China, People's Republic of: Strengthening Capacity, Institutions, and Policies for Enabling High-Quality, Green Development in the Yellow River Ecological Corridor

Sovereign Project | 54026-001

The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) cluster will support the achievement of resilient ecological protection and high-quality development goals in the Yellow River Basin in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The TA cluster will design and implement approaches to support natural, human, social, and physical capitals required to enable high-quality growth and ecological protection via (i) informing strategic institutional, policy and governance reforms on key development issues; (ii) demonstrating innovative technologies and integrated solutions; and (iii) promoting knowledge sharing and strategic partnerships for multi-stakeholder and private sector engagement.

Project Name Strengthening Capacity, Institutions, and Policies for Enabling High-Quality, Green Development in the Yellow River Ecological Corridor
Project Number 54026-001
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 0048-PRC: Strengthening Capacity, Institutions, and Policies for Enabling High-Quality, Green Development in the Yellow River Ecological Corridor
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.93 million
TA 0048-PRC: Strengthening Capacity, Institutions, and Policies for Enabling High-Quality, Green Development in the Yellow River Ecological Corridor
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 900,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development - Agricultural production - Land-based natural resources management - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description

The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) cluster will support the achievement of resilient ecological protection and high-quality development goals in the Yellow River Basin in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The TA cluster will design and implement approaches to support natural, human, social, and physical capitals required to enable high-quality growth and ecological protection via (i) informing strategic institutional, policy and governance reforms on key development issues; (ii) demonstrating innovative technologies and integrated solutions; and (iii) promoting knowledge sharing and strategic partnerships for multi-stakeholder and private sector engagement.

The TA cluster subprojects were developed on the request of the Government of the PRC. The TA cluster is aligned with the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Strategy 2030's operational priorities and the strategic operational focus of ADB's assistance to the PRC towards environmental protection, inclusive and sustainable growth with knowledge at the center of its operations.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Yellow River supports multipurpose development in a fragile human-nature system. Granting its name from the _loess_ fine-grained sediments coloring its waters, the Yellow River runs for 5,464 kilometers, from its source in Bayan Har mountains on the Tibetan Plateau to the Bohai sea. It is the second largest river in the PRC, after the Yangtze, and the sixth longest river in the world. The river covers a basin area of 752,400 square kilometers, crosses nine provinces, is home to around 120 million people, agriculture output contributes to feeding about 12% of the PRC's population, irrigates about 15% of arable land, accounts for 8% of national gross domestic product and supplies water to 66 prefectural-level cities and 340 counties. The river is an important ecological corridor and arterial connection among the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the Loess plateau and the Northern Plain, playing an irreplaceable role for national ecological, water and food security. Considered one of the most hydrologically complex rivers in the world, its waters carry and deposit about 1.6 billion tons of sediments on the riverbed yearly. This generates the phenomenon of the _hanging river_, with the bed reaching 10 meters above the adjacent plain in the downstream valley. Accounting for only 2% of the country's water resources, the region is severely water scarce and faces extreme climatic conditions, causing destructive droughts and floods. In the past 30 years, the total water resources have reduced by 13.4% (footnote 3). With permafrost ice in the Hindu Kush Himalayas region rapidly melting due to global warming, the Yellow River's long-term freshwater availability, vital for drinking water and socio-economic development in the basin, is highly under threat. The increase in frequency and intensity of devastating floods, destroying land and livelihoods, is an immediate and visible consequence of climate change impacts in the short-term. Water stress and scarcity have been further exacerbated due to extensive human development and associated land cover change and extreme soil erosion. Agriculture accounts for about 69.6% of total withdrawal and is the largest consumer of water in the basin. Water resources are further strained due to pollution from agricultural runoff, township and village enterprises, and rural and industrial wastewater discharged into the water streams. In terms of ecological security, more than three-fourths of the total basin area is defined as ecologically fragile.

The Yellow River Basin is an important economic hub for the PRC, but it has been facing ever increasing constraints to maintain its current economic function as well as striving to meet its sustainable development potential. Balancing economy, ecology, and community in the Yellow River Basin is becoming more challenging which is often further compounded by climate change. The complex and integrated relationship between ecosystems, natural resources, climate change, biodiversity, and human interaction is fragile, and imbalance can result in extreme situations such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Balanced health of people, animals, and environment are important and crucial precursor for sustainable development. Investing in and promoting high productivity of natural, human, social, and physical capitals, as the building blocks for sustainable development, are crucial to enabling high-quality growth and ecological protection.

