WASHINGTON, February 2, 2015—Today, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $100 million loan to the People’s Republic of China to support water management and anti-pollution efforts for the Lijiang River in Guilin, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
Tourism accounted for close to 20 percent of economic output in 2012 for the city known for the iconic river and surrounding karst formations in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
In recent years, the Guilin Municipal Government has taken many steps to maintain the water quality and prevent pollution of the Lijiang River through such measures as relocating industries, building wastewater treatment plants and landfills, and rehabilitating tributaries.
“The new project will support these efforts, building on our past experience from the World Bank-supported Guangxi Urban Environment Project,” said Sing Cho, World Bank’s Urban Specialist and task team leader for this project.
Implemented between 1998 and 2007, the earlier project focused on improving the environmental conditions in Guilin’s core urban area by improving wastewater collection and treatment, as well as effluent regulations and solid waste management.
The new Guilin Integrated Environment Management Project, to be implemented from 2015 to 2020, will focus on improving the water supply system and the collection and treatment capacity of Guilin’s wastewater treatment plants. It will also enhance sludge management, and strengthening water quality monitoring and pollution management to benefit local communities, as well as tourists.