objectives are met. However, these areas should receive more support, both from the state and private organizations, as they conserve more than 40% of Ecuador’s mangrove.
Part of the book: Coastal Environments