Improvement of the decision-making process in Kazakhstan through introduction of mechanisms of economic assessment of fulfilling national obligations under global environmental agreements

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Kazakhstan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2018
Completion Date:
04/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
25,000

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Title Improvement of the decision-making process in Kazakhstan through introduction of mechanisms of economic assessment of fulfilling national obligations under global environmental agreements
Atlas Project Number: 00081775
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Kazakhstan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 04/2018
Planned End Date: 02/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Environment & Sustainable Development
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 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
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 17,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Ms. Amal Aldababseh adababseh@estidama-jo.com JORDAN
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Improvement of the decision-making process in Kazakhstan through introduction of mechanisms of economic assessment of fulfilling national obligations under global environmental agreements
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: MSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5399
PIMS Number: 5248
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: KAZAKHSTAN
Lessons
Findings
1.

3. Findings

3.1 Project Design/ Formulation

The project design and activities are regarded relevant to the GEF objectives and the Country development objectives. The project document was designed with clearly defined objectives, outputs, activities, and targets. The intended outputs were designed to be goal-oriented,however, a few targets pertaining to the legislative reforms are difficult to achieve within the three-year implementation timeframe. The Project Document (ProDoc) includes the required level of details concerning the project log-frame (LFA), components and outputs. It addresses barriers and opportunities for integrating economic valuation of ecosystems in the national planning and development strategies and policies and responds to the national requirements through an appropriate list of components and outputs. The project objective, the 2 components of the project, the 5 outputs as mentioned in the Project Document are clear and practical. However, the project’s outcomes are mentioned once, then, components were listed as outcomes in the log-frame. 

3.1.1 Analysis of LFA/Results Framework (Project logic/ Strategy, Indicators) The GEF Project Results Framework is a key planning tool with detailed activities under the implementation framework that were defined in the Project Document. It is used as a basis for reporting on the progress towards achievement of objectives and implementation progress to the GEF in the middle of the calendar year in a combined Annual Project Review/Project Implementation Report (APR/PIR), together with the UNDP format for internal project management and reporting done on a quarterly basis. Hence, the logframe (LFA) shall serve to monitor & evaluate the overall project achievements – based on defined targets and indicators to measure these targets. Indicative activities are related to each output and output target. During the project inception phase and workshop the LFA has been reviewed but no changes have been made and therefore, has not been updated. Outcomes are not well identified in the Project Document, with targets are specified at the output levels. In the inception workshop, the project management structure has been modified mainly the management arrangement and the composition and number of the technical working groups, however, no update/fine-tuning of the outputs, activities, targets, and sources of verification. With few exceptions, the targets achievement per the end of the project-as formulated during project development-are generally realistic. The project components are listed in the LFA as project’s outcomes. Table 1 provides an overview on the TE assessment of the project’s LFA and how “SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound” the achievements are compared to the defined end-of-project targets.

3.1.2 Assumptions and Risks

The project was designed to remove several capacity barriers hindering the implementation of Rio Conventions. Those include; at the systemic level, the inadequate incentives or mechanisms to enable or encourage progress on Rio Convention implementation. Scientific and technological methodologies for Rio Convention implementation remain outdated or ineffective, although work is on-going to develop these capacities. At the institutional level, the insufficient participation of civil public in the decision-making process for Rio Convention implementation as well as insufficient contribution of different socio-economic sectors that have an impact on the fulfillment of Rio Conventions obligations. At the individual level, there was insufficient awareness and knowledge among important social actors at multiple levels on the Rio Conventions obligations. The project has effectively managed to address each of these three sets of barriers towards the effective integration and implementation of the Rio Conventions by improving the decision-making process in Kazakhstan through introduction of mechanisms of economic assessment of eco-systems services. The project strategy focused on building upon the high-level commitment of the Government to pursue the country’s seven-year action plan for a Green Economy. The barriers to good environmental governance for the global environment are fundamentally an issue of accessing good knowledge and having a good system by which to make best use of this knowledge. Through improved planning and decisions consistent with the principles of a Green Economy, sustainable development can increasingly take on a global environmental character. The project identified three risks during the formulation stage (ProDoc, Subsection B.1., Page 6). These included political, regulatory, and technical risks. Risks were continuously analyzed and updated quarterly during the project implementation. As mentioned above, the risks log has been updated quarterly, with a clear set of mitigation measures identified per risks. Therefore, overall, the project implementation faces currently a low risk that is related to implementation of the remaining activities before the project’s colure, end of December 2017.  


