China, People's Republic of: Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection

Sovereign Project | 35289-013

Summary

The Sanjiang Plain comprises 108,900 square kilometers, where the Heilongjiang, Songhua, and Wusuli rivers are confluent in a vast alluvial floodplain in the northeast of Heilongjiang Province. The Plain is one of the most important grain production areas in the PRC. Supporting rich biological diversity, which includes 23 species listed in the World Conservation Union as globally threatened, the wetlands in the Sanjiang Plain are some of the most species-rich and endemic-rich ecosystems in Asia. However, the wetlands and forestlands have shrunk to one fifth of their original size in the last five decades because of increasing population and grain production, and flora and fauna in the wetland nature reserves (NRs) are threatened by farmland encroachment and water resource exploitation.

Latest Project Documents


Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Project Name Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection
Project Number 35289-013
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 4571-PRC: Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection
Global Environment Facility US$ 12.14 million
Loan 2157-PRC: Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection
Ordinary capital resources US$ 15.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description The Sanjiang Plain comprises 108,900 square kilometers, where the Heilongjiang, Songhua, and Wusuli rivers are confluent in a vast alluvial floodplain in the northeast of Heilongjiang Province. The Plain is one of the most important grain production areas in the PRC. Supporting rich biological diversity, which includes 23 species listed in the World Conservation Union as globally threatened, the wetlands in the Sanjiang Plain are some of the most species-rich and endemic-rich ecosystems in Asia. However, the wetlands and forestlands have shrunk to one fifth of their original size in the last five decades because of increasing population and grain production, and flora and fauna in the wetland nature reserves (NRs) are threatened by farmland encroachment and water resource exploitation. To protect these ecosystems while supporting the sustainable development of the area, the Project adopts a holistic model framework of watershed management by (i) rehabilitating and protecting degraded forests in the upper watershed areas, (ii) restoring and protecting wetlands NRs in the downstream areas, (iii) providing alternative livelihood to farmers, and (iv) strengthening the capacities of local agencies in charge of watershed wetland and NRs management. By developing and pilot-testing a model framework to protect wetland biodiversity while promoting the sustainable development of the areas, the Project will be instrumental in establishing a wetland protection program in the PRC that protects wildlife biodiversity effectively and generates employment and income in a sustainable manner.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy In the PRC, the Sanjiang Plain wetlands are one of the richest areas with globally significant flora and fauna, which are mostly concentrated in NRs. However, over time, they have lost their self-cleaning and generation capacity with a resultant decline in plant and animal biodiversity of global significance. Further, the wetlands' biodiversity is under constant threat by local communities exploiting biological resources for their livelihood through unsustainable farming practices at NRs, and the limited management capacity of NR staff. Recent government policies and plans are aimed at halting and reversing environmental degradation in the area. However, the policies need improvement to achieve a model for sustainable management of the wetland ecosystem as part of an integrated river-basin management policy. Heilongjiang is designated as one of the three environmental provinces in the PRC, and the provincial government (HPG) is looking for development opportunities that integrate watershed and wetland management in a sustainable way and that can be replicated throughout the Sanjiang wetland NRs and other areas with similar environmental conditions. The proposed Project will adopt integrated watershed management in the Sanjiang Plain for wetland and forest conservation, based on their potential to support ecologically sustainable economic development. It will provide a model framework that can be expanded for comprehensive, longer-term management of wetlands and biodiversity on a large river-basin scale.
Impact Improved management of natural resources to protect globally significant species and to sustain economic development.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Established integrated conservation and development model to protect natural resources of the Sanjiang Plain wetlands and their watersheds
Progress Toward Outcome An integrated conservation and development model to protect natural resources of the Sanjiang Plain wetlands and their watersheds was formulated.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Watershed Management

1.1 Forest Improvement

Increased forest cover

Increased forestry-based income

Improved forest stand health and performance

1.2. Local (NR) Level Water Resource Management

Strengthened water resources management at the local level

Improved coordination among local stakeholder agencies for management of water resources

