The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said here Wednesday it will provide China US$two billion in loans for environmental projects from 2001 to 2003, compared with US$2.3 billion for the past two decades.
Rolf Zelius, chief of the bank's Office of Environment and Social Development, told a forum on forestry and environmental protection that the bank also plans to offer China US$16 million in environmental technological assistance grants.
Addressing the environmental problems is one of the bank's major priorities, said the official.
Zelius promised more assistance for desertification control in Western China and for biodiversity projects.
"As requested by the Chinese government, the ADB is also playing a leading role in helping China develop a strategic partnership with the GEF (Global Environmental Facility) for land degradation in western China," he said.
Zelius said it is expected that more than 800 million U.S. dollars would be provided by the ADB and GEF and other international and bilateral donors for the implementation of the bank's program for western China.
China has been seeking international support in its effort to curb pollution and protect and improve the environment.
(Xinhua News Agency 09/05/2001 )