Integrated Enviromental Management of the Fanga'uta Lagoon Catchment

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2019
Completion Date:
03/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Integrated Enviromental Management of the Fanga'uta Lagoon Catchment
Atlas Project Number: 00077082
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Fiji
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2019
Planned End Date: 03/2019
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 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
SDG Target
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 25,072
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Arun Rijal Terminal Evaluator arunrijal@yahoo.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Tonga Ridge to Reef
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5663
PIMS Number: 5219
Key Stakeholders: Tonga Government
Countries: FIJI
Lessons
Findings
1.

3. Findings

3.1 Project Design/Formulation

The project was designed to address the identified problem by improving capacity of planners, policy makers and local community groups with knowledge, institutional capacity so that catchment management will be mainstreamed in development planning and also to facilitate effective implementation of policies, plans and investments that will prevent desertification (mangrove), sedimentation, water pollution, promote scientific land use planning and improve local economy and livelihoods. The project aimed at reducing environmental risks to farmers and fishers by enhancing their knowledge on sustainable management, knowledge of sustainable utilisation of ecosystem services and ecotourism. The design of RRF was very clear with clear output milestones, activities for each output and SMART indicators to monitor implementation and achievements. The project was designed to work at both a macro level (national government scale) and a micro level (local government and pilot sites or local scale). On the national level, it aimed to identify policy gaps and recommend legislative needs, develop policies for securing lagoon ecosystem and utilisation ecosystem services sustainably. At the micro level it aimed to work at developing capacity of local government and community groups to address lagoon catchment issues, generating awareness among communities and authorities, facilitating decision making of fishers and farmers on sustainable resource use, control soil erosion, control water pollution, establish degraded lagoon habitat and promote environment friendly income generation activities. Sites within the lagoon and watershed areas were identified for project activities based on the information on vulnerability status. 

The implementing and executing institutions were involved in the project from the project design phase and the design involved a thorough analysis of capacities of various partners and their interests. Project design incorporated lessons learned from several relevant projects in Tonga and other island countries but still technical aspects of some of the activities have room for improvement to make them more effective and sustainable. The roles and responsibilities of the implementing partners and other institutions were clearly defined in the project design. Hence to address the identified problem, the project was designed to apply the following approaches:

(i) Institutionalize Policy framework and guidelines to address threats to Fanga’uta catchment;

(ii) Develop and systematically apply guidelines and criteria for Fanga’uta Lagoon management to enable priority allocation of risk reduction efforts and investments;

(iii) Engage with global, regional and national research networks and centres working on Lagoon catchment and island issues;

(iv) Develop risk and vulnerability maps for Fanga’uta catchment with the highest risk and exposure of lives, livelihoods and ecosystem;

(v) Conduct preparedness actions for vulnerable communities to reduce risks from forest and land degradation;

(vi) Establish community-based system for addressing land degradation, deforestation and pollution issues;

(vii) Establish land degradation risk reduction measures such as soil erosion control, sedimentation control, plantation, management of household and enterprise waste and increased vegetation cover;

(viii) Document technical knowledge and project lessons for use in future initiatives; and

(ix) Disseminate project experiences to policy makers and development planners in Tonga.  


Tag: Climate change governance Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Knowledge management Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Risk Management Theory of Change Capacity Building

2.

3.1.3 Lessons from other Relevant Projects incorporated into Project Design

This project is built on the Pacific Island Ridge-to-Reef approach and the conceptual framework outlined in the Program Framework Document (PFD) of the programmatic approach entitled "R2R Pacific Islands Ridge-to-Reef National Priorities – Integrated Water, Land, Forest and Coastal Management to Preserve Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods" under GEF support. The project is benefited from several other projects implemented by various institutions in Tonga related to biodiversity conservation and adaptive management. The project used baseline information from the baseline activities of the Government of Tonga are through the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC). Project is also benefited from Tonga’s National Strategic Development Framework 2009–2014, the Draft Regional Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands Region 2014 – 2020, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Pacific Islands Framework of Action on Climate Change 2006–2015, the Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Framework for Action. Lessons from many projects implemented in Tonga and other Islands of the southern Pacific Ocean were also used to develop this project. A list of projects whose lessons were utilised to develop this project is described in the ProDoc (P.25) in the chapter “Linkage with other GEF & non-GEF Interventions.”

3.1.4 Planned Stakeholder Participation

The Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) is the lead implementing agency. MEIDECC will also coordinate with other line ministries and public entities for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of ecosystem services in the Fanga’uta Lagoon and catchment areas. Other stakeholders at the national level include NGOs, academic and research communities, and concerned business sector representatives or developers. Division and local levels stakeholders include the division, district and village government units, NGOs, churches, local business groups, community organizations and local associations or co-operatives of farmers, fishers, and other resident groups dependent upon the lagoon space, catchment, resources and processes (for ecosystem services) such as pig farms, aquaculture producers and processing, shellfish and jellyfish gatherers, mangrove bark users, lagoon settlements, and tourism groups, particularly those are often operated by women and young people. The main roles of the national level stakeholder are to ensure political and executive support for the activities, generate co-financing from potential agencies while local stakeholders were more involved in planning, implementation activities and management of lagoon resources and ecosystems. Some local leaders and community representatives, including women and youth, were trained and participated in the monitoring of environment and this also helped to improve knowledge and awareness of local communities in the protection and conservation of the lagoon’s ecosystems and maintain ecosystem services. The involvement of local stakeholders and FLC communities in management of ecosystem goods and services of the Fanga’uta Lagoon also makes intervention sustainable.


Tag: Climate change governance Green Climate Green Economy Natural Resouce management Relevance Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Local Governance Partnership Programme/Project Design Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government Private Sector

3.

3.1.6 UNDP Comparative Advantage

During the inception workshop, UNDP’s project assurance role was presented and discussed in detail. The participants endorsed the assurance role described in the approved project document. Enhancement of capacities at the national and sub-national levels has been considered by UNDP to be essential for promoting disaster risk reduction. Accordingly, and in line with the government’s national priorities, support to enhance capacities and make planning evidence based in the fields of SLM and sea was also a priority area. The R2R Project is deemed to be congruent with these priorities as elaborated in the Millennium Development Goal 7 where ensuring environment sustainability is the first priority programme areas for Tonga; second, UNDAF priority for improved living conditions through environmental management for Sustainable Development, the third UNDP Country Program Action Plan (2008-2012) and the fourth it also pave road to the Sub-regional Programme document for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (2018-2022). The project is in line with the pillars of technical and financial assistance which form the foundation from which risks of land degradation can be reduced in the Fanfan’uta lagoon catchment. Specifically, the project will help to realise four pillars identified by UNDP:

• Development of the capacity of the local population to adapt best practices on land and sea management; • Establish knowledge base and assure access to information to encourage evidence-based planning; • Engagement of communities and local government and NGOs to reduce risk of land, sea and lagoon degradation; and • Networking with national and regional organisations working in the field of land, sea and lagoon issues.

