Project of "Returning Ponds to Wetlands" Ecological Restoration and Sustainable Use in Sanya Tielugang Mangrove Reserve
Project of "Returning Ponds to Wetlands" Ecological Restoration and Sustainable Use in Sanya Tielugang Mangrove Reserve
Baseline information:
Description of current status?
Since the 1970s, excessive human interference such as polder and deforestation to build aquaculture facilities have led to a decrease in the area of mangrove forests in Tielu Harbor and a narrowing or even breaking of the coastal mangrove zones, resulting in degradation of the ecosystem, reduction of biodiversity and many social problems. Although several pond demolition and planting activities have been carried out in recent years, the relevant reforestation has not been carried out for all plots of land due to financial reasons, leaving the coastal shelterbelt broken. The construction of coastal protection forests need to be urgently addressed.
In recent years, the reserve has been effectively controlled in terms of sewage and garbage discharge by carrying out the ponds demolition and ecological environment management of the surrounding villages. However, due to the populated surrounding villages (nearly 7,000 residents) and the undesirable living habits of the residents, more or less garbage still enters the mangrove core area with the rainwater. The coastal mangrove habitat is deteriorating and the pollution problem needs to be solved.
Policy Context:
In 1999, Sanya Forestry Bureau applied for the establishment of Tielu Harbor Nature Reserve. In December of the same year, the Sanya Municipal Government approved the establishment of the Sanya Tielu Harbor Mangrove Nature Reserve with the document "Approval of the Establishment of the Sanya Tiehuogang Mangrove Nature Reserve" (Sanfu Letter [1999] No. 176), which determined the nature of the nature reserve management facility as a public institution. On April 21, 2020, Sanya Wildlife Conservation Center?after reported to the Municipal Forestry Bureau Council and the Party Group of the Bureau, agreed to the application of Hainan Tielu Harbor Mangrove Botanical Garden Management Company on the initiative to return the pond to the forest. The opinion says that the company is allowed to use the leased land (more than seventy acres) and the surrounding mangrove reserve red zone to restore mangrove habitat.(For details, see: "Sanya City Wildlife Protection Center on Hainan Province Tielu Harbor Mangrove Botanical Garden Management Company's Application for Active Retirement of Ponds to Forests" (Three Wildlife Protection Letter [2020] No. 2))
Conditions of the Nature Resources:
Tielu Harbor Nature Reserve is located in the southern area of Haitang Bay, a coast consisting of a sand bank - lagoon - tidal channel geomorphic system. Tielu lagoon has a water area of 7.46 square kilometers and a shoreline length of 22.14 kilometers, with Bowei ridge as the boundary, west of Bowei ridge is the lagoon, with open water and a depth of about 1.5 meters; east of Bowei ridge is the lagoon tidal channel, about 150 meters wide and 5.5 meters deep, with a maximum depth of about 9 meters. In terms of the current situation, the natural coast around Tielu Harbor has nearly vanished. Of the 22.14 kilometers of coastline, only 2.36 kilometers of natural shoreline, and nearly 90% of the shoreline is artificial shoreline, with aquaculture ponds being the main part. The old mangrove trees, which are the main objective of the Tielu Harbor Nature Reserve, are mainly located in the Shigui Village group of Qingtian Village. The mangroves are distributed on the south side of the tidal channel of the Tiehu Harbor lagoon, the channel is about 250 meters wide, and the intertidal zone consisting of coarse coral fragments is on the sea side, the more coarse the coral fragments are on the outer side, the mangroves are distributed on the mudflats in the middle high tide zone.
Soil Condition: Tiehu Harbor is a typical lagoon harbor with many coral debris, gravel, coarse sand, medium sand and fine sand in the harbor, and the area of silty environment is very small. The soil types in the area of nature reserve are mainly coastal windsand soil, paddy field and coastal saline soil. The paddy fields are mainly located near Qingtian Village, covering a small area, and only a small part of it is still planted with rice, and the desertion is relatively high. The seashore windsand soil is the main soil type of the harbor, mostly distributed in the north side of Tielu Harbor. Most of the existing fish pond was formerly a seashore wind-sand soil. Coastal saline soils are mainly distributed in the intertidal zone. The project area is located on the north side of the harbor, and is dominated by coastal sandy soil.
Plant Resource Conditions: According to the statistics (data from the Report on Scientific Investigation of Sanya Tielu Harbor Mangrove Reserve December 2015), the existing vascular plants in reserve counted 70 families, 190 genera and 221 species.Among the native plants, 24 species of mangrove plants (15 species of true mangrove plants and 9 species of semi-mangrove plants) accounted for 13.87% (8.67%, 5.2%) of the local native species and 66.67% of the number of mangrove plant species in China, respectively. There are four species of national secondary key plants, namely: L. littorea, Xylocarpus granatum?Ceratopteris thalictroides?Eulophia graminea.
Animal resource condition: There are 12 species of crabs in 1 order and 4 families, 56 species of mollusks in 2 orders and 24 families, 186 species of insects in 12 orders and 70 families, 25 species of fish animals in 6 orders and 15 families, 7 species of amphibians in 1 order and 5 families and 5 genera, 14 species of reptiles in 1 order and 6 families and 13 genera, 50 species of birds in 12 orders and 24 families, and 8 species of mammals in 4 orders and 6 families.
Basic information of habitat: At present, the area around Tiehuogang is mostly farming ponds and residential areas, and the distribution of woodland resources is small and scattered, and the ground vegetation is mostly semi-mangrove tree species. The sand content in the soil is high, and the lowest sand particle in the composition is 642g/kg, which is visible to the naked eye; the clay particles are generally low, with the highest not exceeding 200g/kg, and the cohesiveness is weak. The PH of the soil ranges from 3.8, which is strongly acidic, to 8.85, which is alkaline. According to the field survey, the salinity of seawater in the area is high, basically fixed between 28-31‰, and slightly lower in some areas due to freshwater input, with salinity around 15.3‰. The water quality of Tielu harbor tourist area is the second class of seawater, and the actual measurement found that some of the estuaries and abandoned aquaculture ponds in Tielu harbor protected area are eutrophic, and the sewage mainly comes from the discharge of aquaculture ponds. The surrounding freshwater rivers flow into the area, but the flow is small, the watershed is limited, and the difference between the dry and rainy seasons is obvious.
Main problems:

