China’s 18,000 km of coastline is home to 40 percent of the country’s population and half of its cities, contributing 60% of the national GDP. At the same time, coastal wetlands of mudflats, mangrove forests and seagrass beds are critical habitats for millions of migratory waterbirds, protect cities and communities from sea-level rise and storm surges, and provide other ecosystem services.
In recent decades, as much as 60% of China’s coastal wetlands have been lost. That is why, since 2014, the Paulson Institute has partnered with Chinese government agencies, research institutes, and NGOs to promote wetland conservation and restoration. Together, we developed the first national blueprint for China’s coastal wetlands conservation. Since the release of the Blueprint Report in 2015, the Chinese government has implemented a ban on further coastal wetland reclamation and secured the inscription of key sites for World Heritage status.