Terminal Evaluation, Integrated Community-based Forest and Catchment Management through an Ecosystem Service Approach Project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Thailand
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
05/2017
Completion Date:
10/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
42,000

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Download document TOR - TE - CBFCM_National Consultant (Add3).pdf tor English 253.43 KB Posted 1088
Download document 4033 PIMS_CBFCM_Thailand Report_TE_revision (Final_1Nov2017).pdf report English 1155.16 KB Posted 1187
Title Terminal Evaluation, Integrated Community-based Forest and Catchment Management through an Ecosystem Service Approach Project
Atlas Project Number: 00061756
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Thailand
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2017
Planned End Date: 05/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 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 $): 42,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 33,161
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
John Gryderup Poulsen International Consultant
Walaitat Worakul National Consultant THAILAND
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Integrated Community-based Forest and Catchment Management through an Ecosystem Service Approach Project
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-4
GEF Project ID: 3445
PIMS Number: 4033
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: THAILAND
Lessons
Findings
1.

3 Findings of the TE

3.1 Project Design and Formulation The Project Document is the principle strategy document for a UNDP-supported GEF-financed project intervention, cf. Section 3.1.1 for a critical analysis thereof, including assumptions and risks anticipated at the start of the project.

3.1.1 Project design

The thorough evaluation of the project design, by the MTR, is largely accepted by the TE. Innovation of financing mechanisms for ecosystem goods and services is in itself a complex subject, and combining it with another complex subject, viz. developing community-based natural resource management (CBFCM) would almost inevitably be challenging.The ProDoc provides a description of the historic and recent experiences of community-based forest management in Thailand, though perhaps paints a rather overly positive picture of how well this has performed. The level of capacity at both government level and certainly at the level of communities was varying from place to place, depending on combined factors such as community’s genuine interest and collective commitment to protect their forests and natural resources as well as enabling policy framework, rules and regulations in support of the community-based forest management. The ET concurs with the MTR’s concerns about the definitions of certain terms used in the ProDoc. For example, where it was stated: “communities” were expected to “enter into contractual agreement which specifies the activities(services) they are required to perform in return for compensation or reward”, the definition of “community” should have reflected the existing social arrangements, geographical delineation, and with a defined membership. The broad definitions applied is in stark contrast to the national inventory conducted by the RFD in 1992 which documented twelve thousand rural groups protecting forest patches, ranging in size from one to four thousand hectares”.


Tag: Natural Resouce management Relevance Programme/Project Design

2.

3.1.1 Project design (continuation)

The strong recommendation by the MTR to recruit a Chief Technical Advisor (to report to the Project Director), considering the project’s innovative and complex nature (natural resource economics and community-based management), was not followed, in part due to the difficulty of finding an international candidate with experience on both community-based natural resource management and natural resource economics.At the time of developing the ProDoc, it was anticipated that bio-carbon would become an important source of revenues and potentially could provide an important incentive for effective CBFCM. Confounding the project efforts, the bio-carbon financing schemes would be dependent upon favourable bio-carbon prices on the voluntary market. But the price of carbon remained too low, and the cost of entry too high, for the bio-carbon market to ever become attractive and take off. These issues were becoming clearer around the time of the ProDoc development (e.g., World Bank Carbon Finance Unit, 201114). Further, the costs of compliance were often prohibitive.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Efficiency Relevance Human and Financial resources Programme/Project Design

3.

3.1.2 Strategic Results Framework (Logframe)

The MTR provided a good detailed analysis of the SRF/logframe, and this is summarised here. The SRF is the central monitoring and evaluation tool in GEF-funded project. It sets out a coherent strategy for a project intervention and a means to monitor the progress and compare the predicted course of the project with what happens once implementation begins in order to ensure that the project remains on track, as well as to determine whether assumptions made during the project’s design, prove to be correct. This is therefore the tool for adaptively managing the project, by iteratively comparing the real impact of a project intervention with the predicted effect and making any necessary adjustments if necessary, as well as re-evaluating the set of indicators and targets. The SRF also describes the mutually agreed outputs and outcomes for the project, against which the project will be judged by the GEF, in terms of evaluation of whether the project performed according to the agreement of the GEF grant.The CBFCM project SRF had several weaknesses, including wordings of indicators/targets, some project design issues. Weaknesses analysed by the MTR and reinforced by the ET include the following.


Tag: Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Theory of Change

4.

3.1.2 Strategic Results Framework (Logframe) (continuation)

• The use of biological indicators in a project: The measurement of change in biological indicators is unlikely to be detectable in a project timeframe and even if change takes place would be spurious to correlate this with a project intervention. It is more reasonable to develop proxy indicators to measure a project’s impact. The Threat Reduction Assessment tool17 (TRA)which measures the reduction of threats to biodiversity (or natural values and processes) as proxy indicators and provides an index figure which can be contrasted over time is a useful and adaptable tool for this purpose. • A lack of any measure of the quality and effectiveness of CBFCM: Few process indicators were used in the SRF which either describe a successful community-based management system or measure the effectiveness and functional efficiency of such a system. Qualitative and process-oriented indicators would be critical for this project. The indicator assumed that “there will be transparent and reliable correlation that can be drawn between livelihood quality and PES/bio-carbon schemes per project site”. The baseline for this indicator was poorly defined/described and did not provide a measurable unit.

• The wording of some indicators is confusing: Clarity in phrasing an indicator is critical to its utility as both a measure of effectiveness and a means to judge performance. For instance, indicator 2.1 states “the Number and Type41 of PES and bio-carbon financing schemes developed…”. The target for the same indicator reads “at least four PES and bio- carbon financing schemes (one for each REO site)”. Bio-carbon scheme is effectively a PES, and different types of PES or at least different ecosystems are not distinguished. It is not clear whether this means four schemes (one for each REO), eight schemes (PES and bio- carbon in each REO), different types of PES schemes, and a bio-carbon scheme in each REO, etc. Similarly, indicator 2.2 includes both the area under CBFCM and PES schemes but only provides a target for CBFCM (15,000 ha). • There are differences between the English and the Thai versions of the SRF: Indicator 2.2 has a target of 15,000 ha “under community management” which was erroneously interpreted/translated as an increase or addition of 15,000 ha of new forest (i.e. new afforestation) in the Thai translation, perhaps because the indicator is ambiguous. This was corrected in the Inception Report, but was apparently still an issue during the MTR. The ET, however, did not encounter this as an issue.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Results-Based Management Risk Management Theory of Change

5.

3.1.3 Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector, &, Lessons from other relevant projects (e.g., same focal area) incorporated into project design

During the project design phase, consultations with a few government and donor projects aiming to promote sustainable community-based natural resource management and innovative financing mechanism also took place as explained below. Linkages between the project and these interventions have also been identified in the project design.Biodiversity-based Economy Development Office (BEDO) established in 2007 to implement solutions to major issues facing biodiversity conservation. It was given the mandate of promoting conservation of biodiversity, improving local community knowledge of best practice for biodiversity friendly and enhancing biodiversity based economy development. In its five-year strategic plan (2007-2011), BEDO has considered the adoption of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) concept to enable its work on developing sustainable production of biodiversity-based products. During 2011-2015, BEDO was granted GEF/UNDP project: Sustainable Management of Biodiversity in Thailand’s Production Landscape (SMBT) to create community incentives to conserve and enhance biodiversity in Thailand’s land and seascapes while maintaining appropriate incomes to satisfy family needs for livelihood and wellbeing. The Community-based social enterprise concept was applied whereby communities using forest resources for their enterprise development payback a certain percentage of their interest back to conservation fund. Lessons learnt from the project will inform inclusion of PES application on BEDO’s next five- year strategic plan (2012-2017)


Tag: Effectiveness Global Environment Facility fund Communication Knowledge management Programme Synergy Project and Programme management

6.

