Recent progresses in mangrove conservation, restoration and research in China

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Abstract

Aims

In this paper, we highlighted some key progresses in mangrove conservation, restoration and research in China during last two decades.

Methods

Based on intensive literature review, we compared the distribution and areas of existing mangroves among selected provinces of China, discussed the issues associated with mangrove conservation and restoration and highlighted major progresses on mangrove research conducted by key institutions or universities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

Important findings

The population boom and rapid economic developments have greatly reduced mangrove areas in China since 1980s, leaving only 22 700 ha mangroves in mainland China in 2001. Chinese government has launched a series of programs to protect mangroves since 1980s and has established mangrove ecosystems as high-priority areas for improving environmental and living resource management. During last three decades, a total of 34 natural mangrove conservation areas have been established, which accounts for 80% of the total existing mangroves areas in China. Mangrove restoration areas in Mainland China accounted for <7% of the total mangroves areas in 2002. A great deal of research papers on Chinese mangroves has been published in international journals. However, more systematic protection strategies and active restoration measurements are still urgently needed in order to preserve these valuable resources in China.

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