UNDP has been working in the field of environment protection, disaster risk reduction, SLM, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources for economic development and poverty alleviation. UNDP has a lot experience from these areas. The project has benefited from UNDP’s experience during the project development phase through to implementation. This project aimed to encourage national and local authorities and communities in mitigating land degradation risks like soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, drought etc., by enhancing their capacities for addressing climate change and land degradation. In addition, the project also aimed to establish early warning systems to promote informed decision making by farmers and pastoralists. The project also benefited from UNDP in mobilizing additional funds, building capacity at the local level from its past experiences and supporting a policy review. 


Tag: Climate change governance Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Relevance Global Environment Facility fund Oversight Programme Synergy Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning

4.

3.2 Project Implementation

Fanga’uta Lagoon and its catchment areas were selected by the project to implement policies, plans and investments that prevent soil degradation, maintain ecological integrity and support economic development of local communities.

3.2.1 Adaptive Management

The Project’s adaptive management was moderate with some technical feedback lacking and also monitoring missed to identify issues in some cases. The project was driven by the capable management team, backed by good decision-making by the Project Steering Committee, support and advice from the UNDP-PO. Adaptive management has operated effectively at the strategic level but at the technical level it was found weak due to weak monitoring. No major changes were made in the project design and no new outputs were added but only prioritisation of outputs. As suggested in the inception report, the project redefined its scope and improved indicators and made activities more clear. Adoption of inception report recommendations is described under the heading “Feedback from M&E activities used for adaptive management”. As most of the project activities including baseline study on biophysical and socio-economic situation were conducted late, the project could not monitor the impact, success and challenges of the plans. Similarly, eco-tourism activities of Vaini village was facing problem due to conflict between women’s group and City council officer and project was not able to work on the issue timely to address the problem. Likewise, SMA of Nukunukumotu was also facing problem due to dispute between two communities which was not addressed timely. The project was designed to pilot in Fanga’uta Lagoon based on the recommendation of the vulnerability assessments. Project utilised lessons from the earlier projects in this sector and also from the ongoing project to strengthen the project implementation and management.

3.2.2 Partnership Arrangements

The Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications was the executing agency and also the GEF Focal Point and hosts and chairs the National Environment and Climate Change Committee with representation from the planning and implementing sectoral departments, specifically Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Tourism, Lands, PUMA, public health, Internal Affairs, Geology, Private Sectors and NGOs. These agencies were involved in the project from the development stage. Other partners involved in consultation were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Aid Management Division of the Ministry of Finance and the National Planning. The Tonga Trust, a coordinating body for many NGOs, the Civil Society Forum of Tonga, an umbrella group for other NGOs, particularly representing women’s organizations and the Tonga National Youth Council, which is a youth coordinating network, are members of the NECCC. Involvement of these organisations ensured the voices of communities, especially women, are heard in project determination and in participation to gain benefits from the project. Several NGOs played role in working with communities. The Tonga Trust provided community-based research and extension support to project; and the Civil Society provided community assistance in allocating financial assistance to national projects under the Small Grants Programme. Similarly, the Tonga National Fisheries Association which is an umbrella NGO for fisheries was also involved in the project to contribute in fisheries and coastal programs mainly to advocate and assist in the public awareness through all members (subsistence, artisanal, and commercial fishermen). 


Tag: Partnership Project and Programme management UN Agencies South-South Cooperation Climate change governance Biodiversity Global Environment Facility fund Knowledge management

5.

3.2.3 Gender

Women and children are the ones who are most vulnerable to land & water degradation, reduction in food production and climate change. As women are the ones who are involved in food production to food preparation and collection of wood for cooking and water for drinking they are most vulnerable to the effects of drought, soil degradation and deforestation. The project therefore gave priority from the project development phase to implementation and made efforts to include women in all activities to enhance their knowledge and capacity, build leadership capacity, improve their economic situation, increase food production and decrease drudgery. The project provided practical knowledge to address land degradation and promote sustainable land management. Considering gender mainstreaming to include increasing equity regarding access to and control over production resources, equity in sharing benefits and reducing inequities in gender distribution of labour, this project significantly contributed to increasing equity at community level. Both women and men benefited from the activities of the project. Women were also highly represented in the community groups formed with the support from the project and several of them were also led by women. Through support to CBOs, both women and men’s capacity to manage their own groups was built. 


Tag: Natural Resouce management Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Technical Support

6.

3.2.5 Project Finance

The total project cost as per project document was US$8,406,880 which includes US1,756,880 in cash and US$6,650,000 in kind. Of these, the GEF contribution was expected to be US$1,756,880 in cash and in-kind contributions included UNDP of US$500,000, Government of Tonga’s (GoT) of US$650,000 and non-government partner and collaborators of US$5,500,000. If project spending is used as a basis of measure of the progress of implementation, then the Project has achieved most of the progress originally envisaged.

Co-financing was well planned and clearly mentioned in the project document. Co-financing ratio and amount later changed after revising project finance. There was no difference between committed contribution and actual contribution from the GEF as well as UNDP. Inkind contribution from the Government of Tonga was far higher than committed while kind contribution from the development partners and other collaborators was far less then committed (Table 2 and 8). The committed amount of Government of Tonga was US$650,000 while the actual contribution was US$1,896,888.67 i.e. 29183% higher than committed amount. Similarly, committed amount of development partners and other collaborators was US$5,500,000 while actual contribution was US$21,315 i.e. only 0.39% of the committed amount. It was expected that R2R and the projects of the development partners will run alongside but their project commenced very late so their contribution was received only for the few activities at the latter part of this project and the total committed support was not received. The executing and implementing agencies made close monitoring of the financial transactions and program implementation and materialised the fund for activities by changing mode of payment and this helped to accomplish the activities much faster than during the initial year.

- Project management cost was proposed at US$83,660 and primarily funded by GEF and actual contribution from GEF for management was same as proposed, but additional in-kind contribution was made by the government of Tonga for management with equivalent to US$ 137,436.83. So GEF contributed 38% of the management cost while GoT contributed 62% in kind of the management cost.

