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Integrated Enviromental Management of the Fanga'uta Lagoon Catchment
Commissioning Unit: Fiji
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 03/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Fiji
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

SMA should have been expanded to include all communities within the lagoon area. The project should have developed more programs for alternative livelihoods.  

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

The establishment of the SMA was voluntary so only 4 communities had voluntary committed their fishing ground as SMAs. Depending on the success of these SMAs, there are plans to expand to other communities which Department of Fisheries will take as their long-term commitment to the project. The alternative livelihoods programs were established on a need basis and the availability of funding.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions with Fisheries Department will be conducted to ensure that there is further engagement with communities that were not included during the project period.
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
2. Recommendation:

The project should upscale and replicate lessons learned because it has piloted community-based management approaches of the Lagoon and catchment area and have generated a lot of practical knowledge. But still a large area of lagoon needs activities to maintain the lagoon’s ecological functions and services. Hence, a second phase should be developed to cover all areas of lagoon and activities planning should include all necessary components of each activities

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

This is acknowledged. Opportunities for Tonga R2R – 2 are being explored which will be proposed for upcoming GEF7 funding or other funding opportunities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Discussions with Tonga R2R Board members to propose Tonga R2R -phase 2 in upcoming GEF funding
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
3. Recommendation:

Program planning, and implementation was technically very weak. In the project document threat of pig was identified but afforestation program was not able to address the threat. No provision of fencing was included in the program and only in a few places this was put up after requests from the communities. It is recommended to fence plantation area to protect saplings from the pig and also to protect saplings from erosion.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is noted and will be incorporated into future project design

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Future funding will be identified to facilitate this recommendation
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment, UNDP 2022/12 Initiated Lesson’s learnt from this will be factored into Tonga R2R phase 2 project planning
4. Recommendation:

Afforestation in private land was carried out verbally without any proper agreement with the land owner in writing. In Hoi village, the land owners did not have a clear understanding and therefore destroyed the nursery and mangrove afforested areas and also removed fence. The money wasted in this area could otherwise use for another site. Agreement between communities for private land areas should be put into writing for all project afforestation work. Future project should not repeat such mistake.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is noted and will be incorporated into future project designing

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ensure that proper agreement is carried out and captured formally if similar activity is identified in future projects
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment, UNDP 2022/12 Initiated Lesson’s learnt from this will be factored into Tonga R2R phase 2 project planning
5. Recommendation:

This project had limitation due to budget constrain and also activity planning was weak. The activity planning was not able to realize the importance of regular monitoring in SMA, hence no boats for monitoring were provided. Only after request from the community two boats were ordered but again without motor. Hence future program should do sufficient homework to develop details of each activities so that no gap will remain and sufficient budget is allocated. Similarly, procurement of staff and equipment should be done immediately following the inception workshop or immediately after development of annual work plans. This will help to initiate activities on time and work will not be hampered.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is noted and will be actioned accordingly for future projects.

 

The request to purchase a boat for community monitoring was not identified in the project budget and was therefore an additional request which was still facilitated at the end.  

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
MEIDECC have agreed to purchase the boat motor for the two boats from recurrent vote of the Ministry as their additional co-financed noting that the project has no more funds to facilitate additional activities
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
6. Recommendation:

Communication within project team and also with stakeholders needs to be improved and strengthened. The mangrove expert had planned additional plantation and clean-up activities without consultation with Project Manager and due to that money was not allocated for payment of the additional mangrove plantation. Such mistake could build mistrust and could affect future programs also.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation was discussed with PMU and had acknowledged the miscommunication between staff.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Improve communication between PMU staff and technical support staff
[Added: 2019/12/19]
PMU – Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
7. Recommendation:

Enrichment afforestation should be carried out to replace the dead saplings. Similarly, fencing should be done to protect saplings from pigs. Regular technical backup should be provided by respective departments, so outcome of this project will not suffer due to limitation of technical assistance. Monitoring of plantation and other activities should be done regularly so that problems could be address in early stage to avoid huge damage.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is acknowledged

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
To factor improvement on this activity in the planned 2nd phase of Tonga R2R.
[Added: 2019/12/19]
Department of Environment 2022/12 Initiated
8. Recommendation:

It was discovered that the selection of members of SMA management committee and other community groups were not transparent and biased. Such could cultivate conflict between community members and will also harm the future of the outcomes of the project. Hence, such issues should be resolved by calling general meeting involving all community members and resolve the problem either discussing acerbities among them or re-elect members democratically.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/19] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Recommendation is acknowledged, and Fisheries Department has been advised of the matter.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Better planning and engagement process to be identified for future SMA planning and implementation
[Added: 2019/12/19]
PMU – Department of Environment 2018/07 Completed
9. Recommendation:

4.2 Recommendations

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

I. Program planning and implementation was technically very weak. In the project document threat of pig was identified but afforestation program didn’t made arrangement to address the threat and no provision of fencing included in the program but only done in few places after request from the communities. It is recommended to fence plantation area to protect saplings from the pig and also make arrangement to protect saplings from erosion. 

II. Afforestation in private land was carried out without any proper agreement with the land owner in paper but only based on verbal understanding. In Hoi village land owner stepped back from the understanding and destroyednursery and mangrove afforestation and also removed fence. The money wasted in this area could otherwise use for another site. Agreement papers should be made for all project afforestation sites which were carried out in private land. Future project should not repeat such mistake.

III. This project had limitation due to budget and also activities planning was weak. The activities planning was not able to realise importance of regular monitoring in SMA, hence no boats for monitoring were provisioned. Only after request from the community two boats were ordered but again without motor. Hence future program should do sufficient homework to develop details of each activities so that no gap will remain and sufficient budget is allocated. Similarly, procurement of staff and equipment should be done immediately following the inception workshop or immediately after development of annual work plans. This will help to initiate activities on time and work will not be hampered.

IV. Communication within project team and also with stakeholders need to be improved and strengthened. In this project, mangrove expert planned additional plantation and clean-up activities without consultation with Project Manager and due to that money was not allocated for payment of the additional mangrove plantation. Such mistake could build mistrust and could affect future programs also

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project

V. Enrichment afforestation should be carried out to replace the dead saplings. Similarly, fencing should be done to protect saplings from pigs. Regular technical backup should be provided by respective departments so outcome of this project will not suffer due to limitation of technical assistance. Monitoring of plantation and other activities should be done regularly so that problems could be address in early stage and stop big damage. 

VI. It is learned that selection of members of SMA management committee and other community groups was not transparent and biased. Such could cultivate conflict between community members and will also harm future of the outcomes of the project. Hence, such issues should be resolved by calling general meeting involving all community members and resolve the problem either discussing acerbities among them or re-elect members democratically.

VII. Marine monitoring has covered only physical aspect of water quality (salinity, temperature, and acidity/alkalinity) and biodiversity but population study of species is not carried out. Hence population study of biodiversity should be carried out regularly because this information is very important to decide protection need for any specific species or plan sustainable harvest.

VIII. Though it was in the plan, water testing training to communities was not conducted. Training for communities on water testing should be organised and testing kits should be provided to them and arrange for sharing findings with the respective institutions of the government.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Proposals for future directions underlying main objectives

IX. Quota system in fishing in SMA curtail people’s unlimited access that they enjoyed in the past and curtailing may affect their livelihood as many of their household economy is dependent on fishing. It is also learned that people from other areas are fishing in SMA and surroundings areas. It is also learned that people destroyed rope placed to demarcate boarders of SMA. Since SMA designation is not based on home-range study of fish and sea animals, fish from SMA will move outside its boundary (as area is not so big) and communities from neighbouring areas or from other side of the lagoon could enjoy fishing protected fish. This could bring dissatisfaction among those restricted communities.

To avoid conflict, it is recommended to expand SMA (area) and also include all communities of the lagoon so that everyone from lagoon will have equal fishing access. SMA will not succeed without support from all inhabitants from lagoon and to attract them in the program and generate their support, project should develop programs to provide alternative livelihood. To make sustainable fishing only designing SMA is not sufficient but also need to maintain lagoon ecosystem and for that it is necessary to facilitate recharging of biodiversity of lagoon from the sea. The movement of large fish and sea animals at present is obstructed due to heavy sedimentation near Nukunukumotu-Nukuleka area. Hence, sediments should be removed to maintain depth of up to 3-4m so that fish and other sea animals could easily visit lagoon. SMA programs were initiated in Tonga since 2006 and by 2015 already SMA was established. Lessons from there should be utilised to improve the SMA activities but while doing that settlement pattern and practices of fishing in Fannga’uta lagoon need to be considered as there are differences between this lagoon with other islands.

X. Energy is one of the reason for deforestation, future project design should consider use of biogas production and solar energy use.

XI. It is recommended to upscale and replicate lessons learned from this project by GoT, UNDP and other agencies involved in this project. This project has piloted community-based management approaches of the Lagoon and catchment area and have generated a lot of practical knowledge. Still large area of lagoon needs activities to maintain lagoon’s ecological functions and services. Hence, second phase should be developed to cover all areas of lagoon and activities planning should include all necessary components of each activities. Besides, monitoring from the implementing agency, executing agency should also arrange monitoring from its side to provide regular technical back-up. 

XII. As communities’ economy is not so strong, it is difficult for them to maintain livelihood expenses when their source of income i.e. fishing is curtailed or limited through programs like SMA. Similarly, when people have to devote more time in conservation and protection activities it will affect their livelihood. Hence, project should include alternative livelihood program to encourage them in biodiversity and ecosystem function conservation. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/23] [Last Updated: 2020/12/06]

Key Actions:

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