Mid-term Evaluation for SFM (Integrated Approach to Management of Forests in Turkey, with Demonstration in High Conservation Value Forests in the Mediterranean Region) under Climate Change and Environment (CCE) Portfolio

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Turkey
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2018
Completion Date:
02/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

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Title Mid-term Evaluation for SFM (Integrated Approach to Management of Forests in Turkey, with Demonstration in High Conservation Value Forests in the Mediterranean Region) under Climate Change and Environment (CCE) Portfolio
Atlas Project Number: 00070163
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Turkey
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2018
Planned End Date: 02/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. 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 $): 15,000
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 14,500
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Dima Reda President of Nataij dreda@nata-ij.com
Esra Basak Evaluator TURKEY
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Integrated approach to management of forests in Turkey, with demonstration in high conservation value forests in the Mediterranean region
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4469
PIMS Number: 4434
Key Stakeholders: GEF & Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs (GD of Forestry)
Countries: TURKEY
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Ensure quality of field level data to deliver accurate and transparent information for management systems

The raw data submitted from the field for MRV calculations suffered somewhat from inconsistent quality. Over time, as forest rangers become more accustomed to undertaking additional

parameters this should improve. However, it is important that an emphasis on quality control and

transparency of data be articulated moving forward.

There are inherent incentives for providing data that demonstrates “good” results versus accurate

results; however, without accurate data any MRV system will be ineffective. Ensuring data measurements are accurate is critical for decision-making and the long-term viability of the system.

Encouraging a situation where those in the field are comfortable reporting freely from the ground up to the central government is a key step in ensuring consistency of data. From the central government prospective, the GDF wants to understand what is happening in the field to understand

the value being put on forests – the output of the MRV should support that kind of decision making.

A key element to MRV is ensuring transparency throughout the hierarchy.

2

Integrating Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into MRV is a

pioneering model and should be used to incentivize accuracy

Tied to Recommendation 1 – the system being piloted in Turkey to integrate SDG’s into an MRV

system is pioneering and has the opportunity to be a model for other parts of the world. This

innovate approach should be publicized, but in order to do so, the data must be accurate. Seeing

the project as having the potential to elevate Turkish forest management as a showcase for a global

model can provide an incentive from the field-level to central management for ensuring quality

data. If it is possible to model data collection system after that of the fire department, which has

proven they can achieve great information flow and undertake live management.

3

Re-enforce Forest Managers and Rangers’ Capacity at the Five Pilot

Forestry Enterprise Districts (FEDs)

Prior to project closure, the project team should conduct follow-up assessments with the five pilot

FEDs to ensure forest managers and forest rangers have the required capacity to monitor pilot sites.

Interviews reveal that local GDF staff at the pilot sites have demonstrated strong ownership of the

project but that turnover (through rotation system) is high and it takes at least one year for a forest

ranger to be fully on-boarded and to comfortably navigate his or her surroundings.

4

Logframe should be updated to reflect change to project activities

The project has not formally adopted new indicators to account for not developing a forest sector

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) (due to Turkey’s eligibility under the UNFCCC agreement) and for integrating new activities/outputs during implementation. The project Steering Committee took two decisions on how to focus resources that were original

dedicated to the NAMA. One was to devote resources to a more comprehensive MRV linked to

the Sustainable Development Goals and the second was to create a decision support system (DSS) integrating carbon and other benefits such as biodiversity, water forest, health etc.

 

The specific recommendation for the logframe is to delete/remove the current Output 1.5 and

associated indicator “Forest Sector Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA)” and to add an indicator to reflect the inclusion of a DSS - “Establish a decision support system to include LULUCF database as well as biodiversity and social benefits.”

It is also recommended to adjust the indicator measurement and target for Output 3.3 (i.e., “improvement in biodiversity indicator species at pilot sites”), as the census of individual or

populations of target species was not undertaken. There are, however, proxy indicators that can be used. The specific suggestion is included in Section 2.

The Project Board will need to approve any of the suggested changes to the logframe.

5

Shift Monitoring of Pilot Sites to GDF’s Regional Forest Research Institutes

GDF’s Regional Forest Research Institutes (FRIs) are the scientific and research arm within the GDF and as such can continue to build on the MRV developed under the current GEF project. The FRIs are best placed to model future scenarios and to build new methodologies and tools into the

overall system over time. The FRI Council meeting recently approved a Carbon Forest Project with resources from the government budget. As part of this project, ownership of the MRV will be augmented within the GDF through the FRIs ensuring a link between the scientific/academic

side of the GDF and the technical side.

