UNDP/GEF project "Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into Territorial Policies and Practices" mid-term evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2011-2015, Belarus
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
01/2012
Completion Date:
06/2012
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title UNDP/GEF project "Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into Territorial Policies and Practices" mid-term evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00072384
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2015, Belarus
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2012
Planned End Date: 01/2012
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. 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
  • 2. National and local governments and communities have the capacities to adapt to climate change and make inclusive and sustainable environment & energy decisions benefitting in particular under-served populations
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
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: Biodiversity
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
PIMS Number:
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment
Countries: BELARUS, REPUBLIC OF
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 The project has produced good information on incorporating biodiversity considerations in land use planning, and is planning to share and disseminate this information. This evaluation also recommends that the project consider consolidating this information into a short training curriculum that would be available on an electronic/internet-based platform, and which would provide a certificate to those civil servants who complete this.
2 Given the lack of depth of the civil society sector, to help strengthen support for implementation of biodiversity friendly land use management plans the project should consider conducting trainings for journalists on the project activities and goals, the process for biodiversity integration with land management plans, and the subsequent process for monitoring and enforcement of implementation of these plans.
3 To continue addressing the larger scale threats from agricultural practices that the project is not able to influence through promulgation of the land use plans, the project team could consider producing a short manual on international best-practices for biodiversity friendly agriculture, also highlighting the economic efficiency of such practices in terms of reduction of input costs. Examples could be drawn from other countries in the region ? for example, Romania is among the regional leaders in organic agriculture, and a UNDP-GEF project in Bulgaria is producing a manual on best practice management approaches for high-nature value grasslands and pastures.
4 This evaluation recommends that, as a follow-on to this project and to support long-term implementation of biodiversity friendly land management plans, international donors should consider supporting extension services in environmentally sustainable, international best practices for agriculture.
5 The project team should ensure that as many project knowledge products are posted in relevant online locations, where they will remain for wide distribution.
6 This evaluation recommends that the project team consider using website traffic statistics as an additional indicator for the project?s catalytic effect through information dissemination and knowledge sharing.
7 This evaluation recommends the project partner with a third party independent organization to assess through field data collection the level of implementation of the biodiversity considerations in the four rayon land management plans that will be under implementation in 2012 (this is in relation to the last indicator in the project logframe, under Outcome 2).
8 The scope of up-scaling for the Belarus mainstreaming project is focused on the national level, but the project could also provide an important example to be replicated in other countries. Government land-use planning does not play as prominent role in all countries as it does in Belarus, but in appropriate national contexts the strategy of integrating biodiversity considerations in land use planning could be a critically important approach to conserving biodiversity outside protected areas. This evaluation recommends that UNDP consider conducting an assessment of other national contexts in which the strategy, lessons and experiences from the Belarus mainstreaming project could be replicated. One possible opportunity for replication may be found in Kazakhstan, though further feasibility and assessment would be required.
1. Recommendation: The project has produced good information on incorporating biodiversity considerations in land use planning, and is planning to share and disseminate this information. This evaluation also recommends that the project consider consolidating this information into a short training curriculum that would be available on an electronic/internet-based platform, and which would provide a certificate to those civil servants who complete this.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Fully agree. The project plans to develop a training course on electronic platform for land use planning specialists and informational course for land users.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Development of a training course on electronic platform for land use planning specialists and integration of this course into land use planning specialists? professional training curricular.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
2. Recommendation: Given the lack of depth of the civil society sector, to help strengthen support for implementation of biodiversity friendly land use management plans the project should consider conducting trainings for journalists on the project activities and goals, the process for biodiversity integration with land management plans, and the subsequent process for monitoring and enforcement of implementation of these plans.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Agree. The project has been inviting mass media to all the main project events, and project activities get proper coverage in Belarusian media. However, covering environmental issues, including biodiversity issues, requires special skills from reporters and journalists. To further improve media support for biodiversity related activities, Belarusian journalist should be trained on how to do this in most effective way. Such training can cover not only biodiversity but also other environmental issues, e.g. water, climate change etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Conduct training for environmental journalists on how to effectively cover biodiversity issues.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/06 Completed History
Continue inviting mass media to all the major project events.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
3. Recommendation: To continue addressing the larger scale threats from agricultural practices that the project is not able to influence through promulgation of the land use plans, the project team could consider producing a short manual on international best-practices for biodiversity friendly agriculture, also highlighting the economic efficiency of such practices in terms of reduction of input costs. Examples could be drawn from other countries in the region ? for example, Romania is among the regional leaders in organic agriculture, and a UNDP-GEF project in Bulgaria is producing a manual on best practice management approaches for high-nature value grasslands and pastures.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

