The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved a loan of US$345mn to support China's global public goods initiative by promoting the adoption of environmentally friendly agricultural and rural development practices in the central provinces of Hubei and Hunan
The programme's objectives include reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming, enhancing carbon sequestration in farmlands, and improving the protection and restoration of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems. The loan will also strengthen the capacity of local governments to integrate environmental and decarbonisation goals into their rural revitalisation plans and investments.
The financing provided by the World Bank will complement a commitment of US$4.1bn made by the Government of China. The loan will support the China Green Agricultural and Rural Revitalisation Programme for Results, which aligns with China's national Rural Revitalisation Programme and is being implemented through five-year Rural Revitalisation Strategic Plans.
The initial phase of the programme will focus on consolidating earlier achievements in poverty eradication by promoting green agricultural development, modernising rural infrastructure, improving public services delivery, and enhancing rural governance.
Mara K. Warwick, World Bank's country director for China, Mongolia, and Korea, said, “China’s remarkable achievements in rural poverty reduction in the last four decades are at risk from climate change. Farmers need to adopt green agricultural practices to build resilience and contribute to China’s 2060 net-zero carbon goals. This programme will introduce targets and innovative practices for greening agriculture while enhancing the resilience of the government’s rural revitalisation programme in Hubei and Hunan, generating lessons that can be applied nationally.”
The programme aims to introduce targets and innovative practices for greening agriculture while strengthening the resilience of the government's rural revitalisation efforts, generating valuable lessons that can be applied nationwide. Key objectives of the programme include capacity building at various levels of governance, providing training and extension services to farmers and cooperatives, offering financial incentives to adopt climate-smart agriculture technologies, and improving rural wastewater and solid waste management services.
Additionally, the programme includes investments in mapping, monitoring, and evaluating rural infrastructure and public services, developing methodologies for measuring and reporting agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and establishing a green budgeting and expenditure tracking system at the local government level.
Hubei and Hunan, two economically significant provinces in China, are major agricultural producers with a considerable rural population. Despite progress in reducing poverty, a significant portion of the rural population in these provinces still live below the upper middle-income country poverty line of US$5.50 per day.