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Protected Areas

Wetland Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use:
Yancheng Coastal Marshes - China August/September 2001

Client: UNDP & Government of China, through UNOPS -
Dr Nick Willoughby (NRgroup)Team Leader and Integrated Coastal Zone Management Planning Specialist

This large wetland biodiversity conservation project ($26 million over 5 years: 2000-2004) has been developed and funded jointly by UNDP and the Government of China. Rates of wetland degradation are high in China due to human development pressures. The project addresses barriers to effective conservation of China's wetlands at four sites of global biodiversity importance - Sanjiang Plain, Ruoergai Marshes, Yancheng Coast and Donting Lakes.

Pere David's deer

The project will work to remove some of the barriers, and to promote conservation in the wetland sites. Part of this will be through the identification and improvement of sustainable livelihoods options in and adjacent to the wetlands. Yancheng Coastal Marshes stretch for approximately 600km along the eastern coast of China to the north of Shanghai. They consist primarily of extensive inter-tidal mud flats, reed beds and marshy grasslands which are accreting rapidly as a result of sediments from the Yangtse and Yellow Rivers. Within the area are two important reserves.

The Yancheng National Nature Reserve (YNNR - 450,000 ha in extent) is a long narrow strip of coastal wetland noted for its importance for red-crowned crane and for many other migratory and resident wildfowl and seabirds. The reserve is controlled by the State Environmental Protection Bureau. Dafeng Milu National Nature Reserve (DMNNR - 3,000 ha) was created within the experimental zone of YNNR as a fenced reserve for Pere David's Deer, a species that had died out in China but was being re-introduced from parks in Europe. It is controlled by the State Forestry Administration.

The role of the Yancheng Marshes team (2 international & 2 national consultants) was to undertake an audit of the current functions of the two reserves; to assess their importance in biodiversity terms and to develop a management plan for re-aligning and integrating the two reserves and their functions.

Coastal Marshes


Page last updated October 2, 2013