Mid-Term evaluation of Sustainable Forest Management to Secure Multiple Benefits in High Conservation Value Forests

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Pakistan
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
06/2020
Completion Date:
03/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Mid-Term evaluation of Sustainable Forest Management to Secure Multiple Benefits in High Conservation Value Forests
Atlas Project Number: 00086910
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Pakistan
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 03/2020
Planned End Date: 06/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Sustainable
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
  • 2. Output 2.4.1 Gender-responsive legal and regulatory frameworks, policies and institutions strengthened, and solutions adopted, to address conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources, in line with international conventions and national legislation
  • 3. Output 3.3.1 Evidence-based assessment and planning tools and mechanisms applied to enable implementation of gender-sensitive and risk-informed prevention and preparedness to limit the impact of natural hazards and pandemics and promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies
SDG Goal
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
SDG Target
  • 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 23,786
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
András Darabant Dr PAKISTAN
Bashir Ahmed Wani Dr PAKISTAN
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Sustainable Forest Management to Secure Multiple Benefits in High Conservation Value Forests
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-6
GEF Project ID: 94709
PIMS Number: 4674
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: PAKISTAN
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

Outcome 1 Embedded SFM into landscape-scale spatial planning

A.1. Institutionalize cross-sectoral landscape management

2

Outcome 1 Embedded SFM into landscape-scale spatial planning

Recommendation:   A.2. Institutionalize capacity building on SFM for professionals as foreseen in the Project Document

 

3

Outcome 2 Biodiversity conservation strengthened in and around High Conservation Value forests

B.1.  Strengthen biodiversity conservation through strategic planning

4

Outcome 2 Biodiversity conservation strengthened in and around High Conservation Value forests

B.2.   Strengthen community engagement for improved SFM and biodiversity conservation outcomes

5

Outcome 3  Enhanced Carbon sequestration in and around HCVF in target forested landscapes

C.1.    Improve progress towards carbon sequestration targets across entire landscapes incl. non-forest areas through holistic planning, restoration and avoiding emissions

6


Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

 

D.1. Strengthen results-based management

7

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

D.2.   Improve stakeholder engagement and communicatio

8

Sustainability

E.1. Mainstream gender and social equity into project implementation

9

Sustainability

 E.2. Revise project closing date

1. Recommendation:

Outcome 1 Embedded SFM into landscape-scale spatial planning

A.1. Institutionalize cross-sectoral landscape management

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]

To realize the overall impact and achieve the end results of SFM project, as outlined in the project document, the recommendation is agreed to. The following key actions need to be taken and completed by the timelines indicated below. 

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Integrate individual training courses into a multi-component (formal certifiable) in-service upgradation training programme on SFM (incl. landscape management planning, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, etc.) with clear competence standards and accreditations for forest and wildlife professionals at different levels (Forest Guard/Forester; Range Officer/SDFO; DFO).
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PB, PMU, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Initiated History
2. These training programmes should be offered as part of the regular syllabus of established forest training institutes (Pakistan Forest Institute; Forest School Thai Abbottabad, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; Forest Services Academy Ghora Gali, Punjab; Forest and Wildlife Training School Miani, Sindh).
[Added: 2020/04/01]
Provincial Forest Departments 2021/02 Initiated Already integrated into AWP 2020 History
2. Recommendation:

Outcome 1 Embedded SFM into landscape-scale spatial planning

Recommendation:   A.2. Institutionalize capacity building on SFM for professionals as foreseen in the Project Document

 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]

To ensure the government ownership and enhance capacity building of relevant government line agencies, the recommendation is agreed to. The following key actions need to be taken and completed by the timelines indicated below. 

 

 

 

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Finalize the identification and delineation of HCV areas in all landscapes based on a thorough analysis of biodiversity data following the Punjab example.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/09 Initiated History
2. Formally designate HCVs to ensure the sustainability of conservation.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Initiated History
3. Conclude the HCV forest management planning process based on in-depth stakeholder consultations and integration of available biodiversity and socio-economic data and complimentary with overarching landscape management plans.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2021/02 Initiated History
4. Focus (and restrict) the implementation to activities identified in the plans. Activities that are fully compliant with the project strategy may be funded from GEF funds, whereas others (e.g. road maintenance) should be covered using government co-finance.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Not Initiated All partners informed during planning sessions and PMU advised to focus and restrict activities as prodoc.
3. Recommendation:

Outcome 2 Biodiversity conservation strengthened in and around High Conservation Value forests

B.1.  Strengthen biodiversity conservation through strategic planning

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]

 

To realize the overall impact and achieve the end results of SFM project, as outlined in the project document, the recommendation is agreed to. The following key actions need to be taken and completed by the timelines indicated below. 

