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EF Conservación, uso sostenible de la biodiversidad y preservación de los servicios eco-sistémicos en humedales.
Commissioning Unit: El Salvador
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 09/2021
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: El Salvador
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

(i) Project closure seminar
While there is no more time to devise an exit strategy, seminars are often organised to celebrate project closure but its primary function is to ensure that project information and knowledge is in the right hands. It is also a necessary exercise for MARN decision-makers to present/formalise how they are going to institutionalise project results (e.g., new budget lines for training, integration of some results in future donor-funded projects, plans to use project results for declaring new PAs).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/09/17] [Last Updated: 2021/09/30]

Recommendation 1 is fully accepted. A virtual project closure workshop will be held to present the results obtained, and the Project Unit will deliver the digital archive with all of the project's outputs to the Directorate of Ecosystems and Biodiversity of MARN so that it can be consulted and used.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Project closure workshop
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
Project Unit/MARN/UNDP 2021/10 Completed Se llevó a cabo una Junta de cierre y tuvo una amplia presentación de los principales resultados y lecciones aprendidas (fecha de Junta) History
1.2 Delivery of the digital archive containing the project outputs to the technical staff of the Directorate of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
Project Unit 2021/10 Completed Al cierre del proyecto se entregó toda la documentación a la dirección de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad History
2. Recommendation:

(ii) Ensure follow-up of (BPA) micro-project initiatives and municipality initiatives
Given the absence of MAG in the Steering Committee, it is unlikely at this stage that it will take over even though they are well-tuned with training in good land husbandry techniques. That does not mean that MARN does not have the personnel. At the very least, one or two staff should be assigned part-time for the next 12-24 months to follow-up on beneficiaries and municipalities (e.g., monitoring habit of dropping empty containers to collection points and its follow-up by municipalities, assessing sugarcane growers and livestock breeders associations activities on BPA, assessing any multiplication effect for BPA that require little investment, checking Iberplastic collection centres operationality and whether dump trucks still collect solid waste in rural communities for committed municipalities). This could be done in a variety of forms: simple questionnaire and annual visit of all beneficiaries or free some time from park rangers to do such a survey quarterly with data transfer through newly equipped park rangers’ premises as an addendum to their regular information reports.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/09/17] [Last Updated: 2021/09/30]

Recommendation no. 2 is fully accepted.

Based on the National Biodiversity Strategy (2013), which emphasizes the transformation of agricultural practices as being decisive for biodiversity conservation, and given that the MAG did not participate, in order to comply with the project indicators, the MARN, through the project, became responsible for implementing good environmental practices (GEP) in the productive sectors of sugarcane and livestock in the protected wetlands of international importance – Bahía de Jiquilisco, Laguna El Jocotal and Laguna de Olomega. Hence, it will be responsible for monitoring the pilot projects once the project is finalized.

MARN will monitor the implementation of GEP through the local technical staff responsible for the three wetlands and will seek to coordinate with the MAG.

With regard to monitoring the implementation of GEP in the sugarcane sector, it will seek to link the corresponding local technical staff and Fundazucar, which was the strategic partner of the project responsible for capacity building and monitoring the producing farms. This will aim at verifying whether or not Fundazucar can continue to support the post-project follow-up. In the case that collaboration is not successful between the two institutions, the MARN, with the information provided by the project, will be responsible for contacting the producers.

To monitor the implementation of GEP in the livestock sector, the project will deliver to the MARN the information of the pilot project carried out so that the local technical staff responsible for the three wetlands can carry out the monitoring.

The MARN will monitor the municipalities responsible for the eradication and collection of solid waste accumulated in Bahía de Jiquilisco (El Encantado sector) through the local technical liaison and the resource guards. It will also coordinate with the Gerencia de Gestión Territorial (Local Management Office) to provide technical support to the municipalities.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.3 Monitor the municipalities in the eradication and collection of solid waste in Bahía de Jiquilisco
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/09/28]
MARN 2022/10 Overdue-Initiated Se ha iniciado el monitoreo. Se espera completarla en el mes de octubre. History
2.1 Monitor the implementation of good environmental practices in the sugarcane sector
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
MARN 2022/10 Overdue-Not Initiated Se está organizando la mejor forma para abordarlo desde la dirección de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad y se iniciará en el 2022 History
2.2 Monitor the implementation of good environmental practices in the livestock sector
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
MARN 2022/10 Overdue-Not Initiated Se está organizando la mejor forma para abordarlo desde la dirección de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad y se iniciará en el 2022 History
3. Recommendation:

(iii) JIT hyacinth eradication
Now that MARN is about to initiate a chemical and physical parameters’ recording system and is already using a satellite imagery analysis system that monitors water bodies, it should develop it further and start planning removal campaigns that pinpoint when and where to remove most effectively and economically hyacinth. This should complement fish monitoring as to whether hyacinth removal is having an effect on fisheries recovery in El Jocotal / Olomega.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/09/17] [Last Updated: 2021/09/30]

 

Recommendation no. 3 is partially accepted.

