Final Evaluation for Payment for Watershed Services in the Chishui River Basin

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, China
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


Title Final Evaluation for Payment for Watershed Services in the Chishui River Basin
Atlas Project Number: 00079397
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, China
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2019
Planned End Date: 10/2019
Management Response: Yes
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
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Evaluation Budget(US $): 27,500
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 27,500
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Rong DAI National Consultant
Madhav Karki Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Payment for Watershed Services in the Chishui River Basin for the Conservation of Globally Significant Biodiversity
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5096
PIMS Number: 4822
Key Stakeholders:

The PWS Project was designed to harness the potential role for the payment for watershed services mechanism to address large scale environmental degradation in Chishui River Basin. This was planned within the framework of China’s eco-compensation policy to implement an integrated management approach balancing conservation with economic development agenda. While PWS has been designed well, however in order to ensure its full implementation and achievement of the envisaged outcomes and impacts, a long-term trust, fairness, inclusion and transparency based relationship between buyers and sellers is necessary. While the creation of a bridging organization REPPA as a NGO can build and nurture partnership between liquor business and local community in Wuma sub-watershed but it seems to us that REPPA is working more on behalf of the Liquor companies than for the wellbeing of the local communities. We suggest that REPPA leadership is further sensitized and made aware of the brokering role of NGO in ensuring good environmental governance since Governance determine how ecosystem services contribute to good ecosystem health and human wellbeing.   


Based on the very useful and insightful interactions with the Sanuyan village Committee, the TE team feels that while the committee is functioning well and its process of decision making is satisfactory as well as gender inclusion is moderately satisfactory, the inclusion of ethnic minorities whose population is significant in CRB are not found in any structure and process of the Committee; this concern was shared with the REPPA and the PMO and we strongly recommend to design and conduct a tailored capacity building package comprising of community mobilization, awareness raising and land use training on promoting biodiversity friendly land management practices in the settlements dominated by ethnic minorities.  


Mainstreaming of PES/PWS in policies, plans and programmes across scales, sectors and disciplines: While, the PWS mechanism has been integrated into the national and provincial Eco-compensation policy and a set of regulations and guidelines are found in place and the mainstreaming agenda is well on track, mainstreaming is still not apparent at local level. Although the TE team did not meet the four concerned EPBs, but based on the review of the available documents, it appears that there is a need to consolidate and correctly use the capacity built and awareness raised in proper enforcement of the provincial and local regulations in  an effective and result oriented manner.


We noted that the Guizhou Forestry and Agriculture Department (especially Bureau of Fisheries) as well as Land Management Department do not seem to play an active role in the Project. The project design itself seems to have missed out in allocating specific roles and responsibilities to them. For example, for intensifying afforestation and reforestation work, Forest Dept. has distinct role; for ensuring right kind of fruit species and associated growing agro-technology, Agriculture Dept. can provide crucial support; and monitoring of fish biodiversity can be enhanced and future action ensured if Bureau of Fishery is given role. Land Management department can help in planning and regulating land use change in a legally and permanent manner. In future this aspects needs more attention. 


The basic premise of PWS is: ‘ecosystem service producers as protectors and buyers or service users as payers’. Since an agreement exist between the producers (Wuma watershed farmers) and water users (Moutai and other companies) and payment of compensation amount will be managed through an intermediary GEPPRD and the ground level investment on ecosystem service enhancement will be managed by the REPPA on behalf of both the `producers’ and Payers’ so that the anticipated compensation funds are invested both in improving the ecosystem service stock and flow of good quality provisioning and regulating ecosystem services as well as contributing to community wellbeing. However, TE team is concerned about the capacity of REPAA and effectiveness of the EPBs of Bijie  Chishui, Renhuai and Zunyi. We therefore recommend to continue capacity development, stakeholder engagement and most importantly enforcement of quality governance including stronger and inclusive engagement with community, enforcement of regulations, monitoring of water quality, fish biodiversity and watershed health.    


The project goal of “Contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of globally significant biodiversity in China” is an ambitious and long-term goal which is possible through a series of scaling-out (expansion or extension of existing PWS pilots at a geographic and physical scale with an increase in land areas, population, investment and number of local, provincial and central level agencies) and Scaling up by using the pilot level good practice  as evidence to influence policy and knowledge, information, lessons learned to build capacity and mobilize fund for large scale land-use intensification with tree and fruit plants and other commercial natural vegetation.

We recommend three steps in this direction: a) implement the agreement among 3 riparian provinces of Chishui River – Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan – to do policy and institutional harmonization and share lessons learned from the PWS project so that all 3 provinces have compatible institutional arrangements to implement Basin scale Payment for watershed ecosystem services; b) the Guizhou Govt. should scale out and scale up the best land use change management practices and knowledge beyond Wuma watershed to cover the entire section of the Chishui river in Guizhou province and, c) Guizhou EPD helps develop a sustainable supply chain management through community-based new standardization and sales of ecosystem goods and services in the CRB.


We note that the Project objective to “operationalize a replicable PWS scheme in the Chishui River Basin to stimulate land and natural resource use systems that conserve biodiversity and sustain ecosystem processes; in the process, also improve the livelihoods of poor farming communities”  is on the right path towards achievement. However, for the impact, the full realization of the two project outcomes will be necessary. Necessary institutional framework for PWS development and management has been established at municipal and provincial levels for implementing PWS mechanism.  However, the TE team feels that while the framework and the structure exist but process of actually implementing policy and enforcing compliances and regular monitoring work will need to be internalized in various layers of the provincial and local governments.


Similarly, based on the visit to the Pilot PWS scheme in Sanuyan village and assessing the quality the demonstrated land use conversion systems in the Wuma sub-watershed, we feel that the concerned farmers seem to be passive participants (wage workers) in the production of ecosystem services. However, the main essence of the outcome 2 is to have the local community as active co-producers of watershed services engaged meaningfully with the NGO REPPA and the land use experts who have been contracted to convert the current disturbed agro-ecosystem into a verdant or lush green and rich biodiversity land use system. This will be possible if the village committees in all sub-watersheds are given incentives to use their knowledge, skill and learning in an innovative and imaginative manner. We recommend to introduce a principle of `care and share’ in managing the Plum, Cherry plum, Kiwi and Orange plantations by rewarding the good performers whose plots give best quality water or has high number of biodiversity species so as to create a peer learning and replicating environment.


The Wuma sub-watershed generated clean water, green mountains, lush forest, diverse agricultural goods and cultural and aesthetic values continue need to be used and enjoyed over time and the physical sustainability of their use and replenishment needs to monitored, their impacts on local economy, social cohesion, food security, food resiliency and overall human wellbeing must also be measured, monitored and critically evaluated and good governance, inclusive wellbeing and adaptive management should be gradually improved for a balanced conservation and development.    


Local communities in Wuma and other replicating sub-watersheds will be needing training on sustainable land use change related skills covering understanding ecosystem functions, processes, trends and impacts. The facilitating and empowering organization REPPA also needs to constantly update its skills to run an inclusive land use change management programmes ensuring that marginalized people (e.g. ethnic minorities) are on board and have a voice in the PWS decision making process.


The experience gained from a social learning process in Lake Baiyangdian catchment in China (see ESPA, 2018) which was heavily polluted and degraded catchment show that building relationships and raising awareness of social-ecological dependencies among key groups of water managers. This relationship has reframed watershed management and empowered local communities as water catchment managers. Similar long-term social-ecological process dependency exist in Wuma and other sub-watershed in CRB and this dependency can be made stable by making the participation of local communities meaningful.  

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213