Mangrove forests work as a natural bridge between sea and land, drawing down carbon and also protecting coastlines and providing habitat for fish, crab and shrimp.
Following rapid mangrove destruction in China up to 2001, a programme of protection was put in place and by 2019 67% of mangrove forests in the country were enclosed within protected areas. Zhanjiang, in Guangdong Province on the southern tip of the country, has one of the largest mangrove nature reserves, covering more than 20,000 hectares.
This project extends that critical ecosystem by planting up to 400 hectares of new mangroves, restoring the degraded areas. Four native mangrove species are being used – Avicennia marina, Rhizophorasty losa, Kandelia obovata and Aegiceras corniculatum – and the project will form part of the protected area.
Mangroves can absorb up to four times more carbon than a traditional rainforest on land. | Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government)
Sustainable Development Goals: In addition to delivering emissions removals to tackle climate action (SDG 13), the project delivers a number of other benefits, including:
- Life on Land: Biodiversity and ecosystem service benefits will be generated by the project and the sustained protection of the planted area, which is connected to the adjacent reserve. The restored mangroves form a habitat for endangered species, including the Spoon-billed Sandpiper which is named as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- Decent Work and Economic Growth: The project promotes local economic development by improving the habitat for fisheries and providing employment opportunities for local communities. The project actively engages the community and is supported through grassroots organisations in the area, providing technical training for local residents in mangrove and forestry.
- Gender Equality: Of the 300 job opportunities, half have gone to women.
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