Terminal Evaluation of the Expanding and Diversifying the National System of Terrestial Protected Areas in the Philippines

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2018, Philippines
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
03/2016
Completion Date:
12/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of the Expanding and Diversifying the National System of Terrestial Protected Areas in the Philippines
Atlas Project Number: 57877
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2018, Philippines
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2016
Planned End Date: 03/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national
Evaluation Budget(US $): 50,000
Source of Funding: Project funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ron Gutierrez Local Contestant ron.ulan@gmail.com
Maria Onestini Team Leader/International Consultant rponesti@criba.edu.ar ARGENTINA
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Expanding and Diversifying the National System of Terrestrial Protected Areas in the Philippines
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 3606
PIMS Number: 3530
Key Stakeholders: DENR-BMB, NCIP, DENR Regional Offices, LGUs, NGOs
Countries: PHILIPPINES
Comments:

The Project is a 4-year Project (2010-2014) being implemented by DENR through BMB with a grant from GEF. The Project aimed to expand and strengthen the terrestrial protected areas system in the Philippines by developing new protected area models and build capacity for effective management of the system. These were envisaged through three major outcomes: Outcome 1: PA system of the Philippines has been expanded under new and diverse management regimes (ancestral domain, local government, and community managed areas) to cover an additional 400,000 hectares of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and with enhanced potential for further expansion; Outcome 2: Improved conservation effectiveness through enhanced systemic, institutional and individual capacities; and Outcome 3: Enhanced financial sustainability of the terrestrial PA system.

The Terminal Evaluation was conducted in January 2016 by a Team composed of International and National Consultants commissioned by UNDP. The activity is composed of site visitation, conduct of KI interviews, meetings with LRPs, DENR Central and Regional Officials, NGOs, NGAs and IP community representatives, and survey questionnaires for site partners not visited.

The Terminal Evaluation team posted an overall rating of Satisfactory for the Project.

 

Lessons
1.
  1. Projects that deal with multiple issues (such as this one that has dealt with productive matters, protection of natural resources, indigenous peoples, and local governance) should involve thoroughly all stakeholders in a clear way with clearly delineated roles.
  2. Involvement in concrete terms in joint implementation of different aspects of a project is crucial in order to create true partnerships.
  3. At the national level the Project had several issues in working with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), a key partner evidently when dealing with issues regarding indigenous people. A lesson learned in this regard is that working with significant partners should not be unsystematic and should be thoroughly promoted throughout the whole life span of a project (formulation, design, and implementation).
  4. Concentrating on extensive rather than in intensive targets is not the most accurate strategy for projects that seek innovation and new models of natural resource management.
  5. Policy attainment, although expected in these sort of projects, goes beyond what can be achieved with the implementation modalities in place. A project should realistically be set out with accurate expectations when dealing with policy work, since it is not sufficient to just provide technical advice in order to adopt policy. That being said, however, if policy is still expected, a project should have clear strategies to accompany or foster policy, such as working with parliaments, promote civil society pressure groups, etc.
  6. Projects create and foster expectations, and when these are not fulfilled (for instance, in this case as in the matter of livelihoods of local people associated to the sustainable management of protected areas) this can create disengagement with the communities.

Findings
1.

The Expanding and Diversifying the National System of Terrestrial Protected Areas in The Philippines (NewCAPP) Project in The Philippines has ended with a series of significant achievements. The Project provided key drivers in the country for innovative models and ways to sustainable manage protected areas while attempting to strengthen the national PA s system as a whole. Therefore, the main objective of expanding and strengthening the terrestrial PA system in the Philippines by developing new PA models and building capacity for effective management of the system has mostly been achieved. The design of the NewCAPP Project was strategic since it recognized the major hindrances to sustainable management of protected areas in the country. Notwithstanding design issues (which were overcome with explicit and tacit adaptation and perseverance by management, as well as their exceptional capacity and willingness to work in partnership with local stakeholders) the NewCAPP project presents at its conclusion a series of expected and unexpected achievements. The products have had the effect of providing bases for issuing local resolutions for the establishment/recognition of conservation areas, a key effect of NewCAPP. A major effect achieved by the NewCAPP Project has been through the work carried out with indigenous peoples’ organizations. The engagement with IPs has gone beyond achieving land coverage, it has also resulted in pertinent strengthened relation with these actors which are key to management of natural resources in the country. This has also enhanced the acknowledgment by State and non – State actors of indigenous peoples’ human rights regarding national resources, a straggling issue in The Philippines. The demarcation and recognition of areas where IPs and their organizations have specific human rights and a key role to play in management is one of the main effects brought about by the Project. The NewCAPP project has also formed and advanced a set of national policy instruments that, if and when approved, could be keystone for sustainable and efficient administration of new models of management in particular and of protected areas in general in The Philippines together with the methodological tools developed within the Project’s framework. Another major achievement has been in piloting financing mechanisms. The successful piloting of some of the payment for environmental service mechanisms established by and through the NewCAPP Project also point to replicable and up scalable mechanisms in the future, which if they are implemented beyond testing and piloting, can be a significant catalyst for sustainable financing of PAs. However, without forceful institutionalization of achievements (which to date has not fully occurred) the task remains to strengthen the socio – economic, financial and governance sustainability factors to secure achievements in the medium and long term.


