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Strengthening the Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Russia
Commissioning Unit: Russian Federation
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2017
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 05/2013
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Russian Federation
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: The project should not allow the delay in the establishment of the Ingermanland reserve to significantly derail project activities in the Gulf of Finland. As establishment of the reserve is ongoing, there is an opportunity to focus on the overall system of MCPAs PAs in the Gulf of Finland, including the five regional level MCPAs that need significant strengthening, particularly considering that there is a capable potential partner in the Leningrad regional PAs directorate, which could also use further support from the federal MNRE. At the same time, it ongoing lobbying efforts should be made to reach approval of the Ingermanland reserve as quickly as possible.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

In accordance with the recommendations of the evaluator, the project will make all possible efforts to coordinate, facilitate and lobby the establishment of Ingermanland reserve. At the same time, the project will work on capacity strengthening of regional PAs in the Gulf of Finland: in accordance with the capacity gaps identified by the regional PAs directorate, staff training and experience exchange will be organized, together with work on changing the legal status of the three regional protected to conform with the International Wetland regime.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will engage necessary expertise and organize stakeholder consultations regarding legal status of Ramsar wetland sites located in Leningrad region on the Gulf of Finland. Feasibility of preparation of joint orders of MNRE and the Government of the Leningrad region regarding these PAs will be analyzed.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
MNRE, Baltic Fund for Nature, project team 2014/12 Completed The proejct engaged the Baltic Fund for Nature, the key focal points in the PA Department of the Leningrad Oblast Administration, as well as other key stakholders in the conslstations regarding the legal status of the Ramsar wetland sites located in the Leningrad Oblast. However, the project impact in this regard remained limited due to conflicting stakeholder interests for the sea areas of the regional reserves. History
Project contributes to capacity building for the professional staff of Leningrad region PAs through organizing a study tour to the neighboring PAs of Finland. Chosen Finnish PAs are Ramsar sites and demonstrate successful integration in the regional social and economic context thus being a perfect source to learn the best experience and practices from.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Baltic Fund for Nature, regional PA Directorate, project team 2014/12 Completed The study tour and experience exhange with the Finish PAs was organised as planned History
The project is to facilitate stakeholder dialogue and actively seek for solutions towards resolving existing conflicts over establishment of Ingermanland reserve. As part of this work, the project has already prepared an official address on behalf of the MNRE to the Governor of Leningrad region regarding necessary advancement of decision regarding establishment of Ingermanland reserve. The project is also to facilitate reconciliation of required changes in design documents for the future reserve, between the MNRE and the Ministry of Defense, as well as suggest means to resolve conflict with the Federal Agency on Subsoil Usage associated with the deposit of sand located on the border of one of the sections of the future reserve. One of the main issues is the lease of the forests on several islands of the future reserve by a commercial organization. Together with the Government of the Leningrad region, the project is to facilitate negations with the tenant the possibility of abandoning the right to lease the land on the sites of the future reserve.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
MNRE, Baltic Fund for Nature, project team 2017/12 Completed The project efforts towards establishment of the Ingermanland reserve have finally gained the long-desired effect when the reserved was finally gazetted (December 2017) History
2. Recommendation: The project needs to intensify implementation efforts in each of the project sites, and the current implementation structure is not highly efficient in this regard considering the geographic spread of the project. There are multiple active partners in the Leningrad region, and the project should assess the possibility of delegating a significant portion of planned activities in the region to a capable partner organization in the region, such as the Baltic Fund for Nature, as a kind of sub-PIU for project activities in the region. There are multiple successful examples throughout the GEF portfolio of high-capacity civil society organizations executing all or a portion of a UNDP-GEF project. This would leave the project team in Moscow to focus efforts at the central systemic level in collaboration with the MNRE, and in the Far East where there are also capable partners at the two project pilot MCPAs. Within the scope of intensifying the project activities in the Leningrad region, there are multiple opportunities to partner with regional stakeholders to strategically strengthen the entire system of MCPAs in the Gulf of Finland.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