3.1.4 Stakeholder engagement

The nature of the CBFCM project with its national policy component (outcome 1) and the pilot operational sites (outcome 2) makes it necessary to engage high-level stakeholders at one end for the policy reform process and to engage a much larger and disparate group of stakeholders at the pilot site.The Project Document’s stakeholder analysis and engagement plan was briefly discussed in Section 2.6 and the issue of “lumping” the local community into one bracket was noted. The PPG carried out a Capacity Assessment Scorecard for the REOs to assess their capabilities to lead the community-based components of the project. This identified a number of weaknesses and to be fair there were strong elements of capacity building built into the project. However, this did not restrain the expectations of what might be achieved and the speed with which change could occur. In the event the REOs, including the Field Coordinators, have done remarkably well to get to where they are now. The project has recognised that additional resources were needed here, albeit late in the day. RECOFTC was brought in to reinforce this area of the project but it has had mixed results, with greater success in some REOs (REO 1and 12) than others (REO 5 and 14). In REO 14 this is probably due to their “late arrival” in the project and the difficulties specific to this REO (i.e. there were no forest communities to work with, tourism is the largest issue, the coastal area and the reef system are of greater environmental concern than forest areas, etc.). In REO 5 it is less clear why RECOFTC has been less successful and possibly due to the REO having done a lot of groundwork before RECOFTC was brought in. Regardless it demonstrates the project employing adaptive management to try and strengthen the stakeholder engagement at this level.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Communication Human and Financial resources Knowledge management Partnership

7.

3.1.4 Stakeholder engagement (continuation)

REO 12 performed well, was very focused and benefited from the most discrete community in terms of “ownership” of the forest. Although the project has not focused to build PES schemes through the existing structure of community forest committee, it has further enhanced its capability through introduction of PES and bio-carbon schemes. In particular, it introduces the forest committee to new technical conservation knowledge (e.g. economic valuation of the forest, monitoring carbon absorption capacity of trees in the forest). This is perceived by local government (TAO) as a value-added to their services to the communities as TAO has no environmental specialist.The forest is a small part of a larger ecosystem and catchment area. In one way, the communities themselves have benefited from the well-protected forest from which they collect their food and small non-timber forest products. Additionally, the REO was able to mobilise external support from private sector to improve community’s livelihoods and to reduce their farming costs. Although these private businesses are not direct beneficiaries of the CBFCM services, there is a potential in the future to establish PES arrangements between the communities and facories for carbon offsets from the forest.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Partnership Project and Programme management

8.

3.1.4 Stakeholder engagement (continuation)

The cases of REO 14 (as well as the other REOs)reflect that the entry point could change according to circumstances and emerging issues of community needs and interests. This is fundamental to build a community PES scheme. Hence, the project needs to put in adaptive management measures to maintain the balance between what is committed in the prodoc, and the changes on the ground. The policy dialogues appear to be working well for a broad cross-section of the stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement must be incremental and iterative, perhaps particularly on complex and innovative issues such as PES and bio-carbon.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Communication Country Support Platform Knowledge management Partnership Project and Programme management

9.

3.1.5 Replication Approach

The project design did not make specific reference to the intended approach for replicating the project’s results, achievement and experiences.There were limited efforts to upscale and replicate approaches and results on a wider schale, primarily due to delays in overall project implementation, therefore not allowing time for replication/upscaling, and due to the resulting lack of progress/result. However, the project did achieve some significant upscaling/replication in individual pilot sites, particularly at Mae Sa, and with significant potential at Tha Chin.

3.1.6 UNDP’s comparative advantage

Overall, UNDP has the potential, capacity and network to draw on international best practice in the areas of both community-based forest and catchment management, as well as in the complex and evolving areas of PES and bio-carbon schemes. The network includes other UN agencies, other intergovernmental organisations, international and national non-governmental organisations, as well as links to private sector networks, including through the UN Global Compact, etc. UNDP is also an important partner of ASEAN.UNDP has been assisting the Kingdom of Thailand in implementing a number of global environmental conventions including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This project intended to assist the Thai Government in meeting its obligations under these conventions and developing synergies between different conventions. UNDP Thailand’s Environment Portfolio supports the Royal Thai Government in using PES and other environmental financing approaches as incentives for biodiversity conservation and GHG emission reduction


Tag: Effectiveness Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning

10.

3.1.7 Management arrangements

As the Implementing Partner (IP), the responsibilities of MONRE included: • Coordinating activities to ensure the delivery of agreed outcomes; • Certifying expenditures in line with approved budgets and work-plans; • Facilitating, monitoring and reporting on the procurement of inputs and delivery of outputs; • Coordinating interventions financed by GEF/UNDP with other parallel interventions; • Preparation of Terms of Reference for consultants and approval of tender documents for sub-contracted inputs, and; • Reporting to UNDP on project delivery and impact. The decision to work directly with REOs was consistent with their mandate to work with international projects, and the ET indeed finds that REOs were the appropriate agencies for project implementationHowever, in hindsight, it should perhaps have been recognised that REOs have minimal mandate and capacity to deal with catchment and land management, and the project therefore should have put additional emphasis on the systematic capacity building of REOs.

The challenges posed by the change back to the OPS (from the previous change to the PCD from the OPS) was due to the move of REOs under MONRE’s restructuring, and as such was unavoidable and beyond the control of the project. It certainly caused substantial delays and bureaucratic issues. It also affects the willingness to understand and drive the project as well as the commitment and the ownership at management level of MONRE while the commitment at the REO levels remain strong throughout.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Knowledge management Operational Efficiency

11.

3.1.7 Management arrangements (Continuation)

The ET finds that REOs generally performed well, considering the changes in focus towards waste management, and considering the additional work load from the project to their normal work schedule.No REOs seemed to have dedicated fulltime staff to the CBFCM project, although someof the staff indicated that they spent more than 50% of their time working on the project. Some even stated that they worked on weekends on project activities, especially with the communities. Although the project employed Field Coordinators attached to REOs to assist in coordinating work with communities and on financial procedures, the substantive part of project work is still under REO staff’s responsibilities.Given the amount and innovative nature of the project work, it should be reflected in the individual Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of the project staff, leading to a high degree of ownership by the REOs

The way in which the technical assistance was used appears to have lacked coherence and strategic direction. This reflected a bigger issue, namely that the project lacked overall cohesion between the various field-based implementers, policy level technocrats and the other stakeholders. There should be a mechanism to ensure that experiences from the local pilot site level inform national policy making and development at MONRE. There was optimism in the MTR that the recommended extension of the project would allow the project to capitalise on several achievements and ensure substantial delivery of additional achievements despite the short span available. The MTR also noted that this was contingent upon more speedy and effective project management, by both the PMU at MONRE and by UNDP in terms of consultant recruitment, etc. Unfortunately, two unexpected events caused additional delay and have had substantial effect on project delivery.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Technical Support

12.

3.1.8 Communications

Effective adaptive management depends on good communication. For a project with a dispersed set of sites, and with complex and innovative ideas and concepts, both internal and external communication would be important. It is important to distinguish between distribution of information, and, actually communicating with each other. The latter implies dialogues, feedback and discussions.

There have been reasonable internal communications in the project, with regular meetings and feedback particularly between the PMU, REOs and UNDP who met quarterly during the first three years of the project under PCD. However, after the project was transferred to OPS, the meetings did not take place regularly and systematically

The concept of PES and CBFCM while still not fully comprehended by many stakeholders, is gaining some traction. There is a need for enhancing the general awareness on these key concepts among stakeholders. The ET finds that the REOs and the Field Coordinators have been effective in stakeholder communication. Through continual dialogues and discussion e.g. formal workshops, training, participatory planning, stakeholders gradually developed clearer understanding of CBFCM and PES.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Communication Knowledge management Results-Based Management Country Government Coordination

13.

