As stated by the ADB, Dongting Lake with its wetland ecosystems is the second-largest freshwater lake in the People's Republic of China (PRC) (2,652 km2). Situated entirely within Hunan Province in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River basin, it was classified by World Wildlife Fund as one of the 200 global key ecozones. The wetlands are divided into three administrative areas (municipalities) containing four nature reserves. Located in the southwest part of Dongting Lake downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, South Dongting Lake (SDL) was established as a nature reserve in 1991. In 2002, it was accredited as a Ramsar site (with an area of 168,000 hectares) and it became a provincial nature reserve in 2018. About 90% of SDL is located in Yuanjiang city, accounting for 40% of its municipal land area.
Restoring wetland and freshwater ecosystems while building long-term climate resilience is the proposed project's approach. Identified project measures will enhance resilience by reducing exposure and sensitivity to climate risks and strengthening the adaptive capacity in the SDL basin. The project will be focused to improving the protection and sustainable management of SDL and the species it supports and it will be the first major investment project for the RFI and significantly contribute to ADBs nature positive agenda.
The project will incorporate lessons from ADB-financed projects on ecological protection and lake environmental protection in PRC's Hunan province. Lessons from other ADB-financed projects on biodiversity conservation and green financing mechanisms in other PRC provinces will also inform the project design. Past experiences and lessons include (i) eco-compensation programs to incentivize local farmers and households to adopt eco-farming and wetland-friendly farming practices; (ii) institutional strengthening and interagency coordination for effective and basin-wide wetland and freshwater ecosystem protection; (iii) use of nature-based solutions (NBS) to improve conservation and restoration practices; (iv) design of incentive mechanisms to promote private sector investment in low-carbon and climate-resilient solutions.
The ADB categorized the project E&S risks as follows:
ADB Team Leader:
Silvia Cardascia - Water Resources Specialist
No contacts provided at the time of disclosure.
Executing Agency - Yuanjiang Municipal Government:
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