Strengthening Protected Area System of the Komi Republic to Conserve Virgin Forest Biodiversity in the Pechora River Headwaters Region

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2011-2017, Russian Federation
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2015
Completion Date:
11/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document 2496 Komi Terminal Evaluation Terms of Reference_final.docx tor English 117.21 KB Posted 377
Download document KOMI_TE_final.pdf report English 7877.22 KB Posted 291
Title Strengthening Protected Area System of the Komi Republic to Conserve Virgin Forest Biodiversity in the Pechora River Headwaters Region
Atlas Project Number: 00059042
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2017, Russian Federation
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2014
Planned End Date: 02/2015
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Stuart Williams Evaluator
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number: 2496
Key Stakeholders: Rosprirodnadzor of Komi Republic, Ministry of Natural Resources
Countries: RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 While inputs and a focus on the production of outputs can be useful and are sometimes essential, projects must examine every activity that they carry out (both those already written into the project document and those that are carried out as part of adaptive management) and consider carefully how they will contribute to achieving the project?s intended impacts. Further to this, projects should also consider how to measure the impact of the activities they undertake.
2 The logframe is central to how the project?s success is measured. It should, therefore, be carefully designed such that if and when the indicators, the project?s goal, objective and outcomes will be fully achieved. Despite the changes to the logframe proposed by the MTE and despite the discussions that the MTE must have had with the Komi Project Manager, the logframe i) was still unsatisfactory from the perspective of the PM and ii) was not fully adjusted to reflect the recommendations of the MTE. The result was that while the logframe for the project was not bad, it did not fully reflect the direction in which the PM thought the project should be going and hence it was somewhat neglected.
3 The protected area coverage targeted by the project ? and ultimately in the strategic plan for the official federal and republic level protected area system of the Komi Republic ? is arguably under ambitious when compared with targets that have been achieved or are targeted in other areas with significantly higher population densities. It would have set an outstanding precedent if the coverage target had been in some way inversely proportional to the low population density of the Republic.
4 In order to secure the investment that the project has made into tourism infrastructure, principally in the Yugyd va National Park, the project should have considered (with the partners ? including the PA Centre, the NCP and the National Park authorities themselves), what the next steps would be to ensure that the assumptions and risks associated with developing the infrastructure were overcome. Included in this should have been a marketing strategy, the implementation of which could have already been started.
5 The advance for construction contracts, on signature, is maximum 20% of the value of the contract. This leads to the overall contract being more expensive, in the long run, because the contractor then claims that he needs to take out a(n expensive) loan to procure all the materials for the construction project. The cost of the interest on the loan is then transferred onto the project. The alternative is that, on contract signature, an advance of, say, 65% of the value of the contract is made. This would negate the need for such a loan and the interest paid on the loan, and hence increase cost effectiveness.
6 The project?s website is outstanding in the amount of information, both in English and in Russian. This is a valuable resource and should all be transferred to the website of the PA Centre. The maintenance of the PA Centre?s website should also be ensured through the allocation of sufficient resources in their annual budget. This should include the *.pdf documents of all the project outputs. Further to this, because the majority ? if not all ? of the schools have internet access, the PA Centre and project should work with the Ministry of Education of the Komi Republic to create links from to ensure i) the teachers are aware of the PA Centre?s website and the resources on it and ii) to ensure that the resources and information are used
7 Ensure the implementation of the protected area system strategic plan
8 The project is recommended to produce a short memorandum on the processes used and lessons learned for the optimal establishment of regional and federal protected areas
9 It would be advantageous if the PA Centre works to adopt the METT for all the protected areas within the Komi Republic and, perhaps in collaboration with the Institute of Biology, it should carry out the analysis of the management effectiveness of all protected areas every three years.
10 The non-commercial partnership ?Komi PA Union? (NCP) needs to be transparent and accountable; technical and financial audit by independent auditors is recommended. Technical and financial reporting to the founders needs to continue
11 It would be good to publish, in brief, the story of the NCP ? the rationale that underpins it, the roles and responsibilities that it will fulfill, how it will be overseen and managed, how it will be transparent and accountable and to whom, and how it will be sustained. This can be written as a memorandum for other regions around the country if they wish to replicate the experience within the Komi Republic.
1. Recommendation: While inputs and a focus on the production of outputs can be useful and are sometimes essential, projects must examine every activity that they carry out (both those already written into the project document and those that are carried out as part of adaptive management) and consider carefully how they will contribute to achieving the project?s intended impacts. Further to this, projects should also consider how to measure the impact of the activities they undertake.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