3.2 Project implementation

3.2.1 Adaptive management

This refers to the ability of the project to adjust and provide changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation.The ET recognizes that the policy context can change rapidly since the time of project design to actual implementation phase, and that it can be difficult to fully anticipate such changes during the planning stage. For this reason, the ability to adapt becomes critical.The ET concludes that the project has put efforts to adapt and react to changes in the implementation context both within the Project Management Unit and at the local levels (REO and at the pilot site level). However, it was with limited impact due to the combination of insufficient strategic technical supervision/guidance at PMU level and insufficient capacity and lack of /untimey technical guidance at field level.The recommendation of the MTR, viz. engaging a CTA was not pursued/followed and the ET finds that the impact of this on both technical oversight and direction was substantial.Further, the strong MTR recommendation that a working definition of PES should be developed and adopted across the project elements and pilot sites was also not followed.


Tag: Efficiency Monitoring and Evaluation Partnership Project and Programme management

14.

3.2 Project implementation (Continuation)

3.2.4 Finance and co-finance

The budget execution to April 2017 is 74% (US$ 1302946), compared to just forty-one per cent (US$736,976) in August 2015, of the total budget (US$1,756,182). There has been misunderstanding in terms of reporting co-financing. The figure at the time of writing the TE, is US$ 396.368,36, compared to the pledged US$ 12.210.000 (as per ProDoc), as the contribution of the Government of Thailand. The co-financing costs have been entirely in-kind for items such as salaries of PCD/OPS/REO government officials involved in the project, senior project management, utilities (electricity, water, etc.), office space for the PMU and transportation.The leveraged co-financing includes crab banks and artificial reefs in REO-14, the construction of weirs at Mae Sa, the grant provided by SCCG to kick of conservation activities in 4 pilot sites, etc. Co-financing from UNDP for CBFCM budget includes project level cash contribution from the UNDP project “Biodiversity Finance Initiative” (BIOFIN) of US$ 54,882 during the period of three years from late October 2014 till the end of 2017. This first phase of the project aims to implement alternative financing mechanisms including Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). Under the same project, an in-kind support around USD 8,800.50 from a company. Therefore, the total co-financing amount mobilized from UNDP side is USD 63,682.50.


Tag: Efficiency Government Cost-sharing Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Efficiency Results-Based Management

15.

3.2.6. Project Execution

3.2.6.1 Implementing Agency (UNDP)

UNDP has played influential role in project execution, especially in crtical situation. When the project was moved from PS office to PCD, it was initially reluctant to accept the role on project administration as its priority mandate is on brown issues. Through a series of consultation, UNDP has encouraged PCD to see the value that PES schemes would add to its mandate as another economic tool for sustainable environmental management in addition to the Pollutor Pays Principle as already adopted by PCD.During the first half of the project UNDP had regular and systematic meetings with PCD and PMU to monitor implementation progress and tackle emerging issues. UNDP’s participation in important field events, e.g. in stakeholders meeting to identify potential PES opportunity was also evident. 

After the MTR, the role of UNDP continued with OPS but with less degree of influence due to difference in administration arrangement and management approach withnin OPS. Informal meetings between UNDP and PMU took place often to address emerging administrative as well as technical issues. UNDP-attached portfolio coordinator was assigned to help PMU and OPS improve some of these issues. Despite all these good attempts, UNDP could have provided tighter oversight to PMU especially on accounting/book keeping.UNDP’s focus on project results was reflected through its strict application of the rule that the project must spend up to 80% of the advanced budget before the new request could be made. The purpose is to prompt the project to make efforts to make a realistic and effective result-based planning and implementation, not just to copy and paste the same activities in the work plan every year without any thought put on what needs to done and what the actual expenditures will be. To reduce risks associated with frequent changes of project focal point, UNDP has engaged a coordinator to provide coaching to PMU and MONRE staff assigned to the project on result-based monitoring and reporting. Implementing Agency (UNDP): Satisfactory (S)


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Implementation Modality Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

16.

3.2.6. Project Execution (Continuation)

3.2.6.3 Overall Project Execution

Overall project execution is moderately satisfactory, given the confusion and uncertainly about the project set-up at national level.Overall Execution: Moderately Satisfacotry (MS)

3.2.6.4 Coordination and Operational issues

The ET supports the view of the MTR that strategic management approach is necessary for GEF- funded projects and that the PMU should be able to adaptively manage and steer the project, rather than merely being an administrative office. The MTR recommended the project to engage a Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) to allow a strategic consolidation of technical support and to ensure development of relevant and targeted TORs, decision of timely delivery, etc.However,this recommendation was not followed. In the absence of the CTA, the Project Manager was expected to fulfil a role of both managing a project as well as providing overall technical oversight and direction, which is almost impossible. This has led to the lack of clear and coherent direction to guide field level interventions and the delay in key deliverables in both Outcomes.


Tag: Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Implementation Modality Operational Efficiency Partnership Project and Programme management Coordination

17.

3.3 Project Results

3.3.1 Overall results

Overall, the project objective to create an enabling policy and institutional environment for scaling up of integrated community-based forest and catchment management practice through harnessing of innovative financing mechanism has been partially achieved. Despite the extended project duration by 18 months after the MTR, the project still had difficulty in achieving intended results in due time due to the 6-month suspension of project implementation following the financial audit in 2015. In the final year of the project, advances were made on Outcomes 1 and 2 but some of the planned outputs had not been fully and effectively achieved.

Under Outcome 1, PES concept has been included in the National Environment Quality Plan (2017- 2022). To materialize the concept MONRE’s Permanent Secretary expressed that all 16 REOs incorporate PES in their natural resource management plans. A consultant was engaged to conduct training workshop for REO staff on PES and economic tools for natural resource management to equip them with necessary knowledge for the planning. The four REOs in demonstration sites have increased understanding about PES and hands-on experience in community engagement but no training centers have been set up at these REOs to serve as knowledge-hub on PES and biocarbon financing schemes. PES policy communication within MONRE was done through the Project Board which comprises representatives from all concerned departments. However, multi-agency/multi-sectoral mechanism for CBFCM/PES dialogue, consultation and policy feedback has not been officially established/functional. 


Tag: Ecosystem services Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

18.

3.3.2 Progress towards outcome analysis

The MTR discussed the difficulties in assessing progress towards outcomes, specifically in relation to inefficiencies of the SRF. Furthermore, assumptions and risks were assessed rather optimistically, for example on CBFCM in Thailand and the required institutional capacities. The ET agrees with this assessment made by the MTR and makes further observations that the project workplans have not sufficiently and strategically covered activities that would contribute to the achievement of the outcomes. Meanwhile, there have been some additional changes which are not indicated in the existing SRF but worth noting.Most of these changes are process-related. The analysis of progress towards outcomes will reflect both.

3.3.2.1 Outcome 1

Strengthened policy environment and systemic capacities to promote sustainable community- based forest and catchment management through PES and bio-carbon financing mechanisms:Overall, there have been some/limited progress and achievements. As reported in the MTR, progress was initially slow but had increased in pace and most key elements (listed in the PIR 2015) were in place at the MTR. At the TE time, more have been done but there remain more wotk to be done after the project ends to achieve the intended outcome. The ET also acknowledges that formal changes in government administration procedures is time-consuming and does require patience. Policy-development is a lengthy process which needs substantial consultations and discussions, both within and among departments, at national, regional, and local levels. Formulation of legal framework will require much more time, well beyond the project’s timeline. Some of the achievements made in Outputs 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 as described below could be building blocks for futher long-term policy and legal solutions


Tag: Environment Policy Green Climate Green Economy Natural Resouce management Coherence Effectiveness Policies & Procedures Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

19.

