Mid Term Review of the Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Drylands Ecosystem Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Botswana
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title Mid Term Review of the Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Drylands Ecosystem Project
Atlas Project Number: 00100918
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Botswana
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2021
Planned End Date: 06/2021
Management Response: No
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 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG Target
  • 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
Evaluation Budget(US $): 35,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 33,500
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Francis Hurst International Evaluator francishurst@outlook.com
Gaseitsewe Masunga National Consultant gsmasunga@UB.AC.BW
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Managing the human-wildlife interface to sustain the flow of agro-ecosystem services and prevent illegal wildlife trafficking in the Kgalagadi and Ghanzi Drylands
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 9154
PIMS Number: 5590
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, UNDP, Ministry of Defense Justice and Security, Ministry of Lands, Community Development Trusts, NGOs
Countries: BOTSWANA

Recommendation 1: The KGDEP is put under NIM within the MENT and coordinated from DEA in line with the arrangements outlined in the Project Document to be compliant with the Grant Agreement and UNDP’s on policies for NIM projects. This will ensure national ownership and ensure that the UNDP CO can better perform its oversight and quality assurance functions as the GEF Agency and thereby reduce potential conflicts of interest and confused lines of responsibility and accountability. By returning to an oversight role, the UNDP will be able to more effectively ensure that the project is implemented in full compliance with the terms of the UNDP SES Policy


Recommendation 2: The MENT/DEA established a forum for state and non-state actors involved in land use in the KGDE. The purpose of the forum is to openly discuss land use issues – land use planning, CBNRM, regulatory enforcement, resource-based enterprises, hunting, private sector involvement and JVPs. It should cut across all 4 components and inform the ILMP process. It should be separate from the TAC and TRG. NGOs and academics involved in wildlife, livelihoods and land use planning should be included in the “membership”. The purpose of the forum is to provide a platform for land users to discuss land use and land use planning in the broadest sense. A selection of experts from academic institutions with strong applied social studies departments should be invited to attend the meetings. Meetings should be held quarterly and in the project domain. A highly qualified facilitator should be engaged on a Contractual basis to i) develop the participatory methodology, ii) facilitate the meetings, and iii) provide workshop reports/proceedings and communications for distribution to project stakeholders and high-level advocacy and general publication. The facilitator should be tasked with deciding on the appropriate methodology, participatory tools and approaches. 


Recommendation 3: Engage through a competitive process, a substantive Project Manager to the PMU. The PM has to have a considerable and high-level advocacy and technical role. The position should be a managerial role, and not be an administrative one. A senior person with experience in planning and CBNRM is required to fill this position. They should report through the Project Director (MENT/DEA) to the PSC/PB. They should be engaged as soon as possible in order to drive through the restructuring of the project.


Recommendation 4: Review the project SRF/LF indicators and targets. Consider:
Component 2 – transfer indicator 8116 to Component 1 and rephrase according to ESIA. Use historical and disaggregated data collected from DWNP to retrofit baseline.
Component 2 - Indicator 6: Number of value chains and ecotourism ventures operationalized. Consider maintaining the indicator and use against the remaining livelihood projects to be supported by the project and add an additional indicator to measure the capacity building with the Trusts to be defined through the ESIA - see below Recommendation 6 & 7.
Component 2 - Indicator 7: Percentage increase in incomes derived from ecotourism and value chains. Remove this indicator and replace with an indicator that reflects the project’s impact on increased social capital and empowerment of Trusts which can be derived from the ESIA and ESRM. Retrofit the baseline.
Component 4 – include an additional indicator(s) to reflect the findings and recommendations of the ESIA, in particular the effectiveness of the GRM (separate indicator)


Recommendation 5: Review all the Component 2 proposed projects and reject those that do not contribute to the KGDEP objective (see Annex 20) and are spatially aligned with the ILMP. Urgently communicate the decisions to the local communities and explain why. Select those projects that still fit the criteria of the project or engage the community members again on the project rural appraisal exercise and be guided by the project objectives, to build project ownership; and move quickly to implement them (see recommendation 6).