1.3. Watershed-Level Water Allocation Planning

Provision of adequate water to meet ecological water requirements in NRs

Integration of management of water resources at the watershed level

Incorporation of wetland protection criteria into flood management plans

2. Wetland Nature Reserve Management

2.1. Conservation Management

Improved conservation management practices with respect to wetlands and wildlife in NRs

2.2. Pilot Wetland Restoration

Decreased farmland area in core and buffer zones; increased total wetland area in NRs

Development of model for farmland to wetland restoration

2.3. Wildlife Species Recovery

Increased numbers of key threatened species in the six pilot NRs

Improved condition of wetland habitats and increased wildlife populations

Reduction in over-utilization of wildlife and plants in NRs, relative to the baseline

2.4. Reduction of Resource Exploitation

Reduction in illegal exploitation of targeted wetland species, and recovery of populations of target species in 6 NRs

Reduction in Illegal international trade in endangered species (closely linked with awareness activities in 4.2)

3. Alternative Livelihoods

3.1 Intercropping and NTFP

Sustainable income-generating opportunities for the persons affected by farmland-to-forest restoration program through intercropping

3.2. Ecologically Sustainable Alternative Livelihoods (for Wetland Protection)

Sustainable income- generating opportunities for the villagers affected by farmland-to-wetland restoration program

3.3 Ecotourism

Creation of ecotourism opportunities for communities and NRs, without adverse effects on wetland habitats or key species

4. Capacity Building

4.1. Conservation Education (schools)

Increased knowledge about conservation issues, and about local NRs, among schoolchildren and teachers

4.2.Conservation Awareness

Increased knowledge of conservation among general public around 6 NRs, including appreciation of importance of protecting endangered species

4.3.Wetland Management Training

Short-Term Technical Staff at six NRs and community leaders (including women leaders) with enhanced conservation knowledge and skills

Long-Term Professional NR managers in the northeastern PRC prepared to assume responsibility for ongoing management by end of the Project

4.4.Institutional and Behavioral Change

Internalization of sustainable environment principles and wetland conservation principles by key economic policy-makers and development planners at national, provincial, and county level

Changes in attitude and behavior among teachers, students, and community members

NR managers with greater sense of stewardship, strengthened conservation ethic

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

1. Component 1: Watershed management. This component funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) was generally successfully completed. A total of 10,090 hectare (ha) of new forestry plantations were completed, which is 85% of the total targeted area; and out of which 3,853 ha was farmland-to-forest conversion. 39,769 ha of existing young trees on existing forestry was treated and maintained, which is 91% of the total targeted area. The reason for the achievement less than the targets is the appreciation of Chinese yuan (CNY) against US dollar. Water resources management plans were incorporated in the master plans of all the six nature reserves. A water resources coordination leading group, including all stakeholders, was established at each of the six nature reserves; and functioned as a stakeholder working group for coordination for the inclusion of a water resources management plan into the nature reserves master plan. Discussions with the water authorities were conducted at an early stage, and local water allocation plan for the nature reserves and wetland protection criteria and management requirements were included in water allocation plans and/or water resources plans of relevant cities and counties. Through interagency coordination meetings organized by the Heilongjiang Provincial Water Resources Department, the Heilongjiang Provincial Forestry Department made recommendations on wetlands protection criteria, wetlands management, and water allocation; and these recommendations were reflected into two watershed-level water resources management plans: the Sanjiang Plain Water Resources Master Plan (which covers all six nature reserves) and the Songhua River Master Plan (which covers Anbanghe nature reserve). The two watershed-level water resources management plans were prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Water Resources for approval.