- Project management costs comprised about 5.3% of the total spent (both cash & kind). Original closing date of the project was December 2017 but due to delay in initial years and slow implementation in the beginning, the closing date was changed to 30 June 2018 and this also increased in kind management cost from GoT.

- The project was co-financed by the UNDP, GoT and Development Partners and collaborators. The final GEF co-finance ratio in terms of monies spent was 1:2 (US$1,756,879 (GEF)) to US$2,418,203.67 (UNDP+GoT+Dev. Partners), This is a good result as GEF requirement is at least 1:1 ratio;

- Spending on Component 1, 2, 3 and 4 (US$ 282,782, US$473398.08, US$3128136.8 and 51398.55) accounted for 6.8%, 11.3%, 75% and 1.2% of the total spend respectively, while management costs (US$239366.82 i.e. 5.7%) was not much higher than component 1, 2, 3 but only higher than component 4.

- GEF funding was distributed among all five components while UNDP funding was only allocated to component 1 (Table 2). GoT support was through in-kind contribution while development partners and collaborators contribution was for implementation of project activities. Of the total GEF fund, 8.9% was spent on component 1, 14.23% on component 2, 69.2% on component 3, 2.8% on component 4 and 4.76% on component 5. UNDP funds were allocated only for component 3.

Table 2: Total disbursement of funds by output (to end March 2018) (US$) against full project budget as per Project Document.


Tag: Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government

7.

3.2.6 Monitoring and Evaluation: Design at Entry and Implementation M&E Design

The project design included good monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan which is comprehensive in its depth and scope. The project had a log-frame to monitor achievement and the log-frame had clear objectives, components and appropriate to the issues and also designed considering the timeframe of the project. A detailed survey was conducted following the standard scientific methods to identify the most vulnerable sites which helped to judge impact of the interventions. Roles and responsibilities of the partners were made clear from the project design phase. The indicators (mostly) of the logframe were all Specific; Measurable; Attributable; Relevant, Achievable Realistic or Time-bound. At the stage of the inception, clarifications and updates were made to the M & E plan but no major change was made. All activities were listed and explained, and a table was included determining responsibilities, budgets and timeframe for each. M&E budgets was set realistically, with a total proposed amount of USD 52,000 (Fifty-Two Thousand) being set aside specifically for M&E activities. Actual management cost was only USD31,024.01 and this indicates that allocated budget for M&E was appropriate and also expenses for M&E is realistic and unable to use all M&E budget coincides with weak monitoring. Baselines were already set (except of few outputs of outcome 2) in the Project Document. The inclusions of indicators for each activity were not only appropriate and useful for evaluation but also good for management purposes.

The design of M&E included fully itemised and costed plan in the Project Document covering all the various M&E steps including the allocation of responsibilities; provision for monitoring of technical aspects and feedback mechanisms were good. Similarly targets were realistic for the time frame, hence monitoring and evaluationdesign has been evaluated as Highly Satisfactory.

M&E Implementation

Monitoring and evaluation of the project activities has been undertaken in varying detail at three levels:

i. Progress monitoring

ii. Internal activity monitoring

iii. Impact monitoring

Progress monitoring has been good and was being done through quarterly and annual reporting to the UNDP-PO. The annual work plans have been developed at the end of each year with inputs from Project staff and the UNDP-PO. The annual work plans were then submitted for endorsement to the Project Steering Committee, and subsequently sent to UNDP for formal approval. The implementing team has also been largely in regular communication with the UNDP-PO regarding progress, the work plan, and its implementation. The indicators from the log frame (few needed improvement) were used in measuring progress and performance. The project management has also ensured that the UNDP-PO received quarterly progress reports providing updates on the status of planned activities, the status of the overall project schedule, deliverables completed, and an outline of the activities planned for the following quarter. The reports’ format contained quantitative estimates of project progress based on financial disbursements. The UNDP-PO generated its own quarterly financial reports from Atlas. These expenditure records, together with Atlas disbursement records of any direct payments, served as a basis for expenditure monitoring and budget revisions, the latter taking place bi-annually following the disbursement progress. Monitoring of activities was weak and due to that feedback mechanism was affected which resulted in damage of saplings in school and private afforestation, damage of mangrove afforestation and nursery, due to weak planning there was no provision of boat for monitoring of SMA by communities and latter two boats were ordered after request from the community (with funding arranged from partners) but procurement didn’t include motor for the boats, conflict lingered for long time in tourism site of Vaini and SMA of Nukunukumotu etc. 


Tag: Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Risk Management Technical Support

8.

3.2.7 UNDP and Implementing Partners Implementation / Execution, Coordination and Operational Issues Project Oversight

The project was implemented following National Implementing Modality (NIM) to ensure broad stakeholder participation and to create both flexibility and an enabling environment for innovation. The project execution was led by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications in close coordination with UNDP Pacific Office. There was very good communication and coordination between implementing and executing agencies. Regular meetings were conducted to discuss progress and constraints of the project. UNDP had ensured high-quality technical and financial implementation of the project through its local office in Tonga and occasional visits from multi country office in Fiji. UNDP PO was responsible for monitoring and ensuring proper use of GEF funds, timely reporting of implementation progress as well as undertaking of mandatory and nonmandatory evaluations. All services for the procurement of goods and services, and the recruitment of personnel were conducted in accordance with NIM procedures, rules and regulations. The project Management Unit was formed to coordinate and manage project activities and it facilitated the achievement of targeted results on time, adequate and appropriate management practices, program planning and proper implementation and timely reporting. PMU had one National Project Manager, Technical Advisor and support staffs (admin/finance staff, driver and office helper). A risk management strategy was developed involving all partners and experts through detailed analysis of issues. Department of Environment provided office spaces and also nominated Project Steering Committee members representing the Community Officers from the project Districts. The project hired qualified experts to conduct studies but technical aspects of tree plantation in schools, planning implementation and monitoring of mangrove and other fruit trees plantation was very weak.

The capacity of the local government and community groups was enhanced for strengthening performance. From the project development to implementation, lead implementing ministry, other ministries and local government institutions were involved on behalf of Government of Tonga and this assures government ownership in the project. SMA program planning was not able to realise need of the Boats for monitoring by the community so order was made only after request from the community and was not arrived by the time of TE due to late procurement and it is also learned that it lack motor. Conflict between communities obstructed SMA activities of Nukunukumotu and conflict between women group and city council affected Vaini ecotourism program. The ecotourism activities of Ancient Tonga were not completed.

