Applying nature-based coastal defence to the world's largest urban area - from science to practice (ANCODE)

About the Project

The Pearl River Delta in the South China Sea is densely populated and fast-developing, home to 67 Million people it is the most urbanised delta in the world. As it is very low-lying, cities here, like Guangzhou, are the most vulnerable to sea level rise.

ANCODE aims to better understand the potential for re-introducing nature-based coastal defences, namely mangroves and oyster reefs, into such an environment.

Nature-based coastal defence solutions have increasingly been recognized as more sustainable alternatives to conventional hard engineering approaches against climate change.

Discover more »

Our approach

Using wetlands, mangroves, coral and oyster reefs as a buffer zone, which can attenuate waves and, in a regime of moderate sea level rise, the sediment trapping in such zones can keep pace with sea level.

This project aims to develop process-based understanding and predictive models of ecosystem size requirements and how to create ecosystems for coastal defence, using the world's largest urban area, the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in China, as a model system.

Study Area »

How nature-based coastal defences work


The Team

Dr Judith Wolf, Principal investigator

National Oceanography Centre

Dr Zhan Hu, Principal Investigator

Sun Yat-Sen University

Dr Tjeerd Bouma, Principal Investigator

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Reseach