Terminal Evaluation of the Sustainable Land Management Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2019-2023, Philippines
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
06/2020
Completion Date:
03/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of the Sustainable Land Management Project
Atlas Project Number: 00089948
Evaluation Plan: 2019-2023, Philippines
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2020
Planned End Date: 06/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Goal
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 16,242
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Eduardo Queblatin Mr equeblatin@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Implementation of SLM Practices to Address Land Degradation and Mitigate Effects of Drought
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5767
PIMS Number: 5365
Key Stakeholders: Department of Agriculture Bureau of Soils and Water Management
Countries: PHILIPPINES
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Consolidate the Models for Best Practice. BSWM and other agency partners to consolidate the support the piloting actions started in the LGU pilots in the next two-year period. This would consist of activities that would help trained LGU staff to better apply SLM learnings in relevant LGU processes that will establish the foundations for SLM. At the same time, this will help in making the two pilot LGUs become more convincing Philippine models of mainstreaming of SLM in local governance. Two years represent the period when legally binding CLUP updating will actually be conducted. It is also a period to generate additional field experience that can be documented as best practice case studies to support subsequent promotional programs. To start the consolidation process, it is recommended that BSWM and consultants to jointly conduct a one day consolidation meeting with each LGU (MPDC, MAO, ENRO and PLGU counterparts and the regional DA and ATI) before the end of project to recapitulate the Project recommendations that can be included in the content of the ILMF, CLUP and CDP, and firm up lines of communication for sustained partnership. This meet up will also better define the needed technical support from BSWM and partners, using regular agency resources. Among the items for discussion and agreement would be: • Recap of expert recommendations. These would particularly include findings on the inherent soil related issues and expert recommendations that were shared spontaneously and intermittently by the SLM specialist earlier. Facilitate reflection and internalization of issues and solution pathways. These recommendations would be directed at the CLUP, CDP or special programs that the LGU is contemplating such as the Malaybalay SLM upscaling program. • Complete the ILMF, NPAAAD, SAFDZ and CLUP processes. Based on the above consultations, clarify and address the residual mapping and other technical needs of the LGUs concerned to complete the ILMF. Under the recently launched updating program, prioritize the upgrading of the NPAAAD and SAFDZ in these two LGUS and reconcile with the ILMF in the process. Reflect the ILMF recommendations in the NPAAAD and SAFDZ process. As needed, provide on call assistance to the LGU in the actual incorporation to the CLUP during the latter’s updating period. • PLGU role. The recommendations will also discuss on how to more effectively tap important PLGU programs that currently support the city /municipal initiatives. Of particular significance is to deepen the interaction with the ongoing Livelihood assistance program of the Leyte Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO); and relevant programs of Bukidnon PLGU (e.g. PENRO initiative to support local level watershed planning and expand pilots on Payment for Environment Services; and PAO program for upland agriculture. • Role of the private sector in the ILMF. As additional part of the ILMF, consider the formulation of recommendations to factor the role of agro-industrial plantations. The recommendations may include the identification of decision frameworks that can be used so that plantation operations are biodiversity and soil conservation friendly among others. Such decision frameworks may cite the need to for collaborative work between the DA regional offices (e.g. GAP certification) and DENR and EMB regional offices (conduct of IEE and EIA processes and preparation of Environmental Management Plans). • Identify/launch the interim extension approach. Identify and agree on an interim extension design that will help the LGU MAO disseminate the results of the demonstration trials among farmers pending the development of the formal FFS module by ATI (not expected until 2022). This may involve the use of other FFS modalities (farmer to farmer, learning site, etc.). Identify LGU, RFO and regional ATI resources for farmers training and extension that can be mobilized for this purpose. Learn from the experience of ATs and cooperators who were involved in the earlier demonstrations with the help of the SLM expert. Develop IEC materials (posters, etc.) to help in the diffusion process. • Documentation of key local governance process flow incorporating SLM. On the 2nd year, the BSWM, DA SPCMAD, HLURB and the DILG to collaborate to document the experience of Malaybalay and Abuyog about the decision making, planning and action stage of the LGU in partnership with line agencies and the actual early outcome and lessons learned. This can be used by both the HLURB and the DILG including its Local Government Academy) in their training programs for LGUs. The experience can also help inform specific existing or potential policy instruments (e.g. guidelines for ILMF and CLUP preparation; Guidelines for Biodiversity friendly agriculture; or inclusion of SLM as part of the criteria for the recognition systems for good governance.