While the recommendation is particularly true for the given project and indeed not all of the activities and inputs have been directly contributing to the desired impact achievement, it is worth noting that the workplanning and decision-making for the UNDP/GEF projects are participatory processes involving many stakeholder interests to which the project should be responsive; thus, the current project strategy is a mere reflection of this idea. For future projects perhaps more efforts from the project team and national implementing partner should be spent to keep the project focused on declared outcomes and impact. Project logframes should be made as much impact-oriented as possible, thus providing an essential tool for the implementation of the above recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
For the EU-funded ClimaEast project component that will continue till 2016, the project team and the project implementing partner will have the project strategy more focused and impact-oriented, using the lessons learnt from the UNDP/GEF project implementation
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, National Implementing Partner, Project Steering Committee 2016/01 Completed History
2. Recommendation: The logframe is central to how the project?s success is measured. It should, therefore, be carefully designed such that if and when the indicators, the project?s goal, objective and outcomes will be fully achieved. Despite the changes to the logframe proposed by the MTE and despite the discussions that the MTE must have had with the Komi Project Manager, the logframe i) was still unsatisfactory from the perspective of the PM and ii) was not fully adjusted to reflect the recommendations of the MTE. The result was that while the logframe for the project was not bad, it did not fully reflect the direction in which the PM thought the project should be going and hence it was somewhat neglected.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The project team shares the TE view and proposes the key actions described below

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Based on the GEF Project experience, prepare desired amendments to the EU-funded ClimaEast project component logframe. Share the amendments with the current mid-term evaluator of the Clima-East portfolio and the Clima-East regional coordinator, for consideration and possible endorsement
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, UNDP PSO 2016/01 Completed History
3. Recommendation: The protected area coverage targeted by the project ? and ultimately in the strategic plan for the official federal and republic level protected area system of the Komi Republic ? is arguably under ambitious when compared with targets that have been achieved or are targeted in other areas with significantly higher population densities. It would have set an outstanding precedent if the coverage target had been in some way inversely proportional to the low population density of the Republic.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

Without the comprehensive inventory of biodiversity values and threats throughout the Republic, all PA coverage targets would have been mere speculation. This fundamental work was supported by the project and is still in process for the permafrost areas. Only after the full inventory results become available (in 2016), it would be technically possible to propose amendment to the recently adopted strategic Plan for PA development and change the targets for PA coverage in the Republic. Besides, it should be noted that of 13.5 % of the Republic are already protected in addition to the federal and regional protected areas: there are protected forests in Komi whose total area is 14,446,800 ha, municipal PAs, water protection strips, Category 1 spawning rivers etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Expedite, where possible, the finalization of the inventory of biodiversity values and threats. Facilitate their appraisal by relevant authorities. Deliver the FE message regarding the outstanding precedent of a higher PA coverage, to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Government of Komi Republic
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, PA Centre 2016/01 Completed Completed witin the EC-funded ClimaEast permafrost peatlands project: the Komi Institute of Biology has finalized the Inventory of biodiversity values and treats of the territories between National park Yugyd va and Pechora-Ilych reserve, published results and forwarded to the Komi Republic Government. Report available at http://www.undp-komi.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1685:2016-02-17-09-10-20&catid=73:-6&Itemid=125 History
4. Recommendation: In order to secure the investment that the project has made into tourism infrastructure, principally in the Yugyd va National Park, the project should have considered (with the partners ? including the PA Centre, the NCP and the National Park authorities themselves), what the next steps would be to ensure that the assumptions and risks associated with developing the infrastructure were overcome. Included in this should have been a marketing strategy, the implementation of which could have already been started.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

Recommendation is appreciated and will be implemented through the key actions listed below

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project is currently updating the business plans of the National Park ?Yugyd va?. including analysis of the effectiveness of implemented infrastructure projects, and development of the marketing strategy. In order to address the threats for the regional PAs with the highest human impact located in the fragile permafrost zone, the project will prepare relevant management plans and regulations
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, Yugyd National Park Va, PA Centre 2016/01 Completed Updated business plans of the National Park “Yugyd va”. including analysis of the effectiveness of implemented infrastructure projects, and development of the marketing strategy, accepted by administration of the national park. Besides, the project developed relevant management plans and regulations concerning regional RAs in the area of permafrost History
5. Recommendation: The advance for construction contracts, on signature, is maximum 20% of the value of the contract. This leads to the overall contract being more expensive, in the long run, because the contractor then claims that he needs to take out a(n expensive) loan to procure all the materials for the construction project. The cost of the interest on the loan is then transferred onto the project. The alternative is that, on contract signature, an advance of, say, 65% of the value of the contract is made. This would negate the need for such a loan and the interest paid on the loan, and hence increase cost effectiveness.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

UNDP Procurement rules do not generally allow for contract advances exceeding 20% of the total contract value. In case a larger advance is required, the national implementing partner should take on the risks (in writing) associated with advancing substantial amounts to subcontractors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will follow the UNDP rules, and in a case of exceptional situation will address the National Implementing Partner (Komi Rosprirodnadzor) to assume the risk associated with advancing substantional amounts to subcontractors
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, UNDP 2016/01 Completed In the Clima East component, there were cases of more than 20% advance payments justified by the National Implementing Partner History
6. Recommendation: The project?s website is outstanding in the amount of information, both in English and in Russian. This is a valuable resource and should all be transferred to the website of the PA Centre. The maintenance of the PA Centre?s website should also be ensured through the allocation of sufficient resources in their annual budget. This should include the *.pdf documents of all the project outputs. Further to this, because the majority ? if not all ? of the schools have internet access, the PA Centre and project should work with the Ministry of Education of the Komi Republic to create links from to ensure i) the teachers are aware of the PA Centre?s website and the resources on it and ii) to ensure that the resources and information are used
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The project supports the recommendation and will address it as shown below in Key Actions

