Project Final Evaluation - “Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the National System of Protected Areas”

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Papua New Guinea
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
12/2020
Completion Date:
12/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
No
Evaluation Budget(US $):
50,000

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Title Project Final Evaluation - “Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the National System of Protected Areas”
Atlas Project Number: 00087986,87986
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Papua New Guinea
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2020
Planned End Date: 12/2020
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Resilience
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
  • 2. Output 1.4.1 Solutions scaled up for sustainable management of natural resources, including sustainable commodities and green and inclusive value chains
  • 3. 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
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
  • 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 $): 50,000
Source of Funding: Global Environment Facility
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 50,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Virginia Ravndal International Consultant vravndal@midspring.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Strengthening the Management Effectiveness of the National System of Protected Areas”
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Multifocal Areas
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5510
PIMS Number: 5261
Key Stakeholders: Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, Tenkile Conservation Alliance, Woodland Park Zoo/Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, Provinces - East and West Sepik, Madang and Morobe,
Countries: PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Comments:

Project's final evaluation 

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

As a follow-on action to help ensure the intended impact is realized of project-initiated activities related to the development of the biodiversity offsets policy, it will be important to improve ecosystem mapping in PNG to enable greater assurance that impacts to a specific ecosystem are indeed offset by actions in the same ecosystem (in another location). Without a decent map of ecosystems, this is not possible and 'ecological equivalence' of offsets at location x for impacts at location y cannot truly be assessed.  The TE notes that USAID funding will support continued progress on the offsets policy, but it is unknown if this support will include ecosystem mapping.  

2

As a follow-on action to ensure the intended impact is realized of project-initiated activities related to reducing the threats to PAs and ecosystem functioning, it will be important to undertake a review of the EIA process in PNG.  The EIA process has not been reviewed since 2004.  A strengthened EIA process and enhanced capacity to oversee the EIA process is key to achieving the desired impact/success of many of the investments made by this project.  Omission of a review of the EIA process was a weakness in the design of this project that should now be addressed without delay.

3

Invite TCA and TKCP as well as other NGOs involved in biodiversity conservation in PNG and CEPA to participate in a workshop (virtually if in-person is not possible) to compare and contrast the three different models/approaches to conservation supported by this project to better understand the differences in the various approaches/strategies (e.g., different conservation agreements used, different incentives offered, different disincentives for non-compliance, different forms of payment for ecosystem services offered, different approaches to commodity conservation applied, different approaches to staffing (Many more –100-- TCA rangers who each work only a few days/year versus far fewer – 15-- TKCP rangers who work almost full-time as rangers), different approaches and different tools for monitoring and research (Lukim Gather in TCA versus SMART in TKCP), different management arrangements, different types of support sought from Provincial Government, etc.   Unfortunately, this in-depth comparison was never done, not in the PRODOC and not over the five-year project period.  The output of the recommended workshop should be a written comparative detailed analysis.  It would then be helpful if funds can be found to make a video intended to demonstrate with concrete examples these different approaches to conservation.  The video could be shared with communities in PAs around PNG to help each determine what approach would be best suited for their own situation.  Lessons from the experiences should also be included in this documentation as this will be important to communities with PAs in assessing potential benefits and drawbacks related to the various approaches to conservation supported by this project.  This is especially important as Community Conservation Areas are expected to increase in number around the country.  It should be noted that these three models are not the only approaches to conservation in PNG, and other NGOs in PNG may also wish to share approaches they have adopted.  

4

Draft a concise exit strategy outlining steps to be taken to ensure the GEF investment made in this project is not lost and is further built upon as needed and convene a meeting of the PB to discuss the way forward even if the project has officially operationally closed.  The exit strategy should include a plan for ensuring that the full contingent of ten rangers in VNP whose wages were paid with GEF funds and in whom the GEF5 project invested training are kept on board and that support for their work continues.

5

All final project outputs (technical reports, plans, strategies, policy and other documents) should be compiled and uploaded onto the “cloud” and links shared with all key stakeholders including Provincial Governments, NGOs active in conservation in PNG and international donors with demonstrated interest in biodiversity conservation in PNG (JICA, Australian DFAT, USAID). 

6

Regarding project assets transfer, the TE recommends that one of the vehicles purchased with project support be provided for full-time use in Varirata National Park (VNP) after project closure and that the second vehicle also be used in a PA within the country rather than in Port Moresby at least until such a time as additional staff are added to the PA Branch in the SEP Wing of CEPA.

