WASHINGTON, D.C., May 11, 2015—Efforts to clean up an old mining area in Huainan Municipality and transform it into a park will be bolstered by a $100 million loan from the World Bank, approved today by its Board of Executive Directors.
Huainan Municipality, in northern Anhui Province, is a major coal producer. Coal mining has fueled local economic growth, but also led to large areas of subsidence and environmental degradation. The Huainan Mining Area Rehabilitation Project will target about 200 square kilometers of former mining areas, which account for about seven percent of the municipality’s land.
“By applying international good practices in remediation and redevelopment of mining subsidence areas, we hope to help the Huainan Municipal Government redevelop the mining area into a ‘green heart’ for the city to benefit the local communities,” said Xiaokai Li, World Bank’s Senior Water Resources Management Specialist and the project task team leader.
The project will help clean up and close dump sites, improve the storm water drainage system, and add vegetation and landscaping. It will finance the construction of roads and associated basic infrastructure and support economic redevelopment, including establishing tree nurseries, a flower market, a bonsai area, a visitors center, and a public recreation park.
About 20,000 local residents will benefit from the project’s improved environmental services, the appreciation of land and property values, and employment opportunities. Some 100,000 people are expected to visit the park each year for leisure and recreation.
“As the first operation of its type supported by the World Bank in China, the project can provide valuable experience for other regions facing the challenge of how bringing obsolete and degraded mining areas back to good and greener use,” Li said.