Tag: Green Economy Programme/Project Design Results-Based Management Risk Management Theory of Change Country Government

2.

3.1 Project Design/ Formulation (continuation)

3.1.5 Replication approach The replicability of this project was inherited in its design. Given the learn-by-doing approach to the development and institutionalization of natural resource valuation tools and their application through a pilot project, the replication value of the project is high. The project main outcome was to develop a complete set of assessment tools and design of development and conservation interventions that better mainstream Rio Conventions obligations and that also highlight good practices of a Green Economy. The developed tools and methodologies can be used in any other ecosystem and other biogeographic zones. Furthermore, updating the needed legislation concerning forestry, wildlife, and protected areas codes as well as the amendment to EIA guidelines would provide the legal coverage and support to replicate the developed methodologies and guidelines in other places. The piloting of the developed tools in two different sites provided learn-by-doing opportunities, and helped in building the capacity at national and local levels. 

3.1.6 UNDP comparative advantage CB2 projects are complex due to their multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholders’ nature. In general, UNDP comparative advantage lies in its experience in integrated policy in different national processes, policies, and frameworks. UNDP’s assistance in designing and implementing activities is consistent with both the GEF mandate and national sustainable development plans. UNDP at global level has been involved in designing and implementing around 60 projects under this focal area, many of these projects are being implemented in Central and Eastern Europe and in the CIS region including Central Asia. The project team is in direct contact with other PMUs in the region and had the chance to host a global meeting in Astana in 2016 to facilitate networking, and sharing of experience and lessons learned.

3.1.7 Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector As mentioned earlier, the CB2 project effectively collaborated with other projects and activities funded by UNDP/GEF, EU, GIZ, and the Government of Kazakhstan (GK). Furthermore, the project was implemented under the UNDP Biodiversity Projects Portfolio Unit which is also directly responsible for implementing another 3 ongoing UNDP-supported projects:

- GEF/UNDP/GK Project entitled “Improving sustainability of the PA system in desert ecosystems through promotion of biodiversity-compatible livelihoods in and around PAs” - GK/UNDP Project “Improving of the national policy on natural resources management, monitoring, conservation and sustainable use in the context of transition of Kazakhstan to green economy” - Global EU/UNDP/GK project “Building Transformative Policy and Financing Frameworks to Increase Investment in Biodiversity Management (BIOFIN)”. It was evident that the hosting of all 4 UNDP Biodiversity Portfolio’s projects in one place facilitates project’s implementation, coordination, and management of activities. It further facilitates synergies with other project’s partners and initiatives which would ensure project’s outcomes continuation beyond the lifetimes of the project. 


Tag: Biodiversity Effectiveness Relevance Programme Synergy Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Strategic Positioning

3.

3.2 Project Implementation

The TE Consultant has reviewed the project implementation and its adaptive management. The following aspects of project implementation have been assessed: - Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation) - Partnership arrangements (with relevant stakeholders involved in the country) - Feedback from M&E activities used for adaptive management - Project finance, - Monitoring and evaluation; design at entry and implementation - UNDP and Implementation Partner Implementation/ execution coordination, and operational issues.

Achievements of project implementation and adaptive management have been rated in terms of the criteria above at a six-level scale as follows (TE’s TOR): Highly satisfactory (HS) - the project has no shortcomings; Satisfactory (S) - minor shortcomings; Moderately satisfactory (MS) - moderate shortcomings; Moderately unsatisfactory (MU) - significant shortcomings; Unsatisfactory (U)- major shortcomings; and Highly unsatisfactory (HU) -severe shortcomings. The results of the review and justification for the rating provided is described in the following paragraphs. The selected rating and a description/explanation of that rating is included in the FE Ratings & Achievements Summary table 1, Page 5.

3.2.1 Adaptive Management

The project was CEO endorsed in July 2014, whereas the inception workshop took place in December 2014. The PMU has prepared annual work plans (AWP), based on which the activities and outputs are related to proposed project components and outcomes. The progress on the work plan is very much in line with the initial plan. Project management must constantly keep referring to the goal and objectives and critically assessing how the activities are contributing to the outputs and how those outputs are leading to the objective. Four adaptatively management measures were taken by CB2 Project: - Move the project to Ministry of Agriculture. - Re-structure the project management. - Implement the piloting in two places. - One technical working group instead of 3. 

The project did not witness any major change that required major adaptive management measures to be taken during project implementation. The following are the main changes:

Firstly, early 2014, the MEWR has been demolished (the project executing partner), however, as the FWC was moved to MoA, it was decided that the responsibilities to implement the project should be delegated to MoA, which had signed the project document in September 2014. Second, the project document lacks the details concerning the project management, it was necessary to review and revise the proposed management structure and define the needed details during the project inception. The LFA, including indicators, targets and outputs were not revised. Third, an effective adaptive management measures applied included the piloting of the economic-valuation tools in two places instead of one. The second pilot area was selected as it is located close to an oil and gas industrial area, therefore, the aim was to test the tools in a complex environment where the private sector is playing a role in environmental conservation. Finally, during the IW, it was decided to utilize the already established technical working group to replace the proposed 3 TWGs. This ensures the continuity of the work as this TWG is established to oversee the technical progress of all UNDP/FWC. 

The changes to the project were duly approved by the PB. The introduced adaptive management enabled the project to achieve and exceed its global targets.


Tag: Biodiversity Donor relations Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Partnership Project and Programme management Capacity Building

4.

3.2 Project Implementation (continuation)

3.2.4 Project Finance

The actual expenditure and the leveraged co-financing have been assessed during the TE mission. The differences between planned and actual expenditures per components per year have been assessed and presented in Table 3. Project Budget and Expenditures (US$) The table provides an overview of the budgeted expenditures of the GEF Project of US$ 1.15 million. As of November 2017, US$ 394,027, or about 78.8% of the project total budget, has been expended. Thus, about US$ 105,973 remain in the Project budget for technical assistance, implementation public awareness activities and capacity development activities. The largest share of budget has been spent within component 2 reallocations between the project components (less than 1 %) have been foreseen at the TE stage Thus, the spending of the budget is pretty much in plan but is not in line with the period of implementation, as are also the results of the project delivered so far. The project budget includes US$ 600 thousands from the Government of Kazakhstan and US$ 50 thousands from UNDP (all in-kind), which makes the whole planned co-financing contribution – according to the project document- US$ 0.65 million over the project period. As of November 2017, the confirmed Project co-financing has amounted to an estimated US$ 765,512 or 130.65% following the actual project implementation status, with details from project partners provided in Table 4.

