Final Evaluation UNDP Re-granting Partnership Phase II: Towards Sustainable Management of Belize`s Seascape

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Belize
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2020
Completion Date:
01/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Final Evaluation UNDP Re-granting Partnership Phase II: Towards Sustainable Management of Belize`s Seascape
Atlas Project Number: 00094261
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Belize
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: No
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
SDG Goal
  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
SDG Target
  • 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  • 11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: OAK Funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 14,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Sharon Young Mrs sharonramclam@gmail.com BELIZE
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: GEF Small Grants Programme National Steering Committee Members, Executive Director- Belize Audubon Society, Director- Belize Association of Planners, Executive Director- Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, Director- Wabafu Fishermen Association, Director- Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Director- Copperbank Fishermen Association, Director- WABAFU Fishermen Association ,Director- Monkey River Watershed Association , Fisheries Department (looking at effectiveness of programme to integrate at a local level fisheries policy and priorities), GEF SGP Programme Staff, UNDP Programme Analyst, •
Countries: BELIZE
Lessons
1.

Collaboration and coordination of fishers from different fishing villages proved difficult due to fishing groups having varying schedules. Fishers should be integral in the project design and schedules should be planned around the off-fishing times and/or project managers should consider meeting with fishers in the evenings at their fishing camps although this would be more costly it may prove more effective.

 


2.

Managed access education needs to intensify as fishers are still not clear on expectations. Fishers are apprehensive to try new methods without understanding the full impact and the how the changes will be financed. Feasibility studies of the methods that would work for fishers from the different fishing communities is necessary to explore the best option for the fishers based on the transitional cost and the practicality for fishers. The use of “fisher champions”- those fishers who have embraced sustainable methods- would be useful to promote and scale up these methods among fishers and implement the managed access program.


3.

The stakeholder diagnosis is critical to project design. This should be a mandatory process in the design of all projects. There are some fishers who are not willing to diversify or adopt new practices as fishing has been their way of life and is culturally ingrained. As such, the outputs and outcomes must be realistic based on issues raised in the stakeholder diagnosis.


4.

A greater need to produce socio-economic and feasibility studies that will quantify and show fishermen and their families that other jobs (other skills training) would generate same or more income than fishing may be powerful and help to convince them that income diversification is worth exploring.


5.

Literacy of fishermen continues to be a challenge when introducing new skills and trainings. Adopting innovative and non-traditional modes of training must be explored to offset the literacy challenges among fishermen that invariably constrains the outcome in training sessions. Practical methods of engagement of fishers will need to be adapted including fundamental reading and writing classes for fishers and in their first language (Spanish).


6.

Women demonstrated high level of commitment and dedication to their livelihoods and to contributing to the household income. The fact that by the end of the project all micro loans were repaid by the women micro entrepreneurs, provided a good foundation for sustainability and to encourage more women to participate in the livelihood activity.


7.

The empowerment of women via livelihood development is a strong force for community engagement. Empowerment of women through skills training and livelihood development allows for women to be contributors to the household and play a role in decision making should continue.


8.

Investment in scholarships also empowers the youths, especially students from fishing families to play an active role in advocating for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Tuition scholarships could be tied to commitment from the beneficiaries to volunteer with local CSOs.


9.

Monkey River Watershed Association and Belize Association of Planners project highlighted the knowledge gaps at the community level on climate change. Knowledge sharing about climate change and the impacts on ecosystems and communities is even more critical and necessary to help communities adjust their way of life to adapt to the impacts. In addition to the unsustainable land use upstream, the community was made aware that the broader issues contributing to the erosion problem is largely attributed to the location of the village at the river mouth and the rising sea levels and wave dynamics.


10.

Providing incentives for fishers to participate in data collection, especially during the closed seasons, will continue to strengthen the collaboration and ownership for the managed access program and improve management. This is especially considering that the Fisheries Department and its co-management partners have limited resources for data collection.


11.

The reporting back to fishers and stakeholders is critical to gain trust and support. The presentation of the technical and scientific reports to fishers and their communities and to tour guides on the status of the lobster, conch and finfish fishery and especially highlighting their contribution to the report helped to gain trust and buy-in for the conservation and management of the natural resources. This level of engagement helped to reduce the mistrust among fishers and regulating agencies and protected areas managers and garner support for resource management.


Findings
Recommendations
1

Support for preparation of feasibility studies to pilot new fishing methods in the communities affected by the managed access program could improve project design and coupled with the knowledge exchange would lead to a greater degree of implementation success.

2

Technical support for the fishermen associations to build their membership base, strengthen their governance and organizational systems, improve project management capacities to continue to serve as strong liaison with the communities and protected areas managers.

3

Continue to empower the wives of fishers by facilitating capacity building initiatives in micro enterprise and encourage their involvement in supporting the fishermen associations and to take leading roles in mobilizing community development initiatives.This can be in collaboration with effective partners in other sectors such as sugar for the northern communities and tourism for the southern communities as well as national development agencies such as the credit unions, Belize Trade and Investment Development Enterprise (BELTRAIDE) and Development Finance Corporation (DFC) via their microloan programs.

4

The growing youth population in rural Belize presents an opportunity to engage with and empower young people. Efforts to pursue activities that promote entrepreneurship and build capacity of young people in the fishing communities would be strategic interventions to engage and empower the youth population. Once the young people realize that there are viable options for income generation other than fishing, they will pursue careers other than fishing.

5

Conservation success will be tied to sustaining the support for the families of fishers via education for the youths and support for wives. Continue to include fisher families, women, and youth in projects to change behaviours and diversify livelihood activities in the communities which will result in sustaining the wins and accomplishment of the projects. Women are now more interested in supplementing their husband’s income in the household and participate in decision making relating to their families. Their priority seems to be educating their children beyond primary school level.

6

Knowledge exchange visits provides a practical framework to strengthen collaboration between management and users. This type of activity should continue to be supported to capitalize on the interest from the Belizean fishers and counterparts. These knowledge exchanges should be done more often and as an activity integrated in the programme of work of protected areas managers and in collaboration with the fishermen associations.

7

Stakeholder consultation remains a critical factor in designing relevant and appropriate interventions. The cultural and socioeconomic challenges that hindered performance during implementation of the projects related to the fisher communities and the urban communities highlighted that although the problems that the projects were working to solve were relevant, the interventions needed to be culturally and socially appropriate and sensitive to the target audience to ensure by-in and ownership from the design stage.

8

The fishing communities continue to demonstrate their commitment for safeguarding natural resources and their willingness to participate in conservation activities. This is evident in the number of sessions conducted with fishers and by the number of organizations working in the same communities. Notwithstanding their busy schedules, the fisherfolk continue to participate in meetings. This is noted in the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA), Belize Audubon Society(BAS)/Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Sarteneja Fishermen Association (SFA), Copper Bank Fishermen Association (CBFA) and Wabafu Fishermen Association (WFA) projects which targets the same fishing communities.

9

Knowledge exchange visits provides a practical framework to strengthen collaboration between management and users. This type of activity should continue to be supported since there is interest from the Belizean fishers and counterparts. These knowledge exchanges should be done more often and as part of the programme of work of protected areas managers and in collaboration with the fishermen associations.

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