Terminal Evaluation on biodiversity management in the coastal area of China's South Sea project

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Evaluation Plan:
2011-2015, China
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2011
Completion Date:
12/2011
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
24,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation on biodiversity management in the coastal area of China's South Sea project
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2015, China
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2011
Planned End Date: 12/2011
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. 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 $): 24,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Dr. Dominique Roby Team Leader
Prof. Liu Yonggong
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-3
PIMS Number: 964
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: CHINA, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 This project has developed a wealth of innovative practices for the management and conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity, including innovative technologies for biological restoration. Best practices documented for each demonstration site could be disseminated more widely by producing more synthetic and user-friendly presentations (leaflets, posters, etc.).
2 This project has successfully focused on mitigating or removing local threats to marine and coastal biodiversity and achieved conservation results. However, future interventions should also address adaptation or mitigation of the effects of global environmental changes which large scale negative impacts could cancel out these biodiversity benefits in the long-term.
3 The implementation of future projects would be enhanced by a careful identification of indicators better reflecting the achievement of outcomes rather than outputs, and meeting the SMART criteria. The use of such indicators would facilitate the application of the adaptive management approach.
4 Ensure that the long term monitoring system established in every site includes a permanent monitoring and assessment of the SCCBD project impacts on biodiversity and threats to allow the identifying and implementing continuous adjustments to the conservation and sustainable management measures following the adaptive management principles.
5 Although it is clear that the project has contributed to develop successful alternative livelihoods for a number of local users who had to change their use of resources and pay the opportunity costs related to the adoption of conservation measures, the actual impact on all users at each site remains somewhat elusive. This aspect could be strengthened by a more systematic assessment of the impact of changes in resource use patterns on local communities and their livelihood in the short and the long term.
6 To replicate the SCCBD pilot marine biodiversity management methodologies and procedures, it is recommended that SOA and SIUs prepare technical guidelines for marine biodiversity management. These guidelines could include the following topics: How to conduct a baseline survey in a MPA; Participatory community and stakeholders consultation for the development of a MPA management plan and for the participatory identification and development of alternative livelihoods for affected stakeholders; Participatory monitoring of marine biodiversity involving direct resource users; Design and implementation of biodiversity education and awareness building programs for local communities. The guidelines could include: (1) major approaches, actions and channels to build public awareness; (2) major actors, stakeholders and target groups; (3) potential financial resources to support awareness activities; (4) how to assess and evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of public education actions.
7 Further strengthen and institutionalize multi-stakeholders consultation mechanisms for planning and implementing biodiversity conservation projects. Consulting with and reaching an agreement with relevant resource users, i.e. fishermen and villagers, and stakeholders, i.e. tourism companies, governmental line agencies and local governments, should be considered as prerequisites to the adoption of any conservation activity. MPA staff should be trained to moderate and facilitate such consultations.
8 Further strengthen and increase multilateral and bilateral international cooperation and partnerships in marine biodiversity conservation to focus on intergovernmental policy dialogue, biodiversity conservation best practices, improvement of technical and management staff capacities through international exchanges, and knowledge management.
9 When key project reports and technical documents and policy recommendations are not available in English, it would be useful to provide a short summary of the main decisions or main issues in English to enable international cooperation and exchange.
1. Recommendation: This project has developed a wealth of innovative practices for the management and conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity, including innovative technologies for biological restoration. Best practices documented for each demonstration site could be disseminated more widely by producing more synthetic and user-friendly presentations (leaflets, posters, etc.).
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

The PCU and Site Implementation Units (SIU) published 5 books to summarize the outcomes and successful models of the whole project and each site. SIUs of Zhejiang, Guangxi and Hainan edited and published brochures of artificial reproduction and restoration of Sargassum horneri and the transplantation of mangroves and corals. The PCU plans to organize a small-scale dissemination workshop to further disseminate project outcomes, especially in this regard in Q2 of 2012, and key partners such as Ministry of Finance will be invited to participate.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: This project has successfully focused on mitigating or removing local threats to marine and coastal biodiversity and achieved conservation results. However, future interventions should also address adaptation or mitigation of the effects of global environmental changes which large scale negative impacts could cancel out these biodiversity benefits in the long-term.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

A new project named ?Demonstration of Estuarine Biodiversity Conservation, Restoration and Protected Area Networking in China? was approved by GEF and will be launched in February 2012 by SOA. This project will demonstrate the successful models on biodiversity conservation derived from SCCBD project and pay more attention on climate changes impacts. Moreover, SOA is implementing a cooperative project named ?Sino-Italian Cooperation Project on Capacity Building of Coastal Ecosystems to Adapt to Climate Change? which focuses on climate changes adaptation.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: The implementation of future projects would be enhanced by a careful identification of indicators better reflecting the achievement of outcomes rather than outputs, and meeting the SMART criteria. The use of such indicators would facilitate the application of the adaptive management approach.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