3.3.2 Progress towards outcome analysis (continuation)

Output 1.2: Functional multi-sectoral mechanism for CBFCM (with participation of all Regional CBFCM Networks, REOs, ONEP and RED) that acilitates effective policy feedback, knowledge sharing, self capacity development and access to PES/biocarbon database At the time of the TE, no such functional mechanism has been set up. Some dialogues were undertaken on an ad-hoc basis to share experiences on the implementation of PES, or PES-like projects and schemes by various agencies, including DNP, RFD, BEDO, PCD, etc. However, REOsand communities were not adequately included in these dialogues. The idea to institutionalise this multi-sectoral mechanism under the National Environmenal Board to provide policy feedback on the use of economic instruments as incentives in forest and catchment management was not visited and materialised.The database system work conducted by the Geographical Data Consultant is – at the time of writing – at long last under way. The ProDoc stated: “The database will provide a central collection point for PES/bio-carbon information, case studies and research studies. The regional offices will also be encouraged to develop similar databases for their regions.” The ET feels that this effort should have received higher priority earlier during the project. In addition, the ET observes that the database development does not appear as participatory as originally intended, and can seem lacking in focus. The actual applicability of the database is questionable – or at least not well defined, formalised and described. The way in which it will be integrated into the overall policy development process and framework also appears unclear.The impression of the ET is that the database may be developing in the direction of a market place for announcing PES opportunities and where potential buyers and sellers can find each other. Such a “PES dating site” in itself would be an interesting and novel approach.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Communication Knowledge management Institutional Strengthening

20.

3.3.2 Progress towards outcome analysis (continuation)

Output 1.3 National capacity enhanced to promote incentive-based CBFCM(continuation)

The ET also finds that although several technical consultants have been engaged but they are hired on a job-by-job basis, mostly to conduct studies on economic valuation of natural resources, not to build capacity of REO and community on PES planning process.The skills in stakeholder analysis, engagement, communication and management, conflict resolution, mediation and contract negotiation were considered to be weak in the REOs by the MTR, with some improvements as observed by the ET but not yet to the level that they could be confident trainer in these fields.Since all of the afore-mentioned skills do not appear to have been substantially enhanced through/by the CBFCM project, it raises the question whether REOs will be able to be lead agencies for PES related efforts.However, some enhanced capacity to monitor and evaluate brown issues were achieved through their engagement in project activities, for example in water, air, soil, and environmental quality monitoring and analysis.The ProDoc stated that government agencies lacked capacity in monitoring of GHG emission reduction and capture through land use and land use change, and explained that the project would help to build capacities to address this gap. The ET finds that REO staff received training on biocarbon assessment in the initial year of the project. The techniques were later on trained to and applied by one pilot community (viz. Community forest committee in Ubon Ratchathani)to measure trees in their community forest. However, there was no systematic way to record amount of carbon stock created by the forest. This could be an area for improvement in the future to develop solid database which community could use as a basis to negotiate for PES arrangement.Overall Outcome 1 Results: Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU)


Tag: Environment Policy Green Economy Effectiveness Impact Local Governance Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

21.

3.3.2.2 Outcome 2 (continuation)

Expanded CBFCM coverage through pilot testing and up-scaling of best practice using PES and bio-carbon financing schemes and mechanisms: (continuation)

Pilot Site 1 - Mae Sa Watershed, Northern Thailand / Chiang Mai Province. It is important to note that the efforts at Mae Sa have benefited and capitalised on pre-existing CBFCM relevant practices before this project began. This CBFCM project has enhanced these capacities in several important ways. Stakeholders including local communities, private sectors and local governments (TAO) have collaboratively adopted CBFCM approach. In total, sixteen living weirs were constructed within the pilot site area, much more than the planned two weirs; and more living weirs are already being planned. Expansion has gone beyond the original project boundary, i.e. to an adjacent area (to the north of the pilot site), which even belongs to a different sub-district. REO 1 has hired a consultant to study impact of the weirs on the environment as well as livelihoods of the villagers. It was reported that the quantity of water has significantly increased all year round. Around 30 households whose rice fileds are located near the weirs have benefited from sufficient water supply, and hence the increase in their income from rice. Water quality has improved to the level that the Mae Raem Office of Water Works Authorities has signed an MOU to support communities to continue their conservation activities (i.e. weirs maintenance and forest rehabilitation). Improvements in the environment are reported in terms of increase in fauna and flora species as well as fresh water algae.Watershed forest was better protected from unsustainable practices of the elephant camp. The stakeholder network has developed an integrated plan for Mae Sa Watershed rehabilitation and management including projects on water (quality and quantity), biodiversity and forest, fire prevention, and waste management. Through the Mae Sa Watershed Management Committee established by the project, linking to existing structure of provincial and local governments as well as private sector association, more funding will be mobilised from the provincial development budget, PAO, and tourism-related businesses in the sub-districts. The TE sees promising signs that this committee would continue to function after the project ends. At the time of the TE interview, it was reported that some of the project activities have already been absorped by different funding sources. For example, PAO through Mae Rim district development planning will partially finance the construction of more weirs to cover all sub-districts, starting fiscal year 2018. The District office also developed a proposal to request the Governor’s budget to continue activities initiated by the project. To keep the momentum, private sector and communities have set up a network to develop long-term conservation plan for Mae Sa catchment including activities in water, forest, and waste management and forest fire prevention. The network’s office will be located in TAO and financial plan for fund mobilisation/donation is in place.It is important to note that progress has been substantial. Through networking process, the model of living weirs is also adopted by TAO in another district. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

22.

3.3.2.2 Outcome 2 (continuation)

Expanded CBFCM coverage through pilot testing and up-scaling of best practice using PES and bio-carbon financing schemes and mechanisms: (continuation)

Pilot Site 3: Lam Sebai Watershed, North-eastern Thailand, Ubon Ratchathani Lam Sebai catchment was selected as pilot site because the community forest management committee has been effective.Rules and regulations for forest conservation have been developed through consensus process with every household in the community. The regulations were strictly applied and there had not been reports on encroachment during recent years. However, households are allowed to collect non-timber forest products for livelihoods.The project further enhanced existing capacity by providing training on carbon credit knowledge and the community is now reasonably well equipped to monitor carbon sequestration capacity of their forest.However, the ET finds that the private sector companies which were engaged in the project, did not substantially benefit from the carbon sequestration and CBFCM services which the community provides. They are located in a different catchment and are engaged to support the community on a more or less philanthropy basis. Thus, the waste donated to the local communities to make organic fertiliser was in fact a very tiny fraction of the total waste created by the companies. The perception by the ET from interviews with the local communities was that their interest in the waste rather luke-warm, due to the difficulties of using the waste and selling of the fertiliser at a reasonable price.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Project and Programme management

23.

3.3.2.2 Outcome 2 (continuation)

Outcome 2 has three outputs:

Output 2.1 Capacities of local authorities, landholders, and the private sector enhanced to ensure market-based payments and harness innovative financing for improved livelihoods: The ET finds that capacity of local authorities, landholders and the private sector has been improved but that capacity building has been ad hoc and sporadic, rather than conducted in a systematically planned manner.An important achievement is that the broad range of local stakeholders (including municipalities, private sector operators, government agencies, CSOs, local communities on several levels, monks, etc.) have enhanced capacity to work together. This has also worked towards creating a common understanding about how sustainable livelihoods is linked to and dependent upon ecosystem services and health.There still appears to be substantial uncertainty and/or disagreement regarding the definition of PES. However, several rather solid PES-like cases have been developed, particularly water provisioning in the Mae Sa catchment, coastal protection by mangrove forests in Tha Chin catchment. The project has made the first tentative steps in the right direction towards future PES schemes linked to CBFCM.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Capacity Building National Institutions Private Sector

24.