The project facilitates the recommendation and will further engage its key partner in the Leningrad region, the Baltic Fund for Nature (BFN) , into planned activities described below as ?key actions?.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The following key activity directions will be followed under the agreement between the project and the BFN: - Harmonization of legal framework for the Ramsar wetlands in the Gulf of Filand; - Stakeholder consultations to explore feasibility of and options for amendment of Fishing Regulations for the Western Fishery Basin; - Work with relevant authorities and preparation of proposals on the establishment of fishery reserve areas in the Gulf of Finland; - Establishment of cooperation between regional environmental entities and sea port administrations; - capacity building for the regional PAs staff.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
MNRE, Baltic Fund of Nature, project team 2014/12 Completed The project concluded and implemented sub-contracts with its Leningrad Oblast partners for all the mentioned activity directions History
3. Recommendation: Although the concept of multi-stakeholder cooperation and coordination in the management of marine and coastal resources is broadly considered in the project document, the project needs a stronger concrete focus on this aspect. With the MNRE?s leadership and leveraging whatever means possible, there is an urgent need for the project, to specifically and proactively strengthen cooperation with the FAF; there are also opportunities for additional stakeholder engagement. This could include drawing on UNDP?s power as a third-party, independent convening organization to bring institutions together to discuss common issues, promoting mechanisms for information exchange, sharing international best practices, creating linkages among professional staff at the technical level (through conferences, workshops, etc.), or any other number of activities. A major result for the project would be to help catalyze an effective multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism for the management of marine and coastal resources (including highlighting the role of MCPAs). This type of model could also be piloted starting at the regional level, for example in the Gulf of Finland where informal communication channels, or more formal mechanisms, could be established involving stakeholders such as the port authorities, the ministry of transportation, and others. Establishing the Ingermanland Reserve would be an excellent result, but the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Gulf of Finland requires an integrated and comprehensive approach to natural resource management, bringing together all relevant stakeholders. There are some linkages established between the border patrol and MCPAs in the Gulf of Finland and in the Commander Islands, but a broader constituency is required.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

The project appreciates the recommendation to proactively strengthen cooperation with the Federal Agency for Fishery (FAF), and promote other stakeholder engagement. The project will make efforts to intensify cooperation with FAF as described below in ?key actions? section. As for multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism for the management of marine and coastal resources, this will be tested in the Gulf of Finland as advised. Some of the stakeholder engagement activities in this regard are mentioned above as key actions to Recommendation 2. The project will also work to improve the stakeholder coordination for enhancement of regional plan on efficient response to the oil and other hazardous substances spills in Leningrad region

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project is to intensify cooperation with Federal Agency for Fishery (FAF). Specifically, project experts/management are to . initiate negotiations on the issue of MCPAs access to information on positioning of the fishing vessels derived from satellite technical means of control, that are necessary to ensure enforcement of the MCPAs special regime.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, FAF 2015/12 Completed While the issue of MCPAs access to information on positioning of the fishing vessels had not proved to be of relevance as the UNDP/GEF project intervention, the project pursued other ways for cooperation with FAF. The Project prepared proposals and justification aimed at amending the rules of fishing in order to eliminate conflicts between protected waters of Wetlands of International Importance (regional refuges in Leningrad region) and water areas where commercial fishing is conducted, and submitted it for consideration to the regional FAF department History
The project is to facilitate meeting of all stakeholders involved, aimed at elaboration of concise plan of actions on enhancement of regional plan on efficient response to the oil and other hazardous substances spills in order to prevent and minimize the impact on MCPAs of the Gulf of Finland.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, stakeholders and experts involved 2015/12 Completed Towards the project completion, the initervention aimed to revise the regional oil spill response plan did not prove viable. Meanwhile, the project developed contingency plans for hazardous material spills for its four pilot reserves: the Russian Arctic National Park, CIZ, FEMZ, and Magadansky reserve. History
4. Recommendation: Experience has shown that UNDP-GEF projects with micro-grant/finance components are most successful when the target stakeholders have the capacity to develop and implement appropriate micro-grant proposals. The project document foresees a micro-grant program in the Commander Islands, but it is not clear that this would be an effective tool in the context of the Commander Islands. At the same time, there is a need to more constructively and pro-actively engage the local community in the Commander Islands through a community development approach. This mid-term evaluation recommends the project stakeholders re-assess the potential value of a micro-grant program in the Commander Islands, and identify alternative development-focused approaches to strengthen engagement with the local community, with the overall goal of strengthening management effectiveness of the Commander Islands reserve. Identifying good practices in Russia and elsewhere for community engagement with MCPAs could be a starting point. The community development priorities need to be clearly identified, whether related to health, education, improved communication and transportation infrastructure, etc.; then synergies between management of the reserve can be identified and pursued. In addition, it may be determined that the PA administration can gain community buy-in by making specific community investments that may not be directly linked to PA management actions, but which generate the necessary community support to enable effective PA management. In a context such as the Commander Islands the community must be seen as an integral part of the overall socio-ecological complex comprised within the reserve and that is within the sphere of responsibility of the PA administration.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