6

Showcase MRV and DSS internationally to increase potential for scaling-up and replication

Collaboration with a wide-range of organizations both nationally and internationally (i.e., Nature Conservation Center, Gold Standard, and Yale University) has increased the innovative and scaling-up potential of the current project. The overall integrated management system with

multiple environmental benefits could be showcased more broadly through international forums (similar to the launch of the MRV document at Turkish Pavilion during COP23 in Bonn).

 

The promotion of the strong project results could potentially attract additional investment and/or funding from international partners outside of the UNFCCC financial mechanism structure as Turkey’s current status under the convention is unclear.

7

Change name of Decision Support Tool (DSS) to better capture the sustainability aspects of the tool’s criteria

Building on recommendations 2, 3 and 6, changing the name of the DSS can better showcase the unique aspects of the tool. A decision support tool could be the descriptor of almost any criteria

that helps management make decisions, from targeted brainstorming to sorting data using Excel to

developing a sophisticated computer model. The DSS being developed for this project is supporting a forest and ecosystem management system that integrates not only carbon but other

benefits such as biodiversity, water, forest health, and livelihood elements, the generic name does not capture this full picture. There are few places in the world with a system to calculate and

visually demonstrate the sustainability trade-offs of different sectors across a forest ecosystem and allow for informed decisions along these dimensions. Suggested alternative nomenclature could be: Sustainability Management Tool or Forest and Ecosystem Management System.

It is recommended that the Project Board discus and agree to a new name to utilize moving forward internally within project documents and when publicizing the tool externally.

8

The project terminal date needs to be extended to allow sufficient time

to achieve project objectives and ensure sustainability of results

A maximum 12-month extension may be considered by the project stakeholders in order to finalize

all remaining activities and ensure longer-term sustainability of the project. Several activities still

need to be completed, including the activation of the pest management labs and the small grants

scheme under outcome 3, as well as the Decision Support System (DSS). The DSS will also need

to integrate capacity building elements and transfer of knowledge so that the system will be

understood and utilized.

1. Recommendation:

Ensure quality of field level data to deliver accurate and transparent information for management systems

The raw data submitted from the field for MRV calculations suffered somewhat from inconsistent quality. Over time, as forest rangers become more accustomed to undertaking additional

parameters this should improve. However, it is important that an emphasis on quality control and

transparency of data be articulated moving forward.

There are inherent incentives for providing data that demonstrates “good” results versus accurate

results; however, without accurate data any MRV system will be ineffective. Ensuring data measurements are accurate is critical for decision-making and the long-term viability of the system.

Encouraging a situation where those in the field are comfortable reporting freely from the ground up to the central government is a key step in ensuring consistency of data. From the central government prospective, the GDF wants to understand what is happening in the field to understand

the value being put on forests – the output of the MRV should support that kind of decision making.

A key element to MRV is ensuring transparency throughout the hierarchy.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

MRV study and report prepared by GOLD STANDARD under the project will assist to ensure the quality of field level data. Therefore, importance will be given to quality control and transparency of data through ensuring the ownership of MRV document and its proposals on data management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Publishing the Turkish and English versions of the MRV report and effective dissemination.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP and PMU 2018/12 Completed History
Undertaking negotiations with the relevant departments of GDF to ensure ownership and realize the data related suggestions.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/06]
UNDP and PMU 2018/12 Completed Negotiations were completed with the relevant department of GDF and data related suggestions will be reflected accordingly to the relevant remaining project activities. History
Engage Decision Support System into inventory collection and processing in terms of stock growth.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/06]
UNDP and PMU 2019/05 Completed Decision support system were engaged into inventory collection. History
Supporting GDF by delivering new approaches in inventory collection including modelling and use of satellite imagery.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP and PMU 2018/12 Completed The project is working with Silvia Terra, specialized company on inventory with satellite images. History
2. Recommendation:

