Mangrove forest has a big potential to become a new market for carbon trading. The purpose of this study was to estimate the amount of carbon stored and its potential carbon market value in undisturbed mangrove forest; Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP) and degrading mangrove forest; Sungai Haji Dorani (SHD) thereby create awareness on how preserving the natural mangrove forest in Malaysia really pays. The carbon content of seasonally-sampled selected mangrove living vegetation and soil was determined using the LOI furnace method followed by a conversion factor. The carbon content for the soil and above-ground biomass in the undisturbed forest was greater than in the degrading forest; while the carbon stored below-ground surprisingly showed a reversed pattern. The total ecosystem carbon stock in undisturbed KSNP was estimated at 246.21 t ha-1 C which is relatively higher than that in the degrading forest in SHD with 151.40 t ha-1 C. It was also estimated that the minimum carbon credit value for the mangrove forest in the SHD and KSNP was USD 3,314.23 ha-1 and USD 5,89.83 ha-1, respectively, based on the market price in the voluntary market. The undisturbed mangrove forests have a higher potential for economic return in carbon credits.
Keywords: mangroves, biomass, carbon sink, carbon market