3.3.2.2 Outcome 2 (continuation)

Outcome 2 has three outputs:

Output 2.3 Land-use based and biodiversity friendly PES and bio-carbon financing strategies for CBFCM with result-based, equitable, transparent and unified payment distribution structure in place in 4 REO regions.The ET finds that the project did not sufficiently pursue strategic and systematic approaches to develop PES strategies for CBFCM. Rather, the ET finds that it is still in its infancy –the experience achieved thus far has been based on a trial and error approach, in part due to the lack of clear working definitions of PES and CBFCM.The experience gained by the REOs so far is building a sound basis for developing PES schemes in the future but completed working examples in the lifetime of this project, considering the baseline at the start, are too ambitious.The process taking place at the REO level has countered many of the obstacles which invariably stand in the way of effective community-based natural resource management. For instance, one of the “communities in the Mae Sa catchment consists of a “community forest” which is actually inside the territory of a national park. While there is a community Committee established, there is also a second and ethnically different community which uses the forest as well as a private enterprise with roots in the community but nonetheless a private property which uses the forest for tourism activities.The capacities of the communities are still deemed insufficient for them to manage natural resources sufficiently effective according to any robust PES schemes. Additional confounding factor is the extent to which they will be able to negotiate fair deals with the private sector.As mentioned above, there has been some expansion in areas managed according to CBFCM approaches. However, this expansion has not involved or applied PES because the link to real(istic) buyers was not established during the lifetime of the project. The MOUs then serve as mutual agreements indicating some contributions from private sector/local governments to support community’s conservation schemes/activities which may or may not have direct benefit on private sector’s business.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Policies & Procedures

25.

3.3.2.2 Outcome 2 (continuation)

Outcome 2 has three outputs: Output 2.3 Land-use based and biodiversity friendly PES and bio-carbon financing strategies for CBFCM with result-based, equitable, transparent and unified payment distribution structure in place in 4 REO regions.(continuation)

Pilot Site 2: Tha Chin

Four MOUs have been signed between corporates/potential supporters and community networks to support CBFCM. The first MOU is between community-based mangrove protection network and the Office of Internal Security Command to increase mangrove areas and prevent erosion. The second MOU is between Thai Tap Water (TTW) company and Water Watch Network where TTW would provide funding to support community’s ongoing activities for the initial period of 1 year. The third MoU focuses on awareness raising of the public, communities, school children on ecosystem conservation. TTW and Provincial Administration Organization will support community-based KM network to develop curriculum and conduct trainings in relevant areas. The last MoU was signed between the local government (TAO) and Phun Tai Norasing Foundation to increase mangrove coverage around the area where the foundation is located.Although all of these MOUs at this stage are not purchase agreements of PES but rather philanthropy/CSR by private sector, they have put in place collaboration between community and private sector. More work will need to be done to really develop the real PES agreements for the community’s services based on the ‘willingness to pay’ of the businesses who benefit from these services.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Effectiveness

26.

3.3.3 Relevance:

As elaborated on in the ProDoc, there was - and still is – a clear and well-defined rationale, need and scope for the objectives, outcomes and outputs of the present project, though the inception phase could have been improved. This is certainly the case at the national level. At the provincial level, there is a big demand for more environmentally friendly approaches, as evidenced by Provincial Development Strategic Plans of the 4 pilot sites: Chiang Mai: Promote sustainable NRM by using technologies and innovations Samut Sakorn: Accelerate balance in ecosystem to increase natural resources Ubon Rachatani: Sustainable management of natural resources and environment Surat Thani: Develop sustainable natural resource base and environment.The selection of partners and stakeholders was certainly appropriate, though perhaps the match between the private sector and communities could have been better, illustrated as follows.

Pilot Site 1 – Mae Sa The project was definitely relevant to the local context, as the area experienced frequent water quality problems and occasional droughts/shortage of water. There have been community-based conservation efforts going on before the project started. The project has built upon this existing social capital. Pilot Site 2 – Tha Chin Local communities had been facing substantial negative consequences resulting from the degrading mangrove forest areas and from the adverse impacts of pollution on the water quality and quantity of the canal. The project area covers 3 sub-districts where conservation activities have been initiated by local community volunteer groups in each sub-district. The project helped to leverage the level of community’s engagement in CBFCM by establishing networks among these three sub-districts.


Tag: Forestry Ecosystem services Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Relevance

27.

3.3.4 Effectiveness:

Achieving the Project Objective

Overall, the project objective is advanced but not fully achieved. To have better achievement, more cohesive and strategic management is required, and an engagement of a Chief Techncial Advisor is necessary.Under outcome 1 refering to strengthened policy environment and systematic capacities to promote sustainable CBFCM through PES, National Environment Quality Plan (2017-2022) and Regional Natural Resource Management Plans have incorporated PES as promsing economic instrument to engage community and private sector in CBFCM and sustainable natural resource management. Capacities at REOs have been enhanced through technical training, on the job coaching and direct engagement in project implementation but not enough attention is given to systematic drawing of grounded knowledge generated from hands-on experience. Database on PES was established to provide information on existing and emerging CBFCM schemes which could potentially be supported by private sector under PES arrangement. No functional/formalmechanism was established for policy feedback at national level. However, it is recommended that a new unit to continue PES policy dialougues and support to implementation on the ground is established under MONRE.


Tag: Ecosystem services Environment Policy Effectiveness Efficiency Human and Financial resources Capacity Building

28.

3.3.5 Efficiency

The project experienced several long delays. The reasons include:

- Insufficient and weak recordings of financial transactions and accounting in general. This resulted in the problems and the long delay due to the audit discovery of irregularities. -Insufficient and often delayed/not timely technical support to the REOs. The technical support lacked overall integration and strategic approach. - Timely delivery has also been affected by the requirement to expend 80% on a quarterly basis before release of next quarter’s instalment.- The Project Management office was hosted by different agencies during the project life, including the latest shift from Pollution Control Department (PCD) to MONRE Permanent Secretary Office since the MTR. Although the argument for changing the host institution may have been valid, it has invariably caused substantial transaction costs in terms of implementation delays and management issues. - The project would have benefited from a clearer and better functioning management structure, coordination and communication among management members. - Insufficient oversight of the project. Tighter and more frequent oversight of the project would have enabled/enhanced the likelihood that the project could remain on track. - Careful consideration of communication should have received stronger emphasis in the project design and implementation. It should have been anticipated that effective and accurate communication would become crucial because of the complex design, many vertical layers of government authorities, the pilot sites being widely dispersed, and of course with a new complex and difficult subject matter.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency

29.

3.3.6 Country Ownership

UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects are implemented with the explicit agreement and involvement of the appropriate ministries and departments, both during the project design phase and during implementation. Indeed, such projects are implicitly intended to serve and complement the national agenda. For these reasons, the Project Management Unit was hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The PPG took over a year and with engagement from the level of the Deputy Permanent Secretary and the REO Chiefs (1,5,12,14) from the very start. Extensive community consultations also took place to identify the piot sites. The same goes to the inception, due emphasis was given but the several shifts and changes of focal units within MONRE made it very difficult for the project to have a meaningful inception phase to provide the basis for a better project implementation.The ET feels that the frequent shifts of the project from PS office to PCD and back to PS office do reflect varying levels of country ownership over the project. Although the project is regarded as beneficiary by MONRE, the different management styles by different hosts do have impact on the implementation strategies and efficiency. At the Pilot Site level, the ET finds that the rationale for selection of the combination of sites was sound. However, the project did perhaps not achieve full buy-in and commitment from some of the REOs for the specific scope, objectives, outcomes and outputs which the project was designed to achieve. This - combined with insufficient direction, guidance and technical support – was particularly pronounced at Koh Pha Ngan, where project implementation has been more complicated due to realities and complexity of environmental issues in the selected site.


Tag: Environment Policy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Sustainability Integration Ownership Partnership Policies & Procedures Country Government

30.