Integrating Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into MRV is a

pioneering model and should be used to incentivize accuracy

Tied to Recommendation 1 – the system being piloted in Turkey to integrate SDG’s into an MRV

system is pioneering and has the opportunity to be a model for other parts of the world. This

innovate approach should be publicized, but in order to do so, the data must be accurate. Seeing

the project as having the potential to elevate Turkish forest management as a showcase for a global

model can provide an incentive from the field-level to central management for ensuring quality

data. If it is possible to model data collection system after that of the fire department, which has

proven they can achieve great information flow and undertake live management.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

It is important to integrate SDG’s into MRV. Project initiated a revision study on Sustainable Forest Management Criteria and Indicators. It is supposed to be completed till the end of 2018. Moreover, UNDP is running a mapping study on SDGs versus Forestry sector based on the MRV work on SDGs. The project will identify a set of indicators for forestry sector for SDG monitoring that can be baseline for SDG indicator development efforts of Ministry of Development in Turkey.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Finalization of the SDG C/I revision process and inclusion of SDGs into the indicator set.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/06]
UNDP and GDF 2019/05 Completed SDGs were included in the indicator set. History
-Creating the SDG-Forestry sector discussion document and circulating it to relevant national organizations for a sector wide SDG analysis and inclusion including Ministry of Development as the focal point of SDG in Turkish Government.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2019/03/06]
UNDP and GDF 2019/04 Completed SDG-Forestry sector discussion document is created and under circulating stage. History
3. Recommendation:

Re-enforce Forest Managers and Rangers’ Capacity at the Five Pilot

Forestry Enterprise Districts (FEDs)

Prior to project closure, the project team should conduct follow-up assessments with the five pilot

FEDs to ensure forest managers and forest rangers have the required capacity to monitor pilot sites.

Interviews reveal that local GDF staff at the pilot sites have demonstrated strong ownership of the

project but that turnover (through rotation system) is high and it takes at least one year for a forest

ranger to be fully on-boarded and to comfortably navigate his or her surroundings.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

It is crucial to inform and build capacity development of the field level staff of 5 pilot sites to monitor and follow-up the project activities. Knowing the importance of this issue, project organized a workshop on general evaluation of the project activities of 2017 on January 2018 and speakers of the workshop informed especially newly assigned staff of FED’s. The project will organize two trainings in all of the 5 FEDs on integrated approach to forest management planning and also mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into daily forestry activities. These two training packages will play a role in enrolling the new FED staff to the project idea.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Annual project review workshop (June 2018)
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, PMU 2019/12 Initiated As the project has been extended 18 months, this event has been postponed to 2019. History
-Biodiversity mainstreaming training at 5 FEDs: planning and implementation.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, PMU 2018/12 Completed History
Integrated management planning training at 5 FEDs.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, PMU 2018/12 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Logframe should be updated to reflect change to project activities

The project has not formally adopted new indicators to account for not developing a forest sector

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) (due to Turkey’s eligibility under the UNFCCC agreement) and for integrating new activities/outputs during implementation. The project Steering Committee took two decisions on how to focus resources that were original

dedicated to the NAMA. One was to devote resources to a more comprehensive MRV linked to

the Sustainable Development Goals and the second was to create a decision support system (DSS) integrating carbon and other benefits such as biodiversity, water forest, health etc.

 

The specific recommendation for the logframe is to delete/remove the current Output 1.5 and

associated indicator “Forest Sector Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA)” and to add an indicator to reflect the inclusion of a DSS - “Establish a decision support system to include LULUCF database as well as biodiversity and social benefits.”

It is also recommended to adjust the indicator measurement and target for Output 3.3 (i.e., “improvement in biodiversity indicator species at pilot sites”), as the census of individual or

populations of target species was not undertaken. There are, however, proxy indicators that can be used. The specific suggestion is included in Section 2.

The Project Board will need to approve any of the suggested changes to the logframe.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

Making the suggested changes in the Project Logframe will be presented to the Project Steering Committee In the April or July 2018 meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Raising the issue in the Steering committee meeting and making the changes to the log frame accordingly.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, Steering Committee 2018/12 Completed History
5. Recommendation:

Shift Monitoring of Pilot Sites to GDF’s Regional Forest Research Institutes

GDF’s Regional Forest Research Institutes (FRIs) are the scientific and research arm within the GDF and as such can continue to build on the MRV developed under the current GEF project. The FRIs are best placed to model future scenarios and to build new methodologies and tools into the

overall system over time. The FRI Council meeting recently approved a Carbon Forest Project with resources from the government budget. As part of this project, ownership of the MRV will be augmented within the GDF through the FRIs ensuring a link between the scientific/academic

side of the GDF and the technical side.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

