Supporting sustainable land management in steppe and semi-arid zones through integrated territorial planning and agro-environmental incentives

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2021-2025, Kazakhstan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
05/2021
Completion Date:
05/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
28,000

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Title Supporting sustainable land management in steppe and semi-arid zones through integrated territorial planning and agro-environmental incentives
Atlas Project Number: 00088403
Evaluation Plan: 2021-2025, Kazakhstan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2021
Planned End Date: 05/2021
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
SDG Goal
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
SDG Target
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • 15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
  • 2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
Evaluation Budget(US $): 28,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 26,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
James Lenoci james@lenociltd.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Supporting sustainable land management in steppe and semi-arid zones through integrated territorial planning and agro-environmental incentives
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5699
PIMS Number: 5358
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: KAZAKHSTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Recommendation 1: There have been a number of reports, technical guidance documents, and other publications produced during the project. However, many of the deliverables do not seem to be in final form. The key reports, technical guidelines, and other publications should be finalized, branded, disseminated to relevant stakeholders, and stored on an accessible platform.

2

Recommendation 2: The records of equipment purchased and facilities constructed as part of the pilot activities should be documented in more detail, including the amount financed through the GEF project funds, co-financing contributions, and funding from other projects. The documentation should include signed asset transfer records

3

Recommendation 3:   Several different types of agro-environmental incentives were demonstrated during the project and are available through various governmental programmes. An information sheet should be prepared and disseminated, specifically oriented towards small and medium size farmers, that provides details of available agro-environmental incentives. 

4

Recommendation 4: Pilot models implemented by the project should be documented and published (each separately) in open sources of information. The publication should include descriptions of the technologies introduces, their economic characteristics (payback period, etc.), as well as energy and resource efficiency potential. Documenting and disseminating the experiences and lessons from the pilots would increase the replication potential.

5

Recommendation 5:  Local extension offices are the primary source of information for many farmers. Specific training modules on implementation of sustainable land and water management practices and access to agro-environmental incentives should be developed, oregularly updated by Ministry of Agriculture entities through partnerships with research and academic institutes.

6

Recommendation 6: The sustainability of the Inter-Agency Working Group is unclear. Formalizing this working group should be considered, for example, operating as multi-stakeholder advisory group for other projects, and serving as the national working group for implementation of the national action program (UNCCD) and the national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme.

7

Recommendation 7: There is a need for strengthening flow and access of information for qualified small and medium size farmers to be linked up with opportunities to participate in green value chains. The feasibility of expanding the existing Margin.kz platform or developing a separate mechanism should be investigated, and feasible options should be operationalized.

8

Recommendation 8:  The statistics maintained by the MoA do not provide information on incentive mechanisms that promote sustainable land management, and there are no available statistics on differentiating small and medium-size farmers from large farmers who receive incentives. Understanding the significant differences in farm size and structure across Kazakhstan, it would still be advisable to provide more information breakdowns of delivered incentives, e.g., possibly on a regional basis.

9

Recommendation 9: The capacities of the Kazhydromet and the Center for Space Research should be further utilized and developed in creating tools for identifying and monitoring LDN hotspots in the country, e.g., using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery tools or similar.

10

Recommendation 10: Consistent with the 2018 national LDN Target Setting Programme, the identified LDN hotspots should be integrated into national land use planning and provide scientific-based guidance for prioritizing funding allocation for implementing sustainable land management interventions.

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: There have been a number of reports, technical guidance documents, and other publications produced during the project. However, many of the deliverables do not seem to be in final form. The key reports, technical guidelines, and other publications should be finalized, branded, disseminated to relevant stakeholders, and stored on an accessible platform.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: the project has two reports to be finalized and 7 reports to be branded following the UNDP GEF requirement. All these documents are not yet published, and before getting them published, these documents will be finalized appropriately, marked, and branded.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The following publications will be finalized: 1. Training Module- Farm Business Management 2. Report for rehabilitation of salinized soil The following publications will be branded: (1) Report on the restoration of abandoned and saline lands in the Kyzylorda region; (2) No-tillage guidance book; (3) Minimum Processing Training Module; (4) Technological map of the cultivation of winter wheat with minimum tillage; (5) Green fertilizers and their application in cultivation of spring wheat; (6) Methodical recommendations for pasture farming and fodder production for a farm; (7) Training module: Organic Agriculture. TE recommendations for the project or issue 2.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
UNDP country office 2021/05 Completed
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: The records of equipment purchased and facilities constructed as part of the pilot activities should be documented in more detail, including the amount financed through the GEF project funds, co-financing contributions, and funding from other projects. The documentation should include signed asset transfer records

