ADB to Support Sustainable Protection and Development of Watershed in Guizhou

GUIYANG, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (14 July 2014) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support watershed financing and promote inclusive and environmentally friendly development in Guizhou Province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed at a sub-forum of the Eco-Forum Global Guiyang 2014.

“ADB and the Guizhou provincial government are working together on a public-private funding mechanism for protecting the Chishui Watershed,” said Hamid L. Sharif, ADB Country Director in the PRC. He added that this effort was timely given that “the PRC government is advocating the application of eco-compensation principles to make efforts in solving certain intractable environmental problems such as catchment protection, rehabilitation of degraded watershed, and other dimensions of nature resources conservation.”

Under the MOU, ADB and the Guizhou government will work together with a view to enhancing opportunities for collaboration in eco-compensation efforts and watershed protection and management in Guizhou. The MOU includes 12 key policy reforms in Chishui Watershed and a Master Plan for Chishui Watershed Protection (2013-2020).

Guizhou Province is one of the poorest provinces of the PRC, located in a landlocked mountainous area of high ethnic diversity. Chishui watershed covers an area of 10,700 km2 in the province where 30 percent of the population lives in rural areas. One fourth of the rural population lives under the poverty line in the province.

An ADB technical assistance project is supporting the province to identify potential public and private funding sources, outline a fund management and operational structure, and formulate a roadmap for establishing a public-private partnership fund in Chishui Watershed.

The sub-forum “Innovations in Financing Watershed Management and Protection: PPPs and Water Funds” was jointly organized by ADB and the Guizhou Provincial Government. It gathered government officials, experts, and representatives to address innovative financing mechanisms for watershed management and protection. Mr. Sharif and Mu Degui, Vice Governor of Guizhou Province, opened the event.