China, People's Republic of: Hubei Huanggang Dabie Mountain Ecosystem Protection and Carbon-Neutral Green Development Project

Sovereign Project | 56210-001

The Huanggang Municipal Government (HMG) implemented several major reforestation and ecosystem protection programs supported through national and provincial fiscal budget transfers, including the Grain to Green Program, the YRB protective forest system, and wildlife protection and nature reserve construction projects._From 2016 to 2020, a total of CNY2.1 billion in public investments greatly improved the forest habitat and people's livelihoods through job creation. However, the ecosystems remain constrained due to development and population pressure. The forest is degraded, with reduced quality of forest stands, increased soil erosion, and losses of biodiversity and natural habitat. The wetlands, consisting of a complex system of rivers, ponds, and lakes, continue to be degraded. Many of the natural waterbodies either became commercial fishponds or have been drained all together.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Cai, Xueliang
    East Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    China, People's Republic of
  • Sector
    • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
Project Name Hubei Huanggang Dabie Mountain Ecosystem Protection and Carbon-Neutral Green Development Project
Project Number 56210-001
Country / Economy China, People's Republic of
Project Status Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan: Hubei Huanggang Dabie Mountain Ecological Protection and Carbon Neutrality Green Development Project
Ordinary capital resources US$ 200.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agro-industry, marketing, and trade - Land-based natural resources management - Rural sanitation - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description

The Huanggang Municipal Government (HMG) implemented several major reforestation and ecosystem protection programs supported through national and provincial fiscal budget transfers, including the Grain to Green Program, the YRB protective forest system, and wildlife protection and nature reserve construction projects._From 2016 to 2020, a total of CNY2.1 billion in public investments greatly improved the forest habitat and people's livelihoods through job creation. However, the ecosystems remain constrained due to development and population pressure. The forest is degraded, with reduced quality of forest stands, increased soil erosion, and losses of biodiversity and natural habitat. The wetlands, consisting of a complex system of rivers, ponds, and lakes, continue to be degraded. Many of the natural waterbodies either became commercial fishponds or have been drained all together.

Depending on the season, the water quality of about 25% to 100% of the tributaries of the Bailian River is equal to or below Class IV._Major sources of pollution are organic and nutrients from agriculture, aquaculture, and domestic sewage. Many villages and towns have inadequate or no wastewater treatment facilities, and women and girls suffer disproportionately from inadequate sanitation. Lakes and rivers are no longer connected aquatic systems, further degrading the water environment and ecology, and weakening resilience to floods and droughts.

Agriculture is a major source of pollution in Huanggang. Seasonal flooding and soil erosion from agricultural lands result in excessive levels of nutrients, pesticides, and sediment entering water bodies._The agriculture sector was responsible for 114,694 tons of chemical oxygen demand, 65% of the municipal's total; 11,964 tons of nitrogen, 58% of total; 1,895 tons of phosphorus, 75% of total; and 9,960 tons of volatile organic compounds, 32% of total in Huanggang in 2019. Agriculture is also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, producing 55,000 tons of methane from livestock and 77,000 tons from paddy rice cultivation, equivalent to 3.3 million tons of carbon dioxide.

In 2021, agriculture contributed CNY89.8 billion, or 35.5% of the annual GDP of the municipality. However, agriculture is still dominated by traditional subsistence farming, often led by women, on small land plots with declining productivity. Low productivity can be attributed to (i) poor soil conditions; (ii) inefficient use of inputs and low adoption of technologies; (iii) inadequate road, irrigation, and drainage infrastructure; and (iv) inadequate agricultural extension services. Rural economic development needs both improved land productivity and enhanced value addition throughout the value chain. However, the value chain is hampered by (i) a lack of crop diversification; (ii) weak capacity of agribusinesses in branding and marketing; (iii) poor post-harvest facilities and services; and (iv) a lack of access to online markets. Nevertheless, with the new E'zhou airport being completed in the region, opportunities exist to enhance the agricultural product value chain in Huanggang.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy The Dabie Mountain, also known as the lung of the central People's Republic of China (PRC), is a designated National Key Ecological Area and National Geopark. It has a geographic area of 30,455 square kilometers, bordering the provinces of Anhui, Henan, and Hubei, and is part of the geographic division between north and south PRC. It is an important ecological corridor and water source area for the lower Yangtze River Basin (YRB). The Huanggang Municipality is on the southern side of the area in the YRB with a permanent residential population of 5.8 million in 2021, making it the second most populous city in Hubei province after Wuhan, the provincial capital. With six out of seven counties designated as national poverty counties until 2020, the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was CNY43,888, just over half of provincial average in 2021. Huanggang municipality is home to eight tributaries of the Yangtze River, including the Ba and Bailian rivers, with a combined basin area of 6,012 square kilometers, which run in parallel through the economic centers and most populated areas of the municipality.
Impact

Rural vitalization in the Yangtze River Economic Belt realized (Yangtze River Economic Belt Development Plan, 20162030

Outcome

Ecosystem services, livelihood opportunities, and climate resilience of the Dabie Mountain improved

Outputs

Institutional strengthening, policy, management and technical capacity for ecosystem protection and green development enhanced

Geographical Location Huanggang
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement B
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Responsible ADB Officer Cai, Xueliang
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Huanggang Municipal Government
Timetable
Concept Clearance 16 Nov 2022
Fact Finding 19 Apr 2023 to 26 Apr 2023
MRM 14 Jul 2023
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 16 Nov 2022

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