3.2.5 Monitoring and evaluation: design at entry and implementation (*)

The FE considers that the UNDP project assurance role has been appropriately applied to this project, due to the following evidences: - There have been a significant number of monitoring and review exercises conducted by the UNDP Country Office including field monitoring visits, participation in the project board meetings, preparation of the project annual reports, and production of the Combined Delivery Reports. - The UNDP Country Office has also been active in reviewing and following up on the project’s quarterly progress reports, financial reports, and project work plans. - The UNDP/GEF Regional Unit and UNDP Kazakhstan’s provisions of financial resources have also been in accordance with project norms and in a timeframe, which is supportive of covering the costs of project activities. The FE notes that the role of the project board have been used to greater effect to drive the process of project implementation. - The Project’s staff and consultants were contracted according to the established Rules and Regulations of the United Nations and the financial transactions and procurement activities similarly followed due process and the same Rules and Regulations. - The project’s monitoring and evaluation activities were conducted in accordance with established UNDP and GEF procedures. - The project team and the UNDP Country Office undertake monitoring and evaluation activities, with support from UNDP/GEF. Table 3. Project Budget and Expenditures (US$). Table 4. Co-financing of Project Partner (US$). Monitoring of the project by the Implementing Agency has been highly satisfactory with assisting in the preparation of the Annual Project Review and subsequent Board Review, coordination of the Combined Deliver Report and reviewing and following up the project’s quarterly progress reports, financial reports, and work plans. The Project has implemented the project’s components very well to achieve the Objective. This might be due to several reasons: the PMU has a sufficiently developed adaptive management framework, and they fully understand the project’s strategy.

The following elements are identified in the project document as the principal components of monitoring and evaluation: 

1. A project inception workshop to introduce an understanding and ownership of the project’s goals and objectives among the project stakeholder groups. The Project Manager has joined the project in September 2014, the Inception Workshop was held on the December 2015, the final draft of the Inception Report was submitted January 2015. The inception phase was utilized is an opportunity to refine the project log frame, put in place the necessary logistics, and develop the first Annual Work Plan (AWP). The major output of the inception phase was the Inception Report (IR)2 and the first AWP, which, on agreement with the Project Board, UNDP CO and GEF, will form a necessary flexible basis for implementation. During the inception workshop, the management structure was modified, no changes were made to the project LF, discussion was done on the project’s annual work plan. The TE considers that the Inception Phase and corresponding Report represent considerable strength in the project cycle. 

2. Annual Progress Reports APR are prepared and submitted to UNDP. So far, 3 annual progress reports (2015, 2016 and 2017), have been delivered. 

3. Annual Project Board meeting. This is the highest policy-level meeting of the parties directly involved in the implementation of a project. The project is subject to Project Board meetings at least twice per year as per the project document. Board meetings and meetings of Technical Group are supposed to be used to monitor and present progress to and receive additional inputs and recommendations from stakeholders. Six Board Meeting (two per year, in January and July each year) were organized and a number of technical group meetings, and meeting minutes including discussion points were developed. The TE considers that the UNDP project assurance role has been correctly applied to this project. There have been a number of monitoring and review exercises conducted by the UNDP Kazakhstan Country Office including participation in the Project Board, and preparation of the Annual Project Review. The UNDP has also been active in reviewing and following up on the project’s quarterly progress reports, financial reports, and project work plans. The UNDP Office provision of financial resources has also been in accordance with project norms and in a timeframe, that is supportive of covering the costs of project activities.

4. Quarterly Progress Monitoring; progress made is monitored in the UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform. It includes updated risk log in ATLAS. Risks become critical when the impact and probability are high. The project has managed to submit all needed QPRs with the updated risks logs.

5. Day-to-day monitoring of implementation progress is the responsibility of the Project Manager based on the project’s Annual Work Plan and its indicators. The TE consultant reviewed a few reports prepared by the project teams about their site visits and meetings. 

6. Final Evaluation in accordance with UNDP and GEF requirements.

7. Project Terminal Report. The PMU will prepare a comprehensive report will summarize all activities, achievements and outputs of the project, lessons learned, the extent to which objectives have been met, structures and mechanisms implemented, capacities developed, among others.

8. Terminal review meeting. Held by the project board, with invitation to other relevant Government and municipal stakeholders as necessary, in the last month of project operations. The terminal review meeting should refer to the independent final evaluation report, conclusions, and recommendations as appropriate.