The project should define prospective target audience for such a manual. The manual should be tailored to suit this target audience. The UNDP CO in Bulgaria and Rumania should be contacted to learn from their experience in this regard. Development of such a manual can be discussed with the key stakeholders, taking into account also the limited project budget considerations. If supported by the key stakeholders, a short manual on international best-practices for biodiversity friendly agriculture should be developed, published and disseminated among the target groups. Social advertisement filmlets on the ?cost of biodiversity? should be prepared on the basis of the manual.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussion with national counterparts the necessity of a short manual on international best-practices for biodiversity friendly agriculture.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/06 Completed History
Development and dissemination of the manual to the target groups.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
Prepare social advertisement filmlets on the "cost of biodiversity"
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
4. Recommendation: This evaluation recommends that, as a follow-on to this project and to support long-term implementation of biodiversity friendly land management plans, international donors should consider supporting extension services in environmentally sustainable, international best practices for agriculture.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Fully agree. Promoting and fund raising activities should be conducted to find financing to support extension services in environmentally sustainable, international best practices for agriculture. Respective project proposal(s) should be developed and discussed with prospective donors.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Development of project proposals on projects supporting introduction in Belarus best international practices on environmentally friendly agriculture.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
5. Recommendation: The project team should ensure that as many project knowledge products are posted in relevant online locations, where they will remain for wide distribution.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Project knowledge products are posted on project web-site on a regular basis. Target groups are regularly informed about new publications posted on the project web-site on a regular basis. The project will cooperate with national and international partners, including the MoEnv, libraries and UNDP projects to use their Internet based platforms to disseminate knowledge products produced.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Continue posting project knowledge products on project web-site with direct informing of target groups.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2014/06 Completed History
Identify partners that can provide their Internet based platforms for information dissemination
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2014/03 Completed History
Provide project knowledge products to these partners in e-format to be placed on-line by the partners.
[Added: 2012/06/20]
Project Management Unit No due date No deadline established
Monitor the effectiveness of this way of information dissemination.
[Added: 2012/06/20]
Project Management Unit, MoEnv, UNDP No due date No deadline established
6. Recommendation: This evaluation recommends that the project team consider using website traffic statistics as an additional indicator for the project?s catalytic effect through information dissemination and knowledge sharing.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Website traffic statistics has been initially introduced for renewed project web-site as an additional indicator for the project?s catalytic effect through information dissemination and knowledge sharing.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Collect and analyze project?s website traffic statistics. Present results of this analysis in project progress and annual reports.
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
7. Recommendation: This evaluation recommends the project partner with a third party independent organization to assess through field data collection the level of implementation of the biodiversity considerations in the four rayon land management plans that will be under implementation in 2012 (this is in relation to the last indicator in the project logframe, under Outcome 2).
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Discussion should be conducted with project partners, particularly with the National Academy of Sciences and the MoEnv, on their involvement after the project in monitoring and evaluation of the level of implementation of the biodiversity considerations in rayon land management plans in selected rayons targeted in 2012. In case the partner(s) agree, rayons subject for monitoring and evaluation should be selected, monitoring plan developed. The results of this monitoring should be submitted to the Ministry of Environment for evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures proposed by the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Negotiate with the project partners, particularly with the National Academy of Sciences and the MoEnv, on their involvement in post project monitoring of the level and effectiveness of implementation of the biodiversity considerations in the four rayon land management plans
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History
8. Recommendation: The scope of up-scaling for the Belarus mainstreaming project is focused on the national level, but the project could also provide an important example to be replicated in other countries. Government land-use planning does not play as prominent role in all countries as it does in Belarus, but in appropriate national contexts the strategy of integrating biodiversity considerations in land use planning could be a critically important approach to conserving biodiversity outside protected areas. This evaluation recommends that UNDP consider conducting an assessment of other national contexts in which the strategy, lessons and experiences from the Belarus mainstreaming project could be replicated. One possible opportunity for replication may be found in Kazakhstan, though further feasibility and assessment would be required.
Management Response: [Added: 2012/06/20]

Fully agreed. The project will share information, including the lessons learnt (negative and positive) on the approaches used to conserve and use sustainably biodiversity outside protected areas with other countries.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Participate in the Sofia UNDP/GEF conference and share project experience.
[Added: 2012/06/20]
Project Management Unit 2012/05 Completed
Ask the UNDP BRC (Bratislava) to share positive project experience
[Added: 2012/06/20] [Last Updated: 2016/05/20]
Project Management Unit 2013/12 Completed History

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