2. Component 2: Wetland nature reserve management. This component funded by GEF was generally successfully completed, although some performance targets and indicators were difficult to measure. Pilot farmland-to-wetland restoration was implemented in the six model nature reserves, and 3,441 ha of farmlands were restored to wetlands. Based on the pilot restoration, wetland restoration guideline manual was prepared and disseminated to all nature reserves in the Sanjiang Plain; and wetland restoration was conducted in six nature reserves other than the six model nature reserves using the manual. In the six model nature reserves, wetland restoration continued after the pilot wetland restoration; and wetland areas increased by 5%. Wild species monitoring was improved through provision of monitoring equipment and training; establishment of permanent monitoring stations, geographic information system, and database; and development of monitoring method and manual. More than 6,000 records of wild species were collected. Recovery plans for 18 water birds were prepared and provided to all nature reserves. About 220 stork nests were installed in the six nature reserves, and 57% of the nests were occupied. Based on lessons learned from this component, conservation management components of the six nature reserve master plans were improved. Based on proposals made under the project, animal grazing and fishing inside all the nature reserves in the Sanjiang Plain are prohibited. Numbers of birds monitored in the six nature reserves are 510,559 in 2008, 1,081,353 in 2009, 1,063,532 in 2010, and 683,612 in 2011. In Xingkaihu nature reserve where monitoring data allow an accurate analysis of changes of species populations because of continuous monitoring for many years, the number of stork pairs occupying nesting territories increased from 9 to 44 nests over a 6-year period from 2005 to 2011, mainly due to increased numbers in man-made nests; and the number of bird species included in the name list increased from 238 to 287. In Qixinghe and Xingkaihu nature reserves covered by Baoping, Qixinghe, and Xidapao management stations where a new artificial feeding programme was implemented, the recorded numbers of red-crowned cranes increased from 30 in 2004 to 44 in 2011; while for white-naped cranes, it increased from 17 in 2004 to 58 in 2011. No illegal international trade in animal species originating in project area has been reported.

3. Component 3: Alternative livelihoods. This component funded by ADB and GEF was generally successfully completed. Income levels of persons affected by farmland-to-forest conversion under component 1 were increased throughout the life of the project by planting 923 ha of nontimber forest produsts (24% of the lands converted from farmland to forest) and conducting 663 ha of intercropping. A water- and land-intensive eco-agriculture pilot project was conducted in the experimental zone of the Qixinghe nature reserve. The nature reserve constructed 40 greenhouses for the eco-agriculture in a 9-ha area in the experimental zone. The nature reserve leased out the greenhouses to 40 farmer households who had conducted traditional large-scale agriculture on about 400 ha of lands rented from the nature reserve in the experimental zone. The lands that had been used by the farmers were returned to the nature reserve for wetland restoration. A total of about 400 ha of farmlands were reduced, and agricultural water use will be reduced in the experimental zone by introducing the water- and land-intensive eco-agriculture without reducing income of the farmers. The nature reserve that used to collect income by renting the 400 ha of lands to the farmers can maintain its income by leasing out the greenhouses to the farmers. Ecotourism pilot projects were also implemented in the Xingkaihu and Zhenbaodao nature reserves. Discussions with the tourism authorities were conducted at an early stage, and the Heilongjiang Provincial Tourism Department adopted the proposals for the ecotourism pilot projects. Under the pilot projects, ecotourism activities such as bird watching, fishing, boating, hiking, and camping were conducted. Estimated annual net profits from the pilot projects were CNY2.73 million in the Xingkaihu nature reserve and CNY2.33 million in the Zhenbaodao nature reserve; and the nature reserves' incomes from the pilot projects are being used for wetlands protection, farmland-to-wetland conversion, improvement of facilities and equipment for ecotourism and nature reserve management, and training for the staff. In the Xingkaihu nature reserve, about 280 farmers and fishermen changed their livelihoods to ecotourism; and stopped farming on 525 ha of lands, out of which 427 ha have been converted to wetlands; and catch of fish was reduced by about 500 tons. In the Zhenbaodao nature reserve, about 50 farmers and fishermen changed their livelihoods to ecotourism; and stopped farming on 1,025 ha of lands, out of which 899 ha were converted to wetlands; and catch of fish was reduced by 5 tons. Income levels of the farmers and fishermen who changed their livelihoods to ecotourism were maintained or increased.

