Piloting Natural Resource Valuation within Environmental Impact Assessments

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Evaluation Plan:
2007-2011, Jamaica
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2011
Completion Date:
12/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
17,900

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Title Piloting Natural Resource Valuation within Environmental Impact Assessments
Atlas Project Number: 00070518
Evaluation Plan: 2007-2011, Jamaica
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2011
Planned End Date: 12/2011
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
  • 2. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Development plans and programmes integrate environmentally sustainable solutions in a manner that promotes poverty reduction, MDG achievement and low-emission climate-resilient development
Evaluation Budget(US $): 17,900
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: EA
GEF Phase: GEF-1
PIMS Number: 3619
Key Stakeholders: National Environment and Planning Agency and UNDP
Countries: JAMAICA
Comments: Mid-term Evaluation for Piloting Natural Resource Valuation within Environmental Impact Assessments
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 Generate a strategic work plan to support adaptive management - The existing project work plan was reviewed during the evaluation is considered somewhat lacking in strategic detail and should be revisited. The project manager should consider completing a thorough and detailed project work-plan identifying precise outputs required within the project document and steps that will be taken for their completion. The revised work plan should be completed before the end of November 2011 or earlier if possible. The work plan should be quickly vetted with NEPA, Project Steering Committee and UNDP to make certain they understand the project?s benchmarks and how they can best support movement towards the project objective. Each party should agree to the work plan and the benchmarks it sets. The work plan should be streamlined to focus upon achieving critical and prioritized outputs. For instance, if the pilot EIA/NRV is outside the Cockpit, there is little reason to conduct a socio-economic assessment of the region.
2 Revise the results (logical) framework - Once the work plan is completed, the project managers should revisit and improve the project?s results framework. The current framework is not coherent and does not reflect current approaches, e.g., ?SMART? indicators. Achievement of indicators will be critical to the final evaluation and should be guiding project implementation. Simply adding the following indicator would be helpful: ?Percentage of EIA?s that integrate NRV.? The baseline value would be zero. The target value may be 100%. Even more useful would be an indicator that measures the effectiveness of NRV to promote decision-making that results in maintained or improved social welfare and ecological integrity, e.g., water quality/quantity, rate/impact of landslides, carbon sequestration, biodiversity risk/conservation, food security, etc. These seem to be some of the ultimate objectives of integrating NRV within the EIA process. If these objectives are not being met, then NRV may not be serving its purpose.
3 Improve NRV Tools/Sourcebook to serve as NRV manual - The Sourcebook should be revised and improved within the next three months so that it may be used as a practitioner?s manual for integrating and evaluating NRV as part of the EIA process. Revision was foreseen in the Project Document, but this presumed a much more sophisticated draft that would be improved after being diligently tested during the pilot EIA. The revised Sourcebook should be designed based upon a deeper consideration of the audience and the objective. The revised Sourcebook should include greater examples of current international principles and practices related to NRV and market based instruments for the valuation of ecosystem services, e.g., carbon, biodiversity conservation and offsets, water resources management, etc. The Sourcebook should be closely linked to the training program and become a reference manual used during tertiary and accreditation training. Importantly, the Sourcebook is to complement and inform EIA guidelines. The project document states: ?The Sourcebook and natural resource valuation tools will be integrated into guidelines for undertaking EIAs?, ?Integrate natural resource valuation tools and techniques within guidelines for the implementation of EIAs (i.e., an NRV/EIA implementation plan)? and ?By the end of year 1, new guidelines for EIAs developed that incorporate natural resource valuation, and updated periodically during project implementation.? The current Sourcebook is not designed to serve the function of informing EIA procedures. The Sourcebook does not offer guidance to make certain administrative safeguards are in place for rigorous NRV generation and assessment. These safeguards should include public notice and comment based upon principles and practices presented in the Aarhus Convention.