The Project has been planned and managed (except in some cases which were delayed and remained incomplete) providing products of good quality and within budget, while responding effectively to several internal and external challenges through adaptive management, hence the implementation approach has been evaluated as Moderately Satisfactory.


Tag: Implementation Modality Oversight Partnership Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning Country Government

9.

3.3 Project Results 3.3.1 Overall Results

Attainment of Objectives:

The project attempted to reduce environmental risks of Fanga’uta Lagoon by addressing policy gaps, enhancing capacity of the local government and community based institutions, generating awareness among community members from the lagoon catchment areas, establishing information base and supporting evidence based planning with the establishment of an information database and facilitating access to them, construction of wall in the vulnerable areas of coastline and tree and mangrove plantation. The following IEM-related outputs were delivered: 

- Updated EMP. Developed detail implementation plan of IEMP for Lagoon catchment areas. - Preparated studies on IEM topics (Biophysical-socioeconomic assessments in project areas). - Facilitated of community-level adaptation planning. - Designed SMA and programs for sustainable fishing and safeguard sea biodiversity. - Fanga’uta stewardship plan gazetted and implemented. 5 year Action Plan prepared. - Implemented sustainable lagoon and sea management activities that improve ecosystem services and income generation to improve livelihood of local communities, also contributing poverty reduction that is often exacerbated by and leads to Lagoon ecosystem degradation. - Establishment of knowledge base (database) with access to planners to supports evidence based planning which helps to mainstream IEM. - Developed P3D model of Fanga’uta lagoon. - Policy gap analysis was conducted and recommendations for policy review to incorporate IEM issues were made. - Established multi-stakeholder mechanism for effective adaptive management and strengthened institutional capacities to implement policies and to support evidence based planning. - Monitoring Manual of Fanga’uta developed and established participatory monitoring system and strategic planning practices to support IEM to address water and land degradation risks. - Tree plantation along the coast line to create vegetation cover and construction of walls in vulnerable areas of coastline. - Established Mangrove nurseries and replanted Mangrove to establish mangrove ecosystem. - Regular bird, sea lives survey and chemical tests of water conducted. - Arranged management of waste and improve sanitation. - Conducted various trainings and workshops to enhance capacity and generate feedback on various issues. - Prepared a detailed report on the participatory FLC eco-tourism program development strategy and implementation plan. - Conducted awareness programs to generate awareness among local communities and formed community groups at local levels for supporting implementation of IEM

(Activities and achievement status are provided in Page 33-36) A Summary of the Project’s achievements is given below, followed by an outline of the attainment of objectives. This is followed by a Review of Outcomes to Impacts in Table 9 and a brief discussion on the verifiable impacts. A summary evaluation of Project Outputs is given in Table 10 followed by a more detailed description. A detailed evaluation of the level of achievements made against the indicators of success contained in the log frame is given in Annex IV.

Summary of Achievements

Project results were measured against achievement indicators guided by evaluation questions (tracking tools, Annex XI). The R2R Project has been well designed, but in management and implementation some problems were observed. The project team has managed to deliver a series of interventions that have reduced the threats of Lagoon ecosystem to some extent and contributed to the improved livelihoods of local communities from the Fanga’uta Lagoon of Tonga. In the process, the project has demonstrated innovative approach particularly special area management in lagoon for conservation of fish and other water animals. One of its biggest strengths has come about through a design-decision towork directly with the community groups through the local government institutions rather than parallel project structures. Since the project is implemented by MEIDECC involving other ministries and District Councils, City Councils, Community Officers and local communities from 26 villages, all government agencies are taking full ownership for the project’s outputs. One of the very good work of this project is that it brought different ministries and other relevant organisations on one platform to cooperate each other to achieve the target of Fanga’uta ecosystem management and environment protection. As will be seen below, the achievement of the outputs and activities under each of the four Outcomes has been evaluated as Moderately Satisfactory, and the evaluation of achievements against indicators (provided in Annex IV) show that several of the activities have been accomplished (with few about to complete and target of vegetation coverage not met). The project helped to address threats to Lagoon Ecosystem from various practices of the local communities and also natural threats, through awareness-raising, strengthening capacity of relevant community groups and institutions, lagoon protection by constructing walls, mangrove and other tree plantation, management of mangrove, maintaining the lagoon area clean, sanitation activities, improved cultivation practices and supporting evidence based development planning.

Overall, the project has achieved several of its major global and local environmental objectives, and yielded substantial global environmental benefits, with some shortcomings. The project can be presented as “average practice”, and hence its attainment of objectives and results is evaluated as Moderately Satisfactory. 


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Communication Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Country Government Capacity Building

10.

3.3.2 Relevance

A comprehensive study on Fanga’uta Lagoon was conducted in the late 1990s which culminated in the adoption of Fanga’uta EMP in 2001. The EMP FLS was developed in response to increasing pollution and decreasing of marine resources as observed by communities and through rigorous scientific studies. The lagoon’s Environmental Management Plan was approved by the Cabinet in 2003, but it didn’t explain details on implementation (including financial and administrative commitments). The Environmental Management Plan for Fanga’uta Lagoon System (EMP FLS) was designed to improve the existing conditions in the lagoon and ensure that it can provide the maximum use of goods and services in the future. One of the main components of this project is to update this EMP through a participatory approach to engage stakeholders and communities who are residing and using the lagoon catchment area. The overall policy objective of this project is to achieve sound sustainable development by reconciling economic growth and conservation of resources while spearheading social development. It is designed to contribute to the policy reforms to halt environmental degradation; institutional capacity building for proper ecosystem management planning depending upon modern scientific data; local economic development; sustainable ecosystem services; environmental protection, pollution control; reforestation to increase land cover. Hence the project is highly relevant to the needs of people in the project area and Tonga.

The project intervenes to reduce land degradation and contribute to human lives and property in the cattle Corridor of Tonga and is congruent with GEF and national priorities, and remains pertinent in light of the current levels of threats; hence it is evaluated as Relevant.


Tag: Climate change governance Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Relevance Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing

11.

3.3.4 Impacts

Table 9 provides a review of the likelihood of outcomes being translated into intended impacts. TABLE 9: Review of outcomes to impacts at the end of project situation.