3.3.7 Mainstreaming (continuation)

Poverty alleviation was expected to be achieved through implementation of PES schemes which would eventually increase income of participating community in pilot sites. Livelihoods improvement is one of the indicators to be achieved under Outcome 2. Although there was no official report on the rise of community’s income from project activities at the time of the TE, information from field visits and stakeholder interviews indicated signs towards positive direction. Increased fish and crab stock in coastal areas of Koh Pha Ngan and improved water supply to rice fields in Mae Sa catchment resulted in increased income of fisherfolks and rice farmers.In pilot sites, women participation in project activities was evident at both decision making and operational levels. In Tha Chin catchement, for example, women took a lead in regular checking of water quality in the canal whereas men focused on mangrove rehabilitation. In Mae Sa catchment, women participated in weir construction and forest rehabilitation. However, it was not clear if this was the result of the planned gender mainstreaming process or it just happened naturally. 

Through their participation in project activities, communities in pilot sites have gained knowledge to better cope with natural disasters. For instance, they learned that mangrove rehabilitation helped to prevent erosion of coastal areas and damages caused by storms or tsunami; construction of living weirs helped to improve problems associated with drought in dry season and overflow of water in rainy season; and better management of community forest helped to reduce GHG emission.The project does not appear to have direct linkage with other UNDP programmes but it shared some common development issues with some other projects. For example, the project “Leadership Academy for Muslim Women in Southern Provinces of Thailand” aimed to build leadership capacities for the women in addressing poverty and environmental problems in their respective communities.


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Environment Policy Sustainability Integration Risk Management Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction

31.

3.3.8 Sustainability(continuation)

3.3.7.1 Financial risks to sustainability

Project Document: The first component of the project, which focuses on national enabling environment, a key thrust of the project is to pilot the use of PES and bio-carbon financing mechanism for effective forest catchment management at local level. The project will ensure that such mechanisms at the local level are sustainable.TE: Speaking of financial sustainability of developed PES schemes at this late/final stage of the project is perhaps not appropriate, because no full PES schemes were developed by the project. However, initial steps have been taken and progress of some of the site-specific cases are promising.At the time of the TE, there does not appear to be much hope and scope for additional funds from either REO or central MONRE towards PES work. Meanwhile, the ET recognizes that there may be some opportunities to generate and access funds at the local level, including thefollowing: Governor’s budget; PAOs; TAOs, and possibly continual support from private sectors from the MOUs. In addition, the gradual - albeit rather slow – enhanced awareness of PES and bio-carbon schemes (for effective forest catchment management) at local levels (including among relevant local government authorities, local communities and the private sector) provides some hope that over time, financially sustainable schemes will be reached. The ET feels – though – that sustained support from the REOs will be required, so it is important to also ensure the continued support and commitment from the national and provincial levels, including appropriate funding allocation within the national and provincial budget planning. The ET notes that there are positive signs that this may indeed happen over time, considering the specific inclusion of PES within several of the planning and policy documents at national, regional, and provincial levels. This may, over time, secure specific budget allocations.


Tag: Ecosystem services Natural Resouce management Sustainability Risk Management Inclusive economic growth

32.

3.3.8 Sustainability(continuation)

3.3.7.3 Institutional framework and governance risks to sustainability

Project Document: The project builds upon existing institutional government structures. The only new institutional mechanism proposed (a working group under Output 1.2) will be linked to national process and is expected to be sustainable as long as participants find it useful. This is a relatively low cost and will not be expensive to maintain by the government post project completion.ET: The ET finds the statement to be reasonable. While the TE recognizes that the Government of Thailand shows interest in pursuing PES at many levels of the policy and planning levels, the structure and nature of this is much less clear. The continued lack of a common understanding of PES is disconcerting. The project had strongly recommended a specific PES Unit established to (i)develop PES mechanism and its inclusion on departmental plan and (ii) promote public awareness and participation in PES process. The ET concludes that it will be challenging for the PES efforts to be sustained by piloting REOs mainly because PES is not part of the REOs’ current scope and mandate, and because the strongly recommended PES unit (in the ProDoc and reiterated in the MTR) has not yet been established to support continuation of PES-related activities /MOUs in pilot sites. For non-pilot REOs, although PES is included in their natural resource management strategies, they need to have technical advice and proven models to adopt. This will not be possible without the strongly recommended PES unit.However, this may change if the PES unit is indeed established as recommended as it is a critical step to ensure that PES becomes an integral part of REOs.At the time of TE finding briefing, it seemed that the idea was picked up and it is likely that the Forest Resource and Land Unit under the newlyestablished National Reconciling Office in MONRE will include PES-related mandate.At the community level, committees and working groups have been established in some regions, and these will probably prove important towards ensuring longer-term sustainability


Tag: Environment Policy Environmental impact assessment Sustainability Project and Programme management Risk Management

33.

3.8 Impact

Long-term impact of the project is demonstrated through (i) verifiable improvements in ecological status, and (ii) verifiable reductions in stress on ecological systems. In the absence of data on updated status of key species as identified in the SRF, changes/improvements in ecological status and reductions in stress on ecological systems cannot yet be systematically verified. However, at the time of TE it was evident that some pilot sites have already seen positive improvements in the environment as a result of their conservation efforts. For example, in Mae Sa (increased water flow and improved water quality); Tha Chin (expanded rehabilitated mangrove area and better water quality in public canal, and Pha-Ngan (increased fish and marine stock in coastal area as reported by REOs and community groups in pilot sites and witnessed by the ET during field visits.

With demonstrated commitment of stakeholders in the four pilot sites to continue their CBFCM and conservation activities under the MOUs as well as those indicated in community action plans and TAO development plans, it is very likely that in the long-run the project will have evident impact on the ecological systems/status in the areas it has operated. The degree of impact, however, will also be associated with the scale and quality of activities to be implemented.


Tag: Natural Resouce management Impact Data and Statistics

Recommendations
1

After the project closure, a PES management unit should be established with in MoNRE:

  • Promote/support PES
  • Host and promote active use of PES database
  • Monitor documents and lessons from original pilot sites to be used as references for policy recommendations and replication
  • Provide recommendations to develop enabling policy, strategies and mechanism to support PES.
2

A PES management unit should continue to support 4 pilot REOs and respective communities to implement their signed MOAs.

3

Participatory Action Research should be conducted each site 4 pilot REOs and respective communities by key stakeholders who are the implementer of the MOA and PES related activities to develop the know-how on PES implementation in real context.

4

Site-specific recommendations

Mae Sa Catchment

The Mae Sa Watershed Management Committee should play supporting roles in providing technical advice, additional budget and further promoting PES agreements between community groups and other potential buyers of the services where opportunities arise.

At the community level, Mae Sa and Mae Raem Watershed Working Group will be key mechanism driving conservation activities identified in the MOU as well as community action plan which has been absorbed into TAO’s development plan. Meanwhile, the Mae Sa Watershed Management Committee (chaired by Mae Rim Chief District Officer with line agencies and REO as members) should play a supporting role, e.g. providing technical advice, additional budget, and further promoting PES agreements between community groups and other potential buyers of the services where opportunities arise. Participatory Action Research (PAR) should be conducted on the implementation process of different PES arrangements (current and emerging). Through the action and reflection cycle of PAR, communities together with private sector and government agencies will gradually generate knowledge and better understanding how the PES mechanism could be implemented in the real context for win-win-win (environment-community-private sector) benefits.

Community conservation networks to continue their activities, including monitoring improvements in natural resources in their areas, using economic valuation instruments (to be trained by NIDA). The findings could be used as basis for fair negotiations with potential buyers of PES or for resource mobilization from funding sources.

Village # 9 in Mae Raem sub-district, Mae Rim district which has been actively implemented various conservation activities (e.g. living weirs, sustainable forest management, fire protection, etc.), should be supported to serve as a learning site on CBFCM and be equipped with IEC materials for visitors. REO1 is replicating PES in a few other provinces. The process should be closely supervised/guided and monitored by REO 1 and NIDA, with systematic documentation of best practices and lessons learnt. Information on grounded implementation should be fed to the PES Management Unit on regular basis to influence necessary policy support.

5

Participatory Action Research should be conducted on the different implementation of PES arrangements.

