Restoration of the largest mangrove area in China
Xinhua News Agency, Guangzhou, November 18 (Reporter Zhou Ying) in recent years, the global mangrove area has declined as a whole, but the mangrove area in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China has been increasing year by year.
Located in Gaoqiao Town, Zhanjiang City, the mangrove nature conservation area extends from land to sea. Looking around, it was all green. The mangrove area, which has been designated as a protected area since 1990, is also the most well-preserved mangrove forest in Guangdong Province, extending 2.7 kilometers to the sea and 27 kilometers along land.
Guangdong Zhanjiang Mangrove Nature Reserve was founded in 1990 and upgraded to a national nature reserve with the approval of the State Council in 1997. The reserve, which is distributed along the coastline of the Leizhou Peninsula, is divided into 37 protected areas with a total area of 20278.8 hectares, of which 7228 hectares are mangroves, accounting for 33 percent of the total mangrove area in the country. It is the largest nature reserve in the coastal mangrove area of China.
Mangroves have dense and developed pillar roots, firmly into the mud to form a stable "support", known as the "sea guard", can withstand typhoons and waves.
"the coastal areas of China will encounter typhoons and storm surges every year, and mangroves are a very effective natural barrier for wind and moisture prevention and disaster prevention." Zhanjiang mangrove national nature reserve senior engineer Zhang Wei said.
However, in recent decades, land reclamation, wharf infrastructure, beach culture and so on have brought heavy damage to mangroves. According to the China Marine Environment depth report released by the State Oceanic Administration in 2011, compared with the 1950s, the mangrove area in China has lost 73%. In the mid-1980s, the mangrove area in Zhanjiang was sharply reduced from 14000 hectares in the early days of the founding of New China to 5800 hectares.
Since the 1990s, Zhanjiang has protected a number of mangrove and mangrove wetland ecosystems by establishing mangrove nature reserves. Because the protected area is too scattered, across 39 villages and towns, the surrounding population is about 2.44 million people, which brings problems to solve the problems left over from history such as beach culture and to properly handle the relationship between development and protection.
In recent years, taking the rectification and reform of the central environmental protection inspector as an opportunity, Zhanjiang has taken many measures to restore and protect mangrove wetland resources so that the ecosystem can be restored. In the Lingtou Island, located in Mazhang District, Zhanjiang, the mangroves are lush, and the scene of hooking machines and reclaiming shrimp ponds has disappeared. Liu Jun, head of the Lingtou Island protection site, said that in the past, there was no tidal gap in the beaches, which could easily cause mangroves to drown; now 11 gaps have been opened in the levees on the island, restoring natural tide tolerance, and mangroves can survive and grow.
Lu Rong, deputy director of the Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve Administration, said that for the more than 4800 hectares of aquaculture ponds in the nature reserve, Zhanjiang has formulated a special plan and plans to complete the task of clearance within three years from 2018. At present, 410.5 hectares of aquaculture ponds in the core area have been cleared. At the same time, for the aquaculture ponds in the experimental area, a co-management agreement was signed with the farmers to give ecological compensation, so that the farmers can ensure the natural tide and protect the normal growth of mangroves.
The reporter learned that in 2018, 157 hectares of mangroves were newly afforested in the reserve, 150 hectares were replanted in 2019, and 960 hectares were closed and replanted, which promoted the restoration and growth of mangroves through ecological restoration.
A series of conservation measures have enriched the biodiversity of protected areas. There are 305 species of birds and 139 species of fish recorded in and around the reserve. In recent years, personnel in the reserve have continuously monitored rare waterbirds such as spoon-billed snipe, black-billed gull, Chinese crested tern, black-faced spoonbill and so on. The ecological function of mangroves is being restored and improved.
"We should not afforest for afforestation, but should be combined with natural restoration, and we should protect mangroves as part of marine ecosystems and promote sustainable development. This is the direction of our future efforts. " Lu Rong said.