Recommendations
1

Formulation and designs of these sort of projects should be more realistic, less overly ambitious, and should acknowledge the limitations that implementing such an intervention can have.

2

Progress indicators of implementation and effect incorporated at the design level should also be realistic as a way to guide and gauge whether or not results are being generated, and not set aims so high that are not feasibly reachable within a project.

3

Monitoring should be linked to above, using monitoring and evaluation processes to update project implementation as needed with formal changes to log frame or indicators as necessary and with regular reviews to comprise changes and necessary adaptations in view of what is learned throughout the implementation process.

4

Formulation and design should include flexibility factors, not be so rigid that the design does not acknowledge local circumstances and the prevailing national and local political and social circumstances.

5

If projects continue to comprise expectations regarding policy as an effect, then clear strategies that go beyond technical advice should be embedded in the project in order to promote policy adaptation.

6

In projects that promote innovation, there should be balance between novelty and expected results, acknowledging that innovative projects need time, resources and profound policy changes before results are evident.

7

The participation of key institutions should be clearly stated from the design and formulation levels onward, with specific responsibilities, not being left to unclear notions, and where at all possible including concrete joint work within the sphere of a project.

8

Exit strategy and sustainability factors should be part of the design of a project. This should include a realistic framework for results to continue.

9

Implementation management should work closely with all partners, respecting their characteristics and local capacities, reinforcing how the accomplishments of this project were made.

10

Implementation should always work in a joint manner and built partnerships with regional and local authorities, as well as with civil society especially in projects with a very strong site and local component.

11

A strong emphasis on livelihoods should be embedded in development projects that deal with natural resource management, creating incentives for the communities and their members to incorporate sustainable management practices in their productive patterns and assimilate the benefits of protected areas for their own development while managing resources.

12

Regular review of the Project logic to account for changes and shifts in socio-political circumstances should be carried out throughout the implementation stage.

13

Knowledge management inputs and outputs should be promoted throughout project implementation stage, promoting learning not only from in-country experiences but also to and from regional experiences and acknowledging that just creating products is a necessary but not sufficient condition for individual/institutional capacity building.

14

If policy is an expected project outcome then clear strategy for this should be designed and implemented in alliance with relevant stakeholders and partners, going beyond technical assistance to policy makers and increasing policy adoption advocacy.

15

Other models which were not sufficiently recognized within the project can be explored in the near future, such as for example private protected areas and privately managed protected areas, other models of community-based conservation areas, and in other ecosystems.

16

The group of all produced materials needs to be published and disseminated in a user friendly manner, making sure that materials (tools, publications, manuals, etc.), including those produced by the project but not yet published are printed and / or made available in different formats. A type of knowledge management exercise gathering all materials could also be undertaken in order to gather the materials, identify existing gaps if any, and disseminate the resources. This can also be done to strengthen local and regional capacity acknowledging the different needs for this to happen (for instance, training and capacity building exercises needed)

17

A comprehensive communication plan should be developed and implemented, taking into account the different target audiences (policy makers, local authorities, non-government organizations, indigenous peoples, the international community interested in the project’s achievements)

18

If possible within follow up projects, gaps and unmet products and goals should be taken up and generated / implemented (for instance, formulation and implementation of PA business plans; further enhancement of management plans, and updating any management / financial instrument as needed).

19

Policy work should be followed up, trying to secure policy that would provide workable institution and governance sustainability to the achievements attained and articulating / mainstreaming the work already done.

20

Follow up on the financial issues is necessary, upscaling and institutionalization successful pilots (such as PES) and ascertaining that financial support assured and allocated for the new management models is indeed effected.

1. Recommendation:

Formulation and designs of these sort of projects should be more realistic, less overly ambitious, and should acknowledge the limitations that implementing such an intervention can have.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24] [Last Updated: 2017/06/27]

As the Project has already ended and can no longer implement the recommendation the Bureau will consider the same in developing projects in the future.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Progress indicators of implementation and effect incorporated at the design level should also be realistic as a way to guide and gauge whether or not results are being generated, and not set aims so high that are not feasibly reachable within a project.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The recommendation will be considered in the development of new projects in the future by the Bureau.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Monitoring should be linked to above, using monitoring and evaluation processes to update project implementation as needed with formal changes to log frame or indicators as necessary and with regular reviews to comprise changes and necessary adaptations in view of what is learned throughout the implementation process.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) agreed with the recommendation and will be implemented in the succeeding projects.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Formulation and design should include flexibility factors, not be so rigid that the design does not acknowledge local circumstances and the prevailing national and local political and social circumstances.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) concurred with the recommendation and will be carried out in the implementation of future Projects.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