TEC found local people very much aware of the environmental risks and safety precautions. Also the local and the national government officials were very much sensitized on the issues of the Lagoon ecosystem degradation and made future plans and programs to address the environmental issues of the lagoon. Awareness generated among the community members was resulted in them contributing in planting trees, construction of stone wall along the shores, cleaning mangrove and other ecosystems but follow up of monitoring and continuation of management of interventions from the national and district government and community groups was weak. Sanitation programs like construction of safe toilet, tanks for storing rain water and rubbish bins distribution in some areas was effective. This project helped to initiate coordination between different government agencies and community organisations which is very important for promoting an integrated approach and helps to bring together expertise from diverse fields. But after completion of the activities, coordination and commitment from responsible government agencies was found weakened due to which some mangrove plantations were damaged for making park and also for road. Similarly, historical water body renovated by making walls around the spring, rubbish bins for waste management, fencing and sitting arrangements for recreation for tourist as well as locals in Vaini village was not managed after the handover of the property to the women group due to conflict with the town officer. Awareness was generated but after the end of the project, continuation of management of interventions of the projects was poor due to which solid wastes were observed along the shores in most of the lagoon areas. Besides cyclone also deposited debris in some places. Very few awareness sign posts were observed and it was told that more than 80% of the sign posts were damaged by the cyclone. These indicate that the expected impact beyond the project life in certain areas like management of mangrove and pollution control are unlikely.

Documentation and dissemination of information on IEMP helped to share knowledge for benefit of large population from various countries with land degradation risks. Similarly, improvement in the Environment Management plan of Lagoon to address environmental, economic and health risks will help to mainstream integrated environment management in development practices for mitigation of such risks but cease of coordination and contribution from the communities to safeguard the achievements of the project after the project life question sustainability of the outcome and also effective implementation of IEMP.

As a result of the review of outcomes to impacts, the overall likelihood of impacts being achieved is all Moderately Likely, hence the project is expected to achieve most of its major environmental objectives, and yield moderately satisfactory environmental benefits by managing environmental risk and its effectiveness is evaluated as Moderately Satisfactory.


Tag: Climate change governance Disaster Risk Reduction Natural Resouce management Impact Local Governance Policies & Procedures Risk Management Civil Societies and NGOs

12.

Outcome 3.1 Increased awareness and appreciation of the ecosystem services of the Fanga’uta Lagoon  

Output 3.1.1 Awareness programs conducted through the production and dissemination of awareness materials

• Nine different brochures were produced and used in various national level awareness programs. Nine videos of 30mins duration aired on TV, produced 9 mini-video in local language with English subtitles, launched project website under the Dept. of Environment and uploaded 130 news releases, quarterly newsletters produced, the project news updated on project Facebook page which has 1139 followers, Outreach programs to 27 schools engaged morethan 6485 students and staff on waste management and sanitation, produced weekly SMS blast using Digicel services for awareness reminders of better care of environment and good land-base management activities reaching over 22,000 devices, hosted capacity building trainings on tree planting, mangroves planting, monitoring, waste management and communication at the national and the local level engaging 300 people. Despite these activities, awareness has improved but the attitude of the people has not changed and people continued throwing litter everywhere. Even close to garbage bins, litter were thrown on the ground instead of throwing inside the bin. During evaluation mission, evaluator saw very few sign posts and it was told that more than 80 percent of the sign posts were damaged by the cyclone, I was also told that many of them were recovered but not replaced to the place where they belonged. As per proposed activities, Project supposed to evaluate periodically the impact or result and identify gaps and needs. It seems evaluation of impact of awareness program is not conducted otherwise would have changed the approach to make it effective.

• The Project also hosted spaces for the South to South learning between Nauru and Tonga and also involved students from the University of the South Pacific studying mangrove ecosystem and High School students and PhD candidates from the Canterbury University studying ciguatera.

The project was able to achieve the outcome of increasing awareness on ecosystem services of the Fanga’uta Lagoon through production of various promotional materials and disseminating through various means but not able to change attitude hence outcome is rated as Moderately Satisfactory. Similarly, the outputs under this outcome have achieved all of the targets, and generated awareness among some of the target population on water management, water quality, health issues, mangrove protection etc. but littering attitude has not changed. The outputs can be presented as “average practice”, hence it is evaluated as Moderately Satisfactory. 


Tag: Ecosystem based adaption Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Communication Knowledge management Advocacy South-South Cooperation

13.

3.3.5 Country Ownership

This project was developed with the lessons from several projects related to sustainable environment management. The project was implemented by the Department of Environment (DoE) of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) and executed by UNDP. The project outcomes are expected to bring Tonga a step closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Clean water and Sanitation, Climate Action, Life below water and life on land. The Government of Tonga, through an AusAid funded project, did a comprehensive study on Fanga’uta Lagoon in the late 1990s which culminated in the adoption of Fanga’uta EMP in 2001. One of the main components of this project is to update this EMP through a participatory approach to engage stakeholders and communities who are residing and using the lagoon catchment area. The participatory approach was used to design and formulate this project document through engaging various stakeholders in the process.

A number of consultations were held by means of a workshop, as well as one-to-one meetings with community leaders, government and non-government organisations, politicians and the private sector. With this approach, it is ensured that the participation of the stakeholders and communities are the basis for driving this project to achieve the desirable outputs relevant to the communities. Sustainability and ownership was the core thinking in this process. Involvement of the communities in the planning process to its implementation has given people a sense of ownership and the incentive to drive the project in the direction they feel will be more beneficial to them to improve their standard of living in the medium and long term. In addition, fundamental principles and guidelines from the NBSAP, POWPA, UNCBD, JNAP, other related action plans and legislations aided the development of this document to ensure its coherence and complementary to other plans for a successful implementation of the project.


Tag: Climate change governance Ecosystem based adaption Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Sustainability Communication Donor relations Integration Knowledge management Ownership Partnership Country Government Private Sector Advocacy

14.

3.3.7 Sustainability

The project results are likely to be sustainable beyond the project life. As will be seen below, the sustainability at the project level is actually very strong.

Financial: The outlook for the long-term financial sustainability of the project appears good but it is connected to the interest of the local government and the national government. MEIDECC mentioned that they are committed to continue their support to these project activities. Similarly, the local government also mentioned that they will continue their support and will utilise information in planning exercises to help mitigate risks to the lagoon and its catchment areas. There are several other projects being implemented in these areas which will be utilising the community groups formed by this project to implement their activities so this will directly or indirectly support the continuation of some of the project activities. Similarly, all line ministries provisioned activities to support IEM of lagoon and also allocated budget for the coming five years. These also assure financial sustainability at project site level. The Department of Environment is planning to develop proposal for second phase of this project. Financial sustainability is therefore Likely.