?1? Wetland ecosystem degradation and biodiversity impairment.
Within the planned forest land of the reserve for the Sanya city, there are about 75.31 hectares of non-forest land, of which, the area of the aquaculture ponds accounts for about 30.43 hectares. A significant number of aquaculture ponds produced a huge amount of polluted waste-water. The perennial discharge of aquaculture sewage (mostly direct discharge) has polluted the water bodies and soil, resulting in the degradation of the ecosystem and the reduction of biodiversity; Secondly, due to the frequent anthropogenic activities in the area, its natural habitat no longer exists. The forest structure is relatively simple, with few artificial species such as mangoes and coconuts, which in turn has a negative impact on the ecological environment of the reserve.
?2? Villagers' livelihoods are under pressure and livelihood transformation is imminent.
As a result of the policy of “returning ponds to forests (wetland)” and the frequent occurrence of farming diseases, the aquaculture ponds around the nature reserve have been gradually demolished. The source of income for villagers working for farming families and companies is limited. Villagers' livelihoods are oppressed in the absence of development opportunities to switch production to other industries. How to reuse abandoned aquaculture ponds to improve the livelihoods of local residents while restoring ecosystem structure and function is crucial to the sustainable development of coastal areas.
?3? The villagers' awareness of eco-environmental protection and governance is weak:
The lack of initiative and ability of the villagers to protect the environment is due to the absence of guidance on the concept and awareness of environmental protection. They lack education on mangroves and ecological restoration, and they are not involved in any mangrove conservation activities.

Activity 1.
Conducting two surveys on the status of conservation and utilization of marine ecosystems, key species and traditional culture in five natural villages around the Tielu Harbor Mangrove Reserve. Issuing 1 survey report.
Activity 2.
Using a community participatory approach, work with scientists to build mangrove restoration plans, conduct training in ecological restoration and management, and recruit villagers to join the patrol teams.
Issue a mangrove wetland restoration plan with community participation;
Formation of 1 villagers patrol team and supporting patrol team with internal management guidelines.
Activity 3.
To identify the growth rate of pure and mixed forests of typical mangrove plants in Tiehuo Harbor;
To select plant and animal combinations with fast growth rate and good restoration effect;
and to rebuild the function of mangrove ecosystem.
Activity 4.
Training on sustainable use of wetlands and ecological appreciation, designing nature education programs with local ecological culture.
Design 1 brochure on the mangrove forest in Tielu Harbor Nature Reserve?
Develop 2 sets of nature education courses?
Conduct 10 trial courses on mangrove knowledge and nature education?
Established a Nature Education Women's Group to develop the curriculum and recruit students
Activity 5.
Design and print of project brochures and media publications
Anticipated outcomes:
1.Fully understand the ecological conservation awareness of local residents;
Establish an evaluation system for community participation in project supervision;
Ensure that the community is fully aware of the project;
Enhance community participation in activities.
2.Villagers have the skills and knowledge of ecological restoration;
Multiple stakeholders engagement mechanism for local mangrove conservation is established.
3.Restoration of mangrove benthic environment and reconstruction of ecosystem functions of mangrove flora and fauna
4.Villagers are more aware of conservation and equipped with skills for ecotourism development.
5.The project demonstration site influences other surrounding communities and provides a reference case for the administration.
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Project Snapshot

Sanya Blue Ribbon Ocean Conservation Society
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 0.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 76,763.13
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 24,966.98
Project Number:
Not active yet
Project Characteristics and Results
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
1? Increase villagers' capability to acquire livelihoods by sharing technologies related to wetland restoration and mangrove habitat rehabilitation for aquaculture ponds, in conjunction with the promotion of the regional government's efforts to return ponds to forests (wetlands). 2?Through the development of nature education courses, small-scale nature education projects, and ecotourism planning, the environment is improved, leading to sustainable tourism and improved livelihoods for villagers. 3?Through press coverage and project advocacy, we promote the awareness of ecological restoration of the Tielu Harbor Mangrove Reserve and the model of returning the ponds to the forest (wetlands), develop ecological tourism culture and drive the tourism economy.
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
1?Establish a mangrove ecosystem restoration plan, and monitor the biodiversity restoration process and results, and form a corresponding summary report. 2. Sign agreements with village committees, print brochures on mangrove ecosystems, and help local villagers raise awareness of mangrove ecosystem protection. 3?Design mangrove nature education courses and training materials, carry out environmental education and tree planting activities, organize public visits to demonstration sites and publicize mangrove knowledge through community volunteers to improve public awareness; open the course materials to volunteers, and expand the scope of coverage through training and trial lesson sharing with the association's volunteers. 4?Design and print of exhibition boards and project brochures to disseminate knowledge of environmental protection through display and distribution.
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Grantee Contact

Jiarui Zhou
Phone: 0898-88980608


2nd Floor, Jianhang Mansion, No.012, Jiefang Sanlu
Sanya , Hainan Province , 572000


SGP Country office contact

Ms. Yi Liu
86 10 85320731
Ms. Meijia Lu


No. 2 Liangmahe Nanlu
Beijing, Chaoyang, 100600