4 Strengthen EIA/SEA administrative and regulatory framework to incorporate NRV safeguards - If not designed carefully, NRV may result in calculations that inappropriately favor the immediate profits offered by unmitigated development over the long-term financial and social benefits of maintaining ecological integrity. These risks may be alleviated with proper administrative and regulatory safeguards designed to direct the development, analysis, and ?weight? of NRV. The Project Document discusses the creation of implementation guidelines for incorporation of NRV with both SEA and EIA processes. This should be a project priority and include the design of administrative and regulatory improvements to guide the application of NRV and associated administrative procedures. These administrative improvements should serve as safeguards to alleviate risks associated with NRV, making certain NRV becomes a balanced tool for improving the evaluation of development and conservation options. NEPA is in the process of reviewing the overall EIA process. This review presents an opportunity for incorporating sound NRV principles and practices.
5 Pilot a non-binding NRV within an on-going EIA The project should pilot NRV within an ongoing EIA if the project can access and/or build enough capacity to make this pilot meaningful. Nearly any on-going EIA could serve as the pilot. The pilot would be financially supported by the project and would utilize both national and international level expertise. The challenge will be identifying a pilot site where adequate data exists or can be easily generated to inform the NRV process. The NRV would not be used to formally sway the actual EIA process. The pilot would be a non-binding exercise designed to test theories, build national capacity through practice, and generate lessons learned to inform further programming.
6 Build capacity of EIA practitioners and regulators - The current training program is doing a very good job familiarizing a broad spectrum of stakeholders with basic NRV knowledge. However, the indicator for output 2.1 is ?capacities strengthened to use natural resource valuation within the framework of their review and approval processes.? The next focus should be making certain that practitioners and regulators exist within the Jamaican system that can apply and analyze NRV within the EIA and SEA Process. This will require revising and upgrading the project?s training plan based upon the detailed project work plan, identifying training/capacity building priorities and defining pathways to meet these needs prior to project close.
7 Improve efficiency of product delivery and quality - The project has substantial funding remaining, a long ways to go before reaching the objective, and a short period to get there. Simultaneous to these challenges, the project seems to be hitting a national capacity ceiling. Perhaps the most efficient and practical way to reach the objective is to recruit and hire international level technical expertise as recommended in the original project document. Although recruitment might be difficult at this late date, the project should consider retaining two part-time experts. One expert would focus primarily upon supporting the economic side of EIA/NRV and the other would be responsible for making certain administrative and regulatory safeguards are in place for the use of NRV. Both should have strong backgrounds in natural resource conservation. They would each be tasked with supporting all three outputs: tools, pilot, training/lessons learned. They would assist project management to make certain that the project delivers international quality outputs in a timely manner. The roles of these experts should be primarily capacity building. Their ultimate responsibility should be transferring skills/knowledge that will help Jamaica institutionalize EIA/NRV. Another track to helping make certain that the project outputs are achieved is to make better use of the PSC. The PSC currently meets quarterly. Over the last ten months of the project, the PSC should consider convening monthly to make certain members remain current on project activity and are able to offer expertise and support for implementation of next steps. These monthly meetings may even be augmented by weekly electronic updates submitted by project management detailing the past weeks? accomplishments and next weeks? planned activities.
1. Recommendation: Generate a strategic work plan to support adaptive management - The existing project work plan was reviewed during the evaluation is considered somewhat lacking in strategic detail and should be revisited. The project manager should consider completing a thorough and detailed project work-plan identifying precise outputs required within the project document and steps that will be taken for their completion. The revised work plan should be completed before the end of November 2011 or earlier if possible. The work plan should be quickly vetted with NEPA, Project Steering Committee and UNDP to make certain they understand the project?s benchmarks and how they can best support movement towards the project objective. Each party should agree to the work plan and the benchmarks it sets. The work plan should be streamlined to focus upon achieving critical and prioritized outputs. For instance, if the pilot EIA/NRV is outside the Cockpit, there is little reason to conduct a socio-economic assessment of the region.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15] [Last Updated: 2012/03/15]