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Finalize the identification and delineation of HCV areas in all landscapes based on a thorough analysis of biodiversity data following the Punjab example.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/09 Not Initiated Identification and delineation of HCV areas has already been included in mgt planning processes. However, it will be finalized when the Plans are completed.
2. Formally designate HCVs to ensure the sustainability of conservation.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Not Initiated Relevant data with regards to HCV being collected. Formal designation expected by the timeframe
3. Conclude the HCV forest management planning process based on in-depth stakeholder consultations and integration of available biodiversity and socio-economic data and complimentary with overarching landscape management plans.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2021/02 Not Initiated Degraded areas being identified during data collection processes across all landscapes
4. Focus (and restrict) the implementation to activities identified in the plans. Activities that are fully compliant with the project strategy may be funded from GEF funds, whereas others (e.g. road maintenance) should be covered using government co-finance.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Not Initiated All partners informed during planning sessions and PMU advised to focus and restrict activities as prodoc.
4. Recommendation:

Outcome 2 Biodiversity conservation strengthened in and around High Conservation Value forests

B.2.   Strengthen community engagement for improved SFM and biodiversity conservation outcomes

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01]

To realize the overall impact and achieve the end results of SFM project, as outlined in the project document, the recommendation is agreed to. The following key actions need to be taken and completed by the timelines indicated below.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Develop a standardized community capacity development module on key project components and messages and deliver them to all communities through a Training-of-Trainers approach via community facilitators. Standardized capacity development modules on community-based conservation shall encompass i) community organizational skills and group governance, ii) multi-purpose community forest management planning and management capturing all resources and ecosystem services incl. grazing, biodiversity conservation, firewood, water, carbon, etc., iii) participatory monitoring, and iv) biodiversity-friendly livelihood development options and their particularities. Additionally, capacity development should contain optional modules, which are imparted based on their relevance for a certain location (e.g. NTFP processing, human-wildlife conflict, fire management, etc.).
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Not Initiated History
2. Identify the strategy of community engagement through the Stakeholder Participation and Communication Strategy, clearly spelling out the mandates of CBOs, issues of long-term sustainability, facilitation needs, etc.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/08 Initiated Coordination with SLF initiated. The process to be started in consultation with SL project History
3. Hire two professional community facilitators per landscape, one of whom should be female to provide continues backstopping to local communities, CBOs and nigehbans and facilitate the interaction between forest department staff and local community members.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/08 Not Initiated Hiring 2 staff per landscape will not be feasible, hence the project will engage 2 community facilitators (M+F) per province.
4. Form and engage CBOs into the planning and implementation of project activities, providing them continuous backstopping.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/03 No Longer Applicable [Justification: The project is already working with established communities in the project areas. No need to establish separate CBOs]
The project is already working with established communities in the project areas. No need to establish separate CBOs
5. Plan and implement community-based conservation and biodiversity-friendly livelihood development activities as an integrated package negotiated and agreed at community, HVC forest & landscape levels. The package should identify the forest conservation objectives and activities, identify the roles of different stakeholders implementing them and provide livelihood investment activities as a compensation for foregone forest utilization due to e.g. restriction of grazing, firewood collection, conservation set-asides, etc. Negotiate and agree conservation/restoration targets for CBOs and regularly monitor the progress towards these targets applying participatory and third-party monitoring.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/12 Not Initiated Negotiation with local communities initiated. This is will be made part of the Landscape Mgt Plan
5. Recommendation:

Outcome 3  Enhanced Carbon sequestration in and around HCVF in target forested landscapes

C.1.    Improve progress towards carbon sequestration targets across entire landscapes incl. non-forest areas through holistic planning, restoration and avoiding emissions

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01]

