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Community-based marine biodiversity conservation

This case study aims to explore initiating community-based marine protected areas through participatory approaches, focusing on the conservation of horseshoe crabs to stimulate community-driven dynamics.

Sanniang Bay
Guangxi, South China

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Our Actions


“Send Horseshoe Crabs Home” 

The community group formulated an initiative called “Send Horseshoe Crabs Home”. Six members rescue horseshoe crabs that have been accidentally caught in fishing nets and record their size and numbers daily.  Data obtained were provided to the Guangxi Key Laboratory of Beibu Gulf Marine Biodiversity Conservation to study the landing pathways of the horseshoe crabs. From 2021 to the present, they have released over ten thousand horseshoe crabs back into the ocean.


Biocultural Education

At Sanniang Bay Primary School, we use methods such as eco-friendly vegetable gardens and horseshoe crab art exhibitions to inspire children to understand the ocean and the importance of conservation. We also supported the formation of a “Sea Song Squad”, with children collecting local fishing songs, stories, and folklore. Simultaneously, we promote horseshoe crab science education at school to increase community participation.


Ecological Tourism

Many tourists visit Sanniang Bay to see the Chinese white dolphins, without paying much attention to the fishers’ lifestyle and village culture. We believe that the initial development of ecotourism must incorporate knowledge on local ecological resources and respect for nature’s fragile equilibrium. We aim to motivate villagers to learn more about the history and biocultural values of their village.

Community-based Biodiversity Conservation

Mapping out the community’s natural and cultural resources

This project has supported the community’s cultural and historical documentation and the formation of a solid foundation for the development of culturally appropriate ecotourism. The Sanniang Bay Scenic Area Management Committee also realized that aside from attracting tourists with the Chinese white dolphins, the development of the scenic area requires linkages with village culture. The fishermen and the sea are the heart and soul of the fishing culture. The sustainability of Sanniang Bay Village relies upon the inheritance of cultural heritage, honoring the harmony between humans and nature.

Book Highlights Innovative Approaches to Ecosystem Restoration

Our case study has been selected for inclusion in the 'Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review 8 (SITR8). This report is issued annually, selecting themes related to 'socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes' and providing recommendations for decision-makers, practitioners, and researchers. We also shared our experiences at SBSTTA 25 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The book is part of the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review series, which shares case studies from members of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI). 

Multi-Stakeholder Platform for Coastal Ecosystem Restoration and Sustainable Livelihood in Sanniang Bay in Guangxi, South China


Project Results Poster in Chinese

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