Water underpins social and economic development. Achieving water security, through balancing the resource as a human basic need and a socio-economic good, is the entry point for sustained green development and equitable growth across the basin and within the PRC. Despite progresses made in the last 20 years, complex development issues remain unaddressed and have contributed to ongoing severe pressures on the basin's ecology, including pollution and overexploitation of ecosystem services; inadequate provision of clean water supply and sanitation services posing the most vulnerable groups (i.e., urban poor, women, and elders) at risk of contracting water-borne diseases; and widening of rural-urban disparity in the less developed provinces. The underpinning causes can be grouped into three macro areas: (i) lack of strategic basin-wide scale planning, policy incoherence, poor coordination mechanisms across institutions and regions, compounded by lack of economic and financial incentives; (ii) untapped potential for innovation, skills development and integrated approaches for sustainable and inclusive rural-urban development; and (iii) inadequate _knowledge spillover_ of national, regional, and international best practices.

Government strategy. Recognizing these development challenges, the government has promoted its vision of _ecological civilization_ to reinforce the symbiosis between economic development and environmental protection. Ongoing national programs such as the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) Development Plan, Rural Vitalization Strategy and the upcoming 14th Five-Year Plan (2021 2025) are the main pillars to keep shaping the PRC's objective for ecological civilization and overall green transformation. This form of green transformation has a stronger focus on high-quality development, people's broader well-being, innovation, urban-rural development cooperation, improved natural resources management and policy reforms for balancing environmental protection and economic growth. Yet river basins remain a development challenge due to their complexity and requirement for integrated approaches that are multisectoral and inclusive. While the Yellow River has been earmarked as a strategically important core region for supporting long-term sustained green development in the PRC, the health of the river and its ecosystem need prompt action to enable the desired long-term sustained green development in the PRC.

Learning from the YREB programmatic approach and rural vitalization. Building on over $10 billion investment demonstration projects in the YREB during 2000 2015, ADB has historically played a catalytic role in the Yangtze River. In order to maximize its limited resources and institutional advantages, ADB set up the YREB programmatic approach (phase one 2017 2020) to support the PRC's YREB Plan with cross-sector and knowledge-driven integrated projects. The fundamental innovation of this approach is its geographic concept of _corridor_ encompassing economic, social, and ecological multidimensional linkages. This is a step beyond traditional watershed catchment management towards a more holistic protection of regional public goods. This approach was expanded to support the rural vitalization strategy and is ongoing both in the YREB and other regions. The core principles of these interventions provide highly relevant lessons for addressing the Yellow River Basin's complex challenges. These include the adoption of a whole-of-ecosystem approach by planning across the basin; multi-stakeholder engagement to carefully identify and address impacts on communities and livelihoods; the design of institutional frameworks to incentivize long-term financial sustainability for eco-compensation programs and facilitate creation of an enabling environment to achieve the desired social, economic, and environmental outcomes across the basin.

Impact Resilient ecological protection and security in the Yellow River Basin achieved
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome High-quality development opportunities in the Yellow River Basin increased
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Strategic institutional, policy and governance reforms on key Yellow River development issues promoted

Innovative technologies, approaches and solutions to address development constraints in Yellow River Basin proposed

Knowledge sharing, strategic partnerships for multi-stakeholder and private sector engagement supported

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Nation-wide
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB will carry out procurement following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or TA staff instructions.
Procurement ADB will engage consultants following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or TA staff instructions.
Responsible ADB Officer Cardascia, Silvia
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
National Development and Reform Commission
No. 38 South Yuetan St.
Beijing 100824
China
Timetable
Concept Clearance 04 Sep 2020
Fact Finding 20 Jul 2020 to 20 Jul 2020
MRM -
Approval 28 Oct 2020
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 27 Sep 2021

TA 0048-PRC

Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
2,832,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,832,000.00 - 0.00

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.


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Procurement Plan

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