To realize the overall impact and achieve the end results of SFM project, as outlined in the project document, the recommendation is partially agreed to as some of the key actions will not be possibly taken as the project will operationally close by Feb 2021. The following key actions need to be taken and completed by the timelines indicated below.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Develop landscape restoration plans (as also specified in the Project Document) to enhance landscape-level carbon stocks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These plans should be complimentary to the overarching landscape management plans and take the zonation of the landscape management plan as a basis. Additionally, in case of spatial overlaps they have to be compatible with/included in the community-based forest management plans (Output 2.2) and/or the HCV forest management plans (Output 2.1). Investigating each different land cover / land use type, land ownership, tenure situation as well as existing carbon stocks and potential emissions, the plans should formulate comprehensive restoration strategies, which capture the entire landscape incl. beyond forest land. The plans should be linked to the community-based livelihood investments and identify incentive mechanisms on how to maximize carbon stocks in agricultural systems and minimize emissions from livestock production and other activities. Additionally, they should also identify clear forest restoration targets relying on a mix of active and passive restoration methods.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUS 2021/02 Not Initiated Relevant data collection initiated across all landscapes, which will be completed after the Landscape Mgt Pans are ready in December 2020.
2. Carefully monitor actual sequestration rates to inform adaptive management to put the Project on track towards its targets of avoided emissions. Progress towards landscape-level and subordinate targets shall be monitored with the help of local community members (nigehbans).
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs 2021/02 Not Initiated Relevant data collection initiated across all landscapes, which will be completed after the Landscape Mgt Pans are ready in December 2020.
3. Account for avoided emission benefits in terms of CO2eq of firewood replacement, fuel efficient stoves, solar-powered devices, biogas digesters, etc. At the same time, best practice solutions are recommended for the construction and maintenance of biogas digesters to avoid that their net greenhouse gas benefits are not annulled by methane leakage, etc.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs 2020/12 Not Initiated History
4. Step up active restoration efforts in KP (afforestation, reforestation) and passive restoration (assisted natural regeneration through grazing exclusion, rotational grazing, firewood collection guidelines, etc.) efforts everywhere.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUS 2020/09 Not Initiated History
6. Recommendation:


Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

 

D.1. Strengthen results-based management

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01]

The recommendation is strongly agreed to. The following key actions need to be taken and completed by the timelines indicated below.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Increase SMART-ness of the Project’s strategic results framework by establishing missing baselines, simplifying the indicator structure and removing gaps in targeted results not captured by indicators. A proposal for this is attached to the MTR Report as Annex 13: Proposed changes to the Strategic Results Framework.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/05/04]
PMU, PB, NPD, PPCs, PMCs, PPDs, UNDP CO, UNDP-GEF RTA 2020/04 Completed This has already been presented in the project board meeting and endorsed History
2. Along with the above, obtain UNDP-GEF approval for the replacement of landscapes in Punjab. The analysis of costs does not justify the reduction of spatial targets. Furthermore, the reduction of spatial targets is not justified based on the swap of riverine for Chir Pine landscapes, as afforestation costs in the later are lower as compared to the former. Therefore, the revision of spatial targets should not lead to a reduction in the overall area targeted by the Project. Once approved by the Project Board and UNDP-GEF, the change in targets should be reflected in the Strategic Results Framework and the PIR 2020.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PB, NPD, PPCs, PMCs, PPDs, UNDP CO, UNDP-GEF RTA 2020/07 Not Initiated The PMU will prepare the case which will be endorsed by the PB/NPD and submitted to UNDP CO for onward sharing with RTA
3. Restrict work planning on results targeted by the project strategy as spelt out in the Project Document and omit non-compliant activities. For a largely comprehensive list of intended activity-level deliverables as stated in the Project Document refer to MTR Report Annex 12: Critical review of the Strategic Results Framework.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PB, NPD, PPCs, PMCs, PPDs 2020/08 Not Initiated All partners informed during the planning sessions and PMU advised to restrict work planning on results-based activities as reflected in the prodoc.
4. Add an extra level to the Project’s monitoring system, which allows aggregating process monitoring to the level of individual indicators, thus allowing the Project to focus adaptive management on key deliverables.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU 2020/08 Not Initiated
5. Report progress in PIRs against indicators, clearly observing the chain of logical results hierarchy. Activities should clearly be associable and contribute to individual Outputs. PIR reporting should observe the type of indicator (qualitative/quantitative) and state progress accordingly, restricting the narrative to relevant information.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, UNDP CO 2020/08 Not Initiated Discussed with the project, will be reflected in the upcoming PIR
7. Recommendation:

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

D.2.   Improve stakeholder engagement and communicatio

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01]

