Mangroves restored to promote green advancement
Birds rest in the mangroves in Caotan town of Suixi county. [Photo provided by Zhanjiang.Li Bo/For China Daily]
With the largest area of mangroves in Guangdong province, Zhanjiang has restored 9,960 hectares of mangroves in recent years through ecological redemption.
The city's area of mangroves accounts for 33 percent of the nation's total and 78 percent in the province. Mangroves are becoming fertile grounds for the region's green economic development.
In April in 2021, the Zhanjiang Mangrove Afforestation Project was approved in which the 380 hectares of mangroves planted in the protected area from 2015 to 2019 were registered as China's first blue carbon credit project.
Later, the Beijing-based SEE Foundation purchased 5,880 tons of carbon dioxide emission reductions generated by the project as of May 2020. In addition, the foundation raised more than 7.8 million yuan ($1.09 million) for the protection and restoration of mangroves and for community building in Zhanjiang.
At present, Zhanjiang is working on an ocean carbon sink accounting system and working mechanism and developing a replicable technological methodology for ocean carbon sinks.
Zhanjiang plans to build and restore another 4,183 hectares of mangroves by 2025. A total of 300 million yuan is expected to be invested this year to plant 594.67 hectares of mangroves.
The ecological benefits of Zhanjiang mangroves are becoming increasingly prominent.
Every winter, Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve, the largest single mangrove area in China, is an important stop for international migratory birds.
In recent years, a variety of waterbirds have been feeding on the tidal flats in the nature reserve, and even rare birds such as spoon-billed sandpipers and black-faced spoonbills have appeared.
"The return of these rare waterfowl, which are particularly sensitive to the environment, shows that the mangrove ecosystem is becoming increasingly stable and the ecological functions are recovering and improving," said Wu Xiaodong, chief of the protection management section of the Zhanjiang Mangrove Reserve Administration.
The protection and restoration of mangroves is only a microcosm of Zhanjiang's vigorous promotion of environmental protection.