Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation in tourism sector (BITS)

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Download document Terminal Evaluation report_Dec. 2018.docx report English 354.20 KB Posted 1408
Title Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation in tourism sector (BITS)
Atlas Project Number: 00073143
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Jordan
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 10/2018
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
  • 2. Output 2.3.1 Data and risk-informed development policies, plans, systems and financing incorporate integrated and gender-responsive solutions to reduce disaster risks, enable climate change adaptation and mitigation, and prevent risk of conflict
SDG Goal
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
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
  • 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: gef
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 17,250
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Francis Hurst
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation in tourism sector (BITS)
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4586
PIMS Number: 4587
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: JORDAN

The uploaded  evaluation plan differs slightly in terms of titles but still targets the same areas mentioned in the CPD evaluation plan.

Changes to the evaluation plan has been discussed and approved by the regional bureau.



1.1Project Design / Formulation

The BITS project’s Project Identification Form (PIF) was developed in 2011 which arguably puts it in the “second generation” of mainstreaming projects developed by the GEF[1]. There now exists a body of material relating to mainstreaming biodiversity. However, at the time of its development there was a limited availability of supporting material on “mainstreaming”. Indeed, some early projects were, arguably, conventual protected areas or single-issue projects with a mainstreaming label.

The shift to mainstreaming required projects to work across a multiplicity of partners and sectors and in areas where there is a multiplicity of authorities. Furthermore, while technologies often play an important role, mainstreaming is rarely a technical challenge because it requires a significant change in attitudes; individually, institutionally and corporately. It requires what might be termed: soft power, and unlike technical fixes, attitudinal or adaptive changes take longer to process.

Mainstreaming is now more clearly described as, inter alia:

“Mainstreaming biodiversity was developed as a means of addressing the fact that biodiversity conservation goals are too often viewed as distinct from, and even in opposition to, the goals of development and economic growth. The higher priority put on development and economic prosperity means that investments in biodiversity conservation do not receive the political, social and financial support they need to succeed. Though mainstreaming has been referred to as “integrating” biodiversity into development, it is distinctly different in that it requires permanently modifying that into which it is integrated to ensure the persistence of biodiversity”.

Furthermore, it is now more widely recognised, from an analysis of the first generation of GEF mainstreaming projects starting from 2004, that a project approach to mainstreaming faces significant challenges:

“The analysis of this [the first generation of mainstreaming projects] cohort supported the conclusion of the expert group that mainstreaming is a long-term process and will require longer-term investments over time. The geographic areas and scale must be proportional to the time and funding available”

The project’s design was a reasonable approach in as much as it set out the need to affect the wider institutional, policy and regulatory framework at the national level; Outcome 1. At the same time, it needed to step down to influence the planning process in selected geographical areas and this would need the right tools such as the Biodiversity Information and Monitoring System (BIMS) and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA); Outcome 2. This would then need to be tested at specific sites; Outcome 3. Both Outcome 2 and 3 would require considerable capacity building and training because biodiversity, ecology and ecological resilience was for the most part outside of their normal experience.

While the three outcomes amounted to a fairly reasonable and logical design and project approach, the TE still concludes that there was a significant weakness in the project, one which it shared with a number of other mainstreaming projects designed around the same time and including the Land Degradation portfolio.

To understand this weakness in the design, it is necessary to consider the differences between technical and adaptive challenges (see Box 1). Implicit in the project’s design is the assumption that, given the tools and some training the different partners and stakeholders would recognise the logic of conserving biodiversity and protecting ecosystem goods and services. However, this is not the case, or at least it is unlikely to happen, within the short lifetime of a project if one is expecting changes to be so firmly embedded within the institutions, agencies and other players that they are not still vulnerable at the close of the project.

The key to a mainstreaming project’s success arguably lies in an understanding of the system at different scales and, affecting change in the way these are organised or managed; taking part of  that system as the sum of all the state agencies, academic organisations, communities, NGOs, private sector and community players. These are effectively the only parts of the system where changes can be made by a project, the remainder of the system is largely beyond our control, be it climate change, regional security, global markets, etc. The component of the system in which change can be made might loosely be termed: governance.

