||In 2012, the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide capacity development technical assistance (TA) for Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Land Management in Western PRC. The TA, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), will complement government efforts to expand the regional scope of the PRC GEF Partnership on Land Degradation in Dryland Ecosystems and support sustainable land management (SLM) investments in selected provinces and autonomous regions. In February 2014, an ADB mission visited the PRC and reached an understanding with the government on the TA impact, outcome, outputs, cost estimates, financing plan, terms of reference for consultants, and implementation arrangements, including TA delegation.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The PRC GEF partnership, initiated as a long-term cooperation agreement between the PRC, the GEF, ADB, and other development partners, promotes the introduction of integrated ecosystem management and SLM approaches to combat land degradation. It plays a key role in the PRC's efforts to enhance ecological civilization, improve dryland ecosystems, and reduce poverty in the PRC's western regions, where approximately 75% of the PRC's rural poor reside. The long-term programmatic approach was institutionalized for the provinces through mainstreaming strategies and action plans to ensure investment and financial flows for SLM and livelihood activities. The SLM practices applied in pilots and investment programs include reforestation, soil erosion control measures, greenhouses for vegetable production, mulching, grazing management, and irrigation control. These practices have been implemented alongside rural infrastructure, energy, biogas, solar energy, and other development activities for income generation and to improve livelihoods in the pilot sites. Policy options, legislation, thematic studies, capacity development, and knowledge management supported the activities. The achievements and experiences under the partnership are documented in various national and international publications.
Building on the work of the partnership since its establishment in 2002, ADB provided policy and advisory TA for the Integrated Strategy for Sustainable Land Management in Dryland Ecosystems. The new and broader-reaching strategy for the partnership (i) focuses on replicating and upscaling the achievements of the partnership, with a strong emphasis on provincial investments; (ii) targets capacity development and its linkage to demonstration and investment activities; (iii) adopts a broader financial resource mobilization strategy, taking into consideration government, private sector, and development partner resources, and innovative mechanisms like eco-compensation programs; and (iv) has a stronger link with the PRC's National Action Plan for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and close alignment with the secretariat of the PRC national committee for implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in the State Forestry Administration (SFA).
Through continued support for the partnership, ADB aims to support the PRC's sustainable development agenda, as presented during the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Climate change and environmental sustainability are key considerations, including greater preparedness for extreme weather events and conservation of natural resources. The TA is also in line with ADB's country partnership strategy, 2011 2015 and the country operations business plan, 2014 2106 for the PRC in supporting the government's overarching strategic goal by focusing on inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth.