End term Evaluation of Environmentally Sensitive Area Management project

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Sri Lanka
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
12/2021
Completion Date:
09/2021
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
21,250

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Title End term Evaluation of Environmentally Sensitive Area Management project
Atlas Project Number: 00079607
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Sri Lanka
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2021
Planned End Date: 12/2021
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Sustainable
  • 2. Others
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
SDG Goal
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • 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
  • 14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Evaluation Budget(US $): 21,250
Source of Funding: GEF
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 26,125
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Dr. Sabine Schmidt Lead Consultant
Karin Fernando
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation and Sustenance of Ecosystem services in Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5337
PIMS Number: 5165
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment
Countries: SRI LANKA
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

One more step” should be taken by the project to more formalize “sustainability agreements” with ESA stakeholders/co-management partners. For each ESA, organize a “wrap up” to formally agree on how to go forward, who takes the lead, what actions remain, what is the monitoring plan. Facilitate formal commitments in a stakeholder/community meeting. Determine how to maintain community involvement/interest. Any follow-up actions needed, future plans for the area, or how other agencies will take on roles (i.e., WDA, Ministry of small industries) should also be discussed and recorded. 

2

MoE engages with DFC on the more specific definition of how the DFC/LMC management structure is to be used - for ESA implementation and then when it is mature and can be mainstreamed – roles still need to be clarified and monitoring roles at MoE, District and Divisional level to be established.

3

MoE could organize consultations with DFC to discuss the modality for ESA co-management, and which/how it is to be sustained, scaled-up. Both ESA and “Managing Together” Project (GEF VI) should participate, for GEF VI to identify best practice for replication. Also  address challenge to establish stronger legal mechanisms to get the ESA management structure operational at the district level. (MoE's plan to allocate Environment Officers to divisions will create enabling conditions to ensure continuous monitoring and support).

4

GEF VI  project (and others) to provide continued policy/advocacy support to the MoE on the scale-up of ESAs (in the trial landscapes of the project and nationwide). Support in coordination, lobbying, awareness-raising, gaining political support in the non-environment sector. Also add to best practices, leverage more funds, support implementation of NEAP.

5

Future projects/programs consider and built into implementation arrangements and responsibilities an active involvement of the PMU and IP.

6

Strengthen/re-view/establish the role of the National steering committee , to be involved not only in policy actions but also in touch with ground implementation

7

Explore options to develop more community MANAGED ESAs, whereby communities are given more rights and responsibilities, rather than be involved mostly as beneficiaries. Building on experiences from other countries (India, and others), developing it in the country and local context. Sri Lanka’s ESAs outside PAs is an ideal testing ground for this approach.

ESA establishment in private forest/biodiversity-rich lands or in relation to marine/fisheries resources, and in wet zone and urban areas will require more demonstration models while mobilizing finances beyond government sources will also be necessary.  Need and opportunity to pilot different models.

8

UNDP explore options to mainstream ESA concept not only in environmental projects but projects on governance, planning etc.

1. Recommendation:

One more step” should be taken by the project to more formalize “sustainability agreements” with ESA stakeholders/co-management partners. For each ESA, organize a “wrap up” to formally agree on how to go forward, who takes the lead, what actions remain, what is the monitoring plan. Facilitate formal commitments in a stakeholder/community meeting. Determine how to maintain community involvement/interest. Any follow-up actions needed, future plans for the area, or how other agencies will take on roles (i.e., WDA, Ministry of small industries) should also be discussed and recorded. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/10/11]