6

Community conservation networks to continue their activities, incl. monitoring improvement of natural resources in their areas, using economic valuation instruments (to be trained by NIDA). The findings should be used as a basis for fair negotiations with potential buyers of PES for resource mobilization from funding sources.

7

Village #9 should be supported to serve as a learning site of CBFCM and equipped with IEC materials for visitors.

8

REO1 is replicating PES in few other provinces. The process should be closely supervised and guided by REO1 and NIDA with systematic documentation of best practices and lessons-learnt. Information on grounded implementation should be fed to the PES Management Unit on regular basis to influence necessary policy support.

9

Thachin Catchment

After the project closure, Office of Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC) will coordinate implementation of activities under all MOAs which have been signed under the project. PES management Unit should provide training on the practical concept of PES to a focal point from the ISOC, leaders of the four networks responsible for implementing the four different MOAs as well as their partners from private sector. The training should include discussion how each MOA could potentially be developed in the future into PES agreements, if the conditions permit.

10

Thachin Catchment

REO should support community networks to establish a result-based monitoring mechanism and systematic documentation of best practices and lessons learnt from their implementation. The lessons learnt should then be fed back to PES Management Unit.

11

Lam Sebai

The Governor of Ubol Ratchathani has appointed two committees to carry on the project initiated activities after the project ends. The Advisory Committee is chaired by Chief District Office with representatives of concerned agencies and REO12 as members. The implementing Committee is chaired by Mayor of Hua Don TAO; membership comprises of representatives from communities and private sector. REO12 as secretary of both committees should ensure that the two committees will continue to be active in supporting and driving activities under the current MOAs between Lam Sebai conservation group and private sector.

12

Lam Sebai

To move from MOA to PES agreement, future work is needed. For example, to monitor and prove that the conservation of Dong Yao forest has contributed to certain amount of carbon credits. SS Alcohol company could pay for significant amount of this to off-set GHG emission from their production process and include it is their DJSI report.

13

Koh Phangan

The signed MOU should be implemented and potential to further develop them to PES agreement should be explored.

14

Koh Phangan

The ‘Friends of Pha-Ngan Network’ should be sustained as key driver to implement ideas jointly developed under the Sustainable Pha Ngan Plan.

15

Koh Phangan

Future linkage to mid-stream and upstream communities on sustainable environmental practices (e.g. through organic farmer groups) should be explored and stengtened through implementation of Sustainable Pha Ngan Plan with possible expanded activities to cover upland buffer zone forest areas. To the least, an action plan to solidify and continue the modest organic farming efforts should be developed.

16

4.2 Recommendations

Before the project closure:

The project has delivered a substantial set of achievements which could be further strengthened to fully achieve the project’s intended objective in the long run. In the absence of the project’s exit strategy, it is recommended that a concluding workshop is conducted before the project’s official closure date, not only to share key achievements and lessons learnt but also to discuss how the project results/initiatives could be sustained/further developed at ministerial, regional and community levels. The workshop should include key stakeholders from every level and result in a consensus on the sustainability plan beyond the project phase. Recommendations from the TE may be used as a starting point for further review /discussion by the participants and to reach at conclusions how they could be practically adjusted to suit the realities on the ground as well as at the policy level. It should result on a roadmap for further steps. 

17

After the project closure

Outcome 1:A PES management unit or similar mechanism should be established within MONRE in order to: - promote/support PES and application of economic instruments in natural resource management by REOs and Provincial Environmental Offices - host and promote active use of updated data base on PES - monitor and document grounded process/lessons from the original 4 pilot sites to be used as references for policy recommendations and replication - based on grounded knowledge/lessons learnt, provide recommendations to develop enabling policy, strategies and mechanism to support PES

Outcome 2: PES Management Unit should continue to support the 4 pilot REOs and respective communities to implement their signed MOUs (e.g. providing technical advice through consultants, ensuring sufficient budget to support REOs, etc.) Participatory Action Research should be conducted at each site by a team of key stakeholders (e.g. REO, key agencies, private sector, communities) who are implementers of the MOU and PES- related activities to develop the ‘know-how’ on PES implementation in real context.

18

Recommendations for future UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects

For a project to test new and complex concepts, a CTA should be engaged throughout the project life to ensure that the underpinned concept/approach is consistently well understood and implemented.

More attention should be given to the inception process/phase of the project to ensure thorough understanding by key stakeholders of the project objectives, strategies, and important technical concepts as well as to secure their genuine commitment.

NIM proves to be a good management modality for long-term sustainability of project initiatives. However, country ownership must be firmly committed and the project should not be seen as an additional responsibility by implementing partners. It should be counted as part of their KPI, in order to get priority

In addition to providing co-finance, the Implementing Partner should set up internal support system to ensure continuity of the project despite the change of administration, the willingness to address financial and operational complication and the ownership and the commitment to see the project through to the end in partnership with the IA. An example of concrete solution is to set up a special unit for project implementation. The role of the unit is to ensure efficient and effective management of the project and sustainability of its results. This unit should be operated through special arrangement to streamline bureaucratic procedures based on the approval of the top management of the IP and should be sufficiently staffed. In general, the project activities are in line with the mandates of the IP.Hence, it should become an integral part of the organization’s operation and performance systems. This may require necessary revision of current KPIs to reflect extra work staff put into the project.

Prior to project start up, a guideline on financial and administrative procedures which harmonize UNDP and RTG rules should be developed to support smooth and timely project implementation (streamlined, practical and transparent). Training on UNDP financial/audit requirements which isususally provided to PM and project administration staff (both project-employed and government) during the inception phase should be refreshed on a regular basis or when need emerges.

UNDP should set up a small ‘rescue’ team to ensure that issues concerning project management are dealt with in a timely manner.

UNDP should provide a more rigourous training and coaching process on work planning and budget planning process to ensure that the IP understand and has the capacities to develop a result-based work plan and budget plan that could meet the financial requirement of spending up to 80% of the advanced budget before the new request can be made. This is a part of capacity building process for the government counterparts to get to know result-based management and to apply it to their day to day works.

1. Recommendation:

After the project closure, a PES management unit should be established with in MoNRE:

  • Promote/support PES
  • Host and promote active use of PES database
  • Monitor documents and lessons from original pilot sites to be used as references for policy recommendations and replication
  • Provide recommendations to develop enabling policy, strategies and mechanism to support PES.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

As a result from the national reform agenda and the 20th year strategy, MONRE has established a permanent office and MONRE will use this office to coordinate a multi-agency PES ad-hoc working group, picking up from what CBFCM has initiated and translate into actions with other relevant organisations  to implement PES schemes and bio-carbon for forest and catchment management.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The recommendation was raised at the final project board for OPS action.
[Added: 2017/11/29]
Bureau of Strategic Planning, Office of the Permanent Secretary (OPS), MONRE 2017/11 Completed
2. Recommendation:

A PES management unit should continue to support 4 pilot REOs and respective communities to implement their signed MOAs.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Same as Recommendation #1

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Same as Recommendation #1
[Added: 2017/11/29]
MONRE 2017/11 Completed
3. Recommendation:

Participatory Action Research should be conducted each site 4 pilot REOs and respective communities by key stakeholders who are the implementer of the MOA and PES related activities to develop the know-how on PES implementation in real context.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

This will depend on whether the PES coordination unit/ facility can be set up and provide financial support to undertake this recommendation.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Site-specific recommendations

Mae Sa Catchment

The Mae Sa Watershed Management Committee should play supporting roles in providing technical advice, additional budget and further promoting PES agreements between community groups and other potential buyers of the services where opportunities arise.

