Promoting the Protection, Management and Sustainable Development of Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China through the Application of World Natural Heritage

Yancheng Wetland and World Natural Heritage Protection and Management Centre
Published: 20 December 2021
Last edited: 20 December 2021
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In order to better protect the coastal wetland and biodiversity along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China in Yancheng, we found a sustainable path for local residents and nature through the registration of this area as a World Natural Heritage site. This has been very beneficial to migratory birds that use this place as a stopover site along the migrating route of East Asia-Australasian Flyway. The site, with a total area of 2,687 square kilometers (including core area of 1,886.43 square kilometers and buffer zone area of 800.56 square kilometers), has become a World Natural Heritage in 2019. We are still promoting the sustainable development of this area, including more recently, ecological restoration and an ecotourism development plan for the area.


East Asia
Scale of implementation
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Salt marsh
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Invasive alien species
World Heritage
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Invasive species
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Infrastructure development
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of infrastructure
Sustainable development goals
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources
Target 9: Invasive alien species prevented and controlled
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction
Target 13: Safeguarding genetic diversity
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Business engagement approach
Indirect through government


Yancheng, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China
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The lack of awareness from all stakeholders and general public in terms of preservation of biodiversity generally.


The migratory birds, and other fauna and flora living in the ecosystem of the protected area; local residents and their offsprings.

How do the building blocks interact?

The three building blocks interact with each other. The ultimate purpose of doing adequate research and setting up a platform for communication is to help a cautious implementation. Likewise, any issue raised during the implementation can be addressed through research and communication. When measures are recommended by research, their importance can be discussed, in international conference as well. And the solutions promoted on the communication platform can be implemented or be executed with adequate research to determine whether the solutions are feasible or not.


The solution has changed the trend of continuous biodiversity loss in the past into a stable status at present, towards a good direction. The Yancheng World Natural Heritage site is the paradise of shared habitat by 680 species of vertebrates, including 415 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, 9 species of amphibians, 14 species of reptiles, 216 species of fish, as well as 165 species of zoobenthos. The globally significant values of the full serial nomination relate to intertidal habitats that are part of the key stopover sites, wintering grounds or breeding grounds for some of the world’s most threatened bird species. For local residents, World Natural Heritage status has helped them understand the importance of sustainable development. For the past few years, we have promoted the manipulation of ecotourism plan, ecological restoration plan of this area, which will be bound to bring economic and environmental benefits for the community and nature in the long run.


Dongming Lee

The solution towards the protection of biodiversity brings harmonious relationship between human and the nature in the long run. After being enlisted as a World Natural Heritage site, the local residents have started to learn how to identify different types of birds and to get basic knowledge on saving and protecting birds and other rare animals. Almost 1,000 Red-crowned cranes fly to Yancheng Yellow Sea wetland to spend winter time, and the total population of Red-crowned cranes is about 3,500. This year, the research staff has found two wild baby cranes, which hatched successfully in May, in Yancheng. This phenomenon has been observed in the fifth consecutive year for migratory birds to breed in wintering place. And it could be a good example of improvement of habitats for biodiversity. Likewise, the local residents started to express understanding on the importance of preserving surrounding wild habitats, when the crops of farmland were ruined by Père David’s deers. By June 2021, the population of Père David’s deers had expanded to 6,119, accounting for 61% of whole population of its kind in the world, that was 36 when they were first introduced back to Yancheng from Britain.

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GU Xiuyong Yancheng Wetland and World Natural Heritage Protection and Management Centre