Midterm Review Report of the Sustainable Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the West Pacific and East Asian Seas Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2012-2018, Philippines
Evaluation Type:
Mid Term Project
Planned End Date:
11/2017
Completion Date:
05/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title Midterm Review Report of the Sustainable Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the West Pacific and East Asian Seas Project
Atlas Project Number: 00077221
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2018, Philippines
Evaluation Type: Mid Term Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2017
Planned End Date: 11/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 2.5. Legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions enabled to ensure the conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, in line with international conventions and national
Evaluation Budget(US $): 25,000
Source of Funding: Project funds
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 20,894
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
James Lenoci Evaluator james@lenociltd.com HUNGARY
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sustainable Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the West Pacific and East Asian Seas
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: International Waters
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5393
PIMS Number: 4753
Key Stakeholders: Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
Countries: PHILIPPINES
Lessons
1.
  • Endorsement of national tuna management pans in each of the three beneficiary countries–– the first-time management plans for tuna fisheries have been formulated–– is a positive step towards achieving sustainable management of migratory tuna stocks.
  • Joint workshops and other regional meetings the project has arranged among the three beneficiary countries cultivated communication lines among key fisheries management stakeholders
  • Advances with respect to institutionalizing the financing of data collection by the three beneficiary countries enhanced sustainability.  
  • One of the other key strengths of the project is the strong continuity of the implementation partners, including project manager, national coordinators, regional partners, UNDP CO staff, and UNDP-GEF RTA. The WCPFC has provided steady co-financing contributions, including the in-kind project management services rendered by the Science Manger of the WCPFC.

Findings
1.

Progress towards results has been affected by the delayed start of project activities in Indonesia and Vietnam. The project endorsed by the GEF CEO on 12 May 2014, national governments approved the project document on 27 October – the official start date of the project – but it took nearly another year for registration of the project and internal, domestic approval processes in Indonesia and Vietnam. As a follow-up project, the allocated 3-year implementation timeframe was seen as a reasonable amount of time considering implementation arrangements were in place from the first phase and a certain degree of momentum had been achieved. The second phase, however, contains aspects that were not part of the first phase, including climate change analysis and planning, pilot implementation of ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM), facilitation of market-based approaches, and development of harvest strategies. The level of preparedness for these aspects was generally low, rendering achievement of project outcomes over the 3-year timeframe an even larger challenge.

Stakeholder engagement has primarily remained within the core group of fisheries stakeholders that has been fostered since the first phase of the project. As a fisheries project, this is understandable. The addition of cross-cutting aspects in the second phase, however, called for broader stakeholder involvement. One example of this is climate change. There has been limited interaction with the Ministry of Environment or other relevant stakeholders in the three countries on climate change. Similarly, the inherent synergies with conservation focused stakeholders on EAFM and harvest strategies have not materialized. Private sector operators and associations have been regularly invited to project meetings and workshops, but there is limited evidence of development of collaborative partnerships, e.g., for Outcome 2.2, “Adoption of market-based approaches to the sustainable harvest of tunas”.

There have also been limited synergies with other complementary donor projects and initiatives, including, but not limited to the FAO-GEF Programme on Global Sustainable Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in the Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), the World Bank-GEF Ocean Partnerships for Sustainable Fisheries & Biodiversity Conservation, and EAFM Working Group of the Coral Triangle Initiative. Collaboration with other projects and programs was a key issue raised during the project review process. Partnering with complementary projects, possibly providing incremental funding for specific activities might be a more sustainable implementation strategy than implementing relatively small actions, such as funding prior studies and limited scope field trials.

On several fronts, the project has generated substantive results. Monitoring and evaluation, however, has been fairly weak. The results achieved have not been fully captured or interpreted, and the project monitoring and evaluation systems are not being sufficiently utilized to guide project management. There is also no evidence of assessment of performance against program level objectives.

Based on the findings of the MTR, it is unlikely that several of the envisaged results will be achieved by the planned closure date of 27 October 2017.


Recommendations
1

Provide a no-cost time extension to allow more substantive achievement of project outcomes. Project activities were late to start in Indonesia and Vietnam, and progress on some of the cross-cutting project components, such as climate change adaptation assessment and planning, EAFM pilot implementation, application of market-approaches, etc., are behind schedule in each of the three beneficiary countries.

2

Identify and operationalize strategic partnerships with complementary projects and programs. There have been limited synergies with other complementary projects and programmes, at both regional and national levels. A review of relevant complementary projects and program should be made, and specific strategic joint activities developed and implemented.

3

Coordinate with Ministry of Environment stakeholders regarding climate change and biodiversity conservation activities. The project teams in the three beneficiary countries should develop collaborative working arrangements with Ministry of Environment officials in regard to outcomes involving strengthening climate change predictive and adaptive capacities, and reducing bycatch of endangered, threated, and protected (ETP) species.

4

Explore the feasibility of collaborating with the private sector on application of market-based approaches. Regarding adoption of market-based approaches (Outcome 2.2), it would be advisable to assess the feasibility of collaborating with the private sector. One potential partner is the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC), which is an industry-driven initiative including operators from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. This type of collaboration would be consistent with the regional context of the project, and might also lead to more constructive engagement with the private sector.

5

Strengthen sub-regional collaboration on certain technical activities. Cross-collaboration among the three beneficiary countries in EAFM, harvest strategy, climate change predictive and adaptive capacities, and risk assessment should be increased. This might be a more efficient use of project resources, further cultivates sub-regional collaboration, and also addresses the transboundary context of sustainable management migratory tuna stocks in the EAS.

6

Carry out a study on the viability of the sub-regional governance end target. As a regional project funded under the GEF International Waters focal area, transboundary cooperation is a key corporate objective. The expectations regarding the sub-regional governance end target are unclear. It would be advisable to study the viability of the envisaged sub-regional governance arrangements, structure, and functionality, and assessing the added value of such a governance mechanism with respect to the sub-regional management of migratory tuna stocks.

7

Improve project monitoring and evaluation. Recommended improvements include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Critically review the project results framework, rationalize and validate baseline figures and end targets.

  2. Develop an updated M&E plan and assign responsibilities among the project team, including the national coordinators.

  3. Integrate data and information contained within WCPFC reports into the M&E plan.

  4. Review the baseline GEF IW tracking tool and carry out a midterm assessment.

  5. Integrate programmatic objectives into the project monitoring and evaluation systems.

8

Provide project management support. Budget permitting, a project management assistant should be recruited to support project management, including assisting in preparation of project progress and monitoring reports, liaising with liaising with complementary projects and programmes. The grant agreement with the PEMSEA Resource Facility issued in November 2016 by the project partly fills this gap.

1. Recommendation:

Provide a no-cost time extension to allow more substantive achievement of project outcomes. Project activities were late to start in Indonesia and Vietnam, and progress on some of the cross-cutting project components, such as climate change adaptation assessment and planning, EAFM pilot implementation, application of market-approaches, etc., are behind schedule in each of the three beneficiary countries.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

Agree on this recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project board May 2017 agreed to a no-cost extension of the project for 15 months (by the end of January 2019).
[Added: 2017/12/27]
UNDP, WCPFC PMU 2017/10 Completed The Secretariat and the UNDP- Philippines submitted a Project Extension Request Form to GEF, and the project was formally approved to be extended to another 18 months, from the original termination date of 28 October 2017 to 27 April 2019.
2. Recommendation:

Identify and operationalize strategic partnerships with complementary projects and programs. There have been limited synergies with other complementary projects and programmes, at both regional and national levels. A review of relevant complementary projects and program should be made, and specific strategic joint activities developed and implemented.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board agreed, to the extent possible, to extend suitable collaborations with relevant projects and programmes