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

5.

3.3 Project Results

3.3.1 Overall Results (attainment of objectives) (*)

The achievements of expected results were evaluated in terms of attainment of overall objective as well as identified outcomes and outputs. For this the performance by components is analyzed by looking at: (i) general progress towards the established baseline level of the indicators; (ii) actual values of indicators by the end of the CB2 Project vs. designed ones; (iii) evidences of relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the results as well as how these evidences were documented. 

The summary of evaluation of attainment of Objective and Outcomes of the Project are presented in Table 5. The TE Consultant has rated the project’s progress towards its objective and components. The assessment of progress is based on data provided in the annual reports, technical reports reviewed, the findings and observations of the TE mission, and interviews with the project stakeholders. Table 5: Matrix for rating the Achievement of Outcomes

3.3.2 Relevance (*)

During the TE mission, all evidences showed that the project is very relevant to the government and addressed highly regarded topic. The stakeholders interviewed during the mission expressed the added value of the project, and emphasized that a new phase to pilot the developed economic valuation tools in other ecosystems and different biogeographical zones is very important and critical for Kazakhstan. In fact, one of the major achievements attributed to the Project was the introduction of a set of tools for economic valuations that suits Kazakhstan context. While the Project provided specific advice and support in revising the main codes (Forestry, protected areas, and Wildlife) and improvements in the EIA process, it improved national capacity through the learn-bydoing and support local communities in sensitive ecosystems, those issues are all fully relevant to the country’s biodiversity, climate change, and land management strategies priorities. This relevance is evidenced by the fact that not only economic valuations tools and assessment but also the voluntary payment schemes introduced by the project were approved by the respective Governmental institutions as well as by the Parliament. 

The project has also been highly relevant to UNDP activities in Kazakhstan. This project represents a contribution to the fulfilment of Kazakhstan's 2010-2015 UN Development Assistance Framework, in particular Development Outcome 2 on Environmental Sustainability. This outcome calls for "communities, national, and local authorities [to] use more effective mechanisms and partnerships that promote environmental sustainability" (UNDAF, 2009:15). Among the UNDAF priorities is the development of integrated services to bridge the gap between competitive industrial production and environmental concerns (UNDAF, 2009:17). The integration and application of natural resource valuation with particular emphasis of global environmental benefits is one such important mechanism. Kazakhstan's 2008 Country Analysis, prepared in fulfilment of the Common Country Assessment that analyzes the national development situation and identifies key development issues, determined that the "United Nations is well-placed to contribute to environmental sustainability in Kazakhstan, in a gender-sensitive manner" (UN, 2008:34).


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Biodiversity Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Efficiency Relevance Parliament Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Ownership Partnership Policies & Procedures Technical Support

6.

3.3 Project Results (continuation)

3.3.4 Country Ownership

As per the project document, “Kazakhstan is eligible to receive technical assistance from the UNDP and is thus eligible for support under the Global Environment Facility. Kazakhstan ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 9 June 1994, the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought on 9 July 1997, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) on 19 June 2009. Kazakhstan also ratified a number of related protocols under the Rio Conventions, namely The Cartagena Protocol on Biological Safety was ratified on 8 September 2008 to protect biodiversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms that are the product of biotechnology, and The Kyoto Protocol was ratified on 19 June 2009, committing to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2008-2012 at the 1990 level”.

The country ownership is evident in the strong interest and participation of stakeholders. The project was considered strategic and timely -at the development stage- as the Parliament had at the time of the project development, approved a seven-year action plan for the country’s pursuit of a Green Economy, which was and still a top priority of the President. While natural resource valuation was not viewed as a new concept or approach, yet, its application remains one that will be innovative and potentially transformative for Kazakhstan. This project has strategic value as it is connected with high political commitment from the Government and The President for Kazakhstan’s Concept for a Green Economy. It supports Strategy Kazakhstan 2050 to help the country transition into a green economy and one of the top thirty most developed countries by 2050. Further, the Project design was formulated with extensive contributions from national stakeholders. There was close involvement of major ministries and key stakeholders through participation in the Project Steering Committee.

