MANILA, PHILIPPINES (8 September 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $140 million loan to improve the environmental and economic conditions in Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.

“Rapid urbanization has become a threat to Guilin's natural resources and sustainable development,” said ADB Senior Transport Specialist for East Asia Nicolas Dei Castelli. “This project will include a number of innovative solutions with demonstration potential, including low-carbon mobility, inclusive sanitation, and institutional development.”

Poorly designed and outdated infrastructure contributes to flooding, pollution, and environmental degradation in the Li River in Guilin. Many villages lack adequate drainage and stormwater and wastewater systems, leading to severe surface water pollution and lowered ecological and scenic value.

The Guangxi Li River Comprehensive Ecological Management and Demonstration Project will implement sustainable village preservation and low-carbon facilities. This will include rehabilitating 21 historic villages along the Li River and in the Longsheng Autonomous County, constructing cultural facilities, and upgrading waterfront facilities to provide better river transport, including the piloting of electric boats. Battery swapping stations will be installed to reduce charging times and allow for extended operation periods.

To enhance river ecological protection infrastructure, the project will upgrade sewage interception and treatment to reduce sewage overflows and direct discharge into open channels and rivers by installing toilets and new sewage collection systems, among others.

The project also aims to strengthen institutional capacity and knowledge in river management and sustainable tourism. This will include implementing information and communication technology platforms integrating river ecological protection and tourism management. Hydrological modeling will be developed to support the design of flood-resilient infrastructure and increase flood management planning capacity.

Total project cost is $357.60 million with $217.60 million in counterpart financing from the government. The project is expected to be completed in 2027.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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