Coral reef near the southwest side of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. © Tim Calver

Stories in China

Marine Conservation and Coastal Restoration in China

The Nature Conservancy is working in China and around the world on ocean protection, restoration and resilience.

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When one thinks of environmental protection in China, oceans and coasts are probably not the first to come to mind. But China has a long and diverse coastline with marine ecosystems that contribute enormously to China’s economy.

However, marine ecosystems in China are up against serious odds. Since the 1950s, China has lost 57 percent of its coastal wetlands, 73 percent of its mangrove cover, and 80% of its coral reefs. Most of its seagrass beds have disappeared, two-thirds of its coastline is suffering from erosion, and nearshore fishery resources have been severely depleted. Big changes need to happen quickly.

In 2016, the Chinese government introduced a project to establish “ecological red lines” to protect marine spaces from development. Within these no-development zones, conserving the last intact habitats and restoring the degraded coastal ecosystem are priorities.

The Nature Conservancy has 20 years of international coastal restoration experience, expertise and techniques to bring to the table. Globally, TNC has successfully worked with governments, research institutions, communities and private sectors on coastal marine habitat restoration by focusing on the intersection between people and nature.

We have the experiences and resources necessary to compile practical toolkits for key habitat restoration, such as coral reefs and oyster reefs. We are well-equipped to engage with government and stakeholders to integrate and invest in the concept of “blue infrastructure” for coastal resilience. We are also committed to the development of a marine restoration coalition and fund to inspire more organizations, institutions, and individuals to protect and restore our natural coastlines.