2 Maximize Project Learnings to Strengthen BSWM’s Capacity to Support Outscaling and Upscaling. Facilitate internal discussions within and among key BSWM program offices /divisions to systematically incorporate innovative analytical and planning tools that have been piloted under the SLM project into the Bureau’s operating procedures for its regular services covering land degradation assessment, agricultural land use planning /zoning and extension and research on soil conservation measures. This is to ensure improved capacity to meet expected increase in demand for replication of SLM experience in other LGUs i.e. conduct of land degradation assessment using CLDI, preparation of ILMF, and promoting best practice to mitigate the degradation. With the systems in place, the previously trained BSWM staff can then apply their learnings (trainings and hands-on experience) from the SLM project to run the operating systems and deliver services to a greater number of LGUs. Specified actions may include: • Land degradation assessment and monitoring and the role of CLDI. Certain residual methodological issues need to be resolved before its practice will be reflected as a future organic service of BSWM. o As focal point for UNCCD, the BSWM needs to make a determination on how CLDI would fit into the overall scheme of LD LDN program to which the Philippines has already committed to implement. Under LDN, the monitoring parameters are different (LC, NPP and SOC). Since UNCCD has not adopted the CLDI, the other consideration is the absence of a global scientific platform that would support future trouble shooting needs or further development of CLDI. o If the two indicator systems can be reconciled, will there be sufficient benefit to justify allocation of resources to unify the two systems? If the unified schema is developed, how will tasks be allocated among the different offices of BSWM as well as the DA regional offices? • The role of ILMF in NPAAAD and SAFDZ. The piloting work for ILMF in the two LGUs was a comprehensive process that covered part of the information needed for the conduct of NPAAAD and SAFDZ processes. The ILMF represents the backbone of the forthcoming supplemental guidelines for mainstreaming SLM in CLUP. Key questions for consideration are: o How will the current related services of the BSWM be configured to provide the technical support to LGUs who will want to undertake ILMF process? o As the ILMF has built analysis that is analogous to that of the NPAAAD and SAFDZ, can it replace the regular NPAAAD and SAFDZ services as currently practiced (at least in areas where ILMF will be conducted. o Can the recently launched updating program for NPAAAD and SAFDZ incorporate some features of the ILMF so that other LGUs who cannot do an ILMF can benefit from some form of improved analysis under the ILMF? o How will the BSWM and HLURB work together to provide unified technical support to the ILMF process as LGUs apply these in their CLUP? a) Policy brief on the nature of LD in the humid tropics and adaptation strategies. The Project established new premises for adopting the definition of LD in the humid tropics and provided evidence to support such. It also includes a participatory methodology to determine the CLDI. The BSWM may wish to double check the application domain of the new premises as well as address other new issues and opportunities that arose from the implementation and incorporate the above in the research and development. This should then be the basis for formulating the BSWM technical bulletin for this purpose and for preparing a Policy Brief to communicate policy recommendation to the DA to support the new Secretary’s policy initiative entitled “New Thinking in Agriculture”
3 Assemble and Utilize Curated Knowledge Products for the Information Needs for Upscaling and Outscaling. Using available project resources, conduct an IEC workshop(s) or bilateral workshops among the key planners and IEC specialists from targeted program of agencies to identify, prioritize and describe the list of SLM knowledge products that would be needed to support the integration of SLM concept and learnings into the targeted agency programs (through their organic training programs). These targeted programs and activities would include the following: • DA- SLM integration points for overall AFMP preparation and climate change adaptation programs. • BSWM (integrating CLDI and other innovations into land degradation assessment, agri land use planning and soil conservation extension). • FMB (integrating SLM in FLUP and CBFM). • DAR (support services for ARBs). • HLURB (integrating SLM in training module for land use planning protocol). The powerful new information on the nature of LD in the humid tropics and the participatory process of measuring can be further articulated as a policy brief to inform the future updating of the AFMP. Based on above list, identify what available knowledge