The project will engage necessary local expertise to assess/confirm local community development priorities, for future direct support from the project. Priority is to be given to participation of local population, i.e. both indigenous and non-indigenous communities living in the Islands, in eco-tourism related activities. Even now admirable landscapes and biodiversity of the region attract a lot of tourists, and in a future tourist industry can provide a notable social and economic growth and diversification of regional economy, increase in employment and real income of the population.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Ability of local stakeholders to develop and implement appropriate micro-grant proposal has been reassessed by the Project and the Reserve as not feasible. Alternative development-focused approaches to strengthen engagement with the local community, with the overall goal of strengthening management effectiveness of the Komandorsky reserve are being identified for immediate implementation.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, Komandorsky Reserve, MNRE 2014/09 Completed The Project implemented a small grants program to support local initiatives and create conditions for the development of eco-tourism and alternative livelihoods for the local population of the Commander Islands reserve. History
Implementation of alternative development-focused approaches to strengthen engagement of the local community with the overall goal of strengthening management effectiveness of the Komandorsky reserve.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, Komandorsky Reserve 2014/09 Completed The Project implemented a small grants program to support local initiatives and create conditions for the development of eco-tourism and alternative livelihoods for the local population of the Commander Islands reserve. History
5. Recommendation: To strengthen the project?s implementation approach and increase sustainability, it would be beneficial to establish stronger working relationships with some MCPAs in Russia that have the best capacity within the system. The project could work with these MCPAs to help establish and maintain a national network of MCPAs, including biological research stations, etc. This would also be useful to support some active models for partnership and collaboration between MCPAs and research stations for environmental monitoring and research on issues such as issuance of permits, research collaboration, and strengthening monitoring capacity. Some initial efforts have begun with the Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve (in Kamchatka) and the White Sea Biological Research Station (in the Karelia Republic).
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

In addition to the pilot reserves, the project cooperates and has set a strong working relationship with several key MCPAs, such as "Russian Arctic" national park, Kronotsky Biosphere reserve, and Magadansky reserve. The interaction is based on partnership and best practices dissemination. Project has launched establishment of the Association of marine research centers and MCPAs, which brings together professionals involved in research and monitoring in MCPAs.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will organize training seminars to build PA staff capacity based on best practices in the MCPA system in the field of monitoring, research, patrolling, tourism development. The training will be provided by both MNRE experts and particular PAs ? ?winners? in the system. Integrated monitoring plans, as well as management plans developed within the project for the target PAs, will be further replicated in the system.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
MNRE, target PAs, project team 2014/12 Completed Training workshop on the enforcement of special regime within MCPAs has been organized on the basis of Kronotsky Reserve. Training on conduct of research and environmental monitoring for MCPA staff was organized at the White sea Marine research station of the Zoological institute of RAS. History
The project will continue supporting activities within the framework of agreement on monitoring of salmon basins ecosystems between Kamchatka Fishery and Oceanography Institute, Moscow State University and Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve. Joint intensive studies of freshwater and marine ecosystems and their components, as well as their impact on terrestrial ecosystems in Kronotsky reserve are underway.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Kamchatka Fishery and Oceanography Institute, Moscow State University and Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve, Project team 2014/12 Completed History
The project will support inventory of landscape and biodiversity of littoral zone of the Ola part in Magadansky reserve. This study is to serve as a basis for long-term ecological monitoring of intertidal communities of the Ola part of Magadansky reserve. The project will bring together specialists from the Institute of Oceanology, Russian Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, All-Russian Institute of geological, geophysical and geochemical systems and Magadan Nature Reserve.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Institute of Oceanology, Russian Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, All-Russian Institute of geological, geophysical and geochemical systems and Magadan Nature Reserve, project team 2013/09 Completed The intertidal zone of Magadansky reserve was properly studied during field season 2013 resulting in functional amendments to the monitoring program acting in the reserve. History
Project will support establishment of the Association of marine research centers and MCPAs, which brings together professionals involved in research and monitoring in MCPAs. This Association will improve knowledge dissemination, exchange of information between professionals involved in the study of marine and coastal ecosystems in MCPAs and replicate the experience and best practices available.
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team 2014/09 Completed The Association of marine research centers was established as Commission for marine research centers and MCPAs, and is registered as a subdivision of Association for Marine Heritage of Russia. Operations commenced by the Commission allowed for several projects on inventory of marine biodiversity in MCPAs to be implemented through collaborative efforts of MCPAs and research institutes. History
6. Recommendation: There are multiple opportunities for the project to have a valuable influence on oil spill response preparation and training in the Gulf of Finland, and the project should consider strengthening the focus on this issue, particularly given the potential negative scope of the threat. According to project stakeholders, there is no comprehensive oil spill response plan for the Gulf of Finland, and there is a current opportunity to address the issue of marine wildlife rescue in the new version fo the regional oil spill response plan, which should be pursued under the project Additional valuable activities could include, workshops/seminars on coordinated oil spill response, international best practices in the Baltic Sea (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, etc.), and additional training or workshops on dealing with affected wildlife and birds. There are also suggestions for establishment of a wildlife rehabilitation center as a facility that could be available in case of oil spills or other hazardous waste incidents, but if such an investment is considered a feasibility study for such a center should be carried out first, with particular attention to financial sustainability. Direct support from the project would need to be reviewed within the strategic context of the project outcomes and objective.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

