The proposed policy and advisory technical assistance (TA) was requested from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) during the 2012 country programming review mission by the Governemnt of the People's Republic of China (PRC) through the Hunan Provincial Chang- Zhu- Tan (CZT) Resource-Conserving and Environment-Friendly Society Office Office (RES) of the Hunan provincial government. The environmental status and threats to water quality and abundance in the Xiangjiang river watershed will be analyzed to help develop a specific eco-compensation mechanism and policy. Economic analyses will help prioritize recommendations concerning environmentally sustainable natural resource and land use necessary for the implementation of an eco-compensation scheme. A TA reconnaissance mission was conducted on 15-18 March 2013.
The TA supports the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011- 2015) of the PRC which emphasizes the importance of environmentally sustainable growth, and the Hunan provincial development and national strategies up to 2050 that included targets for low carbon sustainable growth and protected areas. The TA also supports the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which the PRC is a signatory. The TA is aligned with the Asian Development Bank''s (ADB) country partnership strategy (2011- 2015) for the PRC, supporting the government sector objective for natural resources and agriculture. The TA will address important objectives of the ADB's Water Operational Plan (WOP) 2011- 2020, including policy reform (WOP, para. 3.12) and watershed development (WOP, para. 3.25). The Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF) funds will directly contribute to three target outcomes of the Water Financing Program: 500 million people provided access to safe water supply and improved sanitation, integrated water resources management introduced in 30 river basins, and improved water governance though national water reforms and capacity development. ADB Loan 2962-PRC, approved on 7 December 2012, focuses on an inland waterway transport project on this river; and this activity will complement the loan by helping maintain local hydrological cycles. The TA was included in ADB's country operations business plan (2013- 2015) for nonlending products and services for the PRC in 2013.
The impact of the TA will be the improved environmental quality in the Xiangjiang river watershed of CZT city cluster. The outcome will be a strengthened eco-compensation mechanism and policy framework to improve water quality and abundance in the Xiangjiang river watershed. The TA will have three outputs: (i) completed analyses of environmental threats to water quality and abundance, including their interrelationship with natural resource and land use in the Xiangjiang river watershed, (ii) recommendations for the design and implementation of an eco-compensation mechanism and policy framework, and (iii) strengthened government capacity in the environmentally sustainable use of natural resources and land to improve water quality and abundance.
The TA is estimated to cost $725,000, of which (i) $400,000 will be financed on a grant basis by ADB's Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF-other sources); and (ii) $225,000 will be financed on a grant basis by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund under the WFPF administered by ADB. The government will provide the counterpart cost and services.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
||The Hunan provincial government (HPG) seeks to address constraints to environmentally sustainable growth through a mix of well developed strategies and policies, including pollution controls, appropriate land use, natural resource conservation, and financial incentives. A well-developed eco-compensation mechanism can help in supporting the HPG's efforts through the provision of financial incentives. This policy and advisory technical assistance (TA) will address gaps in the regulatory and policy framework for an eco-compensation mechansim for the Xiangjiang river watershed in Chang-Zhu-Tan (CZT) through analyses of ecological characteristics, threats, and/or mitigation; cost- benefit analysis, and other economic analyses; and specific eco-compensation requirements. The TA will build on recommendations and lessons from previous international experiences and ADB studies, such as using eco-compensation to support integrated river basin management--a subset of integrated water resources management. The outcomes will be used primarily as decision-making support for the HPG in the construction of a resource-saving and environment-friendly society in the CZT experimental zone.