Governance is the means for achieving direction, control, and coordination that determines the effectiveness of management. In this case effective management can be taken to mean ensuring that the land uses, specifically tourism, in Jordan and particularly in the project areas, do not outstrip the system’s ability to continue to provide ecosystem goods and services that benefit biodiversity and society/people. In other words, the interaction of people within the socio-ecosystem are organised in such a way that the system is resilient. Ecosystem “resilience can be defined as the capacity of a system to undergo disturbance while maintaining both its existing functions and controls and its capacity for future change.


Corrective actions for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project.


Actions to Follow Up or Reinforce Initial Benefits from the Project


Proposals for Future Directions Underlining Main Objectives

1. Recommendation:

Corrective actions for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/13]

UNDP agrees with immediate implementation

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Project manager for future project has to be early involved in order to participate in the project development process
[Added: 2018/12/13]
UNDP 2018/12 Completed This action might not be feasible as recruitment process of the PM usually starts after the PRO DOC signature and based on competitive process. History
1.2 Highlight the lesson learned from previous projects, and mainstream them within the new and future ones.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/06/04]
UNDP 2019/05 Completed Lessons learned from other regional and mainstreaming projects are being incorporated into project designs. History
1.3 Avoid biological indicators, even though they look reasonable but they are difficult to monitor and evaluation.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/04/01]
UNDP 2019/03 Completed Using biological indicators to measure performance, progress and impact in GEF projects is rarely appropriate. Proxy indicators are much more practicable, they are more sensitive and there is likely a closer, demonstrable, correlation between an intervention and any change in indicator status. History
1.4 increase the % cap for the project management, mainstreaming project needs time and effort to produce the need impact, addressing adaptive challenges requires trying solutions that are new and maybe quite different.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/04/01]
UNDP 2019/03 Completed TE agrees with this in as much as the PCU was not technically challenged, it was just under-resourced financially, materially and in its headcount. History
2. Recommendation:

Actions to Follow Up or Reinforce Initial Benefits from the Project

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2018/12/13]

UNDP will follow up with its partners the sustainability of the project`s interventions and offer support whenever possible.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 A number of the project interventions that have been begun by the project will require a home after the project’s closure. It’s very important that UNDP office shall provide follow up on that interventions.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/06/04]
UNDP 2019/05 Completed UNDP GEF MSB Project which will take on a number of initiatives started by the BITS History
2.2. wherever possible to find the chance to upscale the not developed initiatives through other projects or existing government programmes.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/04/01]
UNDP 2019/03 Completed there were several attempts to upscale these initiatives through: • the UNDP GEF MSB Project which will take on a number of initiatives started by the BITS project; o linking the certification / labelling schemes to avoid duplication and confusion (MTR and management response recommendation : The need to move ahead with Certification and ‘Green Labelling’ in the tourism sector; o jointly agreeing legacy arrangements for other BITS project achievements; • land use planning at the municipal level beyond the project’s selected sites with MOMA; • other UNDP initiatives such as the Country Office livelihood and social cohesion initiatives; • the UNDP environment project RIO “Mainstreaming RIO Convention’s Provision’s in National Sectoral Policies of Jordan”; History
2.3 UNDP should consider setting up a working group to examine how biodiversity and ecosystem resilience can be mainstreamed into other sectors of the economy such as infrastructure, agriculture and the extraction industries with clear cause and effect linkages to, health, ecosystem services delivery, and the fiscus.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/06/04]
UNDP 2019/05 Completed Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem mainstreaming is being taken in to consideration through initiation phases in relevant projects. History
3. Recommendation:

Proposals for Future Directions Underlining Main Objectives

Management Response: [Added: 2018/12/13]

UNDP will take into consideration the below listed recommendations in future projects` formulation processes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 To develop Scenario planning approach which can be applied to complex situations and also as a means to affect the cognitive processes of participants, in other words it can change the way people think about a problem.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/04/01]
UNDP and future implementing partners 2019/03 Completed Scenario planning does not replace conventional planning. Rather it helps the participants to place their plans in the complex and unpredictable context of the system and project those plans into the future. For a country like Jordan with numerous environment projects operational at any one time, scenario planning, as a donor-government initiative, could serve to bring these initiatives together. History
3.2. develop more project documents that, mainstream biodiversity conservation in different sector not only one like tourism, in this way more holistic and diverse approaches could be used.
[Added: 2018/12/13] [Last Updated: 2019/06/04]
UNDP with future partners 2019/05 Completed several concept notes have been prepared, couple of then are in the stage of be becoming project documents. Several areas and diverse approaches of biodiversity are planned to be targeted through these projects. History

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