This process has already been initiated through preparing a research project on carbon focused silvicultural activities by the Forest Research Institutes in order to monitor the project activities in the 5 pilot sites. It is difficult for the forest rangers to monitor and follow-up the project activities and sample plots in the field. Therefore, it is a good opportunity to shift monitoring of pilot studies to FRI’s.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Organize meetings with the related FRI’s to inform them about the progress and get information from them regarding the newly prepared research projects on the carbon focused silvicultural activities.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP and GDF(FRI) 2018/12 Completed The new research project has been developed and accepted by the government. History
6. Recommendation:

Showcase MRV and DSS internationally to increase potential for scaling-up and replication

Collaboration with a wide-range of organizations both nationally and internationally (i.e., Nature Conservation Center, Gold Standard, and Yale University) has increased the innovative and scaling-up potential of the current project. The overall integrated management system with

multiple environmental benefits could be showcased more broadly through international forums (similar to the launch of the MRV document at Turkish Pavilion during COP23 in Bonn).

 

The promotion of the strong project results could potentially attract additional investment and/or funding from international partners outside of the UNFCCC financial mechanism structure as Turkey’s current status under the convention is unclear.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

The project team and GDF will be organizing events in the international meetings/ conferences to share the project findings, modalities on biodiversity mainstreaming and integrated forest management planning as well as define a strategy on sharing the Decision support system infrastructure that is being written in open code.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Find out the relevant international meetings and gatherings and define activities to share project products and modalities.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP and GDF 2019/12 Initiated History
-Prepare presentations on the integrated forest management and other important aspects.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP and GDF 2019/12 Initiated Presentations were made within several events, and will continue in 2019. History
Define a strategy with GDF to share the DSS experience and codes.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP and GDF 2019/07 Overdue-Initiated History
7. Recommendation:

Change name of Decision Support Tool (DSS) to better capture the sustainability aspects of the tool’s criteria

Building on recommendations 2, 3 and 6, changing the name of the DSS can better showcase the unique aspects of the tool. A decision support tool could be the descriptor of almost any criteria

that helps management make decisions, from targeted brainstorming to sorting data using Excel to

developing a sophisticated computer model. The DSS being developed for this project is supporting a forest and ecosystem management system that integrates not only carbon but other

benefits such as biodiversity, water, forest health, and livelihood elements, the generic name does not capture this full picture. There are few places in the world with a system to calculate and

visually demonstrate the sustainability trade-offs of different sectors across a forest ecosystem and allow for informed decisions along these dimensions. Suggested alternative nomenclature could be: Sustainability Management Tool or Forest and Ecosystem Management System.

It is recommended that the Project Board discus and agree to a new name to utilize moving forward internally within project documents and when publicizing the tool externally.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

This recommendation will be taken into consideration by the PMU and if agreed

It will be taken to the attention of the Steering Committee to be approved.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Organize meeting with the PMU to discuss the new name of DSS.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, Steering Committee 2018/12 Completed History
If agreed, organize Steering Committee meeting to be approved the new name
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, Steering Committee 2019/12 Initiated The structure of the Steering Committee will change and the meeting will be held accordingly. History
Use the new name of DSS in the project related documents and other tools.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
UNDP, GDF, Steering Committee 2019/12 Not Initiated History
8. Recommendation:

The project terminal date needs to be extended to allow sufficient time

to achieve project objectives and ensure sustainability of results

A maximum 12-month extension may be considered by the project stakeholders in order to finalize

all remaining activities and ensure longer-term sustainability of the project. Several activities still

need to be completed, including the activation of the pest management labs and the small grants

scheme under outcome 3, as well as the Decision Support System (DSS). The DSS will also need

to integrate capacity building elements and transfer of knowledge so that the system will be

understood and utilized.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/20]

A maximum 12-month extension will be considered by the project management unit in order to finalize all remaining activities and ensure longer-term sustainability of the project. The steering committee has also taken a decision for the extension in January 2018 meeting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
-Necessary documents and applications will be prepared and sent to the related bodies of UNDP to extend the project duration.
[Added: 2018/04/20] [Last Updated: 2018/10/23]
Cluster Lead, PMU 2018/12 Completed The project is extended until Feb 2020. History

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