  1. It is now recognized that the MARN has better capacities for decision-making related to the eradication of hyacinth in wetlands since it has monitoring mechanisms that will allow to implement more effective concrete actions. This is due to the fact that, through the project, capacities were strengthened for aerial monitoring of wetlands by a highly specialized team of resource guards.
  2. In the El Jocotal/Olomega wetlands, hyacinth eradication will continue when there is proliferation that affects the surrounding communities (as per the established eradication plans,eradication begins when the proliferation reaches levels where livelihoods and tourism, water transportation, etc. are put at risk).

The part of the recommendation that is not considered valid is the one that recommends monitoring fish populations to verify their recovery. This is because, although this monitoring is a good recommendation to determine the impact of hyacinth eradication campaigns in the aquatic ecosystems of the lagoons, it was not established in the project's results framework, so it was not carried out during its implementation. Also, it is not considered feasible to carry out this type of monitoring after the project closure since, in order to truly achieve a positive impact on fish populations, the hyacinth eradication campaigns should have been carried out regularly in both wetlands during project execution, which was not the case.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Carry out aerial monitoring of wetlands for early detection of hyacinth proliferation in El Jocotal and Olomega
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
MARN 2022/10 Overdue-Initiated MARN acaba de adquirir los drones con los que se le dará seguimiento y está por iniciar su monitoreo en el 2022. El monitoreo ordinario se hace en terreno, a través de los guardabosques History
3.2 Carry out hyacinth eradication campaigns in the Laguna El Jocotal and Olomega wetlands according to their needs
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/09/28]
MARN 2022/10 No Longer Applicable [Justification: No ha habido necesidad de realizar campañas de erradicación. Las visitas de campo reflejan que los niveles de Jacinto se encuntran dentro de lo normal (menor del 20%). Se realizó un recorrido el 15 de julio del 2022 comprobando que la las Lagunas se mantienen despejadas en un 80%, por lo que no requiere extracción. ]
History
4. Recommendation:

(iv) Support to municipalities
Solid waste removal campaigns are ineffective if there is no municipality commitment to set up a monitoring and enforcing system
- MARN should concentrate its efforts on the most proactive municipalities and reward them accordingly
- Contact should be made with municipality associations and propose institutional strengthening through FIAES as a strategy to create lobbying capacity to federate municipalities

Management Response: [Added: 2021/09/17] [Last Updated: 2021/09/30]

 

Recommendation no. 4 is fully accepted.

  1. The MARN will continue to promote and provide technical support to the municipalities for the eradication and collection of the accumulated waste in Bahía de Jiquilisco through the local technical staff and the Local Management Office. This will allow to share the project’s lessons learned on this issue with this Office.
  2. Related project profiles will be prepared (e.g. rehabilitation of the mangrove fluvial dynamics, integral management of solid waste in the Grande de San Miguel River Basin, inter-municipal cooperation mechanisms) to seek funding through FIAES.
  3. The implementation of the wetlands management plan will be monitored.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.2 Prepare profiles of related projects to seek funding through FIAES.
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/09/28]
MARN 2022/07 Completed Se ha elaborado el perfil de proyecto para la limpieza de Jacinto de Agua en la Laguna de Metapan. La experiencia ganada en el proyecto ha permitido al MARN tomar mejores decisiones. History
4.3 Disseminate the lessons learned to the MARN Dirección de Gestión Territorial (Directorate of Territorial Management) so that they can be taken into consideration in the technical support provided to the municipalities
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
Project unit/MARN 2021/10 Completed La Dirección de Gestiòn territorial ha tomado en consideración las lecciones aprendidas del proyecto y ha empezado a distribuir los materiales producidos del proyecto Humedales History
4.4 Monitor the implementation of the wetlands management plan.
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/09/28]
MARN 2022/10 Completed El plan de monitoreo de los humedales se encuentra en ejecución conforme se integran en el Plan Operativo anual del Ministerio History
4.1 Monitor and provide technical support to the municipalities for the eradication and collection of solid waste accumulated in the Bahía de Jiquilisco wetland.
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
MARN 2022/10 Overdue-Not Initiated Se está organizando la mejor forma para abordarlo desde la dirección de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad y se iniciará en el 2022 History
5. Recommendation:

(v) Capacity building
MARN must take advantage of environmental education material produced by the project and initiate/pursue large-scale environmental education campaigns in buffer zones. Interviews have shown that it is not on top of priorities (MARN and municipalities) and again a change of paradigm is necessary to ensure that financial resources are allocated for it on a more permanent basis.
Environmental education targeting children and adolescents through civil society organisations (RAMSAR Committee, ADESCOS, local NGOs) and schools, is one of the most effective activities (highest value for money) to create awareness and to achieve fundamental and sustained behaviour change.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/09/17] [Last Updated: 2021/09/30]

Recommendation no. 5 is partially accepted.