Project undertakings in 2013 will focus on improvement of the stakeholder coordination for enhancement of territorial plan on efficient response to the oil and other hazardous substances spills in the Leningrad region

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project will further analyze threats to Russian MCPAs in the Gulf of Finland (including the territory of the future Ingermanland reserve) from oil and other hazardous substances spills, and develop a set of measures to prevent and reduce the impact. The project will also support a meeting of all stakeholders involved aimed at elaboration of concise plan of actions on enhancement of regional plan on efficient response to the oil and other hazardous substances spills in order to prevent and minimize the impact on MCPAs of the Gulf of Finland
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
Project team, Contractor, stakeholders involved 2014/08 Completed Although the project took care of relevant stakeholder consultations. the delay with the establishment of Intermalandsky reserve made further project interventions related to prevention of and response to oil spill in the Gulf of Finland unfeasible. The project developed contingency plans for hazardous material spills for its four pilot reserves which can serve a model one for the newly established federal reserve "Vostok Finskogo Zaliva" (December 2017) History
7. Recommendation: To enhance the control of general compliance of maritime operators with a regime of protected marine zones within MCPAs, the use of a satellite monitoring data is essential. To enable the reserves to track fishing boats at sea, as well as vessels carrying hydrocarbon fuel and chemical substances in the MCPA waters, it is recommended to facilitate negotiations between MNR and the FAF on the options of providing access to the fishery Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to the MCPA management, thus enabling their use of data for the remote control of vessels operations in the area. Dissemination of experience of such Vessel Monitoring System use is of significant value in wider contexts.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

The project is to initiate and facilitate negotiations with Federal Agency for Fishery on the issue of MCPAs access to information on positioning of the fishing vessels derived from satellite technical means of control, that are necessary to ensure enforcement of the MCPAs special regime

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project is to arrange expert-level meetings with the FAF on the issue of MCPAs access to information on positioning of the fishing vessels derived from satellite technical means of control, that are necessary to ensure enforcement of the MCPAs special regime. The project experts, in consultation with FAF and MNRE, will draft the respective agreement between MNRE and FAF
[Added: 2013/09/11] [Last Updated: 2018/11/07]
MNRE, Federal Agency for Fishery, project team 2013/12 No Longer Applicable [Justification: As recommended by the MTE, the project initially focused its efforts on negotiations on the important issue of MCPAs access to information on positioning of the fishing vessels derived from satellite technical means of control, that are necessary to ensure enforcement of the MCPAs special regime. However, the relevance of this issue has significantly reduced as MCPAs now have access to more advanced information sources of new generation that are more effective to control the vessel's stay in the protected waters. Basis for the navigation monitoring within borders of the reserve comprised data signals from automatic identification systems (installed on the vessels in accordance with the international SOLAS convention), as well as radar and optical satellite images of high and medium resolution.]
History
8. Recommendation: Under particular consideration at the time of the mid-term evaluation is the question of the project?s support for procurement of a large marine vessel that would serve as the key technical resource for the reserve. The mid-term evaluation sees no issue with procurement of this vessel using project resources, as long as all appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the maintenance and ongoing operational costs of the vessel. The mid-term evaluation recommends that procurement of the vessel should proceed once a detailed plan has been written and agreed by the reserve regarding all specific points about the ongoing maintenance and operation of the vessel, including where expected fuel costs will come from over time.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

Following the recommendation, detailed plan regarding maintenance and operation of the vessel has been elaborated by the Komandorsky Reserve.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The medium-term work plan to ensure the proper maintenance and estimate operational costs of marine vessel to be used for the needs of the Komandorsky Reserve has been elaborated and approved by MNRE. Project proceeds with the acquisition of the vessel.
[Added: 2013/09/11]
Commander Islands Zapovednik, project team 2013/12 Completed
9. Recommendation: There is a need to strengthen online presence and resources for Russian MCPA stakeholders. In particular, options for formation of the web-based platform supporting cooperation between marine research stations within MCPAs and scientific stakeholders should be explored. Such a resource may build a basis for broader partnership between MCPAs and marine biological stations and relevant academic institutes.
Management Response: [Added: 2013/09/11]

Following the recommendations of the mid-term evaluation, Project has strengthened its presence on the Internet: boosted the work on its Internet site (http://www.mpa-russia.ru) and opened a page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/groups/540354465985091/).

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The project has hired a PR specialist who deals with promotion of the project results, raising awareness on behalf of MCPA environmental education departments, and is actively engaged in enhancement of the project web site. In order to create a platform for discussion on MCPA related issues and communicate project results, the project has created a page on Facebook.
[Added: 2013/09/11]
Project team 2013/02 Completed

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