Project Name Guangxi Li River Comprehensive Ecological Management and Demonstration Project (formerly Guangxi Guilin Comprehensive Ecological Rehabilitation)
Project Number 53079-001
Country / Economy China, People's Republic of
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 4209-PRC: Guangxi Li River Comprehensive Ecological Management and Demonstration Project
Ordinary capital resources US$ 140.00 million
Operational Priorities OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
OP4: Making cities more livable
OP5: Promoting rural development and food security
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
OP7: Fostering regional cooperation and integration
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Rural sanitation

Transport / Urban public transport - Water transport (non-urban)

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Other urban services - Renovation and protection of cultural heritage - Urban flood protection - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban sanitation

Gender Effective gender mainstreaming
Description The proposed project aims to improve livelihood of poor villages in Guilin and ecological protection of the Li River through restoration of Li River and old ethnic minority villages
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

- Strategic context. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR) remains one of the poorer provinces, with per capita gross domestic product of CNY37,712, ranking 27th out of 31 provinces. About 9.9% of the population is living below the poverty line compared with the national average of 5.2%. A significant part of GZAR is mountainous and it has the largest ethnic minority population in the PRCaccounting for 37.1% of GZAR's total population in 2015.

- Government Strategy. One of the overall objectives of the Thirteenth Five Year Plan for Guangxi Tourism Development3 is to alleviate poverty through tourism and Guilin is being planned to become a world-class tourist city and an international tourist destination. In 2015, there were estimated three million population living in poverty in rural villages; and as stated in the Thirteenth Five Year Plan for Guilin, they plan to have all population lifted out of poverty by 2020..

- Inadequate waste management and climate proofing along the Li River. The Li River has significant importance to the livelihood of Guangxi. It crosses two counties and four districts: Lingchuan and Yangshuo Counties, and Yanshan, Qixing, Xiangshan and Diecai districts. Liquid and solid sanitary waste are disposed directly to the river polluting the water. While the river has quality standard 2, it is in danger of becoming degraded as the inflow of tourists increases and because several villages along the river do not have proper sewerage facilities. It is necessary to improve the facilities in these villages to protect the river. The Li River is also the lifeblood of Guilin which tourists flock to. Based on the initial climate risk screening using AWARE tool, the potential climate risk to the Project is medium. A climate risk assessment (CRA) study will be conducted, and the findings of the CRA study will be incorporated in the project design. Climate proofing the project sites would ensure sustainability of the facilities, and proper mitigation measures will be taken to avoid the increased sediment in the Li River.

- Limited infrastructure and connections of heritage site villages. Some heritage site villages cannot be reached through the river due to shallow waters and lack of docks. Due to this limited accessibility raw materials and agricultural products produced in the hinterlands cannot reach urban areas. Moreover, tourists also cannot reach these villages which have living cultural heritage and traditional values, which contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.

- Lack of income generating activities for villagers. Guilin has three poverty-stricken counties (Longsheng, Ziyuan and, Guanyang) and 510 poverty-stricken villages. At the end of 2018, Longsheng and Ziyuan were lifted out of poverty, and Guanyang is expected to take off the poverty hat at the end of 2019. By the end of 2018, 129 out of 510 poverty-stricken villages have not been lifted out of poverty. Among the 129 poverty-stricken poor villages, eight have a lower incidence of poverty than the national incidence of poverty, and the other 121 villages are higher than the national incidence of poverty. It is important to assist these people by creating more jobs and raising their incomes.

- Inadequate capacity for river management and sustainable tourism development. Institutions in Guilin lack the capacity to manage and protect the Li river, particularly considering the growth in tourism. In addition, the tourism sector does not show the level of professionalism and service quality required of world class tourist destinations. Business models for innovative and sustainable tourism practices are also inadequate. To address these issues, capacity of individuals and institutions need to be strengthened.

Impact

Environmental improvement of the Li River and balanced rural development in Guilin achieved

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Environmental and economic conditions in Guilin improved

Progress Toward Outcome to be evaluated by project completion
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Institutional capacity and knowledge in river management and sustainable tourism strengthened