1. The recommendation to capitalize on the environmental education material produced through the project is accepted. This is considered relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, as well as for the reduction of threats to their ecosystems. This material will be made available to the public through the website to facilitate access.

2. Given that the MARN has neither financial nor technical resources to carry out large-scale environmental education campaigns in the wetland buffer zones, this part of the recommendation is not considered valid. It should be noted that, from the project design, these efforts were focused on users or direct visitors to protected natural areas and wetlands through the welcome centers and interpretive trails established in the ProDoc and created during implementation. Therefore, what the institution can do is to prepare project profiles to seek funding for environmental education projects for the conservation of wetlands through FIAES.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Publish the materials produced within the project on the MARN website
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
Execution Unit/MARN 2021/10 Completed http://sgda.marn.gob.sv:8080/share/page History
5.2 Prepare profiles of environmental education projects for the conservation of wetlands to seek funding through FIAES
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/09/28]
MARN 2022/10 Completed Se ha elaborado una campaña de educación ambiental con temporalidad hasta diciembre de 2023. La campaña se encuentra en ejecución. History
6. Recommendation:

Evalation finding: Both UNDP and executing partner (MARN) underperformed in relation to the support provided to the project: MARN support was insufficient with ad-hoc technical support – no assigned counterpart – and a difficulty to transform several draft outputs into final ones (e.g., interinstitutional agreements and reports/proposals remaining at draft stage). UNDP provided little steering in relation to its role as a facilitator at institutional level and custodian for transparency and openness (steering committees with under-representation of stakeholders).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/09/30]

Evaluation Finding is partially agreed.

MARN agrees the finding. In order to disseminate the lessons learned from this project and try to guarantee that they are capitalized on by the institution, the Project Unit will hold a virtual meeting with the executing agencies of ongoing or pending projects and key institutional personnel linked to the monitoring of project execution.

However, UNDP considers that the recognition of its contribution to the dialogue in creating the national environmental sustainability strategies and plans, which was carried out through Consejo Nacional de Sustentabilidad Ambiental y Vulnerabilidad (CONASAV, National Council of Environmental Sustainability and Vulnerability) was omitted in the evaluation. This Council serves as a space for inter-institutional coordination and dialogue in the environmental agenda of El Salvador, where UNDP was the technical coordinator and where a consensus was established between the MARN and the MAG on binding issues of this project. One of the goals established in the CONASAV Plan was the reaching of agreement 1, goal 1.3, which states that by 2019, 10,000 ha of salty forest and surrounding ecosystems are recovered, which is related to one of the outcomes of this project.

The MAG was called to the Project Boards but it did not attend, so CONASAV was an ideal space to reach a consensus.

With the change of government, there was a transition period for the environmental and MARN agenda starting on 1 June 2019. There was a change in personnel and strategic priorities, which was later exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis; hence, the Government's priorities were focused on the emergency. All government personnel were ready to respond to the emergency.

Currently, the process for a technical dialogue based on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Agenda, in which the leadership of the MARN together with the support of UNDP, promotes inter-institutional work on these issues, and the sustainability of the results left by the project can continue to be promoted.

* The creation of CONASAV, https://cidoc.marn.gob.sv/documentos/decreto-no-8-creacion-del-consejo-nacional-de-sustentabilidad-ambiental-y-vulnerabilidad-conasav (in Spanish)

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Hold a virtual meeting to disseminate the lessons learned from the project with key MARN personnel linked to monitoring the project execution and the Directorate of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
Project Unit/MARN 2021/10 Completed Se ha transferido el material producido por el proyecto Humedales y se ha dado inicio a su distribución. History
6.2 In updating the NDCs, UNDP will ensure that these initiatives will continue.
[Added: 2021/09/30] [Last Updated: 2022/01/31]
UNDP/MARN 2022/10 Completed En la NDC se estableció como prioridad el sector de Biodiversidad y Ecosistemas (conservación de la cobertura boscosa y gestión sostenible de ecosistemas de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, manglares, bosques de galería y otros ecosistemas boscosos en áreas críticas). La NDC fue actualizada y enviada a la UNCCC, History

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