3.3.5 Mainstreaming

The project addresses the UNDP priorities of developing the Government’s capacity to mainstream Rio Convention implementation and obligations in national plans. The Project was able to successfully mainstream several UNDP priorities. In particular: - Some policy frameworks have been improved (revised 3 codes and EIA guidelines) - The Project catalyzed integration of biodiversity conservation into national strategies, and planning. - The Project developed capacity of local teams and consultants, as well as decision makers, with regard to the Rio Conventions. - Impacts on certain ecosystems have been valuated (in the 2 piloting sites) - The Project objectives conform to agreed priorities in the UNDAF. - Gender issues - The Project staffing was balanced; and the trainings involved representative of women and men.

3.3.6 Sustainability (*)

The project’s main approach to sustainability is to strengthen the institutional, legislative, and human capacities for continued improvement of the decision-making process in Kazakhstan, through the introduction of mechanisms of economic assessment of fulfilling national obligations under global environmental agreements. 

This project serves to develop a national skill set in natural resource valuation tools, reducing the risks that these skills must be secured from overseas over the long-term. Developing a set of natural resources valuation tools as well as a cadre of local expertise in the use of these tools will reduce dramatically the need to rely on international expertise in addition to its contribution to the sustainability of the process itself.


Tag: Biodiversity Green Climate Green Economy Natural Resouce management Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Resource mobilization Integration Knowledge management Ownership Policies & Procedures Risk Management Capacity Building

7.

3.3 Project Results (continuation)

3.3.7 Impact

The Project has made major and unprecedented advances in economic valuations for ecosystems services in Kazakhstan especially considering the starting point and the baseline scenario, in which economic valuations and voluntary payments were minimally reflected in national policy, investment, educational curricula, and design practice. Many outputs of the Project were first time achieved in Kazakhstan. The successful impact of the project is evident through;

 - Development of parameters and procedure of economic valuation of wildlife and hunting concessions.

- Assessment of the country potential for institutional assessment of nature resources within EIA, Feasibility Study, and Cadastral Value.


Tag: Biodiversity Environment Policy Environmental impact assessment Natural Resouce management Impact Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation South-South Cooperation

Recommendations
1

4.2 Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project

The FE recognizes the considerable achievements of the Project and would like to make the following recommendations:

R1. The project holds a final workshop of stakeholders (FWC, MoA, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, local governments in piloting sites and UNDP) to map out the future of economic valuation tools ect holds a final workshop of stakeholders (FWC, MoA, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, local governments in piloting sites and UNDP) to map out the future of economic valuation tools.   

This workshop should be used to map out a common vision for, and decide the appropriate roles and responsibilities of these agencies in, managing the various components of the entire economic valuation process. The vision should also provide a clear statement that conservation of ecosystems and other natural values will be through a mixture of protection and sustainable use.

One possible outcome might be to establish a Board for the management of the fund resulted from the implementation of the economic valuation and the voluntary payment systems and there may be possibilities of partnerships with private sector who have industrial investments and activities in several sensitive areas.

2

R2. The PMU to finalize all project’s deliverables and make them available for national stakeholders who are interested in economic valuations for ecosystem services.  These deliverables can be made available online by developing a dedicated website for economic valuations of ecosystem services.

These deliverables can be made available online by developing a dedicated website for economic valuations of ecosystem services. Such a website should be linked to the UNDP homepage to ensure the dissemination of the results to a wider audience like other countries aiming at implementing economic valuations.

3

R3. The PMU to prepare a summary booklet in English for the project’s deliverables and disseminate that at global level. This could be done virtually by uploading the materials into the project’s website, or through preparing a small booklet about the project, listing its main deliverables with one-two summary about each one of them. This will help in sharing lessons learned from the projects, and disseminates the results to other countries by overriding the language barrier.