7

Building on data compiled as part of the preparation of SMIs supported by this project, begin mapping and regularly monitoring threats to PAs including logging, mining, industrial agriculture, and human population growth in and around all PAs.  This should not only be done in the context of METTs but should be mapped and tracked in greater detail.

 

The METT was usefully modified to better reflect the PNG PA context.  Further modification would be useful.  Include questions regarding:  1) The type of work done by workers/employees/volunteers in PAs (describe what work is being done), 2) The number of people who provide services to PAs who are not paid.  This is important in the PNG context as most PAs in PNG have people working/participating in a voluntary capacity – they are not paid employees, but rather customary landowners who are working on their land/seas to manage their PA. Some PAs have a ‘formal’ process e.g. rostering people to work on particular days, but in most cases it is ad hoc (e.g. the METT question about Work Plans indicates that most PAs do not have a work plan). Without making this distinction, data collected could be confusing as 45 PAs indicated in the 2017 data collected by the project that they have no employees but many of these may have people working in the PA who are not paid.  The METT question as it is at present specifically asks about paid employees.  Although this is important information, an additional question regarding number of workers who are not paid would be useful.  3) The type of employee/position.  At present, although the METT differentiates between full and part-time paid staff, it does not differentiate between type of employees (e.g., rangers, PA managers, researchers, etc..). 4) Add a question to determine whether management committees are truly functional or not (at present the METT only asks if such committees exist).  Although 53% of the PAs indicate they have a management committee, it is not known how many of those committees are functional and the contractor engaged in the work indicated that perhaps the majority of PAs don’t have a fully functioning management committee.

8

As a follow-on action to ensure the intended impact of project-supported activities related to the development of the Lukim Gather App is more fully realized, it will be important to identify an entity (other than CEPA) that can act as administrator for incident reporting (one of the two applications for the Lukim Gather, the other being community surveys).  It is recommended that UNDP PNG sponsor a workshop for civil society actors, working with Protected Areas, to inform as to the potential uses of the App, especially for incident reporting, as this function is unlikely to be assumed by CEPA and if not pursued by civil society, this aspect of the project investment is likely to be lost. 

9

For future UNDP-supported, GEF-financed projects in PNG, use benchmarks and graduated cost sharing to enhance efficiency and to promote impact of project interventions.  Avoid using GEF funds to pay 100% of the cost of IP staff (whether Government entities or NGOs) over the entire project period.

10

For future UNDP-supported, GEF-financed projects in PNG, share practical experiences from other projects around the world regarding specific ways in which those projects/initiatives worked toward gender equality and empowerment of women in the context of biodiversity conservation.  Do this at project outset – preferably during or directly following a project’s inception workshop.  It is not enough to provide general guidance, sharing detailed experiences helps to ensure that more than just numbers are counted.

11

Contract a full-time experienced Project Manager at project outset for any future full-size UNDP-supported, GEF-financed project.  Contract National (rather than International) Project Managers as a general practice.  Invest in building the capacity of PNG PMs. 

12

Educating children about conservation through the Port Moresby Nature Park’s in-school programme and through the TKCP Junior Ranger program has been a cost-effective project investment. Continued and expanded efforts focused on educating children about nature (both those living within PAs as well as those living in the capital city) should be encouraged and effort should be made to ensure local individuals directly involved in the TKCP Junior Ranger programme travel to TCA to help them initiate a similar programme. 

13

Investing in the further development of improved policies, strategies, plans and guidelines may no longer be cost-effective without the needed counterpart investment in staffing and operating budget for the SEP Wing of CEPA.  It may now be more cost-effective for GEF to invest proportionately more in the work of partners with on-the-ground presence including NGOs, CBOs, communities, Provinces, Districts and LLGs.   Investing in NGOs to give them the possibility to enhance their presence in PAs is recommended.   With the new focus on Regional Protected Areas, future capacity building for Government entities related to PA management should be focused more heavily on relevant units within Provincial Governments and less so on CEPA.

14

This Project supported efforts to protect endangered species including Matschie’s, Tenkile and Weimang Tree Kangaroo species. Nevertheless, there is no endangered species management program within CEPA.

15

For future UNDP-supported, GEF-financed projects in PNG, find ways to create a stronger firewall between the UNDP Country Office (CO) as a GEF Implementing Agency responsible for project oversight and UNDP as an agency providing support to project execution.  Strengthen project oversight.

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