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The project has been strictly following the UNDP's rules and regulations to transfer the assets to the partners or beneficiaries following full support and the decision of the PBM.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project has got clearance for transferring all the project's assets from the PBM and UNDP operations unit following approval from the UNDP RR. The project will transfer all the enlisted assets to the Analytical Center for Economic Policy in the Agricultural sector under the Ministry of Agriculture of RK
[Added: 2021/05/29]
UNDP country office 2021/05 Completed
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3:   Several different types of agro-environmental incentives were demonstrated during the project and are available through various governmental programmes. An information sheet should be prepared and disseminated, specifically oriented towards small and medium size farmers, that provides details of available agro-environmental incentives. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The project will prepare 22 best practices following agro-environmental incentives demonstrated in 9 targeted demonstration plots during the project and disseminate them towards small and medium-size farmers that provide details of available agro-environmental incentives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Disseminate 22 best practices on agro-environmental incentives to 12 Agricultural extension centers to broadcast it to the SMEs.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
UNDP country office 2021/05 Completed
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: Pilot models implemented by the project should be documented and published (each separately) in open sources of information. The publication should include descriptions of the technologies introduces, their economic characteristics (payback period, etc.), as well as energy and resource efficiency potential. Documenting and disseminating the experiences and lessons from the pilots would increase the replication potential.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The results generated from those pilot models, including descriptions of the technologies introduced, their economic characteristics (payback period, etc.) are already documents and will be shared through the following open sources. www.margin.kz; http://zasuhi.gzi.kz/Default.aspx; http://climate.gzi.kz/

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will prepare information materials on each pilot model and upload them to the above-mentioned open sources.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
UNDP country office 2021/05 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5:  Local extension offices are the primary source of information for many farmers. Specific training modules on implementation of sustainable land and water management practices and access to agro-environmental incentives should be developed, oregularly updated by Ministry of Agriculture entities through partnerships with research and academic institutes.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The UNDP CO will extend its cooperation with 12 targeted extension centers to disseminate documented sustainable land and water management practices and access agro-environmental incentives to all SMEs. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The CO will disseminate leaflets on sustainable land and water management practices, access agro-environmental incentives to all 12 extension centers.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
12 extension centers and project agriculture economist 2021/05 Completed
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: The sustainability of the Inter-Agency Working Group is unclear. Formalizing this working group should be considered, for example, operating as multi-stakeholder advisory group for other projects, and serving as the national working group for implementation of the national action program (UNCCD) and the national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The MOA leads the working group; the working group consists of the experts from the different research institutes subsidized by the Government of RK through the MOA. Thus, the MOA will run the working group in the future.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Following the latest communication with the MOA, UNDP Staff member will continue to act and provide technical support on behalf of the UNDP. All the official communications with the MOA are mutually agreed upon and consolidated.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
MoA and UNDP country office 2021/05 Completed
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7: There is a need for strengthening flow and access of information for qualified small and medium size farmers to be linked up with opportunities to participate in green value chains. The feasibility of expanding the existing Margin.kz platform or developing a separate mechanism should be investigated, and feasible options should be operationalized.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: the UNDP CO will strengthen the flow and access of information for qualified small and medium-size farmers through any other interlinked national projects connected with green value chains and management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP CO will pass over the project’s analytical information and materials to Margin. kz to strengthen further flow and access of information for qualified small and medium-size farmers to be linked with opportunities to participate in green value chains.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
UNDP 2021/05 Completed
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8:  The statistics maintained by the MoA do not provide information on incentive mechanisms that promote sustainable land management, and there are no available statistics on differentiating small and medium-size farmers from large farmers who receive incentives. Understanding the significant differences in farm size and structure across Kazakhstan, it would still be advisable to provide more information breakdowns of delivered incentives, e.g., possibly on a regional basis.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The UNDP CO will further work with the MOA to enhance its statistic and information delivery methods to clear out small and medium-size farmers from large farmers who receive incentives and detail the figures on agro incentives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP CO will present at the next meeting of the MOA's working group new methods of data collection and statistics to clear out small and medium-size farmers from large farmers who receive incentives and detail the figures on agro incentives.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
MoA and UNDP 2021/05 Completed
9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: The capacities of the Kazhydromet and the Center for Space Research should be further utilized and developed in creating tools for identifying and monitoring LDN hotspots in the country, e.g., using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery tools or similar.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: The UNDP CO will be further coordinating and networking the Kazhydromet and the Center for Space Research with the NOAA, Eyes of Earth US-based leading companies to identifying and monitoring LDN hotspots in the country, e.g., using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery tools or similar

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP CO is in touch with Eyes on Earth and NOAA to share bridge the Kazhydromet and the Center for Space Research.
[Added: 2021/05/29]
Space Research Institute, Kazhydromet, and UNDP 2021/05 Completed
10. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: Consistent with the 2018 national LDN Target Setting Programme, the identified LDN hotspots should be integrated into national land use planning and provide scientific-based guidance for prioritizing funding allocation for implementing sustainable land management interventions.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/05/29]

Accepted: All the updated LDN targets are already well defined. The UNDP CO will cooperate with the MOA and the Forestry Committee, and Wildlife to include those LDN targets into the national NAP and report to UNCCD

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The UNDP CO will share the updated LDN targets to the MOA and the Forestry Committee, and Wildlife
[Added: 2021/05/29]
MOA and the Forestry Committee, and Wildlife 2021/05 Completed

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