4

R4. It is recommended that the few remaining project activities be completed as soon as possible, including the booklet for awareness campaign, the approval of the amendment to the EIA.

5

R5. Economic valuation for ecosystem services capacity presently has limitations to meet the actual needs at the Country level. The FWC should fast-track the upgrading of the national capacity in order not to meet the needed demand created under the project.

6

R6. During the TE mission and meetings with project stakeholders, the need for clearly written guidelines and standards for economic valuations for different kind of ecosystems, including forest, wetlands, rangelands, rivers, etc., was strongly stated.  While the guidelines developed by the project are prescribed for the protected areas and forest ecosystems, other critical ecosystems should be valuated and assessed. It is therefore recommended that FWC considers introducing a system of listing all ecosystems that need to be valuated, starting from vulnerable ecosystems first, then moving to the least vulnerable ones. 

This necessarily requires putting in place a system of economic valuation from ecosystems services. The system should include the needed capacity, financial resources, and period to conduct the valuation.

7

R7. To ensure the availability of needed financial resources, it is recommended that all economic valuation and voluntary payments revenues be maintained at specific well-established funds like the Biodiversity funds.

8

4.3 Proposals for future directions underlining main objectives

The implementation of economic valuations in different ecosystems and at different biogeographical zones is very important and will further mainstream the Rio Conventions and global environmental agreements in the decision-making process in Kazakhstan. 

1. Recommendation:

4.2 Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project

The FE recognizes the considerable achievements of the Project and would like to make the following recommendations:

R1. The project holds a final workshop of stakeholders (FWC, MoA, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, local governments in piloting sites and UNDP) to map out the future of economic valuation tools ect holds a final workshop of stakeholders (FWC, MoA, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, local governments in piloting sites and UNDP) to map out the future of economic valuation tools.   

This workshop should be used to map out a common vision for, and decide the appropriate roles and responsibilities of these agencies in, managing the various components of the entire economic valuation process. The vision should also provide a clear statement that conservation of ecosystems and other natural values will be through a mixture of protection and sustainable use.

One possible outcome might be to establish a Board for the management of the fund resulted from the implementation of the economic valuation and the voluntary payment systems and there may be possibilities of partnerships with private sector who have industrial investments and activities in several sensitive areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

The final workshop of the project was held on 23 November 2017 in capital Astana with the participation of partners and key stakeholders (50 people from government agencies, social organizations, experts of national and international standing).  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Joint demonstration of project results by UNDP, FWC and PMU
[Added: 2018/04/24]
FWC, UNDP CO, PMU 2017/12 Completed
2. Recommendation:

R2. The PMU to finalize all project’s deliverables and make them available for national stakeholders who are interested in economic valuations for ecosystem services.  These deliverables can be made available online by developing a dedicated website for economic valuations of ecosystem services.

These deliverables can be made available online by developing a dedicated website for economic valuations of ecosystem services. Such a website should be linked to the UNDP homepage to ensure the dissemination of the results to a wider audience like other countries aiming at implementing economic valuations.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

The project team has taken due account of this recommendation. As no website can be created at this stage under the CB2 project, the findings of the pilot studies have been shared with FWC so that they can be placed on their site www.fhc.kz. In addition, the project’s deliverables had been made available on the Clearing house mechanism website under Convention on Biological Diversity https://new-kz.chm-cbd.net/library and disseminated through a printed publication to the stakeholders.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Replication of project results
[Added: 2018/04/24]
FWC, PMU 2017/12 Completed
3. Recommendation:

R3. The PMU to prepare a summary booklet in English for the project’s deliverables and disseminate that at global level. This could be done virtually by uploading the materials into the project’s website, or through preparing a small booklet about the project, listing its main deliverables with one-two summary about each one of them. This will help in sharing lessons learned from the projects, and disseminates the results to other countries by overriding the language barrier.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

