Green Coasts: community-based coastal restoration

Green Coast adopted a unique approach: restoration & management of coastal ecosystems through a community-led approach, to improve biodiversity and livelihoods of coastal communities.


Healthy coastal ecosystems are vital for fisheries, aquaculture and other sources of income for coastal populations such as eco-tourism and agriculture. They also function as buffer zones in case of extreme weather events such as storms and prevent coastal erosion and intrusion of salt water in fresh water systems.

Green Coast and climate change adaptation

Being a well-tested approach in relation to climate change adaptation, the Green Coast model is being promoted by Wetlands International to restore mangroves along highly vulnerable tropical coastlines, for example in West Africa. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that towards the end of the 21st century projected sea-level rise will affect large populations along Africa’s coast line.


We carry out scientific assessments and provide support to communities and governments in this region to identify priorities for climate change adaptation and to build resources and technical capacity to enable community activities for mangrove restoration and wise use.


Green Coast was developed in response to the December 2004 Tsunami which hit the coasts of Asian countries and caused enormous destruction and loss of human lives (view the map). Together with partners WWF, IUCN and Both ENDS, Wetlands International developed a program to restore the damaged coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, beach forest, coral reef and sand dunes in the tsunami hit areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

Green Coast works through a three pronged approach:

  • Science- and community-based assessments identifying ecological damage and priority options for coastal restoration
  • Community-based restoration of coastal ecosystems and livelihoods through ‘bio-rights’ approach (community groups receive financial capital to rebuild their livelihoods and, in return, provide environmental services to the coastal restoration work)
  •  Policy guidance and targeted communications aimed towards ‘green reconstruction’, to influence coastal resource management policies of district and national governments and to increase general awareness on value of coastal ecosystems

Green Coast 2 Aceh & Nias

After completion of the Tsunami response program end 2007, Green Coast continued its work in Aceh & Nias in Indonesia (Green Coast 2) to continue monitoring and support of Green Coast 1 projects and to create 16 new integrated coastal restoration demonstration sites. A total of 530 ha mangroves and beach forest will be restored benefitting 17,000 people. Green Coast 2 partners will engage in policy dialogues with government and donors to prevent further environmental degradation through infrastructure development projects in Aceh. Green Coast 2 in Aceh is implemented from April 2007 till December 2008 with € 1 million funding from Oxfam NOVIB (with funds from DEC in the UK and Oxfam International).

Green Coast 2 Thailand

 WI Thailand has developed Green Coast 2 which focused on the establishment of a sustainable development model for community-based management and restoration of coastal ecosystems. Green Coast 2 will restore 80 ha of mangrove forest and 25 ha of sea grass beds, expecting to benefit 4700 people from 9 villages. Green Coast 2 will be implemented in Trang Province, Southwest Thailand from July 2008 – July 2010 with € 170,000 from a private donor in the UK.

Green Coasts achievements

Green Coast has been successfully implemented in tsunami affected coastal areas in Aceh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, South-Thailand and Malaysia.

In numbers

A total of 91,000 tsunami affected people in these coastal areas have benefited from rehabilitated coastal ecosystems; more than 1,100 hectares of mangrove and coastal forests, 2,5 km of sand dunes and 100 hectare of damaged coral reef & sea grass beds were restored and protected.

Evaluation of the project results and outcomes show that an additional 12,000 people benefit from increased income from livelihood activities supported by Green Coast such as fishing, small scale aquaculture, eco-enterprises, home gardening and livestock.

Download the Green Coast II Lessons Learnt report.