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
    Sectors Group
    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 Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 4385-PRC: Hubei Huanggang Dabie Mountain Ecosystem Protection and Carbon-Neutral Green Development Project
Ordinary capital resources US$ 200.00 million
Loan: Hubei Huanggang Dabie Mountain Ecosystem Protection and Carbon-Neutral Green Development Project
Agricultural Development Bank of China US$ 136.89 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
OP5: Promoting rural development and food security
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
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 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, 2016-2030)

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

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

Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Institutional capacity and knowledge for ecosystem protection and green development enhanced

Rural environment infrastructure and business opportunities in ecosystem protection improved

Climate-smart green rural development demonstrated

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
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 TRTA recon mission was fielded from 15 to 16 Sep 2022 to determine the scope and main approaches of the project. ADB approved the concept paper of the project and TRTA on 11 Nov 2022 to support the preparation of the project. A consulting firm was engaged and mobilized on 1 Dec 2022 to support the TA implementation and project preparation. TA inception mission was held on 12-16 Dec 2022, interim mission on 27 Feb to 3 Mar 2023, special review mission on 2-4 April 2023, and fact-finding mission on 15-22 May 2023. The TA final report was submitted by the consultants to ADB on 15 May 2023. The draft resettlement plans for the Bailian River Demonstration Zone and Xishui County were submitted to the TA consultants on 28 April 2023. The first draft domestic environmental impact tables were submitted to the TA consultants on 30 March 2023. Additionally, a second round of public consultation information was provided on 20 April 2023.
During Project Implementation
Responsible ADB Officer Cai, Xueliang
Responsible ADB Department Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development Sector Office (SG-AFNR)
Executing Agencies
Huanggang Municipal Government
Timetable
Concept Clearance 16 Nov 2022
Fact Finding 15 May 2023 to 22 May 2023
MRM 14 Aug 2023
Approval 20 Nov 2023
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 20 Nov 2023

Loan 4385-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 Nov 2023 28 Dec 2023 27 Mar 2024 31 Oct 2030 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 273.91 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 200.00 04 Apr 2024 0.00 0.00 0%
Counterpart 73.91 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 04 Apr 2024 0.00 0.00 0%

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Project Implementation consultants Consulting Services Firm - Consulting Closed

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan