Biodiversity mainstreaming into Russian energy sector

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Evaluation Plan:
2011-2017, Russian Federation
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
12/2015
Completion Date:
11/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
20,000

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Title Biodiversity mainstreaming into Russian energy sector
Atlas Project Number: 00070439
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2017, Russian Federation
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2015
Planned End Date: 12/2015
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Local and national authorities have the capacities to access and integrate multiple sources of public and private environmental financing in support of sustainable human development, including gender equality and poverty reduction
Evaluation Budget(US $): 20,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 21,489
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Josh Brann International Consultant Brann.Evaluation@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number:
Key Stakeholders: Private sector, Ministry of Natural Resources
Countries: RUSSIAN FEDERATIONRUSSIAN FEDERATION
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

The project should revise the results framework to strengthen results-based management approach, improve the “SMART-ness” of indicators, and improve the project’s ability to report on key results (Note: Revision already completed in time for 2015 PIR based on discussions during mid-term evaluation, prior to publishing of the mid-term evaluation report).

(MTE, page. 10).

2

The project must prioritize maintaining high annual financial delivery of the project budget. The initial low disbursement in 2012 and 2013 means that the project cannot afford further slippage without risking a loss of cost-effectiveness if the project requires long extensions.

3

Increase and expand the project’s work on oil sector spill and emergency response preparedness. This is not significant focus on the project document, yet oil spills have the potential for catastrophic biodiversity impacts; minimizing the chance of such catastrophic events would be a highly valuable result for the project. In addition, this is a cost-effective approach, as remediation for oil spills is much more expensive than prevention. The project has gained some additional results in this area through the preparation of guidelines for assessing offshore oil spill response plans, as requested by the MNRE, and it would be desirable to further develop the project’s work on these issues.

4

The project must assess the situation in relation to the potential progress and engagement of coal companies and regional and local authorities in the Khakassia pilot region. The project may consider scaling back originally planned project activities in this pilot region (e.g. further development of Trekhozerka zakaznik, etc.), and re-directing resources to the most effective pilot sites. This would reduce the project’s potential impact in the coal sector, but the project scope is already significant, and the results in the coal sector in the Kemerovo pilot site have been positive. The mid-term is the time to assess areas of the project that are not progressing adequately, and re-direct resources to more effective areas of the project.

 (MTE, page 10).

5

The project must work to ensure that the public-private partnerships for biodiversity conservation are fully handed off and transitioned to sustainable status at the end of the project. The partnerships represented in the project between UNDP, the Government of Russia, and the private sector energy company partners are innovative and unique. At the global level there is an increasing number of partnerships between biodiversity conservation stakeholders and the private sector, and the project should work to link the Russian companies involved in this project into other national and global initiatives and partnerships. At the international level, these include the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the CBD platform on Business and Biodiversity, the initiative on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and multiple international NGOs that have built positive working relationships with the private sector, such as WWF, and Conservation International’s Business & Sustainability Council. In short the project must work to ensure that following completion of this project, the good will built during the project flourishes, and the private sector partners that are involved are effectively engaged in further public partnerships for biodiversity conservation, and not just left to find their own way.

6

In the second half of implementation, the project must establish an effective balance between achieving results and ensuring results are sustained after completion. Many project teams are so focused on delivery of results up until the last minute of a project’s life that they neglect aspects important for ensuring sustainability. This can include the publication and wide dissemination of key project outputs, workshops or conferences highlighting key results, and aspects such as ensuring a sustained online repository of key project output documents. Specific steps to address this issue may include

a.) Developing a project exit strategy that outlines steps to be taken, and how results will be sustained;

b.) Holding project planning sessions to brainstorm specific approaches to enhancing sustainability;

c.) Engaging key stakeholders, such as PSC members and other partners, to disseminate project outputs within their respective constituencies and take follow-up steps;

d.) Assigning specific project team members with responsibilities relating to the exit strategy.

7

The project must leverage mechanisms to scale-up and increase the roll-out of biodiversity conservation measures more widely within each of the energy sectors the project is working on, beyond just the primary project partner companies. Private sector companies want a level playing field in the marketplace, and do not want to be at a disadvantage to their competitors. If some companies implement voluntary environmental protection measures that have financial costs, they may not be as competitive in the market compared to companies that choose not to take on such responsibilities. The project should support the adoption of relevant biodiversity conservation measures by all companies in a particular sector, to ensure that the primary partner companies maintain their willingness to work on these issues. The project’s work through the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs is an excellent start in this direction, but the project must explore any other such opportunities, including government adoption of regulations and requirements that would apply to all companies.

(MTE, page 11).

1. Recommendation:

The project should revise the results framework to strengthen results-based management approach, improve the “SMART-ness” of indicators, and improve the project’s ability to report on key results (Note: Revision already completed in time for 2015 PIR based on discussions during mid-term evaluation, prior to publishing of the mid-term evaluation report).

(MTE, page. 10).

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

The Project results framework was revised during the Mid-Term Evaluation and prior to the publishing of the Mid-term Evaluation Report. Based on the MTR proposals, the SMART-model-based Scorecard was incorporated for the Project deliverables to match GEF-4 and GEF-5 targets.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

The project must prioritize maintaining high annual financial delivery of the project budget. The initial low disbursement in 2012 and 2013 means that the project cannot afford further slippage without risking a loss of cost-effectiveness if the project requires long extensions.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

The budget delivery was among the key priorities of PMU in 2014 and 2015:  the annual delivery against the 2014 budget was 95,5% and the same level is expected for 2015. The Project has developed the detailed Annual Workplans for 2016-2017 with the breakdown of the future activities against the costs and will provide those Plans as the part of the Project Extension request package.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop the detailed Annual Workplans for 2016-2017 with the breakdown of the future activities against the costs and provide those as the part of the Project Extension request package.
[Added: 2016/04/20]
PMU 2015/12 Completed The Draft Annual Workplans for 2016-2017 have been prepared, to be approved by the PSC in February 2016.
Re-assess the Risk at 2016 PIR and strengthen the control measures, if required.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/08 Completed The project delivery has been closely monitored and improved for the second half of the project. History
3. Recommendation:

Increase and expand the project’s work on oil sector spill and emergency response preparedness. This is not significant focus on the project document, yet oil spills have the potential for catastrophic biodiversity impacts; minimizing the chance of such catastrophic events would be a highly valuable result for the project. In addition, this is a cost-effective approach, as remediation for oil spills is much more expensive than prevention. The project has gained some additional results in this area through the preparation of guidelines for assessing offshore oil spill response plans, as requested by the MNRE, and it would be desirable to further develop the project’s work on these issues.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

The Project will continue the work on the preparation of guidelines for assessing offshore oil spill response plans, as requested by the MNRE, and will incorporate the Best Available Practices for the prevention and preparedness such as Net Environmental Benefit Analysis for Oil Spill response planning in the document. In parallel, the Project will explore the opportunities to improve Oil Spill Response system within the Project partner companies.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Send the prepared Guidelines for assessing offshore oil spill response plans to the Stakeholders for the comments.
[Added: 2016/04/20]
PMU 2015/11 Completed Guidelines were sent on November, 23 and comments received on December, 18.
Finalize the Guidelines and submit to MNRE for the endorsement.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/04 Completed History
Explore the opportunities of the collaboration with WWF-Russia and Lukoil for Oiled Wildlife Response in the Arctic.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/12 Completed History
Support MNRE in the implementation of 2016-2017 Arctic Plan for the Biodiversity Conservation in case of Oil Spills including the preparation of the proposals for strengthening the Federal legislation.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2017/12 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

The project must assess the situation in relation to the potential progress and engagement of coal companies and regional and local authorities in the Khakassia pilot region. The project may consider scaling back originally planned project activities in this pilot region (e.g. further development of Trekhozerka zakaznik, etc.), and re-directing resources to the most effective pilot sites. This would reduce the project’s potential impact in the coal sector, but the project scope is already significant, and the results in the coal sector in the Kemerovo pilot site have been positive. The mid-term is the time to assess areas of the project that are not progressing adequately, and re-direct resources to more effective areas of the project.

 (MTE, page 10).

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

The Project team highly appreciates this advice will re-visit the possibilities with  Khakasia Region. Indeed, the coal exploration in Khakasia has started relatively recently, the public society is not fully aware about the future development plans and the Regional Authorities do not demonstrate enough commitment required for establishment of a functional dialogue with the coal companies on the socio-environmental issues. The Project will re-assess the situation and will most likely limit its involvement in Khakassia around local community engagement and transfer of experience related to private sector engagement from Kemerovo and Sakhalin.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Hire regional coordinator for Khakassia. Issue formal request to the Government of Khakassia and coal companies, followed by a field visit aimed to reassess the possibilities of further project interventions in the region.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/09 Completed History
Once the commitment from the regional authorities and coal companies is confirmed, agree on and start implementing joint activities. Potential pilots include a)joint research of the coal mining impact on biodiversity in the area of the ornithological reserve â??Sorokaozerka Stowâ??, and b) preparation of the scope of compensation activities based on the above research results and two EIA projects of the company.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU Regional Coordinator 2016/09 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project is completed and closed. ]
History
5. Recommendation:

The project must work to ensure that the public-private partnerships for biodiversity conservation are fully handed off and transitioned to sustainable status at the end of the project. The partnerships represented in the project between UNDP, the Government of Russia, and the private sector energy company partners are innovative and unique. At the global level there is an increasing number of partnerships between biodiversity conservation stakeholders and the private sector, and the project should work to link the Russian companies involved in this project into other national and global initiatives and partnerships. At the international level, these include the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the CBD platform on Business and Biodiversity, the initiative on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and multiple international NGOs that have built positive working relationships with the private sector, such as WWF, and Conservation International’s Business & Sustainability Council. In short the project must work to ensure that following completion of this project, the good will built during the project flourishes, and the private sector partners that are involved are effectively engaged in further public partnerships for biodiversity conservation, and not just left to find their own way.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

This is the real challenge and the Project will approach global initiatives and partnerships such as CBD, WBCSD, IUCN B&B Programme to find the tools and mechanisms for the transitions of the existing private-public partnerships and privates sector engagement to the sustained platform at the end of the Project. On the one hand, the Project will focus to make the work done in Russia more visible for the outside world, particularly, by translating the Project web-site key materials into English and creating the «Business and Biodiversity» page on the web-site of the Ministry of natural recourses and environment of the Russian Federation. On the other hand, the Project is planning to include recently endorsed Sustainable Development Goals in the agenda of the ongoing Project activities in Russia to transfer the global objectives and targets to the national level.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue the engagement with IUCN Business and Biodiversity Programme
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/12 Completed A strong and productive cooperation established. History
Participate in 2016 World Conservation Congress Forum to present the key project results to make the work done in Russia more visible for the outside world.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/09 Completed The project secured participation in the forum History
Participate in 2016 CBD Business and Biodiversity Forum with a view of partnership-building and experience exchange in terms of national Business and Biodiversity Platform Development.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/12 Completed History
6. Recommendation:

In the second half of implementation, the project must establish an effective balance between achieving results and ensuring results are sustained after completion. Many project teams are so focused on delivery of results up until the last minute of a project’s life that they neglect aspects important for ensuring sustainability. This can include the publication and wide dissemination of key project outputs, workshops or conferences highlighting key results, and aspects such as ensuring a sustained online repository of key project output documents. Specific steps to address this issue may include

a.) Developing a project exit strategy that outlines steps to be taken, and how results will be sustained;

b.) Holding project planning sessions to brainstorm specific approaches to enhancing sustainability;

c.) Engaging key stakeholders, such as PSC members and other partners, to disseminate project outputs within their respective constituencies and take follow-up steps;

d.) Assigning specific project team members with responsibilities relating to the exit strategy.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

The Project recognizes this Recommendation as being very important and will prioritize the work on the sustainability of the results. The development of the Project Exit Strategy is another good piece of advice. The planning and communication sessions will be the essential part of the Strategy as well as the engagement with all stakeholders, outreach messages and stocktaking to make the key achievements and lessons learnt available inside and outside Russia. In 2016-2017 the Project will enforce representation of the Project results and raise visibility at different events including ones mentioned in the response to Evaluation Recommendation #6.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Develop the Project Exit and Sustainability Strategy in the consultations with all Stakeholders.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/09 Completed History
Discuss and endorse the project Exit and Sustainability Strategy with PSC, UNDP and National Director.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2016/12 Completed History
7. Recommendation:

The project must leverage mechanisms to scale-up and increase the roll-out of biodiversity conservation measures more widely within each of the energy sectors the project is working on, beyond just the primary project partner companies. Private sector companies want a level playing field in the marketplace, and do not want to be at a disadvantage to their competitors. If some companies implement voluntary environmental protection measures that have financial costs, they may not be as competitive in the market compared to companies that choose not to take on such responsibilities. The project should support the adoption of relevant biodiversity conservation measures by all companies in a particular sector, to ensure that the primary partner companies maintain their willingness to work on these issues. The project’s work through the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs is an excellent start in this direction, but the project must explore any other such opportunities, including government adoption of regulations and requirements that would apply to all companies.

(MTE, page 11).

Management Response: [Added: 2016/04/20]

The Project is actively cooperating with other major Industry companies additionally to the Project Partners, particularly, in Oil&Gas Sector promoting the development and implementation of the common approaches and standards in Sector Policies and Operations. The Project will explore the opportunities to set up the level playing field by creating new or evaluating existing mechanisms at regional and federal levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue the development of the set of the Guidelines for Energy Sector.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2017/12 Completed The Guidelines developed History
Explore the opportunities to establish the permanent Stakeholder Biodiversity Working Groups at regional and federal levels.
[Added: 2016/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/28]
PMU 2017/12 Completed History

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