products can already be used (with some annotations) and others that still need to be either improved or developed. This will include the story line that BSWM prepared for Abuyog and Malaybalay. Using organic funds of respective agencies, facilitate the development of prioritized IEC materials (one folio for each agency) to support downstream information campaigns that the agencies will be conducting. These IEC products would be derived from the technical literature materials developed by the Project. If resources allow, engage the services of a development communication professional or utilize the senior IEC expert at the umbrella department office who will work with SLM Project experts (pro bono) and respective planning officers to help identify and extract the effective development messages of SLM (with minimal soil science jargon). These messages (laymanized for non-soils experts) should resonate with the mandates and felt needs of the target agency program and its stakeholders. IEC specialists who can translate the above into actual packages /collaterals will also be engaged. The outcome of such products developed above will be used by the different agencies in their training programs for SLM.
4 Accelerate the Preparation of SLM in FLUP and Initiate the same for the CBFM Program. To take advantage of the momentum started at FMB, the BSWM and FMB will collaborate to conduct an orientation program for the DENR personnel responsible for promoting the FLUP and CBFM processes. These would include FMB-based personnel and FLUP personnel in DENR regional offices where the pilot LGUs are located (regions 8 and 10). Entry points for the mainstreaming would be identified by FMB. The BSWM would share the cumulative information and lessons learned from both previous and current projects (SLM, SCoPSA). It would engage other bureaus of DA to provide a more holistic support to the FLUP and CBFM process. Examples of other DA offices would be the BPI which has the expertise for horticultural practices needed to maintain agriculture tree crops in agroforestry systems that are promoted. On the part of the DENR, explore how the ERDB can be involved in the dialogue so that it can incorporate key topics in its R&D agenda. 2. Should the opportunity be available, the FMB to give priority for incorporating SLM in FLUP and CBFM in the pilot LGUs. At the LGU level, discuss ways to provide interphase between the ILMF and FLUP particularly in agriculture landscapes located in forest land. It is also recommended that the project use the FLUP process as mechanism to help stakeholders understand the cross sectoral interaction across the watershed and between forests, agriculture, urban areas and water bodies, in this connection the contributions of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and the River Basin Control Office may be tapped
5 Further suggestions to ensure cross sectoral orientation of next generation SLM projects in production landscapes. One of the key findings of this evaluation was the lack of guidance on how cross sectoral perspective can guide SLM interventions, particularly in production landscapes. This need to be addressed in the next generation SLM projects. The following are some suggestions that can be applied in agricultural landscapes located under different legal regimes: private agricultural lands; ancestral domains or production forest lands (particularly in CBFM areas). This can build on project lessons not only of the SLM project but also of other relevant GEF assisted initiatives. These include for instance the SLM component of the GEF UNDP Biodiversity Corridor Project (has large SLM earmarks) and GEF Small Grants Program. DA and DENR interphase as backbone for cross sectoral convergence. The convergence of policy-based actions by the both the DA, and DENR (working with the LGU) is crucial because they set the key land use technical standards and they have resources to influence stakeholder actions. The interaction with other sectors (particularly NCIP, DAR, DILG etc.) is equally critical. But the effective collaboration between DA and DENR (together with the LGU) is the backbone of interagency cross sectoral convergence. Primacy of the watershed framework (four current tracks). To promote actual cross sectoral orientation, the watershed or the lower scale micro watershed may be strongly considered as the common planning unit. This is the biophysical framework upon which the forestry – agriculture systems interaction happens in a major way. This is also the key mechanism advocated by the Philippine NAPDLDD (NAP to combat Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought) as commitment to the UNCCD and the Paris Agreement. There are other equally valuable categories of ecosystems that can be used as the planning frameworks such as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and biodiversity corridors. But the watershed framework is the