China: Agenda 21 Mangrove Restoration in Southern China (Hainan, Guangxi, Fujian and Guangdong Regions)


This project was initiated under the auspices of the Priority Programme for China’s Agenda 21. Its ultimate goal is a large-scale restoration of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems in the southern coastal regions of Hainan, Guangxi, Fujian and Guangdong. This southern zone has seen increasing degradation as a result of exploitative activities, and the Chinese government is interested in working to restore its biodiversity and implementing institutional strategies for long-term management and sustainability.

Quick Facts

Project Location:
Hainan, China, 19.5663947, 109.94968599999993

Geographic Region:

Country or Territory:


Estuaries, Marshes & Mangroves

Area being restored:
20,000 hectares

Project Lead:
Priority Programme for China's Agenda 21

Organization Type:
Governmental Body


Project Stage:
Planning / Design

Start Date:

End Date:

Primary Causes of Degradation

Mining & Resource Extraction

Degradation Description

Due to the plundering excavation and inefficient utilization of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems during the last two decades, 80 per cent of the coral reefs along the coast of Hainan island have been destroyed. Some species of coral reefs have disappeared entirely. The rapid degeneration of mangroves and coral reefs has caused severe destruction to marine biodiversity and marine resources and deterioration of the overall ecological environment. It has reduced the capacity for marine disasters prevention and threatened the livelihood, safety and property of the people. Moreover, the deterioration will obviously hinder the rapid development of coastal industries like agriculture, fishing and marine industries.

Project Goals

– The long term objective of this project is to establish a preventive belt with mangrove and coral reef along the coast of southern China and construct a highly productive mangrove and coral reef eco-system to promote the development aquiculture and sustainable utilisation of marine resources, thus improve the quality of daily life of the local people and environment around them, and guarantee sustainable development of the regional economy.
– Within the framework of integrated coastal zone management, establish an integrated management regime for sustainable development of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems at the national, provincial (autonomous region) and municipal (county) levels that would carry out legal management of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems;
– Enhance the capability of protection, restoration, reconstruction, afforestation and management of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems in China. Restore, re-establish and plant 20,000 ha. of mangrove trees in the tideland suitable for afforestation along the coast of south China;
– Make a thorough investigation of the distribution of the mangrove in the Chinese coastline, establish coral reef reserves and special protected areas, restore the productivity of the coral reef areas by increasing 50 percent of the fish stock in the reserves and the special protected areas.


The project does not have a monitoring plan.


As with most any mangrove or coral reef restoration project, local inhabitants of the region(s) to be affected by the restoration are primary stakeholders. They are expected to benefit economically from a more vibrant ecosystem that more readily yields valuable natural resources. The international community of scientists is also a stakeholder in this project. Through consultation and collaboration with Chinese researchers/practitioners, these international professionals are expected to deepen their store of knowledge and practical experience with this type of restoration. Furthermore, a mangrove resources bank and mangrove ecosystem information system will be compiled during this project and will thus be available to researchers and practitioners for subsequent projects. Chinese professionals will, in turn, benefit from the project, as they are to receive technical training and experience throughout the investigation and management phases of the project.

Description of Project Activities:
- Make a thorough investigation on the present status of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems in China. This will include a study of the biological species, the geographical elements and their distribution; - Set up technical experiment stations in Hainan and Guangxi to study and develop the technology in diversified cultivation, transplant, seedlings and rapid growth of mangroves and coral reefs, and provide technical support to the development of mangrove and coral reef ecosystems; - Establish demonstration areas for conservation, restoration and reconstruction of the mangrove ecosystem: select representative river estuaries, harbors, island groups, wide shores, tidal zone and bare tideland with different niches in Guangxi and Hainan to take various technological measures and methods of management to plant a total area of 250 hectares of demonstration forest; - Establish five tree nurseries with a total area of 10 hectares; - Restore 20,000 hectares of secondary mangrove forests ( tentatively planned 7,000 hectares in Hainan, 7,000 hectares in Guangxi, 5,000 hectares in Guangdong and 1,000 hectares in Fujian); - Develop the sustainable utilization products of the resources of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems, develop ecological cultivation and fishery resources cultivation, promote eco-tourism, utilize tannic acid attracted from mangrove trees, and develop marine biological medicine and health materials.

Ecological Outcomes Achieved

Factors limiting recovery of the ecosystem:
A shortage of funds and the public's poor awareness and participation are the key obstacles to the implementation of this project.

Socio-Economic & Community Outcomes Achieved

Economic vitality and local livelihoods:
The mangrove areas established according to this project will not only provide various functions badly needed by the coastal people, e.g., storm shelter, shore erosion prevention and sewage purification, but can also provided sites for education and recreation. Assuming US$ 500/hectare/year as the lowest economic value of the products and services provided from the mangrove ecosystem, an area of 20,000 hectares can bring local residents US$ 10 million per year; if it is US$ 1,000/hectare/year for the average economic value of the same area, then the benefit can be US$ 20 million per year. This analysis doesn't consider the value of the land and aquatic environment benefit of the mangroves. After completion of the project, the existing coral reef resources in the Chinese sea area can be conserved, the destroyed part can be recovered gradually, the fishing yields along the Chinese coral reef areas and the areas around them can double or more. Therefore, China will make its greater contribution to the protection of the biodiversity in the world.

Long-Term Management

– Establish committees or corresponding agencies for the management and conservation of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems at national, provincial and municipal levels

– Formulate relevant laws, regulations and policies for conservation of the mangrove and coral reef ecosystems

Sources and Amounts of Funding

34.9 million USD The total capital needed for this project is US$ 34.9 million. The Chinese partners will raise US$ 22.6 million from domestic sources, while foreign aid and investment will cover the other US$ 12.3 million.

Other Resources

Information regarding Priority Programme for Agenda 21 —

Primary Contact

Organizational Contact