River ecological protection infrastructure enhanced

Sustainable village preservation and low-carbon tourism facilities implemented

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) The loan project became effective dated 15 March 2023. As of Q3 2023, the project implementation is generally on track with three consulting service contracts awarded and the three individual project start-up consultants are mobilized to support the project implementation.
Geographical Location Guilin
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples A
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The project is classified category B for environment. Two initial environmental examinations, including environmental management plans (EMPs), have been prepared in accordance with the Safeguard Policy Statement based on the domestic environmental impact assessment reports, feasibility study reports, site visits, and consultations with stakeholders for the Longsheng county and Li River subprojects. The project is expected to have positive impacts on the environment as it will intercept and treat wastewater, prevent soil erosion through ecological rehabilitation of riverbanks, and promote sustainable transport. Anticipated impacts during constructionincluding soil erosion, noise, dust emissions, construction waste and wastewater, and occupational and community health and safetyare mostly temporary, predictable, and reversible. Potential impacts during operation include increase in tourists, waste and wastewater, noise, and occupational and community health and safety. These impacts can be mitigated through adherence to national regulations and implementation of the EMPs. Meaningful public consultations were conducted and will continue throughout project implementation. A grievance redress mechanism (GRM) will be established to address social and environmental safeguard-related grievances for the project. Sufficient budget will be allocated in the EMPs to ensure the proper implementation of mitigation and monitoring measures during construction and operation of the project. The PMO will recruit a full-time qualified environment officer to supervise the implementation of the EMPs and act as the entry point of the GRM, and engage consultants to assist project implementation and compliance and conduct external monitoring. Environmental monitoring reports will be submitted to ADB semiannually during construction and annually during operation. The initial environmental examinations disclosed on ADB's website will be updated as necessary during detailed designs and if unanticipated impacts are identified during project implementation. A climate risk and adaptation assessment has been conducted and the findings of the assessment will be incorporated in the project design.
Involuntary Resettlement The project is classified category B for involuntary resettlement. The project will use 707.31 mu of land as follows: 356.84 mu of state-owned land, 298.43 mu of permanently acquired collective land, and 52.04 mu of land for rural public infrastructure. The project will not involve any physical displacement. In addition, the project will occupy 524.81 mu of land temporarily during construction, affecting 136 households with 488 people. A total of 23 households with 89 people will be affected permanently by collective land acquisition, and no households will be significantly affected. Two resettlement plans have been prepared in line with the Safeguard Policy Statement and the PRC's laws and regulations. The resettlement plans include adequate compensation and livelihood restoration measures for affected people. Surveys and consultations were undertaken with affected people during preparation of the resettlement plans. Affected people will be further consulted during the update and implementation of the resettlement plans. A GRM has been established and incorporated into the resettlement plans. A framework for voluntary land use for rural public infrastructure is attached to the resettlement plans. While the PMO and the implementing agencies have the capacity to implement domestically funded projects, each implementing agency has designated resettlement staff and the project implementation consultants will provide training and support. An external agency will be engaged by the PMO to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the resettlement plans and submit semiannual monitoring reports to ADB.
Indigenous Peoples The project is classified category A for indigenous peoples. Broad community support is required because of project activities involving cultural resources and knowledge of ethnic minorities, i.e., rehabilitation and improvement of infrastructure and cultural facilities in 11 ethnic minority villages in Longsheng county. There are 18,727 ethnic minority people, mainly the Dong, Miao, Yao, and Zhuang people, accounting for 94.5% of the total population in these villages. Ethnic minority villages and groups will benefit from training and capacity building, more jobs and income-generation opportunities, tourism, improved public infrastructure and municipal services, and better living conditions. An ethnic minority development plan (EMDP) has been prepared to ensure that ethnic minorities benefit equitably and in a culturally appropriate manner from the project and potential negative impacts can be minimized. A GRM has been established and incorporated into the EMDP. The relevant implementing agency will implement the EMDP, and an external monitoring agency will be engaged by the PMO to monitor and evaluate its implementation and submit semiannual monitoring reports. The Li River subproject will not involve ethnic minority communities.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design During project design and implementation stage, a joint project management office (PMO) is envisaged to be setup within the EA. Project due diligence is currently ongoing.
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Procurement Advance contracting and retroactive financing will be pursued in line with ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and Procurement Regulations for ADB Borrowers (2017, as amended from time to time) to facilitate project implementation in goods, works, non-consulting and consulting services. The government has been advised that advance contracting and retroactive financing do not commit ADB to finance the project.
Responsible ADB Officer Niu, Zhiming
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division PRC Resident Mission (PRCM)
Executing Agencies
Guilin Municipal Government
Timetable
Concept Clearance 27 Dec 2019
Fact Finding 26 May 2021 to 18 Jun 2021
MRM 08 Jun 2022
Approval 07 Sep 2022
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 20 Sep 2023

LoanĀ 4209-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
07 Sep 2022 15 Dec 2022 15 Mar 2023 30 Sep 2027 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 357.60 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 140.00 07 Nov 2023 0.09 0.00 0%
Counterpart 217.60 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 07 Nov 2023 0.00 0.00 0%
 
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Source URL: https://www.adb.org/projects/53079-001/main