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The first partnership which WPEA-SM is planning to have is with the ABJN Project. There will be the activities in 2018 under the enhancement of catch estimates – wherein the ABJN coordinator can share experiences in enhancing the management and mitigation of bycatches, especially sharks. In-country Partnership a) Philippines - For the application of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) to tuna fisheries sector in Philippines, the WPEA is with USAID EAFM Project, which was terminated in June 2017, to take over the expertise and information developed from them. b) Indonesia - The WPEA team has a chance to learn Data limited methods at NOAA funded by SEA-USAID and will share the concept with Philippines and Vietnam during the coming Three Country Workshop. The WPEA is planning to communicate with Mr Michael Abbey (International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, NOAA Fisheries) who is partially managing USAID projects for a concrete collaboration, not only for Indonesia but also for Philippines and Vietnam in the areas of the EAFM and harvest control strategies. c) Viet Nam – WPEA has very strong collaboration with WWF in implementation of fisheries improvement program (FIP) for tuna longline and handline fisheries especially on bycatch component. WPEA together with WWF conducted some observer trips in 2016-2017 and will continue to collaborate in 2018. A WWF’s staff was invited to participate in all WPEA meetings conducted in Viet Nam.
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/09/16]
WCPFC, three countries 2018/06 Completed On going History
3. Recommendation:

Coordinate with Ministry of Environment stakeholders regarding climate change and biodiversity conservation activities. The project teams in the three beneficiary countries should develop collaborative working arrangements with Ministry of Environment officials in regard to outcomes involving strengthening climate change predictive and adaptive capacities, and reducing bycatch of endangered, threated, and protected (ETP) species.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board agreed to coordinate with relevant government agencies and other relevant stakeholders regarding climate change issues.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
WCPFC and the three countries to allow participation of relevant government agencies in project implementation Some examples that WPEA project is collaborating with relevant CC government agencies are illustrated below. a) Climate change issues are dealt by a broad range of agencies in a country. A progress on climate change issues in one agency can be shared by others by participating in related meetings. According to Indonesia for example, there are 13 agencies which cover various climate change studies: Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries; Ministry of environment and forestry; Ministry of Research and Technology; Ministry of Environment (UNFCCC); Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries; Ministry of environment and forestry; Ministry of Research and Technology; Ministry of Environment (UNFCCC); Indonesia Institute of Science; National Nuclear  Energy Agency of Indonesia; Indonesia Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics; Agency for the Assessment and Application Technology; National Coordinator for Survey and Mapping Agency, Indonesia; World Wildlife Fund (WWF); Bandung Institute of Technology; Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund (USSAID and Indonesia); USAID – Indonesia; Yayasan BINTARI; Wetlands International Indonesia Program. Although WPEA consultants cannot follow-up all results from such research, they can reflect the outputs into their study through personal communications and review of research reports b) For the development of climate change guidelines, the WPEA team in the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) in Philippines is collaborating with the Climate Change - Disaster Risk Reduction project being developed by the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, BFAR. c) Vietnam has been working with the Fishing Ground Forecasting Programme of the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF) to develop the guidelines to adaptively manage the impacts of climate change on tuna fisheries.
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2018/09/16]
WCPFC, three countries 2018/06 Completed History
4. Recommendation:

Explore the feasibility of collaborating with the private sector on application of market-based approaches. Regarding adoption of market-based approaches (Outcome 2.2), it would be advisable to assess the feasibility of collaborating with the private sector. One potential partner is the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC), which is an industry-driven initiative including operators from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. This type of collaboration would be consistent with the regional context of the project, and might also lead to more constructive engagement with the private sector.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board agreed to explore the feasibility of collaborating with the private sectors on the application of market-based approaches, budget permitting.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
This is included in the Logframe. However, the targets related to market-based sustainability are:  •Indonesia – Supply chain characterized for selected tuna fisheries, monitoring systems established and information annually updated; custody system in place for selected fisheries •Philippines – Supply chain fully documents and annually updated. Several tuna fisheries progressing towards full certification. Sustained participation of fishing companies •Vietnam – Supply chain characterized for tuna fisheries, with emphasis on export-oriented fisheries, and monitoring system established; Chain of Custody in place for selected tuna fisheries. FIP process implemented for longline/handline fishery Sustained participation of fishing companies Under the current scope of budget, however, the WPEA team is collecting data and information from a selected area and a tuna fishery, and tries to conduct and finalize tuna supply chain analyses. During the coming review workshops, the WPEA team will consider future options related to this recommendation.
[Added: 2017/12/27]
WCPFC 2018/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: Currently, this recommendation is beyond the scope of this project and the level of project budget. No action was taken so far and will be planned in the future to explore the feasibility of collaborating with the private sector on application of market-based approaches because of budget constraints.]
5. Recommendation:

Strengthen sub-regional collaboration on certain technical activities. Cross-collaboration among the three beneficiary countries in EAFM, harvest strategy, climate change predictive and adaptive capacities, and risk assessment should be increased. This might be a more efficient use of project resources, further cultivates sub-regional collaboration, and also addresses the transboundary context of sustainable management migratory tuna stocks in the EAS.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board agreed to strengthen the sub-regional collaboration on certain technical activities

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review of 2017 Annual Workplan and subsequent Workplans every year, covering common issues with invited international experts. Key topics covered include sub-regional stock assessments; climate change and harvest control rules; and identifying areas for sub-regional cooperation and EAFM during 2015 – 2017. In 2017, one expert from Australia was invited to the 2017 three-country workshop to share principles, concepts and application examples on the EAFM, which was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
[Added: 2017/12/27]
WCPFC 2018/12 Completed Inclusion of more sub- regional technical activities
6. Recommendation:

Carry out a study on the viability of the sub-regional governance end target. As a regional project funded under the GEF International Waters focal area, transboundary cooperation is a key corporate objective. The expectations regarding the sub-regional governance end target are unclear. It would be advisable to study the viability of the envisaged sub-regional governance arrangements, structure, and functionality, and assessing the added value of such a governance mechanism with respect to the sub-regional management of migratory tuna stocks.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board did not support the Recommendation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Clarify with UNDP on whether end of project target can be revised
[Added: 2017/12/27] [Last Updated: 2019/01/02]
WCPFC 2018/12 Completed WCPFC and three countries to review 2018- 2019 work plan to see if sub-regional governance mechanism can take place Update: Sub-regional mechanism may not take place but will be put forward in the Commission meeting. History
7. Recommendation:

Improve project monitoring and evaluation. Recommended improvements include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Critically review the project results framework, rationalize and validate baseline figures and end targets.

  2. Develop an updated M&E plan and assign responsibilities among the project team, including the national coordinators.

  3. Integrate data and information contained within WCPFC reports into the M&E plan.

  4. Review the baseline GEF IW tracking tool and carry out a midterm assessment.

  5. Integrate programmatic objectives into the project monitoring and evaluation systems.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board agreed to improve project monitoring and evaluation with support from UNDP-Philippines.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Critically review the project results framework, rationalize and validate baseline figures and end targets. ? After 2-3 year’s implementation of the project and reviewing the progress of each activities, PRF will be reviewed and end targets will be revalidated through consultation meeting in early 2018. Develop an updated M&E plan and assign responsibilities among the project team, including the national coordinators. ? This was agreed upon to be done together with UNDP – Philippines. Integrate data and information contained within WCPFC reports into the M&E plan. ? WCPFC will cooperate as needed with the consultant to integrate WCPFC data and information into the M&E plan together with UNDP Philippines. Review the baseline GEF IW tracking tool and carry out a midterm assessment. ? Done and submitted to UNDP Integrate programmatic objectives into the project monitoring and evaluation systems. ? Will be done through consultancy with help from UNDP.
[Added: 2017/12/27]
WCPFC, UNDP 2018/12 Completed
8. Recommendation:

Provide project management support. Budget permitting, a project management assistant should be recruited to support project management, including assisting in preparation of project progress and monitoring reports, liaising with liaising with complementary projects and programmes. The grant agreement with the PEMSEA Resource Facility issued in November 2016 by the project partly fills this gap.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/29] [Last Updated: 2017/12/27]

The project board agreed, budget permitting, to provide project management support

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Review of budget to identify if resources are available to human resource support
[Added: 2017/12/27]
WCPFC 2017/06 Completed No budget for a recruitment of a new assistant but the UNDP- Philippines and the PEMSEA has been assisting and supporting the project management.

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