Accepted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The workplan for the remainder of the project has been completed an additional activity of setting timelines for key milestone activities will be completed.
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU 2012/02 Completed
2. Recommendation: Revise the results (logical) framework - Once the work plan is completed, the project managers should revisit and improve the project?s results framework. The current framework is not coherent and does not reflect current approaches, e.g., ?SMART? indicators. Achievement of indicators will be critical to the final evaluation and should be guiding project implementation. Simply adding the following indicator would be helpful: ?Percentage of EIA?s that integrate NRV.? The baseline value would be zero. The target value may be 100%. Even more useful would be an indicator that measures the effectiveness of NRV to promote decision-making that results in maintained or improved social welfare and ecological integrity, e.g., water quality/quantity, rate/impact of landslides, carbon sequestration, biodiversity risk/conservation, food security, etc. These seem to be some of the ultimate objectives of integrating NRV within the EIA process. If these objectives are not being met, then NRV may not be serving its purpose.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15] [Last Updated: 2012/03/15]

The Logical framework will be reviewed and revised as recommended

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Logical Framework will be reviewed to see if any changes can be made.
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, PSC 2012/03 Overdue-Initiated
Change any possible indicators where appropriate.
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, PSC 2012/03 Overdue-Initiated
3. Recommendation: Improve NRV Tools/Sourcebook to serve as NRV manual - The Sourcebook should be revised and improved within the next three months so that it may be used as a practitioner?s manual for integrating and evaluating NRV as part of the EIA process. Revision was foreseen in the Project Document, but this presumed a much more sophisticated draft that would be improved after being diligently tested during the pilot EIA. The revised Sourcebook should be designed based upon a deeper consideration of the audience and the objective. The revised Sourcebook should include greater examples of current international principles and practices related to NRV and market based instruments for the valuation of ecosystem services, e.g., carbon, biodiversity conservation and offsets, water resources management, etc. The Sourcebook should be closely linked to the training program and become a reference manual used during tertiary and accreditation training. Importantly, the Sourcebook is to complement and inform EIA guidelines. The project document states: ?The Sourcebook and natural resource valuation tools will be integrated into guidelines for undertaking EIAs?, ?Integrate natural resource valuation tools and techniques within guidelines for the implementation of EIAs (i.e., an NRV/EIA implementation plan)? and ?By the end of year 1, new guidelines for EIAs developed that incorporate natural resource valuation, and updated periodically during project implementation.? The current Sourcebook is not designed to serve the function of informing EIA procedures. The Sourcebook does not offer guidance to make certain administrative safeguards are in place for rigorous NRV generation and assessment. These safeguards should include public notice and comment based upon principles and practices presented in the Aarhus Convention.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15] [Last Updated: 2012/03/15]

International Technical Expert will be hired to review and address the quality of the source book and other deliverables.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
International Technical Expert to be recruited
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, NEPA 2012/03 Overdue-Initiated
4. Recommendation: Strengthen EIA/SEA administrative and regulatory framework to incorporate NRV safeguards - If not designed carefully, NRV may result in calculations that inappropriately favor the immediate profits offered by unmitigated development over the long-term financial and social benefits of maintaining ecological integrity. These risks may be alleviated with proper administrative and regulatory safeguards designed to direct the development, analysis, and ?weight? of NRV. The Project Document discusses the creation of implementation guidelines for incorporation of NRV with both SEA and EIA processes. This should be a project priority and include the design of administrative and regulatory improvements to guide the application of NRV and associated administrative procedures. These administrative improvements should serve as safeguards to alleviate risks associated with NRV, making certain NRV becomes a balanced tool for improving the evaluation of development and conservation options. NEPA is in the process of reviewing the overall EIA process. This review presents an opportunity for incorporating sound NRV principles and practices.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15] [Last Updated: 2012/03/15]

The incorporation of NRV safeguards will be addressed by the NRV consultants and the EIA committee during the development of the NRV in EIA implementation plan

