Mangroves provide vital climate change mitigation and adaptation (CCMA) ecosystem services (ES), yet have suffered extensive tropics-wide declines. To mitigate losses, rehabilitation is high on the conservation agenda. However, the relative functionality and ES delivery of rehabilitated mangroves in different intertidal locations is rarely assessed. In a case study from Panay Island, Philippines, using field- and satellite-derived methods, we assess carbon stocks and coastal protection potential of rehabilitated low-intertidal seafront and mid- to upper-intertidal abandoned (leased) fishpond areas, against reference natural mangroves. Due to large sizes and appropriate site conditions, targeted abandoned fishpond reversion to former mangrove was found to be favourable for enhancing CCMA in the coastal zone. In a municipality-specific case study, 96.7% of abandoned fishponds with high potential for effective greenbelt rehabilitation had favourable tenure status for reversion. These findings have implications for coastal zone management in Asia in the face of climate change.