GNF – Mangrove Rehabilitation in Asia

Mangrove Rehabilitation in Asia


Handbook (November 2015)

Mangrove Restoration Guide (4.7 MB)

Best Practices and Lessons Learned from a Community-based Conservation Project


Mangrove forests are unique habitats and home to a wide variety of marine and terrestrial organisms. At the same time they are one of the most productive and most threatened ecosystems on the Earth. Half of all mangrove forests worldwide have been irrevocably destroyed, particularly during the past 30 years. With the destruction of these forests, numerous animal species lose their natural habitat as mangroves are important breeding and spawning grounds as well as sources of food. The local population can also benefit from intact mangrove forests, as they are an important source of income for them and protect the coastlines from tidal waves and soil erosion. Additionally, mangrove forests are among the most effective carbons sinks of all forest types: one hectare of intact mangrove forest can store up to 1,000 tons carbon.


Around 40 % of the world''s mangrove forests are located in Asia, but they are under severe threat. Mangroves are harvested for timber and fuel wood; large areas of woodland are cleared by the local people to make way for urban expansion, nets, and prawn farms. Working in the shallow water, incautious fishermen destroy the new shoots in the littoral zone. 

Project Goals

In conjunction with five project partners over 100 hectares of the degraded mangrove forests will be reforested. Additionally, data on all animal and plant species occurring in the area will be collected. They will serve as the basis for the development of country-specific long term protection concepts.


To relieve pressure on the eco-systems in the long run, opportunities of alternative income generation will be developed in conjunction with the local population. Additionally, within the framework of environmental education programmes, the people shall be motivated to practice sustainable behaviour and lifestyle. 


Another goal is the establishment of an international network for the protection of mangroves, which will regularly meet to discuss activities and exchange experiences and knowledge, which will be published in a guidebook.

Project Activities

The designated areas will be prepared prior to the mangrove restoration. The necessary mangroves will be grown in tree nurseries and so-called “household gardens”. These gardens are private areas of the local people, and after the mangrove cultivation, they shall be converted to vegetable gardens for their personal use and the regional marketing. As soon as the trees are big enough, they can be planted. In Thailand, the areas are restored according to the very successful and environmentally sound concept called EMR (Ecological Mangrove Reforestation), a “gentle” method based on the natural regeneration of forests. Additionally, all partners will collect data on the population and diversity of species in order to prepare a long term conservation concept. They will also meet regularly to exchange information on the success of the activities.


The local population will be closely involved in the implementation of the measures. In addition to their collaboration in the tree nurseries, environmental education centres and demonstration gardens will be established to inform school classes, tourists and local residents about the importance of and threats to mangroves, and conservation measures as well as the sustainable use of the mangrove ecosystems.

Project Partners and Areas

In conjunction with the partner organisations Nagenahiru Foundation and EMACE Foundation in Sri Lanka, GNF has been implementing successfully the three year EU Asia Pro-Eco II Post Tsunami Project. Further reforestation and environmental education activities have been carried out in the wetlands Madampe and Maduganga as well as at Lake Bolgoda. Since spring 2004, all three wetlands have been represented in the Living Lakes network.


At Lake Pulicat in India, the project activities are carried out by the partner organisation Center for Research on New International Economic Order (CReNIEO). Since 2004, at Lake Pulicat, reforestation has been successfully carried out by GNF and CReNIEO. Tree nurseries were established and mangrove forests restored.


The Cambodian organisation Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) has been a partner in the network Living Lakes since 2011. FACT is representing Tonle Sap Lake in the network. It is closely cooperating with local fishermen and aims at introducing sustainable fishery methods providing benefit to the eco-system and the local people alike.


For years, the NGO Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has been promoting the restoration of mangrove forests in Asia. For this purpose, the organisation has successfully developed and implemented an alternative restoration method called Ecological Mangrove Reforestation (EMR). The project area is located at the Andaman Coast in the province of Trang in Thailand.

Project Video, Neil Wallis (December 2012)



This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Coooperation and Development (BMZ).

 German Federal Ministry for Economic Coooperation and Development (BMZ)
 Handbook: Mangrove Restoration Guide
 Project Team Meeting Thailand 2012
 Measuring of the project area, India
Photo: CReNIEO
 Channel digging in Edamani, India
Photo: CReNIEO
 Mangrove species Rhizophora
 Household garden at Lake Bolgoda, Sri Lanka
 Mangrove seedlings in a tree nursery, Sri Lanka
 Irrigation of mangrove seedlings in India
 Magrove plants in a project restoration area
 Reforested project area, Cambodia
 Mangrove seedlings in a nursery, Cambodia

Project Partner Organisations



 Nagenahiru Foundation







Official Project Titel:




Project Duration:


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Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity


January 2012 – December 2015


India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand


Center For Research On New International Economic Order (CReNIEO), India; Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT), Cambodia; Nagenahiru Foundation, Sri Lanka; EMACE Foundation, Sri Lanka; Mangrove Action Project (MAP), Thailand

German Federal Ministry for Economic Coooperation and Development (BMZ), Foundation Ursula Merz