WASHINGTON, December 19, 2019—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$150 million loan to help China improve sustainable forest ecosystem management in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River Basin.
“China’s environmental challenges are unique in scale and complexity, and of global importance,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank Country Director for China. "The new program will demonstrate ways to restore and better manage forest ecosystems and conserve biodiversity. We hope it will contribute to China’s efforts to green its development path and reduce carbon emissions."
The Forest Ecosystem Improvement in the Upper Reaches of Yangtze River Basin Program will be implemented in Sichuan Province, a global biodiversity hotspot covering half of the upstream area of the Yangtze River Basin. With the objective to improve sustainable forest ecosystem management in support of the government’s Large-Scale Greening Sichuan Program, it will focus on two areas:
- Promoting best practices for forest ecosystem management to increase forest cover, improve forest quality and resilience, and improve the effectiveness of ecosystem management and restoration;
- Strengthening institutional capacity in support of sustainability by improving long-term forest management planning at provincial and county levels, promoting inclusive forest carbon trading system development as part of the national Emissions Trading System, strengthening and standardizing the forestry sector financial performance management system, and improving training and technical services.
The program will deliver global public goods by promoting sound forest management practices to enhance forestry’s contribution to ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration. It is estimated that around 23.53 million tons of net carbon dioxide equivalent will be sequestered over a 30-year period. The program will also improve ecological services in the form of hydrology, water security, and ecosystem functions provided by the Yangtze River Basin.