6: Component 2 should be reviewed against the ESIA findings and an Output added to reflect support to capacity building with Trust. There is a reputational risk associated with this and related to the trophy hunting. The project should prepare a brief outlining the risks and explaining that the principal involvement of the KGDEP with the Trusts is to build their internal capacities and social capital. There are considerable weaknesses in the hunting sector in Botswana, many of them are associated with the poor capacities of the Trusts to negotiate with external interests and markets and to capture the economic benefits. This output, in part, will address these weaknesses although not necessarily with the view to the Trust obtaining its Head Lease. That is an internal and independent decision for the Trust. Lifting the hunting ban represents a fundamental change in the regulatory context for the project and the Project Document would need to be reformulated through this output if it were to specifically link capacity building with the Head Lease/hunting. Neither is it ethically right for the project to ignore support to the Trusts to build their internal capacities and build social capital, especially as it relates to negotiating with external interests such as the private sector as well as government agencies. The output should clearly demonstrate how it addresses the existing weaknesses and strengthens the Trusts capacities, especially in relation to illegal hunting and their relationship with the DWNP by linking this to the GRM. On the surface, the changes in legislation creates a conundrum for the KGDEP. Support to the communities is absolutely in line with the Project Document and with the recommendations of the ESIA, arguably it is in line with the national policy framework and is, inevitably, just the right thing to do. However, that support, if successful, will enable the Trusts to access certain rights over resources on their land and they are then legally, and morally entitled to use those resources within the Law. However, there are considerable and justified concerns relating to the trophy hunting sector per se. However, it helps if the argument is not framed in a binary manner - between “consumptive” and “non-consumptive” uses. The argument should be framed in terms of:
Protection: Given that the particular circumstances of a resource – such as scarcity, level of threat, historic events etc. – result in a precarious situation where utilisation of the resource is considered too risky, protection – through legislation, protected area, etc. – is a valuable tool to ensure sustainability of the resource. However, this is a costly option and these costs – prohibition, enforcement, management, opportunity costs etc. – are both definable and measurable and, therefore, sustainability can be measured against the ability of society/national governments to meet these costs. This already takes place in the KTP and CKGR
Utilisation: Given that a resource can withstand a level of utilisation that is biologically sustainable it is possible to establish a management regime, which maintains the resource at an acceptable level providing that those who incur the management or opportunity costs are able to benefit from its utilisation.
Abandonment: Given that a resource cannot be utilised sustainably and society is either unable or unwilling to incur the costs of protecting the resource, then the resource must be “abandoned”. That is; there is a high risk of extirpation or biological or economic extinction. While it is unlikely that any society would knowingly advocate abandoning a resource – species, population or ecosystem – when protective measures are applied without the material resources or capacity to effectively carry this out, there is a high risk of abandonment by default.
If wildlife passing through the WMAs is not given a focused value to those communities who share the land then it is likely that they will abandon the resource in favour of other legitimate land uses. Neither will they collaborate with the state, on whom the responsibility for protecting wildlife will fall in its entirety. Accepting the concerns about the hunting sector in Botswana, regardless of whether use is “consumptive” or “non-consumptive”; community utilisation by an empowered community with strong internal governance and cohesion and a willingness to collaborate to safeguard their resources carries less risk to the wildlife resources.


Recommendation 7: Under Component 2 identify and engage NGO partners to implement Component 2 activities (Recommendations 6 & 7). Some of these NGOs have been working in the two districts and their knowledge and experience will be vital. This move will necessitate the UNDP CO carrying out a HACT on each NGO117 and the PMU negotiating Contracts. The PSC/PB to set a milestone date for completion of administrative procedures and include in Recommendation 9).


Recommendation 8: Develop time-bound Output Indicators (linked to the outcome-level indicators) with a “traffic lights” colour coding system for the remaining part of the project implementation. Output indicators to be reviewed bi-monthly by UNDP CO and reported by the PMU to the PSC/PB quarterly or on an ad hoc basis as needed in order to ensure that things get done.


Recommendation 9: Implement the findings of the ESIA and the ESMP including operationalising the GRM for the project. All Component activities to demonstrate Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) under the ESMP. ESIA and ESMP to be posted on the UNDP CO website once internally reviewed by UNDP safeguards focal point.


Recommendation 10: The PMU should, following the management response to the MTR begin to develop a legacy plan with the project’s partners and in line with the upcoming Green Climate Fund project on rangeland management (developed by Conservation International). There is very little time left and many of the outputs will likely need longer term support beyond the end of the KGDEP. Starting a legacy plan will ensure that there is a smooth transition.


Recommendation 11: The PSC/PB should be reduced to a small executive group according to the Project Document - The Project Board is comprised of representatives from the following institutions: Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT), Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR), Ministry of Agriculture, Land Boards from Ghanzi and Kgalagadi, Botswana Tourism Organization, University of Botswana Livestock/Game Ranchers, Community Groups, NGOs. In addition to this the PSC/PB should include representation from the Trusts

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