Fully accepted - Formalizing the sustainability agreements with ESA stakeholders/co-management partners is vital and the project had already initiated developing exit strategy with relevant partner agencies and has identified their roles and responsibilities including plans of joint monitoring. The Project had formal agreements with Wayamba Development Authority, North Central and North Western Provincial Councils to integrate project activities into their development agenda during the project period. The Divisional Secretariat of Wanathavilluwa exerted an enormous effort to supporting the village craftsmen to develop craftsmanship on value-added products and to link them with marketing networks. To add synergy, the patronage of the State Minister of Cane, Brass, Clay, Furniture, and Rural Industry Promotion led setting up of the country's first Shilpa Sabha (Crafts Council) at Wewalkale.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Organize formal wrap up meetings physically at the district level in Puttalam & Anuradhapura
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
PMU, UNDP 2021/09 Completed Wrap up meetings held at district level in Puttalam & Anuradhapura History
1.2 Finalizing Manawe Kanda business plan and handing over to Governor of the North Central Province and Provincial Ministry and sign the sustainability agreement
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/01/03]
PMU, UNDP 2021/12 Completed Completed. The final validated document has submitted to Provincial Council ( Director Tourism -NCP) also, MOE has sent an appointment request letter for the Governor- NCP based Provincial Ministry Secretary to advice, Director tourism to proceed with the NCP tourism council. Finalized plan is attached herewith. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1g39DkJb1I4KiM_faeSI4IBna98_Tv7Pb?usp=sharing History
1.3 Finalizing the Operational guideline and minimum standards for Gangewadiya ESA tourism destination management under the formalize LoA with Wayamba Development Authority and endorse their commitment to managing Gangewadiya ESA as a sustainable ecotourism destination.
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
MoE, UNDP 2021/09 Completed Finalized the Operational guideline and minimum standards for Gangewadiya ESA tourism destination management History
2. Recommendation:

MoE engages with DFC on the more specific definition of how the DFC/LMC management structure is to be used - for ESA implementation and then when it is mature and can be mainstreamed – roles still need to be clarified and monitoring roles at MoE, District and Divisional level to be established.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/10/11]

Fully accepted - During the project implementation, MoE supported district and divisional leadership for coordination and convening DFC/LMC management structures via PMU  staff.  As project staff will withdraw, upon operational closure of the ESA project, MoE has planned to allocate Environment Officers to divisions and districts in Sri Lanka to create enabling conditions to ensure continuous coordination and monitoring of ESAs at district and divisional levels.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.3 Issuing the circular with guideline on ESA management at divisional and district level
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/09/25]
MoE 2022/12 Initiated Cabinet observations are still ongoing wit the forest department, yet this is not finalized. History
2.1 Conducting the Wrap-up LMC /DFC meetings at pilot sites
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
PMU, MoE 2021/10 Completed All LMC & DFC meetings were Completed. History
2.2 Conducting ESA Orientation programme to newly recruited EOs
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/03/27]
MoE 2022/03 Completed The orientation has been completed, which was facilitated by the Minsitry of Environment. History
3. Recommendation:

MoE could organize consultations with DFC to discuss the modality for ESA co-management, and which/how it is to be sustained, scaled-up. Both ESA and “Managing Together” Project (GEF VI) should participate, for GEF VI to identify best practice for replication. Also  address challenge to establish stronger legal mechanisms to get the ESA management structure operational at the district level. (MoE's plan to allocate Environment Officers to divisions will create enabling conditions to ensure continuous monitoring and support).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11]

Fully Accepted - ESA project institutionalized ESA Co-management training modules within Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) to train the divisional and district administrative officers as Trainers of ToTs and this will be instrumental in sustaining & scaleup of ESA Co-management.

ESA project reviewed its’ communication strategy that aligns with both the ESA-area based and GEF VI- landscape approaches as a combined approach for implementation of the GEF V & GEF VI projects. While there are differences between two approaches still best practices will be able to replicate within respective projects while limiting their scopes. Upon successful pilot testing project has started developing communication products on lessons learnt, best practices and technical guidelines.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Sign agreement between SLIDA & MoE to continue ESA Co-management training modules in post-project scenario
[Added: 2021/10/11]
MoE & SLIDA 2022/12 Initiated Subject to funding availability the role out of training would commence upon relaxation of pandemic restrictions.
3.4 Create awareness among administrative and technical staff at divisional and district levels on ESA governance via issuing the guideline of ESA policy implementation and sharing ESA booklet on “ESAs and legal provisions for governance”
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/09/25]
UNDP, MoE 2022/12 Initiated This is yet to be done, postponed as of the cabinet observation, still ongoing with the forest department History
3.2 Finalize knowledge products of ESA
[Added: 2021/10/11]
UNDP 2021/09 Completed ESA Products have already been completed
3.2 Disseminate Knowledge Products among national regional stakeholders and project implementation/ formulation teams of GEF VI & GEF VII
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
PMU, MoE/UNDP 2021/10 Completed Completed Advocacy and Communication Campaign for ESA Project History
3.3 Organize a meeting between MoE, UNDP & GEF VI project team to explore entry point to incorporate ESA aspects in GEF VI project implementation and training plan
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/03/31]
UNDP 2022/03 Completed GEF VI project AWP activities and training have been planned with IUCN and finalized. History
4. Recommendation:

GEF VI  project (and others) to provide continued policy/advocacy support to the MoE on the scale-up of ESAs (in the trial landscapes of the project and nationwide). Support in coordination, lobbying, awareness-raising, gaining political support in the non-environment sector. Also add to best practices, leverage more funds, support implementation of NEAP.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11]

Partially Accepted  - MoE, the IP currently plays a prominent role in the policy dialogue on ESA as a concept and a process to seizing opportunities – taking national scale up to the formerly “Other State Forest” lands for which management responsibility was recently transferred from FD to the District and Divisional Administrations. While they provide support in the coordination, lobbying, awareness-raising, gaining political support in the non-environment sector MoE & UNDP has discussed optimizing opportunities in adopting GEFVI, GEF VII, and future projects within their scopes to provide ESA replication within their landscapes.

The present guidelines, operational manuals, E-learning courses, training modules, and Online Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT -BESASL)with National database which has been institutionalized within SLIDA, MoE, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka will be continued.  It has integrated ESA identification, management, and monitoring activities within the National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) 2021-2030 of Sri Lanka.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Conducting a discussion with the GEF VI team on a continuation of SLIDA modules across all the divisional Secretariat Divisions and Provincial Councils in the country.
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/03/27]
UNDP/ GEF VI 2022/03 Completed MoE decided to continue this with Consolidated funds and MoE & SLIDA agreed on an action plan accordingly. History
4.2 Handing over guidelines, communication products of best practices and recommendations of ESA project as Entry points in GEF VI & VII projects
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/03/27]
UNDP/ GEF VII PPG 2022/02 Completed Guideliness handed over to GEF VI progressing projects. History
4.1 Conducting a discussion with GEF VII PPG team on facilitation of incorporating their findings and updating IBAT at MoE
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/03/27]
UNDP/ GEF VII PPG 2022/03 Completed Completed and addressed within GEF VII PPG. History
5. Recommendation:

Future projects/programs consider and built into implementation arrangements and responsibilities an active involvement of the PMU and IP.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11]

Partially Accepted- PMU had deployed services of full- time staff  (Project Manager cum Technical Coordinator, Two Field Coordinators, Two Community Mobilizers and 01 Project Assistant) at pilot ESA sites and at the national level to assure active engagement of PMU and Implementation Partner during Project Implementation. Though they had UNDP contracts these project staff represented the interest and engagement of PMU throughout the project. Further to this PMU deployed part time services of Project Director, Deputy Project Director, Two Deputy Project Managers, Finance Manager and two Assistants from MoE

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Discussion between UNDP & Ministry to further strengthen the active participation of PMU staff at a post project scenario to ensure sustainability.
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/01/03]
UNDP/ MoE 2021/10 Completed The discussion has been completed and minutes approved (previously still waiting to get the minutes approved). History
6. Recommendation:

