Mid-term evaluation: GEF funded project on land degradation

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Uzbekistan
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
10/2016
Completion Date:
12/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
18,500

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Title Mid-term evaluation: GEF funded project on land degradation
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Uzbekistan
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2016
Planned End Date: 10/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. 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 $): 18,500
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 6,000
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Jasurbek Rustamov
Charles Vanpraet
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Reducing pressures on natural resources from competing land use in non-irrigated arid mountain, semi-desert and desert landscapes of Uzbekistan
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Land Degradation
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4600
PIMS Number: 4649
Key Stakeholders: State Committee for Land Resources, Geodesy, Cartography and State Cadastre
Countries: UZBEKISTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

Project Strategy Design: The Project Document also contains an excellent analyses of the problems the project is to address, and which relate mainly to unsustainable use of arid and semi-arid rangelands.

Institutional aspects: One of the main challenges of the Project is to improve and strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks related to (arid and semi-arid) rangeland management.

Project set up and management: The Mission feels that the Project should be more embedded/integrated into an institution that deals with range management in its entirety in order to contribute more actively in all aspects of institution building/strengthening.

Progress Towards Results: Considerable work has been done, including the demonstration of innovative approaches and techniques, in particular in the Zaamin District. These activities are designed in the local context, and the landscapes in the Project area are very divers, both in terms of the ecology and of the land use practices, (rangelands vs pastureland).

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management: Efforts should be considered to analyse the various institutional options that could lead to a more streamlined and functional landscape that deals specifically with range management in the Country, and ultimately to a more rational use of the rangeland resources, in particular in arid and semi-arid areas of the Country.

Sustainability: The Mission however understands that the Project is opting for such “consultants” modality in the absence of a proper institutional framework that deals with all aspects of range resources management, and of which the staff could be actively engaged and strengthened in all aspects of the project programme.


Recommendations
1

The project should be better integrated into the host agency in order to contribute more to its capacity building/enhancement. The Project's PMU staff should be advisors to the staff of the host agency. This would greatly enhance financial and institutional sustainability, and prepare the institution for the post-project continuation of the activities.

2

Consultants’ activities/reports should fit better into an overall and well integrated work programme that leads, at least in part, towards the achievement of the objectives/outcomes of the Project;

3

The Project should consider the enhancement of its focus on arid and semi-arid rangelands, given the importance of the land degradation problems in those areas.

4

The Project should carry out field surveys/gather the existing information in order to list and analyse the existing range management practices, in particular in the arid zones of the Country, assess their social, economic and environmental characteristics and suitability, and on that basis, formulate recommendable best practices. This information is indispensable as a good basis for the further development of rules, regulations and a legal framework.

5

Efforts should be fostered and supported to gradually define/create/promote an institution that could be entrusted with the overall management of rangelands in the Country, given their overall importance, and the critical situation some of the rangelands are currently facing.

6

Sustainable rangeland and pasture planning; grazing regulation, range restoration and improvement etc. should go hand in hand, as they all are an integral part of range management, whatever the grazing model or land tenure.

7

The Project could, with its Partners, organise a workshop, where some of the MTR findings and suggestions could be shared and discussed and possibly prepare the basis for an updated road map ahead.

1. Recommendation:

The project should be better integrated into the host agency in order to contribute more to its capacity building/enhancement. The Project's PMU staff should be advisors to the staff of the host agency. This would greatly enhance financial and institutional sustainability, and prepare the institution for the post-project continuation of the activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2017/01/06]

Not agreed. The project is integrated at and works in conjunction with Central office and regional structures of the Executive Agency.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
According to the project document, national consultants henceforth as in past will be involved in accordance to the competence of the institutions in which they work, including from the Executive Agency "Goskomzemgeodezkadastr".
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2019/01/30]
Sustainable Development Cluster, the project team 2019/01 Completed 2 national consultants of the project was hired from the system of Goscomzemgeo-dezcadastr and successfully perform their tasks. Executives and specialists of Goscomzemgeodezcadastr actively participate in the activities of the project such as the adoption of the Law "On Pastures", other regulatory documents and meetings held within subjects of the project. History
2. Recommendation:

Consultants’ activities/reports should fit better into an overall and well integrated work programme that leads, at least in part, towards the achievement of the objectives/outcomes of the Project;

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2017/01/06]

Partially agreed. The project should strengthen the existing integration of the work of consultants in relation to the project goals and objectives.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Every month will be organized joint meetings of all consultants for coordination and integration of their actions.
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2019/01/30]
Sustainable Development Cluster, the project team 2019/08 Initiated Meetings with the national consultants conducted monthly in the project office and also in field conditions depending on the performed tasks. Together with them, the project plans for the effective achievement of project goals, as well as the collection of information, synthesis and analysis of project activities over 5 years, etc. are discussed. History
3. Recommendation:

The Project should consider the enhancement of its focus on arid and semi-arid rangelands, given the importance of the land degradation problems in those areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2017/01/06]

Agree. The project will displace more attention to Karakul district.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The development of activities more relevant environmental, social and economic conditions in the project area of Karakul district.
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2019/01/30]
The project team, national and local partners 2019/08 Initiated The project national consultants developed detailed pasture management plans around the Karakul cattle-breeding complex for about 5 thousand hectares of pastures, the project planted saxaul seedlings and seeds of desert forage plants, etc. The ILUMP mechanism is being implemented in both project areas, on-site workshops will be organized by national consultants to disseminate project experience, lessons learned, and strengthen the partner organizations capacity to ensure sustainable pasture resources management at the districts and regions levels. History
4. Recommendation:

The Project should carry out field surveys/gather the existing information in order to list and analyse the existing range management practices, in particular in the arid zones of the Country, assess their social, economic and environmental characteristics and suitability, and on that basis, formulate recommendable best practices. This information is indispensable as a good basis for the further development of rules, regulations and a legal framework.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2017/01/06]

Agreed. The activities of some entities studied, in the next period the project will undertake an integrated assessment.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project is hiring consultants on social and economic issues, which, together with other consultants, will analyze economic forms (shirkat, farm, forestry and population) in the territory of the Karakul district and provide recommendations for optimization of land use forms.
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2019/01/24]
Sustainable Development cluster, project team and national/local partners of project 2017/12 Completed The social and economic analysis conducted for the existing economic entities in Karakul distruct, and corresponding recommendations formulated by the national consultant hired. Given the on-going reforming of the economic entities, project will continue analysis and will update the recommendations accordingly. National consultant on social and economic issues hired, and carries out analysis of economic activities of subjects of land use and by year-end will prepare recommendations on the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of production. History
5. Recommendation:

Efforts should be fostered and supported to gradually define/create/promote an institution that could be entrusted with the overall management of rangelands in the Country, given their overall importance, and the critical situation some of the rangelands are currently facing.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2017/01/06]

Agreed. The project will carry out activities according to the item No. 2 of Conclusions: The project contributed to the establishment of a division for monitoring and assessment of pastures. Of particular importance will be the Law "On Pastures" (draft prepared by the project), which defines that the pastures are a significant resource in the economy that requires a separate approach to management..

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Strengthening of competence and awareness in the framework of activities of the division for monitoring and assessment of pastures at national/regional levels outside Goskomzemgeodescadastre. Finalization of the Law "On pastures" and submission to the government, as well as participation in improvement of a new version of the Land Code of Uzbekistan.
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2019/01/30]
Sustainable Development Cluster, project team, national implementation agency "Gosgeodezkomdescadastre" 2019/08 Initiated The revised versions of the Law "On Pastures" and the new edition of the Uzbekistan Land Code have been submitted for consideration to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The roundtable devoted to discussing the draft law with deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held on October 18. This Draft Law was adopted by deputies for the first reading. In 2019, a number of seminars are planned with the participation of ministries, departments, and partner organizations representatives. History
Hiring an international consultant and preparation of the draft plan at least for one pilot area of the project. The involvement of administrations of districts together with local partner organizations in the implementation of these plans.
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2019/01/30]
Sustainable Development Cluster, project team, national/local partners 2019/01 Completed The International Consultant for Integrated Land Use Management Planning developed plans for improved pasture management in project districts, that were discussed with national and local project partners, approved plans are implementing by local partners. The project will assist in the effective implementation of the developed plans, monitoring, and training of staff of partner organizations. History
6. Recommendation:

Sustainable rangeland and pasture planning; grazing regulation, range restoration and improvement etc. should go hand in hand, as they all are an integral part of range management, whatever the grazing model or land tenure.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2019/01/24]

Agreed. Also in the project document, the main outcome is the introduction of Integrated planning of land use management  (ILUMP), which implementation is planned for the remaining period of the project.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Recruitment of an international consultant and preparation of the draft plan at least for one pilot area of the project. The involvement of administrations of districts together with local partners for the implementation of these plans.
[Added: 2019/01/24]
The project, SDC team 2019/03 Initiated The project assists in the formation and development of organizations for pasture use. In Zaamin district, “Bozorboy Tulporlari” LLC is organized, and the Karakul District is in the process of registering Sayod LLC.
7. Recommendation:

The Project could, with its Partners, organise a workshop, where some of the MTR findings and suggestions could be shared and discussed and possibly prepare the basis for an updated road map ahead.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/05] [Last Updated: 2017/01/06]

Agreed. One of the sessions of TWG will focus on the project mid-term evaluation results.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The issues of project’s further implementation, related to findings and recommendations of the MTR, after preparing a preliminary action plan will be provided to representatives of ministries and agencies for the review, and will be discussed at a meeting of TWG of the project for updating road map.
[Added: 2017/01/06] [Last Updated: 2017/08/29]
Sustainable Development Cluster, project team, national/local partners 2017/08 Completed The project prepared a description of the main recommendations from the midterm evaluation team, distributed among the representatives of ministries and agencies involved in project activities. The final discussion of recommendations at the Project Technical Working Group was carried out on 24-th August 2017 and points to be incorporated to the roadmap were agreed. History
The issues of project’s further implementation, related to findings and recommendations of the MTR, after preparing a preliminary action plan will be provided to representatives of ministries and agencies for review, and will be discussed at a meeting of TWG of the project for updating the road map.
[Added: 2019/01/24]
The project, SDC team 2017/08 Completed Completed. All members of Technical working groups were agree with recommendations of Mid-term Evaluation team and are ready to support the project from sides of their ministries or agencies. The final minutes of the Project Technical Working Group meeting including updates of road map submitted at the end of August, 2017.

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