Socio-economic: The social sustainability of the project appears very promising in case of mangrove, afforestation of other trees and the coastal protection. The awareness-raising activities have certainly been beneficial and undoubtedly changed people’s minds at the community level but it is still lacking in action as littering is still ongoing and no expected behavioural change occurred. There is need of more campaign and use of alternative tools to change behaviour of the people. But the project has created a supportive environment and as a result enjoys a very wide support base which is being used to help in replicating the approach in other vulnerable areas. As a result, the socio-economic sustainability is adjudged to be Moderately Likely.

Institutional and Governance: The institutional sustainability of the project is good. Those agencies directly involved appear strongly committed towards its aims and the impacts that it has had. Clearly, the decision to route all activities directly through the local government institutions and the local communities has paid dividends in this respect, and the local government officials at the pilot sites are not only extremely supportive of what has been accomplished but are also strong advocates of its activities. Implementation of community monitoring system for supporting communities from various occupation in decision making and practicing of evidence based development planning and enhanced capacity of the local communities and the local government will also assure sustainability of the project outcomes. Moreover, government authorities are sensitised on ecosystem management issues so they may prioritise future outputs of this project. Therefore, the institutional sustainability is ranked as Likely

Environmental: Environment sustainability is one of the important elements of the project strategy. The project achievements will directly reduce vulnerability of lagoon ecosystem, life and property of the communities living around it and also ecological resources of the Fanga’uta Lagoon Catchment areas. The capacity development, policy formulation and evidence based planning to mainstream IEM and climate change will make project outcomes sustainable. Moreover, involvement of local communities and community based organisations assures adaptation to land and water degradation and makes the project achievements sustainable. Possible precautions are taken to safeguard the ecosystem degradation and pollution problem through increasing green coverage (though target was not met), improved agriculture practices, controlling erosion and the waste management. Similarly, creation of woodlots will help to create carbon sinks and improved use of ecosystem services will improve livelihood of people and decrease pressure on the forest and sea. These will address potential environmental risks so there is less possibility of environmental risks associated with the sustainability of this project, hence the environmental sustainability is deemed to be Likely.

The overall sustainability of the regional component is ranked as Likely


Tag: Climate change governance Ecosystem based adaption Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Policies & Procedures Risk Management Country Government Inclusive economic growth

15.

3.3.9 Ratings

As per UNDP guidelines, the TE ratings are consolidated in Table 9 below. Table 11: Terminal Evaluation’s Rating Project Performance.


Recommendations
1

SMA should have been expanded to include all communities within the lagoon area. The project should have developed more programs for alternative livelihoods.  

2

The project should upscale and replicate lessons learned because it has piloted community-based management approaches of the Lagoon and catchment area and have generated a lot of practical knowledge. But still a large area of lagoon needs activities to maintain the lagoon’s ecological functions and services. Hence, a second phase should be developed to cover all areas of lagoon and activities planning should include all necessary components of each activities

3

Program planning, and implementation was technically very weak. In the project document threat of pig was identified but afforestation program was not able to address the threat. No provision of fencing was included in the program and only in a few places this was put up after requests from the communities. It is recommended to fence plantation area to protect saplings from the pig and also to protect saplings from erosion.

4

Afforestation in private land was carried out verbally without any proper agreement with the land owner in writing. In Hoi village, the land owners did not have a clear understanding and therefore destroyed the nursery and mangrove afforested areas and also removed fence. The money wasted in this area could otherwise use for another site. Agreement between communities for private land areas should be put into writing for all project afforestation work. Future project should not repeat such mistake.

5

This project had limitation due to budget constrain and also activity planning was weak. The activity planning was not able to realize the importance of regular monitoring in SMA, hence no boats for monitoring were provided. Only after request from the community two boats were ordered but again without motor. Hence future program should do sufficient homework to develop details of each activities so that no gap will remain and sufficient budget is allocated. Similarly, procurement of staff and equipment should be done immediately following the inception workshop or immediately after development of annual work plans. This will help to initiate activities on time and work will not be hampered.

6

Communication within project team and also with stakeholders needs to be improved and strengthened. The mangrove expert had planned additional plantation and clean-up activities without consultation with Project Manager and due to that money was not allocated for payment of the additional mangrove plantation. Such mistake could build mistrust and could affect future programs also.

7

Enrichment afforestation should be carried out to replace the dead saplings. Similarly, fencing should be done to protect saplings from pigs. Regular technical backup should be provided by respective departments, so outcome of this project will not suffer due to limitation of technical assistance. Monitoring of plantation and other activities should be done regularly so that problems could be address in early stage to avoid huge damage.

8

It was discovered that the selection of members of SMA management committee and other community groups were not transparent and biased. Such could cultivate conflict between community members and will also harm the future of the outcomes of the project. Hence, such issues should be resolved by calling general meeting involving all community members and resolve the problem either discussing acerbities among them or re-elect members democratically.

9

4.2 Recommendations

Corrective actions for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project

I. Program planning and implementation was technically very weak. In the project document threat of pig was identified but afforestation program didn’t made arrangement to address the threat and no provision of fencing included in the program but only done in few places after request from the communities. It is recommended to fence plantation area to protect saplings from the pig and also make arrangement to protect saplings from erosion. 

II. Afforestation in private land was carried out without any proper agreement with the land owner in paper but only based on verbal understanding. In Hoi village land owner stepped back from the understanding and destroyednursery and mangrove afforestation and also removed fence. The money wasted in this area could otherwise use for another site. Agreement papers should be made for all project afforestation sites which were carried out in private land. Future project should not repeat such mistake.

III. This project had limitation due to budget and also activities planning was weak. The activities planning was not able to realise importance of regular monitoring in SMA, hence no boats for monitoring were provisioned. Only after request from the community two boats were ordered but again without motor. Hence future program should do sufficient homework to develop details of each activities so that no gap will remain and sufficient budget is allocated. Similarly, procurement of staff and equipment should be done immediately following the inception workshop or immediately after development of annual work plans. This will help to initiate activities on time and work will not be hampered.