This recommendation is highly appreciated. With the experiences and lessons gained in the implementation of SCCBD project, all participants have realized the importance of monitoring and evaluation. SOA will pay more attention to indicators? design and application by following SMART criteria while implementing new projects in the future.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Ensure that the long term monitoring system established in every site includes a permanent monitoring and assessment of the SCCBD project impacts on biodiversity and threats to allow the identifying and implementing continuous adjustments to the conservation and sustainable management measures following the adaptive management principles.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

Each site has developed a long-term monitoring protocol. In Sanya demonstration site, the monitoring tasks related to the long-term monitoring stations in the coral reef reserve were integrated since 2009 in the annual marine environmental monitoring programme of Hainan Province. PAs in other demonstration sites do monitoring regularly according to the long-term monitoring protocol.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Although it is clear that the project has contributed to develop successful alternative livelihoods for a number of local users who had to change their use of resources and pay the opportunity costs related to the adoption of conservation measures, the actual impact on all users at each site remains somewhat elusive. This aspect could be strengthened by a more systematic assessment of the impact of changes in resource use patterns on local communities and their livelihood in the short and the long term.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

This is an important recommendation. For the follow-up action of SCCBD, the PCU will advice the local stakeholder groups or VCGs to carry out a systematic assessment of the impact of changes in resource use patterns on local communities and their livelihood in the short and the long term and then revise their alternative livelihood plan. For the future projects, especially in the GEF/FAO project of the Demonstration of Estuarine Biodiversity Conservation, Restoration and Protected Area Networking in China, a more systematic assessment of the impact of changes in resource use patterns on local communities and their livelihood in the short and the long term will be carried out.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: To replicate the SCCBD pilot marine biodiversity management methodologies and procedures, it is recommended that SOA and SIUs prepare technical guidelines for marine biodiversity management. These guidelines could include the following topics: How to conduct a baseline survey in a MPA; Participatory community and stakeholders consultation for the development of a MPA management plan and for the participatory identification and development of alternative livelihoods for affected stakeholders; Participatory monitoring of marine biodiversity involving direct resource users; Design and implementation of biodiversity education and awareness building programs for local communities. The guidelines could include: (1) major approaches, actions and channels to build public awareness; (2) major actors, stakeholders and target groups; (3) potential financial resources to support awareness activities; (4) how to assess and evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of public education actions.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

Most of the experiences have been summarized in project progress reports and documents, including participatory management process and trans-boundary cooperative management mechanism etc. Three Monitoring guidebooks on Mangrove, Coral Reef and Sea Grass have been developed as the main outcomes of subcontracts implemented by Hainan and Guangxi related institutions, and the quick assessment methods introduced are practiced in these areas. Each site has done successful education and awareness programs during the implementation process, and their work has been included in the local governments? routine process. For dissemination purpose, the successful experience may be need to be better developed and designed. These reports and documents are available in Chinese version, and the PCU shall consider doing the translation by convincing governments to provide co-financing support.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: Further strengthen and institutionalize multi-stakeholders consultation mechanisms for planning and implementing biodiversity conservation projects. Consulting with and reaching an agreement with relevant resource users, i.e. fishermen and villagers, and stakeholders, i.e. tourism companies, governmental line agencies and local governments, should be considered as prerequisites to the adoption of any conservation activity. MPA staff should be trained to moderate and facilitate such consultations.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

Guangxi VCGs has done great job in using the mechanism of signing an agreement with resource users, thus both MPA staff and local villagers know well their responsibilities and rights in conservation and management of the marine biodiversity. The successful experience has been considered and included into the training courses for the new GEF-funded marine estuarine MPA networking project. Some relevant MPAs leaders in China and other countries may be invited to have a group and deep discussion on this topic.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: Further strengthen and increase multilateral and bilateral international cooperation and partnerships in marine biodiversity conservation to focus on intergovernmental policy dialogue, biodiversity conservation best practices, improvement of technical and management staff capacities through international exchanges, and knowledge management.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

With NOAA?s support, the China Research and Training Center for Marine Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management was established by SOA during the implementation of SCCBD project. The training center designed and offered all the training courses according to the SCCBD project?s need. Now, the center has developed to be APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center (AMSD) which is the first national APEC mechanism focusing on oceans in China. With the help of NOAA, the AMSD held the first training course on MPA Management Capacity Building in September 2011 and 35 participants from 11 APEC economies attended the training. AMSD will be developed to further strengthen and increase multilateral and bilateral international cooperation and partnership in marine biodiversity conservation.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: When key project reports and technical documents and policy recommendations are not available in English, it would be useful to provide a short summary of the main decisions or main issues in English to enable international cooperation and exchange.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/01/28]

The PCU has almost finished the translation of project terminal report, and a short summary of the main best practice and lessons has been developed. These reports will be used broadly for international cooperation and exchange.

Key Actions:

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