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discuss the need for NRV safeguards with the NRV local and international consultants and EIA committee.
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, NEPA 2012/07 Overdue-Not Initiated
Test the safeguards in the piloting process
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, NEPA 2012/08 Overdue-Not Initiated
5. Recommendation: Pilot a non-binding NRV within an on-going EIA The project should pilot NRV within an ongoing EIA if the project can access and/or build enough capacity to make this pilot meaningful. Nearly any on-going EIA could serve as the pilot. The pilot would be financially supported by the project and would utilize both national and international level expertise. The challenge will be identifying a pilot site where adequate data exists or can be easily generated to inform the NRV process. The NRV would not be used to formally sway the actual EIA process. The pilot would be a non-binding exercise designed to test theories, build national capacity through practice, and generate lessons learned to inform further programming.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15]

Recommendation noted and a non binding EIA will be conducted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
An appropriate EIA is to be selected and an NRV done supported by the project.
[Added: 2012/03/15]
NEPA 2012/08 Overdue-Initiated An appropriate EIA has been selected (Feb 2012) and the developers contacted re using their project to pilot NRV in thier EIA.
6. Recommendation: Build capacity of EIA practitioners and regulators - The current training program is doing a very good job familiarizing a broad spectrum of stakeholders with basic NRV knowledge. However, the indicator for output 2.1 is ?capacities strengthened to use natural resource valuation within the framework of their review and approval processes.? The next focus should be making certain that practitioners and regulators exist within the Jamaican system that can apply and analyze NRV within the EIA and SEA Process. This will require revising and upgrading the project?s training plan based upon the detailed project work plan, identifying training/capacity building priorities and defining pathways to meet these needs prior to project close.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15] [Last Updated: 2012/03/15]

Recommendation Noted

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hire an Econometric Consultant to undertake Advanced Training in NRV.
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, NEPA 2012/03 Completed The trainer has been hired and the advanced training programme completed by those persons who were selected from the initial NRV training programme. the pesons who showed the greatest understanding of NRV from the private sector and public sector groups were selected for the advanced training.
Training to be incorporated into a programme at select tertiary institutions
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, 2012/12 Overdue-Initiated Schedule for institutionalisation: December 2012 - UTECH; March 2012 - UWI; and August 2012 - MIND
7. Recommendation: Improve efficiency of product delivery and quality - The project has substantial funding remaining, a long ways to go before reaching the objective, and a short period to get there. Simultaneous to these challenges, the project seems to be hitting a national capacity ceiling. Perhaps the most efficient and practical way to reach the objective is to recruit and hire international level technical expertise as recommended in the original project document. Although recruitment might be difficult at this late date, the project should consider retaining two part-time experts. One expert would focus primarily upon supporting the economic side of EIA/NRV and the other would be responsible for making certain administrative and regulatory safeguards are in place for the use of NRV. Both should have strong backgrounds in natural resource conservation. They would each be tasked with supporting all three outputs: tools, pilot, training/lessons learned. They would assist project management to make certain that the project delivers international quality outputs in a timely manner. The roles of these experts should be primarily capacity building. Their ultimate responsibility should be transferring skills/knowledge that will help Jamaica institutionalize EIA/NRV. Another track to helping make certain that the project outputs are achieved is to make better use of the PSC. The PSC currently meets quarterly. Over the last ten months of the project, the PSC should consider convening monthly to make certain members remain current on project activity and are able to offer expertise and support for implementation of next steps. These monthly meetings may even be augmented by weekly electronic updates submitted by project management detailing the past weeks? accomplishments and next weeks? planned activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/03/15] [Last Updated: 2012/03/15]

International experts will be hired to assist in the review and improvement of all project deliverables. In addition the PSC has agreed to meet monthly in order to keep current on the progress of the activities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hire International technical expertise
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU, NEPA 2012/03 Overdue-Initiated
Convene Monthly meeting of the PSC
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU 2007/01 Completed PSC has agreed to meet monthly for the remainder of the project.
Fortnightly electronic updates from the PMU
[Added: 2012/03/15]
PMU 2012/03 Overdue-Initiated Project manager agreed to send updates via email to PSC.

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