Naturland Association for Organic Agriculture


Mangrovenwuchs auf Farm 4

The mangrove forests of the tropical coasts are amongst the most important and productive eco-systems on earth. Because of their immense carbon storage potential and function as shield against extreme weather conditions, they play a central role in stabilizing the world's climate and protecting the coastal communities.

Over the last decades, global mangrove forests have been severely decimated, with the spread of shrimp farming being one of the reasons. However, shrimp farming – as the central economic activity in the mangrove areas – has also the unique potential to significantly foster mangrove protection and restauration.

The project "Sustainable aquaculture in mangrove ecosystems" aims at promoting the sustainable design of aquaculture systems, focussing on mangrove protection and the improvement of local living conditions. Global Nature Fund (project coordinator) and Naturland e.V. are working together in a consortium and in close cooperation with two selected local project executing agencies. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). SAIME klein
A significant part of the project measures will be implemented in the Sundarbans, where the world’s biggest mangrove forest stretches over an area of 10,000 km², more precisely in the federal state of West Bengal in India and the Khulna Division in Bangladesh. The two local collaborating partners are the Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) and the Nature Environment & Wildlife Society of India (NEWS). On the project’s agenda is to establish robust working and communication links between German, as an important market for sustainable and certified (e.g. organic) seafood, and the environmental and social initiatives in the shrimp producing countries. 

Since the start in the late 90ties, mangrove protection is a central issue of Naturland organic shrimp certification. Naturland standards, according to the different countries and regions, stipulate protected zones and restauration duties. Furthermore, organic shrimp farming protocols avoid negative impact on surrounding ecosystems, e.g. by the complete banning of antibiotics and the adjustment of shrimp stocking density. From the worldwide first organic shrimp pilot project in Ecuador, the concept has successfully spread to other countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Eventually, the EU organic regulation has been based on this preliminary work. Today, organic shrimp are an inherent part of the organic seafood product range.


Project Goals
The overall objective of the project is to consolidate communication and interaction on mangrove conservation and sustainability issues in the aquaculture sector, both in the aquaculture production countries themselves as well as along the international value chains. This project is based on the concept of so-called multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP) in and between India, Bangladesh, and Germany.
The project is outlined as a long-term, transformative process involving the civil society, the private sector, as well as scientific and public stakeholders. A special focus of the project is on the establishment of South-South and North-South dialogues, aiming at maintaining a common focus and a free exchange of technical and marketing-related information.


Contact: Dr. Stefan Bergleiter

E-Mail: s.bergleiter(at)


In partnership with:   

German Cooperation 2

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