IV. Communication within project team and also with stakeholders need to be improved and strengthened. In this project, mangrove expert planned additional plantation and clean-up activities without consultation with Project Manager and due to that money was not allocated for payment of the additional mangrove plantation. Such mistake could build mistrust and could affect future programs also

10

Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project

V. Enrichment afforestation should be carried out to replace the dead saplings. Similarly, fencing should be done to protect saplings from pigs. Regular technical backup should be provided by respective departments so outcome of this project will not suffer due to limitation of technical assistance. Monitoring of plantation and other activities should be done regularly so that problems could be address in early stage and stop big damage. 

VI. It is learned that selection of members of SMA management committee and other community groups was not transparent and biased. Such could cultivate conflict between community members and will also harm future of the outcomes of the project. Hence, such issues should be resolved by calling general meeting involving all community members and resolve the problem either discussing acerbities among them or re-elect members democratically.

VII. Marine monitoring has covered only physical aspect of water quality (salinity, temperature, and acidity/alkalinity) and biodiversity but population study of species is not carried out. Hence population study of biodiversity should be carried out regularly because this information is very important to decide protection need for any specific species or plan sustainable harvest.

VIII. Though it was in the plan, water testing training to communities was not conducted. Training for communities on water testing should be organised and testing kits should be provided to them and arrange for sharing findings with the respective institutions of the government.

11

Proposals for future directions underlying main objectives

IX. Quota system in fishing in SMA curtail people’s unlimited access that they enjoyed in the past and curtailing may affect their livelihood as many of their household economy is dependent on fishing. It is also learned that people from other areas are fishing in SMA and surroundings areas. It is also learned that people destroyed rope placed to demarcate boarders of SMA. Since SMA designation is not based on home-range study of fish and sea animals, fish from SMA will move outside its boundary (as area is not so big) and communities from neighbouring areas or from other side of the lagoon could enjoy fishing protected fish. This could bring dissatisfaction among those restricted communities.

To avoid conflict, it is recommended to expand SMA (area) and also include all communities of the lagoon so that everyone from lagoon will have equal fishing access. SMA will not succeed without support from all inhabitants from lagoon and to attract them in the program and generate their support, project should develop programs to provide alternative livelihood. To make sustainable fishing only designing SMA is not sufficient but also need to maintain lagoon ecosystem and for that it is necessary to facilitate recharging of biodiversity of lagoon from the sea. The movement of large fish and sea animals at present is obstructed due to heavy sedimentation near Nukunukumotu-Nukuleka area. Hence, sediments should be removed to maintain depth of up to 3-4m so that fish and other sea animals could easily visit lagoon. SMA programs were initiated in Tonga since 2006 and by 2015 already SMA was established. Lessons from there should be utilised to improve the SMA activities but while doing that settlement pattern and practices of fishing in Fannga’uta lagoon need to be considered as there are differences between this lagoon with other islands.

X. Energy is one of the reason for deforestation, future project design should consider use of biogas production and solar energy use.

XI. It is recommended to upscale and replicate lessons learned from this project by GoT, UNDP and other agencies involved in this project. This project has piloted community-based management approaches of the Lagoon and catchment area and have generated a lot of practical knowledge. Still large area of lagoon needs activities to maintain lagoon’s ecological functions and services. Hence, second phase should be developed to cover all areas of lagoon and activities planning should include all necessary components of each activities. Besides, monitoring from the implementing agency, executing agency should also arrange monitoring from its side to provide regular technical back-up. 

XII. As communities’ economy is not so strong, it is difficult for them to maintain livelihood expenses when their source of income i.e. fishing is curtailed or limited through programs like SMA. Similarly, when people have to devote more time in conservation and protection activities it will affect their livelihood. Hence, project should include alternative livelihood program to encourage them in biodiversity and ecosystem function conservation. 

1. Recommendation:

SMA should have been expanded to include all communities within the lagoon area. The project should have developed more programs for alternative livelihoods.  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

The establishment of the SMA was voluntary so only 4 communities had voluntary committed their fishing ground as SMAs. Depending on the success of these SMAs, there are plans to expand to other communities which Department of Fisheries will take as their long-term commitment to the project. The alternative livelihoods programs were established on a need basis and the availability of funding.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions with Fisheries Department will be conducted to ensure that there is further engagement with communities that were not included during the project period.
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
2. Recommendation:

The project should upscale and replicate lessons learned because it has piloted community-based management approaches of the Lagoon and catchment area and have generated a lot of practical knowledge. But still a large area of lagoon needs activities to maintain the lagoon’s ecological functions and services. Hence, a second phase should be developed to cover all areas of lagoon and activities planning should include all necessary components of each activities

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

This is acknowledged. Opportunities for Tonga R2R – 2 are being explored which will be proposed for upcoming GEF7 funding or other funding opportunities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions with Tonga R2R Board members to propose Tonga R2R -phase 2 in upcoming GEF funding
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
3. Recommendation:

Program planning, and implementation was technically very weak. In the project document threat of pig was identified but afforestation program was not able to address the threat. No provision of fencing was included in the program and only in a few places this was put up after requests from the communities. It is recommended to fence plantation area to protect saplings from the pig and also to protect saplings from erosion.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is noted and will be incorporated into future project design

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Future funding will be identified to facilitate this recommendation
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment, UNDP 2022/12 Initiated Lesson’s learnt from this will be factored into Tonga R2R phase 2 project planning
4. Recommendation:

Afforestation in private land was carried out verbally without any proper agreement with the land owner in writing. In Hoi village, the land owners did not have a clear understanding and therefore destroyed the nursery and mangrove afforested areas and also removed fence. The money wasted in this area could otherwise use for another site. Agreement between communities for private land areas should be put into writing for all project afforestation work. Future project should not repeat such mistake.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is noted and will be incorporated into future project designing

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure that proper agreement is carried out and captured formally if similar activity is identified in future projects
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment, UNDP 2022/12 Initiated Lesson’s learnt from this will be factored into Tonga R2R phase 2 project planning
5. Recommendation:

This project had limitation due to budget constrain and also activity planning was weak. The activity planning was not able to realize the importance of regular monitoring in SMA, hence no boats for monitoring were provided. Only after request from the community two boats were ordered but again without motor. Hence future program should do sufficient homework to develop details of each activities so that no gap will remain and sufficient budget is allocated. Similarly, procurement of staff and equipment should be done immediately following the inception workshop or immediately after development of annual work plans. This will help to initiate activities on time and work will not be hampered.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is noted and will be actioned accordingly for future projects.