If projects continue to comprise expectations regarding policy as an effect, then clear strategies that go beyond technical advice should be embedded in the project in order to promote policy adaptation.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) notes the recommendation.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

In projects that promote innovation, there should be balance between novelty and expected results, acknowledging that innovative projects need time, resources and profound policy changes before results are evident.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) notes the recommendation

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

The participation of key institutions should be clearly stated from the design and formulation levels onward, with specific responsibilities, not being left to unclear notions, and where at all possible including concrete joint work within the sphere of a project.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) notes the recommendation

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Exit strategy and sustainability factors should be part of the design of a project. This should include a realistic framework for results to continue.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau will consider this recommendation in the implementation of Projects in the future.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Implementation management should work closely with all partners, respecting their characteristics and local capacities, reinforcing how the accomplishments of this project were made.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The recommendation was already carried out by the Project through working with LRPs, DENR-Regional Offices, concerned NGOs and local communities. The same strategy will be done in future projects such as the Philippine Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas (ICCA) Project.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Implementation should always work in a joint manner and built partnerships with regional and local authorities, as well as with civil society especially in projects with a very strong site and local component.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

This will be part of the mechanism being put forward in the implementation of similar projects such as the Philippine Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas (ICCA) Project

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

A strong emphasis on livelihoods should be embedded in development projects that deal with natural resource management, creating incentives for the communities and their members to incorporate sustainable management practices in their productive patterns and assimilate the benefits of protected areas for their own development while managing resources.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Project has piloted PES in Mt. Kalatungan and will be rolled out in other areas. The Bureau will consider the recommendation explicitly in the development of new projects in the future and existing Projects such as the Philippine ICCA Project.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Regular review of the Project logic to account for changes and shifts in socio-political circumstances should be carried out throughout the implementation stage.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau will implement the recommendations in its future projects.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

Knowledge management inputs and outputs should be promoted throughout project implementation stage, promoting learning not only from in-country experiences but also to and from regional experiences and acknowledging that just creating products is a necessary but not sufficient condition for individual/institutional capacity building.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) notes the recommendation and will be implemented in the upcoming related projects.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

If policy is an expected project outcome then clear strategy for this should be designed and implemented in alliance with relevant stakeholders and partners, going beyond technical assistance to policy makers and increasing policy adoption advocacy.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau agrees with the Terminal Evaluation recommendation and will apply in future projects.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

Other models which were not sufficiently recognized within the project can be explored in the near future, such as for example private protected areas and privately managed protected areas, other models of community-based conservation areas, and in other ecosystems.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau agrees with the recommendation. The BMB currently implements the Critical Habitat Management as other conservation measures outside of NIPAS.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation:

The group of all produced materials needs to be published and disseminated in a user friendly manner, making sure that materials (tools, publications, manuals, etc.), including those produced by the project but not yet published are printed and / or made available in different formats. A type of knowledge management exercise gathering all materials could also be undertaken in order to gather the materials, identify existing gaps if any, and disseminate the resources. This can also be done to strengthen local and regional capacity acknowledging the different needs for this to happen (for instance, training and capacity building exercises needed)

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau recognizes that some materials developed by the Project have not been reproduced and disseminated effectively. The BMB is working for the reproduction of said information materials through its own initiatives and in collaboration with other similar Projects.

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation:

A comprehensive communication plan should be developed and implemented, taking into account the different target audiences (policy makers, local authorities, non-government organizations, indigenous peoples, the international community interested in the project’s achievements)

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Project participated in the formulation of the BMB comprehensive communication plan targeting different audiences. This is being implemented by BMB continuously.

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation:

If possible within follow up projects, gaps and unmet products and goals should be taken up and generated / implemented (for instance, formulation and implementation of PA business plans; further enhancement of management plans, and updating any management / financial instrument as needed).

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau takes note of the recommendation and being considered in the work plan of the Bureau. Business planning process is part of the lessons learned being considered in the updating of management plans where ICCAs are existing. Initiatives on ICCA are also being included in the National PA System Master Plan being prepared thru the Bureau.

Key Actions:

19. Recommendation:

Policy work should be followed up, trying to secure policy that would provide workable institution and governance sustainability to the achievements attained and articulating / mainstreaming the work already done.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The BMB with the new ICCA Project will be working with legislators for the refilling of the ICCA Bill. Coordination with IPs, NGOs and environmental support groups to hasten the legislation of the bill. This will be part of the activities to be funded by the Philippine ICCA Project. The Bureau is also lobbying for the refilling and passage of E-NIPAS Bill where provisions on ICCA is one of the Bill’s key features.

Key Actions:

20. Recommendation:

Follow up on the financial issues is necessary, upscaling and institutionalization successful pilots (such as PES) and ascertaining that financial support assured and allocated for the new management models is indeed effected.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/10/24]

The Bureau agrees with the TE recommendation. Capacity building on sustainable financing should be undertaken. An example of which is the PES that is being considered under Philippine ICCA Project.

Key Actions:

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