At the community level, Mae Sa and Mae Raem Watershed Working Group will be key mechanism driving conservation activities identified in the MOU as well as community action plan which has been absorbed into TAO’s development plan. Meanwhile, the Mae Sa Watershed Management Committee (chaired by Mae Rim Chief District Officer with line agencies and REO as members) should play a supporting role, e.g. providing technical advice, additional budget, and further promoting PES agreements between community groups and other potential buyers of the services where opportunities arise. Participatory Action Research (PAR) should be conducted on the implementation process of different PES arrangements (current and emerging). Through the action and reflection cycle of PAR, communities together with private sector and government agencies will gradually generate knowledge and better understanding how the PES mechanism could be implemented in the real context for win-win-win (environment-community-private sector) benefits.

Community conservation networks to continue their activities, including monitoring improvements in natural resources in their areas, using economic valuation instruments (to be trained by NIDA). The findings could be used as basis for fair negotiations with potential buyers of PES or for resource mobilization from funding sources.

Village # 9 in Mae Raem sub-district, Mae Rim district which has been actively implemented various conservation activities (e.g. living weirs, sustainable forest management, fire protection, etc.), should be supported to serve as a learning site on CBFCM and be equipped with IEC materials for visitors. REO1 is replicating PES in a few other provinces. The process should be closely supervised/guided and monitored by REO 1 and NIDA, with systematic documentation of best practices and lessons learnt. Information on grounded implementation should be fed to the PES Management Unit on regular basis to influence necessary policy support.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 1 is the Secretariat of this Committee and will continue the coordination after project ends.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Participatory Action Research should be conducted on the different implementation of PES arrangements.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Same as recommendation # 3.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Community conservation networks to continue their activities, incl. monitoring improvement of natural resources in their areas, using economic valuation instruments (to be trained by NIDA). The findings should be used as a basis for fair negotiations with potential buyers of PES for resource mobilization from funding sources.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 1 is to further coordinate under the Mae Sa Watershed Committee.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Village #9 should be supported to serve as a learning site of CBFCM and equipped with IEC materials for visitors.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 1 is to further coordinate under the Mae Sa Watershed Committee.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

REO1 is replicating PES in few other provinces. The process should be closely supervised and guided by REO1 and NIDA with systematic documentation of best practices and lessons-learnt. Information on grounded implementation should be fed to the PES Management Unit on regular basis to influence necessary policy support.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Same as Recommendation # 1

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Thachin Catchment

After the project closure, Office of Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC) will coordinate implementation of activities under all MOAs which have been signed under the project. PES management Unit should provide training on the practical concept of PES to a focal point from the ISOC, leaders of the four networks responsible for implementing the four different MOAs as well as their partners from private sector. The training should include discussion how each MOA could potentially be developed in the future into PES agreements, if the conditions permit.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Same as Recommendation #1

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Thachin Catchment

REO should support community networks to establish a result-based monitoring mechanism and systematic documentation of best practices and lessons learnt from their implementation. The lessons learnt should then be fed back to PES Management Unit.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Same as Recommendation #1

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Lam Sebai

The Governor of Ubol Ratchathani has appointed two committees to carry on the project initiated activities after the project ends. The Advisory Committee is chaired by Chief District Office with representatives of concerned agencies and REO12 as members. The implementing Committee is chaired by Mayor of Hua Don TAO; membership comprises of representatives from communities and private sector. REO12 as secretary of both committees should ensure that the two committees will continue to be active in supporting and driving activities under the current MOAs between Lam Sebai conservation group and private sector.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 12 is to further coordinate.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Lam Sebai

To move from MOA to PES agreement, future work is needed. For example, to monitor and prove that the conservation of Dong Yao forest has contributed to certain amount of carbon credits. SS Alcohol company could pay for significant amount of this to off-set GHG emission from their production process and include it is their DJSI report.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 12 is to further coordinate.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

Koh Phangan

The signed MOU should be implemented and potential to further develop them to PES agreement should be explored.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 14 will further coordinate, with the support from OPS.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

Koh Phangan

The ‘Friends of Pha-Ngan Network’ should be sustained as key driver to implement ideas jointly developed under the Sustainable Pha Ngan Plan.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

This will depend on the commitment of the local groups.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

Koh Phangan

Future linkage to mid-stream and upstream communities on sustainable environmental practices (e.g. through organic farmer groups) should be explored and stengtened through implementation of Sustainable Pha Ngan Plan with possible expanded activities to cover upland buffer zone forest areas. To the least, an action plan to solidify and continue the modest organic farming efforts should be developed.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

REO 14 to further coordinate.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation:

4.2 Recommendations

Before the project closure:

The project has delivered a substantial set of achievements which could be further strengthened to fully achieve the project’s intended objective in the long run. In the absence of the project’s exit strategy, it is recommended that a concluding workshop is conducted before the project’s official closure date, not only to share key achievements and lessons learnt but also to discuss how the project results/initiatives could be sustained/further developed at ministerial, regional and community levels. The workshop should include key stakeholders from every level and result in a consensus on the sustainability plan beyond the project phase. Recommendations from the TE may be used as a starting point for further review /discussion by the participants and to reach at conclusions how they could be practically adjusted to suit the realities on the ground as well as at the policy level. It should result on a roadmap for further steps. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation:

After the project closure

Outcome 1:A PES management unit or similar mechanism should be established within MONRE in order to: - promote/support PES and application of economic instruments in natural resource management by REOs and Provincial Environmental Offices - host and promote active use of updated data base on PES - monitor and document grounded process/lessons from the original 4 pilot sites to be used as references for policy recommendations and replication - based on grounded knowledge/lessons learnt, provide recommendations to develop enabling policy, strategies and mechanism to support PES

Outcome 2: PES Management Unit should continue to support the 4 pilot REOs and respective communities to implement their signed MOUs (e.g. providing technical advice through consultants, ensuring sufficient budget to support REOs, etc.) Participatory Action Research should be conducted at each site by a team of key stakeholders (e.g. REO, key agencies, private sector, communities) who are implementers of the MOU and PES- related activities to develop the ‘know-how’ on PES implementation in real context.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation:

Recommendations for future UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects

For a project to test new and complex concepts, a CTA should be engaged throughout the project life to ensure that the underpinned concept/approach is consistently well understood and implemented.

More attention should be given to the inception process/phase of the project to ensure thorough understanding by key stakeholders of the project objectives, strategies, and important technical concepts as well as to secure their genuine commitment.

NIM proves to be a good management modality for long-term sustainability of project initiatives. However, country ownership must be firmly committed and the project should not be seen as an additional responsibility by implementing partners. It should be counted as part of their KPI, in order to get priority

In addition to providing co-finance, the Implementing Partner should set up internal support system to ensure continuity of the project despite the change of administration, the willingness to address financial and operational complication and the ownership and the commitment to see the project through to the end in partnership with the IA. An example of concrete solution is to set up a special unit for project implementation. The role of the unit is to ensure efficient and effective management of the project and sustainability of its results. This unit should be operated through special arrangement to streamline bureaucratic procedures based on the approval of the top management of the IP and should be sufficiently staffed. In general, the project activities are in line with the mandates of the IP.Hence, it should become an integral part of the organization’s operation and performance systems. This may require necessary revision of current KPIs to reflect extra work staff put into the project.

Prior to project start up, a guideline on financial and administrative procedures which harmonize UNDP and RTG rules should be developed to support smooth and timely project implementation (streamlined, practical and transparent). Training on UNDP financial/audit requirements which isususally provided to PM and project administration staff (both project-employed and government) during the inception phase should be refreshed on a regular basis or when need emerges.

UNDP should set up a small ‘rescue’ team to ensure that issues concerning project management are dealt with in a timely manner.

UNDP should provide a more rigourous training and coaching process on work planning and budget planning process to ensure that the IP understand and has the capacities to develop a result-based work plan and budget plan that could meet the financial requirement of spending up to 80% of the advanced budget before the new request can be made. This is a part of capacity building process for the government counterparts to get to know result-based management and to apply it to their day to day works.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/11] [Last Updated: 2021/01/19]

Key Actions:

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