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure maintenance of the PA Center?s website. Transfer the project products to the PA Center?s website.Communicate links to the key project products to the Ministry of Education of the Komi Republic and target schools
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, UNDP, PSC 2016/01 Completed History
7. Recommendation: Ensure the implementation of the protected area system strategic plan
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The project agrees with the TE that the legacy of the project ? and how the project is judged in the long-term ? hinges on whether or not the PA strategic plan is implemented. In the coming two years, as members of the project team continue to implement the EU-funded ClimaEast project, they would monitor the implementation of the strategic plan and use whatever political capital they can muster to nudge it forward. The strategic plan will be made central to the PA Center?s website to allow monitoring of the progress in implementation of the strategic plan. In addition, the PA Centre will be urged to keep the UNDP/GEF informed of progress in the future.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project team will monitor the implementation of the strategic plan and use whatever political capital they can muster to nudge it forward. The PA Center will get the official recommendation from the PND for the strategic plan to be made central to the PA Center?s website to allow monitoring of the progress in implementation of the strategic plan. In addition, the PA Centre will be urged by the project team to keep the UNDP/GEF informed of progress in the future
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, PA Center, Komi Rosprirodnadzor, Komi Ministry of Natural Resources, Komi Government, UNDP PSO 2016/01 Completed The delay with the iplementation of the strategic plan in 2015-2016 was caused by the administrative reform in the Republic, when the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Komi ceasesd to exist while its functions were assumed by the Ministry of Industry, Transport and Energy. The proect team and the project implementing partner used whatever political power they had to establish contacts with the new focal points assigned for the regional PA management. The effort culminated with the gazettment of the Chernorechensky refuge established for protection of permafrost, right on time for the final evaluation of the EU-finded Clima East project that has this PA as one of the key triggers History
8. Recommendation: The project is recommended to produce a short memorandum on the processes used and lessons learned for the optimal establishment of regional and federal protected areas
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The project agrees to prepare a memo on the processes used and lessons learned for the optimal establishment of regional protected areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Preparation of a memo on the processes used and lessons learned for the optimal establishment of regional protected areas
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team 2015/12 Completed The memo on the processes used and lessons learned for the optimal establishment of regional protected areas in the frames of project: http://www.undp-komi.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=212:2010-03-09-10-12-15&catid=39:-1&Itemid=88 History
9. Recommendation: It would be advantageous if the PA Centre works to adopt the METT for all the protected areas within the Komi Republic and, perhaps in collaboration with the Institute of Biology, it should carry out the analysis of the management effectiveness of all protected areas every three years.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The project will take efforts to assist the PA Centre in adoption of the METT for the model protected areas within the Komi Republic. The project will conclude an agreement with the Institute of Biology to carry out the analysis of the management effectiveness of the model protected areas located in the permafrost zone every three years

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Engage expert(s) to adopt METT for the model protected areas within the Komi Republic. Conclude the agreement with the Institute of Biology to carry out the analysis of the management effectiveness of the model protected areas located in the permafrost zone every three years
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team 2016/03 Completed The management efficiency of the Yugyd va national park has been assessed using modified WWF methodology. It is further planned to adapt this technique to evaluate the management efficiency of regional protected areas History
10. Recommendation: The non-commercial partnership ?Komi PA Union? (NCP) needs to be transparent and accountable; technical and financial audit by independent auditors is recommended. Technical and financial reporting to the founders needs to continue
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The recommendation is appreciated and will be implemented through the key actions listed below

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
NCP independent audits, both technical and financial, was arranged right after the FE. Recommendations to improve performance and ensure sustainability of the NCP were developed. Further key actions include corrective measures, such as NCP business strategy development, NCP services diversification, staff capacity building, and elaboration of a transparent reporting scheme for the NCP
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, NCP 2016/01 Completed Independent NCP audits (technical and financial) have been conducted. In the course of these audits, recommendations for the improvement of NCP activities and support of its stability have been worked out. History
11. Recommendation: It would be good to publish, in brief, the story of the NCP ? the rationale that underpins it, the roles and responsibilities that it will fulfill, how it will be overseen and managed, how it will be transparent and accountable and to whom, and how it will be sustained. This can be written as a memorandum for other regions around the country if they wish to replicate the experience within the Komi Republic.
Management Response: [Added: 2016/01/12]

The project will produce and publish the brochure ?Non-commercial organization for the implementation the PA income generation programs: the experience of the UNDP/GEF project in the Komi Republic?

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will produce and publish the brochure ?Non-commercial organization for the implementation the PA income generation programs: the experience of the UNDP/GEF project in the Komi Republic?
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team 2015/12 Completed The project produced and published the brochure “Non-commercial organization for the implementation the PA income generation programs: the experience of the UNDP/GEF project in the Komi Republic” http://www.undp-komi.org/images/pdf/publications/rukovodstvo-nko_dlya_oopt_melnichuk2015.pdf History

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

220 East 42nd Street
20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org