The project team has given due consideration to this recommendation and development of the booklet about the project’s deliverables is currently under way. As indicated in the management response 2, all available materials were posted on websites.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Preparation of a booklet about the project’s deliverables for 2014-2017
[Added: 2018/04/24]
PMU 2017/12 Completed
4. Recommendation:

R4. It is recommended that the few remaining project activities be completed as soon as possible, including the booklet for awareness campaign, the approval of the amendment to the EIA.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

On 17 November 2017 a roundtable was held with representatives from FWC, UNDP, government of Mangystau region, oil and gas companies. The meeting was dedicated to the EIA and introduction of biodiversity offsets in site Kansu. During the discussions, participants highlighted the importance of the amendments to the EIA. The amendments were included in the resolution of the roundtable and sent to the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Agriculture, government of Mangystau region, KazTransGaz JSC  in order to expedite the process of legislative changes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Action to make amendments to the Environmental Code, the Law on Mineral Resources and Their Exploitation, the instruction on performance of the EIA
[Added: 2018/04/24]
FWC 2017/12 Completed
5. Recommendation:

R5. Economic valuation for ecosystem services capacity presently has limitations to meet the actual needs at the Country level. The FWC should fast-track the upgrading of the national capacity in order not to meet the needed demand created under the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

FWC has taken due account of this recommendation of the international expert. FWC is considering the inclusion of economic valuation of ecosystem services in the system of cadastral valuation of forest resources, fish resources and wildlife resources to build the legal basis. The results of the changes will be reflected in Kazakhstan’s 6th national report to the Convention on Biodiversity.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Approval of amendments to the rules on the management of the cadaster of land resources, fish resources and wildlife resources
[Added: 2018/04/24]
FWC 2018/04 Completed
6. Recommendation:

R6. During the TE mission and meetings with project stakeholders, the need for clearly written guidelines and standards for economic valuations for different kind of ecosystems, including forest, wetlands, rangelands, rivers, etc., was strongly stated.  While the guidelines developed by the project are prescribed for the protected areas and forest ecosystems, other critical ecosystems should be valuated and assessed. It is therefore recommended that FWC considers introducing a system of listing all ecosystems that need to be valuated, starting from vulnerable ecosystems first, then moving to the least vulnerable ones. 

This necessarily requires putting in place a system of economic valuation from ecosystems services. The system should include the needed capacity, financial resources, and period to conduct the valuation.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

This is a valuable advice to Government of Kazakhstan in the context of transition to green economy. FWC will suggest that identification of ecosystem services and their economic valuations should be a part of management plans of protected areas.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Inclusion of the studies on the identification of ecosystem services and their economic valuations in management plans of protected areas
[Added: 2018/04/24]
FWC, protected areas 2018/04 Completed
7. Recommendation:

R7. To ensure the availability of needed financial resources, it is recommended that all economic valuation and voluntary payments revenues be maintained at specific well-established funds like the Biodiversity funds.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/04/24] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

On the recommendations of UNDP-supported biodiversity projects implemented in collaboration with FWC, the potential for generation and operationalization of financial resources through the Biodiversity Conservation Fund of Kazakhstan (BCFK)  is being explored. Key instruments are tax incentives for development of ecotourism and hunting concessions, where BCFK has the potential to be a financial agent.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Initiating the amendments to the Tax Code of Kazakhstan to ensure that investments and financial resources are earmarked for biodiversity
[Added: 2018/04/24]
FWC, BCFK, PMU 2018/04 Completed
8. Recommendation:

4.3 Proposals for future directions underlining main objectives

The implementation of economic valuations in different ecosystems and at different biogeographical zones is very important and will further mainstream the Rio Conventions and global environmental agreements in the decision-making process in Kazakhstan. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/12/04] [Last Updated: 2020/12/05]

Key Actions:

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