UNDP agrees with this recommendation to enhance awareness and ensure that maximum number of beneficiaries benefit from the project results. The following key actions need to be taken by the indicated timeline.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Allocate funds towards contracting of the Capacity Development and Outreach Specialist, a position which was foreseen but not budgeted in the Project Document. This should be possible from the savings that accrued due to the 55% shift of exchange rate in favour of the USD against PKR since the Project Document was prepared, even considering that inflation offset this figure by about 30%.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU, PMIUs, PB, PMCs 2020/09 Not Initiated The NIM Advance has not yet been released to the project in 2020 enabling it to hire the Capacity Development and Outreach Specialist. Once the funds are released to the project, the said expert will be taken onboard in Q3. The deadline may hence be to extended to September 2020. History
2. Develop the Stakeholder Participation and Communication Strategy mandated by the Project Document.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU, PMIUs 2020/09 Not Initiated The said Stakeholder Participation and Communication Strategy will be initiated once the funds are released to the project. History
3. Follow up on stakeholder engagement, particularly engaging land-based government departments beyond the Forest and Wildlife Departments, as well as NGOs and the private sector
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs, PB, PMCs 2020/09 Not Initiated
4. Operationalize the SFMP website without delay and upload authoritative versions of all available reports and knowledge products
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/05/04]
PNU 2020/07 Initiated History
5. Conduct exchange visits between the provinces involving teams of forest staff and community representatives with clear objectives for structured knowledge sharing, documentation and results dissemination
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs 2020/11 No Longer Applicable [Justification: This has already been part of the project previously, which will continue ]
This has already been part of the project previously, which will continue
6. Prepare local language awareness raising materials that explain what SFM and provide insight into some of the approaches promoted by the project (e.g. community-based forest management).
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs 2020/08 Not Initiated The project has already been developing awareness raising material for stakeholders. However, for local communities, this will be done in local languages
8. Recommendation:

Sustainability

E.1. Mainstream gender and social equity into project implementation

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01]

To ensure social inclusion and mainstream gender into the project, UNDP agrees with this recommendation.  The following key actions need to be taken by the indicated timeline.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1. Develop the Project’s “Stakeholder Participation and Communication Strategy” as spelt out in the Project Document. The strategy document should contain the strategy of engaging females and other disadvantaged groups. The Strategy should spell out the principles of engaging females and disadvantaged groups into project implementation (incl. the identification of beneficiaries of livelihood development activities), translate them into clear strategies and operationalize them through a Stakeholder Participation and Communication Plan. This Plan should contain trackable targets which shall be linked to and tracked by the Project’s monitoring system.
[Added: 2020/04/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/26]
PMU 2020/09 Not Initiated The NIM Advance has not yet been released to the project in 2020. The said Stakeholder Participation and Communication Strategy will be initiated once the funds are released to the project. History
2. Collect indicators specific to gender and disadvantaged groups in the course of monitoring to allow adaptive management to focus on the effective mainstreaming of these broader development objectives.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs 2020/07 Not Initiated Data from monitoring visits shall be collected and reported in PIR/ ROAR 2020
3. Collect gender disaggregated data for utilization in all internal and external reporting including PIRs, Annual Project Report and Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR).
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMU, PMIUs 2020/11 Not Initiated Data from monitoring visits shall be collected and reported in PIR/ ROAR 2020
4. Social and gender equity should be given due consideration for identifying beneficiaries of livelihood investments. Instead of the type of activity (e.g. fruit orchard) driving the selection of eligible beneficiaries (who have enough irrigated land to accommodate the orchard), the needs of those who are most heavily depending on forest resources and are thus most impacted by resource use restrictions for conservation should be identified and their alternative livelihood needs be met.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/08 Not Initiated The project will consider the recommendation while planning activities pertinent to livelihood investment
5. Contract female facilitators to engage with women in the project landscapes.
[Added: 2020/04/01]
PMIUs, Provincial Forest Departments 2020/11 Initiated This will be covered under B.2. Action 3 above
9. Recommendation:

Sustainability

 E.2. Revise project closing date

Management Response: [Added: 2020/04/01]

Since GEF strongly discourages no-cost extension of its projects, the closure date for SFM will remain status quo as agreed in the project document. However, if need be, the no-cost extension will be decided by GEF-UNDP for which a formal request is made by IP at least six months prior to the project closure.

Key Actions:

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