4. Component 4: Capacity building. This component funded by GEF was successfully completed. Wetland protection education was included in the curriculum of selected 12 schools, and teachers are giving lectures on wetland protection. A public awareness master plan was produced, and a public awareness manual was distributed to community residents and schools. Seven conservation awareness activities were conducted in more than 20 communities. In the six model nature reserves, a public awareness manual and profile of the project were printed and distributed to community residents and schools. During project implementation, 38 short- and long-term training courses, study tours, and workshops were conducted for more than 1,000 people, including government staff local forestry bureau staff and project management office (PMO) staff; most nature reserve staff directors, professional level staff, and technical staff; and community leaders and residents, for project management, financial management, project performance evaluation, forest improvement, wetland protection, wild species monitoring and recovery, wetland restoration, alternative livelihood development, public awareness raising, environmental protection, and social safeguards.

5. Component 5: Project management. For this component funded by GEF, a considerable number of capacity building activities have been conducted for project management since commencement of the project. Consultants engaged under the project drew up guidelines for project monitoring and evaluation (M&E); prepared detailed work plans identifying key activities for each component; established an M&E database, including books, maps, reports, and related documents; and built up internal M&E channel. The consultants produced monthly and semiannual M&E reports. Vehicles and equipment for project management were procured. The PMO procured civil works and equipment, and recruited international consultants fully in line with ADB and domestic requirements. The PMO submitted to ADB quarterly progress reports and a project completion report that were acceptable to ADB.

Geographical Location Sanjiang Plain, which is in the Northeast of Heilongjiang Province, People's Republic of China.
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The Project fells under environmental category B. An overall initial environmental examination (IEE) was undertaken to assess the generic impact of each Project component. The IEE showed that the Project would bring significant environmental benefits and have a positive impact on both the project area environment and globally important biodiversity by increasing forest cover, improving wetland hydrology, restoring degraded wetlands, improving the status of threatened wildlife, providing wetland conservation education, and establishing wetland management capacity. The IEE also showed that the potential negative effects on the environment were localized and short-term but not significant.
Involuntary Resettlement For all six pilot farmland-to-wetland restoration sites, land acquisition and resettlement were completed. For all six sites, necessary resettlement plans and due diligence reports were approved by ADB. Two independent monitoring agencies carried o external resettlement monitoring and evaluation. Internal resettlement monitoring was also conducted.
Indigenous Peoples The Project's components and locations were all identified, and no significant adverse impact on ethnic minority villages or groups was envisaged. Based on ADB's Policy on Indigenous Peoples, a full plan was not required but a specific action for indigenous peoples is included in the resettlement framework.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design A stakeholder analysis was conducted during the project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) and roles of each stakeholder were well-defined. The stakeholders at each level were consulted during the PPTA: government ministries/agencies at the national to local levels, local governments from provincial down to village levels, state-owned and local forest/agriculture farm leaders, workers, women, rural community leaders, the poor farmer households, minorities, and nongovernment organizations. Their expectations and needs were identified, the potential project impacts on them were identified, and the resettlement plans, gender development plans, minority development plans, and public participation plans were developed in consultation with the stakeholders.
During Project Implementation Environmental monitoring, updating of existing resettlement plans, and preparation of remaining resettlement plans and alternative livelihoods development plans involved extensive public consultations with affected people.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

Consultants will be selected and engaged by an international consulting firm in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants. The consulting firm will be selected using ADB's quality-and-cost-based selection method. This international consulting firm will be responsible for providing all individual international and domestic consultants to the PMO. The total consultant input for the Project is estimated at 640 person-months of consulting services: 112 international and 528 domestic. Consultants will be required for water resources, wetland biodiversity and nature reserve management; ecotourism, conservation education, and public awareness sub-components under GEF grant funding. National government will support national consultants in resettlement, non-timber forest products and environmental mitigation. The Project will also engage qualified academic/research institutes for several studies, surveys and long-term training programs, including those in water resources and in long-term training. These institutes will be selected by the PMO in accordance with competitive selection criteria and procedures acceptable to ADB.

