Mangrove ecosystems are rapidly declining in many parts of the world. This has resulted in the loss of important environmental and economic products and services including forest products, flood mitigation and nursery grounds for fish. The aquaculture industry was the single biggest threat to mangroves in the Philippines until 1981 when conversion of the remaining mangrove stands was prohibited by law. However, the decreasing yield from capture fisheries is putting pressure for the re-examination of this policy. To understand the importance of mangroves, insight is needed into the value of products and services provided is needed. This article compares the costs and benefits of mangrove preservation with those generated by alternative uses such as aquaculture and forestry. Equity and sustainability objectives are taken into account, in addition to economic efficiency and analyzed according to the perspectives of the different types of decision makers involved.