Zhanjiang Special

City of Mangroves campaign on full display during culture week

By YUAN SHENGGAO |  China Daily |  Updated:2023-03-27

Musical shows help to contribute to education and promotion

Zhanjiang, a coastal city in Guangdong province, wrapped up its week-long series of events called "Cultural Activity Week of the 'City of Mangroves'" on Sunday.

Started on the evening of March 19, the culture week aimed to encourage residents to protect mangroves and biodiversity to fortify Zhanjiang's reputation as a "City of Mangroves".

Some 60 events that took place during the period included the premiere and subsequent performances of an original musical, the first Conversation Between Guangzhou and Zhanjiang Over Cultural Development, programs to disseminate the science of mangroves on campus, the selection of young ambassadors for the "City of Mangroves", the launch of a public-interest program called "Carbon Path of Zhanjiang", and online promotions praising mangroves.

The musical, named Lighthouse Deep in the Mangroves, integrates many local cultural elements in Zhanjiang, including fisherman's song and Leizhou folk song, drum performances and local traditional dance called Nuo dance.

It tells a story about two generations of beacon guards in Wuhao Island, who settle there like the deep-rooted mangroves.

They led fishermen and villagers to protect their homeland in the past and call on the young generation to return for rural vitalization.

Diverse stage arts are used to present the story and delve into culture related to the "City of Mangroves".

The first Conversation Between Guangzhou and Zhanjiang Over Cultural Development, held on Wednesday, aimed to set up a platform for high-quality advancement in the cultural sector.

During the week, a program for public interest called "Carbon Path of Zhanjiang" was launched on Friday, which according to Zheng Haoran, head of the city's publicity department, is an "unprecedented and significant exploration in the city's low-carbon initiative".

During the launch ceremony, Zhanjiang Mangrove Wetland Protection Foundation signed an agreement with several enterprises including Baosteel Zhanjiang Iron and Steel, BASF Zhanjiang Verbund site, Zhongke (Guangdong) Refinery and Tencent Charity Foundation for joint forces in the comprehensive protection, restoration, study and research of mangroves and in developing related carbon sinks.

Programs to publicize the science of mangroves on campus aimed to increase youth awareness of mangroves in hopes of encouraging the young people to protect the plants and share knowledge of mangroves with others.

Ten ambassadors and 30 publicity group members were selected among students and employees aged 10 to 35 in Zhanjiang to help to display the city's charm.

A three-month online event titled "Loving Zhanjiang's Mangroves" was started on March 19.It encouraged netizens including noted bloggers to shoot and publicize the beauty of the forests, including food, landscapes, ecology or tourism routes.

The event is expected to showcase the city's strong ecology and efforts to build itself into the "City of Mangroves".

Wu Guoxiong, vice-mayor of the city, said at the culture week's opening ceremony: "We believe the series of cultural activities will further shape the distinctive culture of the City of Mangroves and better meet the public's cultural demands."

Zhanjiang has mangrove forests covering an area of 9,960 hectares, accounting for 78 percent of the total in Guangdong and 33 percent in the country. The city also boasts the nation's largest nature reserve of mangroves.

Local officials announced the city's decision to become the "City of Mangroves" in late 2021. Ever since, it has doubled down on its efforts to implement the ecological restoration of mangrove wetlands as the world sees a decline of mangrove forests year by year. The city's mangrove forests are deemed by international wetland experts as an example of the world's wetland ecology restoration.

Liu Hongbing, Party secretary of Zhanjiang, stressed at a conference in July 2022 that the city should speed up creation of a mangrove demonstration area, which covers an area of more than 10,000 mu, or 666.67 hectares, and become a model of biodiversity protection.



A mangrove-themed original musical premieres in Zhanjiang on March 19. GUO LONGBI/FOR CHINA DAILY


Zhanjiang's natural mangrove forests are a heaven for migrant birds. LI BO/FOR CHINA DAILY

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