Final Evaluation for Wetlands Portfolio - Hainan

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, China
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
04/2019
Completion Date:
11/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
28,000

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Title Final Evaluation for Wetlands Portfolio - Hainan
Atlas Project Number: 00069892
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, China
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2018
Planned End Date: 04/2019
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
SDG Goal
  • 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
  • 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 $): 28,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 24,488
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Stephen Raaymakers Mr. steve@eco-strategic.com
Wang Yue Ms. ywang0406@163.com
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Strengthening the management effectiveness of the wetland protected area system in Hainan for conservation of globally significant biodiversity
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4811
PIMS Number: 4597
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Environment
Countries: CHINA, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

It is recommended that the regulatory, planning and management documents could benefit from external scientific expert review and inputs, and a mechanism to ensure better coordination, consistency and linkages between them. All of the regulations and plans should be highly coordinated at the Provincial level in their initial stage of formulation, aiming at a higher possibility to be practically implemented even after the project period.

2

It is strongly recommended that the rigour and reliability of the METT, EHI and CSA scoring could be improved by:

•    providing additional regular training of more people in the METT, EHI and CSA scoring methods,

•    making greater use of external review and cross-checking of the ‘self-assessed’ evaluations by independent experts who are truly independent of the subject PA and of the Project, hired by UNDP or the Central Government and not the PMO, to check the validity and veracity of the evaluations, and

•    strengthening the process of monitoring and tracking assessment, with supervising experts hired if necessary.

3

It is recommended that the wetland ecological restoration concepts and approaches that were developed and demonstrated during the Project should be reviewed by external scientific experts to ensure that they are ecologically sound and comply with best practice, and monitored to validate their effectiveness, and that once this is established, efforts be made to substantially expand and replicate wetland ecological restoration throughout the Province.

4

It is strongly recommended that for the remainder of the project, and for any future projects, a more rigorous and transparent procurement procedure be used that sets clear terms of reference uses competitive bidding, and assesses price along with the quality of the technical proposal and overall value for money. The PMO should be strictly required to comply with all relevant Provincial Government and UNDP procurement regulations, rules and procedures, and appropriate corrective action should be taken immediately that any departure from these is detected. Whenever compatibility between management convenience and project quality could not be achieved, management convenience should subordinate to the quality objective.

5

It is recommended that if possible, for the remainder of the project, and especially as part of follow-up activities, the HFD could look at working with the HED to develop a wetlands component to the Province-wide education curriculum, together with wetlands textbooks and teaching materials. This would be followed with providing training to all relevant teachers in the Province on wetlands education (the “teach the teacher to teach” approach).  This would have a much bigger multiplier effect, and achieve much greater returns and broader impact from investment in wetlands education. Considering that primary and medium education in China is free, in order to promote uptake by schools all books and other educational materials developed by the Project should be available to the Provincial education system for free.

6

It is recommended that the Hainan Provincial Government adopt and implement coordinated, integrated catchment management across the whole Province, and wherever possible:

•    significantly expand the area of each wetland PA, 

•    link PAs through ecological corridors; and

•    establish a more ecologically representative network of wetland PAs, including new wetland PAs to fill critical gaps on the mid-east coast and south-west coast of Hainan.

7

With abundant tourism resources and a rapidly expanding tourism industry, environmental stresses and pollution risks on wetlands in Hainan are increasing with more and more people coming from all over the world each year. Measures to determine, set and enforce tourism carrying capacity limits and visitor flow restrictions, and developing and implementing eco-friendly tourism, should be studied and implemented urgently. More studies and practices should also be applied to cope with climate change impacts and weather extremes relating to flood and drought.

1. Recommendation:

It is recommended that the regulatory, planning and management documents could benefit from external scientific expert review and inputs, and a mechanism to ensure better coordination, consistency and linkages between them. All of the regulations and plans should be highly coordinated at the Provincial level in their initial stage of formulation, aiming at a higher possibility to be practically implemented even after the project period.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. With the restructuring of government department, Hainan Forestry Department is going to take up the coordination responsibility on wetland resources and protected area management. HFD will make efforts to ensure the coordination, consistency and linkages among wetland related regulatory, planning and management documents.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

It is strongly recommended that the rigour and reliability of the METT, EHI and CSA scoring could be improved by:

•    providing additional regular training of more people in the METT, EHI and CSA scoring methods,

•    making greater use of external review and cross-checking of the ‘self-assessed’ evaluations by independent experts who are truly independent of the subject PA and of the Project, hired by UNDP or the Central Government and not the PMO, to check the validity and veracity of the evaluations, and

•    strengthening the process of monitoring and tracking assessment, with supervising experts hired if necessary.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. This recommendation can be adopted by future GEF projects. Independent experts should be hired by UNDP to check the validity and veracity of the baseline, mid-term and end-of-project evaluation. Especially for the baseline, the logic and principle of the tools should be clearly explained to those people being assessed, so as to ensure the assessment results are subjective enough and the targets set during the baseline evaluation are realistic and reasonable. For Hainan, to further apply these tracking tools, the tools need be integrated into the management system.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

It is recommended that the wetland ecological restoration concepts and approaches that were developed and demonstrated during the Project should be reviewed by external scientific experts to ensure that they are ecologically sound and comply with best practice, and monitored to validate their effectiveness, and that once this is established, efforts be made to substantially expand and replicate wetland ecological restoration throughout the Province.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. The project had submitted some advices to the provincial government in mangrove restoration to emphasize ecosystem concept in all restoration interventions. In addition, a technical standard on mangrove wetland restoration has been elaborated by the Project. HFD will go through further procedures to be approved and released by the provincial quality and technical supervision bureau.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

It is strongly recommended that for the remainder of the project, and for any future projects, a more rigorous and transparent procurement procedure be used that sets clear terms of reference uses competitive bidding, and assesses price along with the quality of the technical proposal and overall value for money. The PMO should be strictly required to comply with all relevant Provincial Government and UNDP procurement regulations, rules and procedures, and appropriate corrective action should be taken immediately that any departure from these is detected. Whenever compatibility between management convenience and project quality could not be achieved, management convenience should subordinate to the quality objective.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. The PMO has made more efforts to look into the procurement procedures for the remaining time in order to ensure the procurement regulations are all strictly followed.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

It is recommended that if possible, for the remainder of the project, and especially as part of follow-up activities, the HFD could look at working with the HED to develop a wetlands component to the Province-wide education curriculum, together with wetlands textbooks and teaching materials. This would be followed with providing training to all relevant teachers in the Province on wetlands education (the “teach the teacher to teach” approach).  This would have a much bigger multiplier effect, and achieve much greater returns and broader impact from investment in wetlands education. Considering that primary and medium education in China is free, in order to promote uptake by schools all books and other educational materials developed by the Project should be available to the Provincial education system for free.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. HFD has proposed to the provincial government to coordinate the integration of the wetland and mangrove component into the education curriculum. In addition, HFD also supported the Haikou government in wetland school establishment. By far, 6 primary and middle schools have passed the inspection by the working group from Wetland International.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

It is recommended that the Hainan Provincial Government adopt and implement coordinated, integrated catchment management across the whole Province, and wherever possible:

•    significantly expand the area of each wetland PA, 

•    link PAs through ecological corridors; and

•    establish a more ecologically representative network of wetland PAs, including new wetland PAs to fill critical gaps on the mid-east coast and south-west coast of Hainan.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. The provincial government had implemented the River Chief System and the Lake Chief System to improve the catchment management for the whole Province. In the meantime, the government is aware of the fragmentation of the PAs, and plans to building up ecological corridors through establishment of a national park and urge the county government to establish new wetland parks or forest parks to expand the protected area coverage in Hainan island.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

With abundant tourism resources and a rapidly expanding tourism industry, environmental stresses and pollution risks on wetlands in Hainan are increasing with more and more people coming from all over the world each year. Measures to determine, set and enforce tourism carrying capacity limits and visitor flow restrictions, and developing and implementing eco-friendly tourism, should be studied and implemented urgently. More studies and practices should also be applied to cope with climate change impacts and weather extremes relating to flood and drought.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/01/15]

Accepted. The provincial government sticks to the “ecological civilization” concept and is determined to achieve the target to build Hainan into a demonstration zone of ecological civilization construction in China. Tourism development and environmental protection will be well balanced in this process. In addition, Hainan Provincial Development and Reform Commission is looking for opportunities for international cooperation projects in the field of climate change adaptation.

Key Actions:

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