Restoring coastal ecosystems in China
Coastal ecosystems like mangroves matter – they not only protect the coast from storm surges and typhoons, but they also purify water, and absorb carbon emissions with a greater capability than any other tree species! However, given its importance, the past five decades witnessed a loss of more than 70% mangroves in China.
The Chinese government is increasing its investment in a large-scale mangrove restoration initiative, yet technical issue remains a challenge. With great investments in mangrove conservation and management in the past years, CI China worked with a mangrove nature reserve in Guangdong Province to pilot mangrove restoration and invasive species solutions.
In April, three thousand mangrove seedlings were planted in a degraded plot among the mangrove forests at Gaoqiao Town of the Leizhou peninsula. Supported by CI and carried out by the management bureau of the Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve, the tree planting aims to restore small plat of degraded mangroves with native mangrove tree species. Restoration of these small “windows” of mangrove forests is important, as it helps maintain the integrity of mangrove ecosystem and prevent the invasion of alien species.
More importantly, the demonstration of restoring 0.1 ha mangroves also helped to provide feasible technical solutions on mangrove restoration and conservation in China, such as illustrating the right places and mangrove species for restoration and ways to well-manage the restored mangroves.