Expression of Interests due on or before 30 May 2005.

Procurement All supplies, equipment, and services to be financed by ADB will be procured in accordance with ADB's Guidelines for Procurement. Most of the items to be procured, such as basic equipment and materials (seeds and fertilizers) will be spread over a wide area in various counties subproject areas, and therefore will be procured centrally for cost efficiency. They will be procured in accordance with the Government's domestic procurement procedures acceptable to ADB. Supply contracts for equipment or materials not anticipated to exceed the equivalent of $500,000 but above $100,000 will be carried out through international shopping. Other miscellaneous equipment and supplies, with each package valued below the equivalent of $100,000 will be procured by direct purchase procedures. Given that the value of each civil works contract will be less than $1 million, and in view of the competitiveness of such construction works in the PRC, civil works contracts are not expected to be of interest to international bidders. Thus, all civil works contracts will be awarded to pre qualified private sector contractors under local competitive bidding procedures acceptable to ADB, and for the treatment of plantations of small size below $50,000 under State Forestry Farms' force account.
Responsible ADB Officer Yoshiaki Kobayashi
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Heilongjiang ProvinceMr. Cheng Shaoxiachengwv@public.hr.hl.cnNo. 10, Hegshan, Harbin, Heilongjiang, People's Republic of China
Timetable
Concept Clearance 08 Mar 2001
Fact Finding 15 Apr 2004 to 12 May 2004
MRM 29 Jun 2004
Approval 14 Mar 2005
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 26 Jan 2007
Last PDS Update 26 Sep 2013

Grant 4571-PRC

Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 12.14 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 - 0.00 0.00 %
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 12.14 - 0.00 0.00 %

Loan 2157-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
14 Mar 2005 18 Jul 2005 09 Dec 2005 31 Dec 2010 31 Aug 2012 30 May 2013
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 43.41 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 15.00 14 Mar 2005 14.99 0.00 100%
Counterpart 28.41 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 14 Mar 2005 14.99 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory
Title Document Type Document Date
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project Project/Program Completion Reports Oct 2013
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Feb 2005

Safeguard Documents

See also: Safeguards
Title Document Type Document Date
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Updated Resettlement Plan and Due Diligence Report of Mishan City (Xingkai Lake Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans Mar 2013
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Zhenbaodao Nature Reserve No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Luobei County No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Naolihe Nature Reserve No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Baoqing County No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Anbanghe Nature Reserve No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Huanan County No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Dajiahe Nature Reserve No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Hulin City No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Qixinghe Nature Reserve No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project - Linkou County No.1 Social Monitoring Reports Jul 2010
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Plan of Raohe County (Dajiahe Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans Dec 2009
黑龙江省三江平原湿地保护项目: 虎林市移民安置计划(更新版) Resettlement Plans Dec 2009
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Plan of Hulin City (Zhenbaodao Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans Dec 2009
饶河县移 Resettlement Plans Dec 2009
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Due Dilligence Report of Naolihe Nature Reserve Resettlement Plans Jun 2009
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Plan and Due Diligence Report of Jixian County (Anbanghe Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans May 2009
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Plan of Baoqing County (Qixinghe Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans May 2009
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Due Dilligence Report of the Farmland to Forest Conversion Component Resettlement Plans Oct 2008
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Framework Resettlement Frameworks Sep 2004
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Plan of Baoqing County (Qixinghe Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans Sep 2004
Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project: Resettlement Plan of Mishan County (Xingkaihu Nature Reserve) Resettlement Plans Sep 2004
Sanjiang Plain Wetland Protection Project Summary Initial Environmental Examination Aug 2004

Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation
Title Document Type Document Date
People’s Republic of China: Sanjiang Plain Wetlands Protection Project Validations of Project Completion Reports Sep 2014

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.