Mangrove and coastal protection

Mangrove and coastal protection in South Asia

Tropical coastal mangrove forests are among the most biodiverse and important ecosystems on the planet. In addition to their enormous importance in protecting coastal populations from tropical storms and floods, salt-tolerant mangrove forests provide nursery grounds for countless commercially exploited fish and crustacean species and form a gigantic carbon sink. For this reason, the preservation of mangroves is not only essential for millions of coastal dwellers. Their preservation also plays an important role in the fight against climate change and the negative impacts on coastal populations.


However, in recent decades, 30% of these valuable forests have already disappeared due to deforestation and overexploitation. This leads to the dwindling of livelihoods of millions of coastal inhabitants and the release of gigantic amounts of carbon from the soil.

 Mangrovensetzlinge soweit das Auge reicht, Baumschule in Sri Lanka

Since 2005, Global Nature Fund has been involved in various projects to protect and restore tropical mangrove ecosystems as a contribution to climate and coastal protection in southern Asia. The involvement of the local inhabitants is always at the center of our projects. Only if they recognize the benefits of the mangrove forests and are able to take advantage of offers for alternative income generation, the protection of the mangrove forests can be guaranteed in the long run. In restoring lost mangrove forest, we rely on the concept of community-based ecological mangrove restoration (LINK to the manual). Another important aspect of mangrove conservation is awareness raising and environmental education, especially among young people in these areas.


Community-based ecological mangrove restoration

Mangrove Restoration Guide


Program Objective

The program contributes to enhancing resilience and sustainable livelihoods of rural coastal populations in South Asia against the impacts of Global Climate Change through conservation and sustainable use of mangrove ecosystems (SDG 13,14 and 15) in the context of a multi-country partnership (SDG 17).


In our mangrove conservation projects, we are specifically implementing the following measures to achieve this goal:

  • Establishment of community-based nurseries and planting of hundreds of thousands of mangrove seedlings.

  • Supporting local coastal residents through education and creation of mangrove-friendly income opportunities (honey production, organic farming, mangrove aquaculture LINK SAIME, handicrafts, nature-based tourism)

  • Improvement of the concrete living conditions of the poorest of the poor in the mangrove areas (drinking water supply, solar projects, mitigation of erosion)

  • Environmental education (establishment of an environmental education center in Sri Lanka, a mangrove learning center in Bangladesh)

  • Strengthening efforts to improve regulatory frameworks

  • Strengthening partnerships between civil society organizations and learning exchanges (South-South dialogue)


 Projektpartner bei der Auftaktveranstaltung

Since 2005, we have already restored hundreds of hectares of mangrove forest and improved the income and living conditions of thousands of coastal people in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the Maldives.

 Mangrovensetzlinge soweit das Auge reicht, Baumschule in Sri Lanka





Project Partners


Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):



Udo Gattenlöhner

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell (DE)

Tel.: +49 7732 9995 80



Thies Geertz

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell (DE)

Tel.: +49 7732 9995 83


Project Period: since 2005
Project Countries:  India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maledives, Cambodia
Project Partner: 

Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS), Centre for Research on New International Economic Ordner (CReNIEO), Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS), Huvadhoo Aid, Nagenahiru Foundation, EMACE Foundation, SaciWaters, Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT)

Funders:  German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Foundation Ursula Merz, Mercedes-Benz