In this paper, a novel parametric prosody coding approach for Mandarin speech is proposed. It employs a hierarchical prosodic model (HPM) as a prosody generating model in the encoder to analyze the speech prosody of the input utterance to obtain a parametric representation of four prosodic-acoustic features of syllable pitch contour, syllable duration, syllable energy level, and syllable-juncture pause duration for encoding. In the decoder, the four prosodic-acoustic features are reconstructed by a synthesis operation using the decoded HPM parameters. The reconstructed prosodic features are lastly used in an HMM-based speech synthesizer to help to generate the reconstructed speech. Experimental results show that the reconstructed speech has good quality at low data rates of 114.9 bits/s for a speaker-dependent task. An informal listening test confirmed decoded speeches sounded very fluently.