Strengthen/re-view/establish the role of the National steering committee , to be involved not only in policy actions but also in touch with ground implementation

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11]

Fully Accepted - The Objective of the National ESA Committee (NESAC) is to coordinate all human, technical and technological, informational and institutional, and financial resources and capitalize to uplift the environmental values and services of the Environmentally Sensitive Areas, and socioeconomic lives associated with Environmentally Sensitive Areas.  Though there were lapses in continuation of NESAC, it was reiterated the importance of resuming and regular continuation of NESAC.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Revising ToR of NESAC along with TE recommendation
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
PMU, MoE 2021/10 Completed TOR has been revised by NESAC History
4.2 Convene NESAC and get ToR endorsed with responsibilities from ESA level to national level
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
PMU, MoE 2021/10 Completed TOR has been endorsed by NESAC History
4.3 Convene NSEAC in agreed frequencies as per the ToR
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/01/03]
MoE 2021/10 Completed Former NSC was held in 11th October 2021 and the next one is scheduled for February 2022 History
7. Recommendation:

Explore options to develop more community MANAGED ESAs, whereby communities are given more rights and responsibilities, rather than be involved mostly as beneficiaries. Building on experiences from other countries (India, and others), developing it in the country and local context. Sri Lanka’s ESAs outside PAs is an ideal testing ground for this approach.

ESA establishment in private forest/biodiversity-rich lands or in relation to marine/fisheries resources, and in wet zone and urban areas will require more demonstration models while mobilizing finances beyond government sources will also be necessary.  Need and opportunity to pilot different models.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11]

Partially Accepted - There is considerable community participation across ESA planning, identification , management, and  monitoring phases. This has been pilot tested in Gangewadiya, Wewalkale, Villu, Manawekanda, Riverine, Habarawatte ESA Co-management plans. The experience in Sri Lankan context is presently applied in Bangladesh.

Adjacent to the seascape of Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary, ESA co-management has pilot tested for marine resources.

 However, it is good to explore opportunities it is required to pilot test in the wet zone and urban areas with more demonstration models while mobilizing finances with private sector partnerships and explores options to replicate more Community Managed ESAs, more rights and responsibilities to communities

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Review and compile best practices and models of ESA pilot project
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
PMU/ UNDP 2021/10 Completed Best practices have been reviewed and lessons documented. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zvLor5x6R-ZcZyz1JfmRh4czc1hG94Dy/view History
4.2 Conducting discussion with GEF VII PPG team on adopting best practices and models within their landscapes.
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/02/28]
UNDP 2022/01 Completed Discussion completed with GEF VII PPG for the continuation of best practices from ESA. History
8. Recommendation:

UNDP explore options to mainstream ESA concept not only in environmental projects but projects on governance, planning etc.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/10/11]

Fully Accepted - Climate and Environment team will explore opportunities to incorporate ESA aspects in projects under the governance team as appropriate 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Conducting a discussion with UNDP governance team on entry points for the integration of ESA concept and process into governance projects implemented by UNDP.
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2021/11/30]
UNDP 2021/10 Completed Discussions were held with the governance CDLG project to incorporate ESA concepts on sustainable cities, which is to be incorporated to the Local plans developed by the Local authorities, this still has capacity gaps at the Local Authority level, yet capacity building programs are targeted to be covered by the CDLG project and incorporate ESA concepts into their planning. History
4.2 Discussion between Field Teams of governance and Environment and Climate on entry points for integration.
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/01/03]
UNDP 2021/12 Completed Discussion completed with Governance CDLG project to discuss capacity building steps for the local government to integrate ESA interventions. History
4.3 Disseminate guidelines/ resource books on ESA implementation with governance teams
[Added: 2021/10/11] [Last Updated: 2022/02/28]
UNDP 2022/01 Completed ESA guidelines and recommendations were discussed and made available with CDLG for future possible interventions. History

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