GNF - Shrimp Trade and Protection of Mangrove Ecosystems

Shrimp Trade & Mangrove Ecosystems

Multi-stakeholder partnership to strengthen transformative processes in shrimp trade as a basis for

the protection of mangrove ecosystems in South Asia



The mangrove forests of the tropical coasts are amongst the most important and productive eco-systems on earth. Because of their immense carbon storage potential and function as shield against extreme weather conditions, they play a central role in stabilizing the world's climate and protecting the coastal communities. In recent decades, however, global mangrove forests have been severely decimated, by 20 percent alone since 1980, and this due various reasons, the spread of shrimp farming being one of them. Nevertheless, shrimp farming – as the central economic activity in the mangrove areas – has the unique potential to significantly foster mangrove protection and restauration. This holds true for the “non-pond”-areas under the management of farms and their communities as well as the aquaculture systems.


In our project we therefore work on the development of Piltot aquaculture farms using sustainable IMA systems (integrated mangrove aquaculture). In this pond farming, mangroves are planted in the dams, water channels and directly into the pond. In this way shrimps can exist in symbiosis with mangroves and the ecosystem is preserved.


In consortium with Naturland - Verband für ökologischen Landbau e.V., the GNF wants to explore this potential and coordinates the project titled "Multi-stakeholder partnership to strengthen transformative processes in shrimp trade as a basis for the protection of mangrove ecosystems in South Asia", which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). A significant part of the project measures will be implemented in the Sundarbans, where the world’s biggest mangrove forest stretches over an area of 10,000 km², more precisely in the federal state of West Bengal in India and the Khulna Division in Bangladesh. The two local collaborating partners are the Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) and the Nature Environment & Wildlife Society of India (NEWS). Germany, on the other side, is an important market for sustainable and certified (e.g. organic) seafood and will be the setting for linking the market’s demand for mangrove-friendly shrimp with the environmental and social initiatives in the shrimp producing countries.


Project Goals

The overall objective of the project is to consolidate communication and interaction on mangrove conservation and sustainability issues in the aquaculture sector, both in the aquaculture production countries themselves as well as along the international value chains. This project is based on the concept of so-called multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP) in and between India, Bangladesh, and Germany. An MSP is outlined as a long-term, transformative process involving the civil society, the private sector, as well as scientific and public stakeholders. A special focus of our project is on the establishment of South-South and North-South dialogues, aiming at maintaining a common focus and a free exchange of technical and marketing-related information.

The activities in the project include:

  • The determination of success factors and challenges of current approaches for mangrove protection in shrimp farming in the producing countries India and Bangladesh as well as in export and consuming markets such as Germany.
  • Promotion and consolidation of mechanisms for dialogue, understanding and coordination within the partnership of the various actors, initiatives and sectors.
  • Capacity building and promoting active leadership by local civil society organizations
  • Strengthening of the target groups, especially the local smallholder population in the project areas
  • Local pilot projects dealing with selected aspects of mangrove protection in shrimp farming
  • Establishing durable North-South and South-South dialogues, partnerships and mutual learning
  • Joint identification and implementation of targets, policies and business models to increase sustainability in shrimp aquaculture, including polyculture approaches with crab and finfish.

Article in Rural 21: "A multi-stakeholder partnership for integrated mangrove aquaculture in the Sundarbans":

Sale of organic Black Tiger Shrimp produced under Integrated Mangrove Aquaculture

Construction progress of the cooperative building

Main Funder

 Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)



Mercedes Benz AG

 Mercedes Benz Star

Project Partners

 Nature, Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)
 Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS)
 Naturland e.V.

Contribution to the sustainable development goals of the UN

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

 Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
 Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
 Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
 Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
 Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Contact Persons

Mr. Ralph Dejas

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 179 9980612



Mr. Udo Gattenlöhner

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 80



Mr. Thies Geertz

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 83


 Intakte Mangrovenpflanzen in Kambodscha

Project Period:


Project Countries:


Project Partners:





Main Funder:




August 2019 - April 2023


India, Bangladesh as well as Germany


Nature Environment and Wildlife Society India (NEWS), India

Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS), Bangladesh

Naturland - Association for Organic Agriculture, Germany


German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


Daimler Truck AG, Mercedes-Benz AG