 

The request to purchase a boat for community monitoring was not identified in the project budget and was therefore an additional request which was still facilitated at the end.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
MEIDECC have agreed to purchase the boat motor for the two boats from recurrent vote of the Ministry as their additional co-financed noting that the project has no more funds to facilitate additional activities
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
6. Recommendation:

Communication within project team and also with stakeholders needs to be improved and strengthened. The mangrove expert had planned additional plantation and clean-up activities without consultation with Project Manager and due to that money was not allocated for payment of the additional mangrove plantation. Such mistake could build mistrust and could affect future programs also.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation was discussed with PMU and had acknowledged the miscommunication between staff.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Improve communication between PMU staff and technical support staff
[Added: 2019/12/19]
PMU – Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
7. Recommendation:

Enrichment afforestation should be carried out to replace the dead saplings. Similarly, fencing should be done to protect saplings from pigs. Regular technical backup should be provided by respective departments, so outcome of this project will not suffer due to limitation of technical assistance. Monitoring of plantation and other activities should be done regularly so that problems could be address in early stage to avoid huge damage.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is acknowledged

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To factor improvement on this activity in the planned 2nd phase of Tonga R2R.
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2022/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

It was discovered that the selection of members of SMA management committee and other community groups were not transparent and biased. Such could cultivate conflict between community members and will also harm the future of the outcomes of the project. Hence, such issues should be resolved by calling general meeting involving all community members and resolve the problem either discussing acerbities among them or re-elect members democratically.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is acknowledged, and Fisheries Department has been advised of the matter.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Better planning and engagement process to be identified for future SMA planning and implementation
[Added: 2019/12/19]
PMU – Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
9. Recommendation:

4.2 Recommendations

Corrective actions for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project

I. Program planning and implementation was technically very weak. In the project document threat of pig was identified but afforestation program didn’t made arrangement to address the threat and no provision of fencing included in the program but only done in few places after request from the communities. It is recommended to fence plantation area to protect saplings from the pig and also make arrangement to protect saplings from erosion. 

II. Afforestation in private land was carried out without any proper agreement with the land owner in paper but only based on verbal understanding. In Hoi village land owner stepped back from the understanding and destroyednursery and mangrove afforestation and also removed fence. The money wasted in this area could otherwise use for another site. Agreement papers should be made for all project afforestation sites which were carried out in private land. Future project should not repeat such mistake.

III. This project had limitation due to budget and also activities planning was weak. The activities planning was not able to realise importance of regular monitoring in SMA, hence no boats for monitoring were provisioned. Only after request from the community two boats were ordered but again without motor. Hence future program should do sufficient homework to develop details of each activities so that no gap will remain and sufficient budget is allocated. Similarly, procurement of staff and equipment should be done immediately following the inception workshop or immediately after development of annual work plans. This will help to initiate activities on time and work will not be hampered.

IV. Communication within project team and also with stakeholders need to be improved and strengthened. In this project, mangrove expert planned additional plantation and clean-up activities without consultation with Project Manager and due to that money was not allocated for payment of the additional mangrove plantation. Such mistake could build mistrust and could affect future programs also

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project

V. Enrichment afforestation should be carried out to replace the dead saplings. Similarly, fencing should be done to protect saplings from pigs. Regular technical backup should be provided by respective departments so outcome of this project will not suffer due to limitation of technical assistance. Monitoring of plantation and other activities should be done regularly so that problems could be address in early stage and stop big damage. 

VI. It is learned that selection of members of SMA management committee and other community groups was not transparent and biased. Such could cultivate conflict between community members and will also harm future of the outcomes of the project. Hence, such issues should be resolved by calling general meeting involving all community members and resolve the problem either discussing acerbities among them or re-elect members democratically.

VII. Marine monitoring has covered only physical aspect of water quality (salinity, temperature, and acidity/alkalinity) and biodiversity but population study of species is not carried out. Hence population study of biodiversity should be carried out regularly because this information is very important to decide protection need for any specific species or plan sustainable harvest.

VIII. Though it was in the plan, water testing training to communities was not conducted. Training for communities on water testing should be organised and testing kits should be provided to them and arrange for sharing findings with the respective institutions of the government.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Proposals for future directions underlying main objectives

IX. Quota system in fishing in SMA curtail people’s unlimited access that they enjoyed in the past and curtailing may affect their livelihood as many of their household economy is dependent on fishing. It is also learned that people from other areas are fishing in SMA and surroundings areas. It is also learned that people destroyed rope placed to demarcate boarders of SMA. Since SMA designation is not based on home-range study of fish and sea animals, fish from SMA will move outside its boundary (as area is not so big) and communities from neighbouring areas or from other side of the lagoon could enjoy fishing protected fish. This could bring dissatisfaction among those restricted communities.

To avoid conflict, it is recommended to expand SMA (area) and also include all communities of the lagoon so that everyone from lagoon will have equal fishing access. SMA will not succeed without support from all inhabitants from lagoon and to attract them in the program and generate their support, project should develop programs to provide alternative livelihood. To make sustainable fishing only designing SMA is not sufficient but also need to maintain lagoon ecosystem and for that it is necessary to facilitate recharging of biodiversity of lagoon from the sea. The movement of large fish and sea animals at present is obstructed due to heavy sedimentation near Nukunukumotu-Nukuleka area. Hence, sediments should be removed to maintain depth of up to 3-4m so that fish and other sea animals could easily visit lagoon. SMA programs were initiated in Tonga since 2006 and by 2015 already SMA was established. Lessons from there should be utilised to improve the SMA activities but while doing that settlement pattern and practices of fishing in Fannga’uta lagoon need to be considered as there are differences between this lagoon with other islands.

X. Energy is one of the reason for deforestation, future project design should consider use of biogas production and solar energy use.

XI. It is recommended to upscale and replicate lessons learned from this project by GoT, UNDP and other agencies involved in this project. This project has piloted community-based management approaches of the Lagoon and catchment area and have generated a lot of practical knowledge. Still large area of lagoon needs activities to maintain lagoon’s ecological functions and services. Hence, second phase should be developed to cover all areas of lagoon and activities planning should include all necessary components of each activities. Besides, monitoring from the implementing agency, executing agency should also arrange monitoring from its side to provide regular technical back-up. 

XII. As communities’ economy is not so strong, it is difficult for them to maintain livelihood expenses when their source of income i.e. fishing is curtailed or limited through programs like SMA. Similarly, when people have to devote more time in conservation and protection activities it will affect their livelihood. Hence, project should include alternative livelihood program to encourage them in biodiversity and ecosystem function conservation. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Key Actions:

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