The existing long-term framework (2002 2012) for the partnership, updated in 2008, supported the national and local governments' pursuit of a sustainable environment and development in drylands. The approach was institutionalized at the provincial level through mainstreaming strategies and an action plan to ensure investment and financial flows for sustainable land management (SLM) and livelihood activities. SLM practices applied in the pilots and investment programs included reforestation, soil erosion control measures, greenhouses for vegetable production, mulching, grazing management, and irrigation control. These practices were implemented alongside rural infrastructure, rural energy, biogas, solar energy, and other development activities that contributed to income generation and improved livelihoods in the pilot sites. These activities were supported by policy actions, legislation, thematic studies, capacity development, and knowledge management.
Many technical and institutional aspects of the implementation and management of the partnership require further updating to meet the increasing demand for support and investments at the local levels. The government and partners have identified the following development issues that need to be addressed for the partnership to successfully continue: (i) the need to focus on replication and up-scaling of the achievements of the partnership, with a strong emphasis on investments at the provincial level; (ii) the need to target capacity development and its linkage to demonstration and investment activities; (iii) the need for a broader financial resource mobilization strategy, taking into consideration government, private sector, and development partner resources, as well as innovative mechanisms such as eco-compensation programs; and (iv) the need for the program to have a stronger link with the PRC National Action Plan for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and close alignment with the secretariat of the PRC National Committee for implementation of the UNCCD in the State Forestry Administration (SFA).
Building on the progress made by the partnership since 2002, the government requested support to prepare a new framework that will guide the implementation of future activities under the partnership. ADB has served as the lead GEF agency for the partnership since 2002 and has provided support for capacity development efforts and the establishment of coordination mechanisms. ADB's comparative advantage as the lead GEF agency for the partnership includes considerable experience with the identification, design, and implementation of TA and investment projects with the PRC as well as the ability to incorporate capacity development and TA into its projects. The government has also committed to allocating $4 million from the land degradation focal area of its GEF-5 resources and commensurate domestic funds to support the management and implementation of the development strategy for SLM for dryland ecosystems. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) requested ADB to prepare for and administer the GEF grant once it is approved by the GEF in 2013.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The TA aims to promote inclusive growth and environmental sustainability, and supports ADB's strategic priorities in its country partnership strategy, 2011 2015 for the PRC. The TA also supports the PRC's sustainable development agenda for a harmonious society, as outlined in the country's Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011 2015). Climate change and environmental sustainability are key considerations, including greater preparedness for extreme weather events and conservation of water and natural resources.
The impact will be improved productivity and inclusive growth in dryland regions. The outcome will be a 10-year development strategy for SLM for dryland ecosystems endorsed by government. To attain the expected outcome, four outputs have been identified: (i) scope of partnership development strategy (PDS) identified, (ii) resource mobilization strategies for implementation of national and provincial programs under the PDS, (iii) institutional arrangements enhanced for implementation of the PDS, and (iv) PDS prepared for the PRC GEF partnership on land degradation in dryland ecosystems for 2013-2022.
The TA will have four outputs:
Output 1: Scope of partnership development strategy identified. This output involves carrying out an updated assessment of the current status of SLM in the PRC and future needs. The TA will support (i) the preparation of an updated review report on (a) the status and scope of land degradation; (b) likely climate change impacts; and (c) biodiversity, poverty, gender, and livelihood issues in dryland areas in the PRC; and (ii) based on the review outcome, a consultative process to identify and confirm the additional target provinces and priority areas for the PDS for endorsement by central and provincial authorities.
Output 2: Resource mobilization strategies endorsed for implementation of national and provincial programs under the partnership development strategy. SLM, at a scale required in the PRC, will require significant financial resources beyond what national, provincial, and local governments can provide. The TA will support the preparation of (i) resource mobilization strategies for accessing multiple funding sources prepared and endorsed at national and provincial levels, (ii) a strategy for public private partnerships and payment for environmental services prepared and endorsed to support implementation of the PDS, and (iii) prefeasibility studies completed for at least two priority projects under two of the provincial Twelfth Five-Year Plans (still to be determined).
Output 3: Institutional arrangements enhanced for implementation of the partnership development strategy. Effective coordination mechanisms have been promoted and established within the partnership, but there is a need to further institutionalize coordination and cooperation, especially at the national and interprovincial levels. Similarly, the large number of international organizations and national agencies involved in the partnership activities may pose some challenges in the coordination and effective management of the program. The TA will provide support to (i) strengthen the multisector and multilevel coordination framework for endorsement of the development strategy at the national and provincial levels, and (ii) integrate the development strategy and program with the national implementation and reporting requirements of the UNCCD.
Output 4: Partnership development strategy prepared for the People's Republic of China Global Environment Facility partnership on land degradation in dryland ecosystems for 2013 2022. The findings and recommendations gathered during the TA will be summarized to form new strategic planning documents for the partnership including (i) the development strategy and program framework, with detailed results indicators agreed at the central and provincial levels; (ii) a draft GEF program framework document; and (iii) a knowledge product that summarizes the strategic approach and policy recommendations in the PDS for public dissemination.
No major risks related to implementation of the TA have been identified. The strong leadership, vision, and ownership by the MOF and SFA, as demonstrated over the last 10 years of the partnership, will ensure that a relevant and pragmatic development strategy is prepared. One minor risk is that some sector agencies may lack incentives to actively participate in the discussions to develop a new multisector long-term strategy for the partnership. This risk will be overcome through the conduct of extensive consultations and planning meetings with the involved stakeholders at the national, provincial, and local levels to ensure that all sectors are covered.