one that LGUs and other stakeholders can more immediately relate to because it is associated with a crucial need for water supply and management (a central climate change related issue). This approach is already being started in the Philippines though at least 4 tracks. The first track is the National Convergence Initiative or NCI which enables the DA, DENR, DAR and DILG to coordinate actions in some 145 sites associated with watersheds. The second track would be efforts in 18 flagship river basins, initiated by River Basin councils. The third track would be other initiatives usually led by LGUs, to protect local watersheds. Every 2 -3 years, many of the LGUs under the 3rd track meet to share experiences and agree on policy advocacies . The 4th track would be civil society initiatives supported by small grant facilities. These community efforts often target community watersheds associated with biodiversity where IKSP by IP communities play a role. Cross sectoral perspective in problem diagnosis. Whether implemented in nationally designated major watersheds or river basins or in LGU designated priority watersheds (i.e. the 3 tracks), the basic planning unit can start at the micro watershed level, where immediately doable actions (by LGUs and national agencies), using local resources, can be initiated. Planning in the micro watershed should ideally start with a participatory rapid appraisal using cross sectoral perspective. This would be engendered by awareness of ongoing livelihood systems as perceived by stakeholders (disaggregated by gender) as well as IKSP/ local knowledge systems. Incentive systems. Part of the appraisal may include understanding the current system of incentives and disincentives managed by various sectoral agencies /programs that influence the practice (or nonpractice) of SLM both by small farmers and big plantations. The results of the dialogue can be potentially used to support the formulation of CDP and LGU extension programs. Adapting national programs to location specific cross sectoral needs. Both the DA and DENR have flagship programs that need to be increasingly adapted to location specific situations as represented in each watershed. This will involve a participatory negotiation process that can be facilitated by the LGU (particularly PLGU), the academe, and civil society partners. Within the watershed construct, relevant agency programs may be adapted and customized where possible. To support core integrated functions such as: • Watershed management • Biodiversity (within forests, farmlands and water bodies) • DRR and CCA • Community food systems, livelihoods, social protection and tenure to enhance a stewardship culture Levelling up to the bigger watershed and broader constituencies. Work at the micro watershed level should eventually be upscaled to the bigger watershed and river basin initiative where it belongs to take advantage of a broader constituency for its efforts. For instance, the SLM actions in Malaybalay may be linked to the bigger work of the Cagayan De Oro River Basin Immediately doable steps. In the context of the above scenario, some practical doable actions may be considered by the DA and the DENR, collectively and individually, to help guide the development of the next generation SLM projects. • Identify relevant recurrent learnings from the 4-watershed convergence “tracks” above (i.e. NCI, River basins, LGU and civil society initiatives). The study of the 4th track (civil society) may be done collaboratively with Small Grants Facilities. • Learn how social capital can be effectively developed to draw optimum stakeholder support from “Ridge to Reef”. Pinpoint what governance approaches are doable. • Finetune GEF initiated planning tools. Provide opportunities for fine tuning and where possible integration of various cross sectoral oriented planning tools that have been developed for ecologically sensitive areas (some through GEF assisted projects). • Accelerate setting of standards, plan, promote and monitor support programs that apply BD friendly and watershed friendly agriculture . • The convergence technology for DA and DENR is agroforestry which happens to be among the most effective CCA mechanism. Agroforestry competencies need to be developed within each agency BSWM and FMB as initial catalysts with GEF CSO network. The above DA and DENR dialogue can be initiated by the BSWM (referred sometimes as the environmental arm of DENR) and FMB. It would also be ideal if the respective Foreign Assisted Projects Offices and research and extension arms are involved (FASPO, SPCMAD, BAR, ATI and ERDB) are involved as reference, to ensure a flow of evidence-based information. It is also suggested that the technical inputs of the GEF CSO network be also tapped because of the rich lessons and best practices, emanating from community solutions coming from GEF Small Grants programs

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