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Terminal Evaluation - Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Headwaters of the Huaihe River Basin
Commissioning Unit: China
Evaluation Plan: 2011-2015
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 04/2014
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: China
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation: 1. Identify and support a mainstreaming ?champion? Based upon lessons learned on other GEF projects and within the broader international development community, mainstreaming requires time, possibly even decades before biodiversity conservation is truly integrated into economic productive sectors and verifiable impacts are achieved. This project was successful in laying a foundation framework for biodiversity mainstreaming in the upper HHRB, but concerted and cooperative efforts will be required to ensure that the process continues toward attainment of the intended results. The TE team recommends that a mainstreaming ?champion? be identified and tasked with facilitating the process moving forward; such a champion could be an agency, but in that case, individual roles should be clearly mandated. As part of the next 5-year plan, the Municipality should indicate such a champion as part of a sustainability strategy for continuing with the biodiversity mainstreaming efforts.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: XMG has confirmed that the HHRB HCLG will maintain in the future, as a result, HCLG office will be established to coordinate all the relevant stakeholders. A future personnel adjustment will be made to identify the roles and push the sustainability forward according.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: 2. Support a national technical advisory role for minimum 5 years The national technical ad visor was the strategic core of the project during the critical second half of the implementation phase. Although capacities of the municipal and local government team members have been considerably strengthened over the course of the project, their ability to strategically direct the biodiversity mainstreaming process after closure of the GEF funding is limited, and local biodiversity experts do not have the connections with national stakeholders that the NTA has, which is highly advantageous in terms of sharing and disseminating knowledge throughout other KEFZs in China. The TE team recommends that the Xinyang Municipality supports a part-time national technical advisory role for a minimum 5 years, to guide the local mainstreaming efforts and to keep an active interface with MEP officials and other national level stakeholders.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Excellent recommendation! XMG are considering the employment way whether it will be regular or long-term engaged. Also XMG are going to ask the advice from the CTA. Anyway we tended to employ him to be a long-term technical advisor.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3.Agree upon the priority conservation zone for monitoring and evaluating the biodiversity mainstreaming efforts The priority conservation zone where mainstreaming is being implemented should be clearly defined. One option is to define the eco-corridor as the priority conservation zone, as a proxy for a KEFZ, as envisioned in the restructured project following the mid-term review. Or, consistent with the national delineation of KEFZs, which currently include Shangcheng and Xinxian Counties, these two counties would be considered the priority conservation zone, and this KEFZ would be incrementally expanded if other counties are integrated into the KEFZ at a later stage.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Agree with this advice. We are considering defining the eco-corridors as the priority conservation zones, as a proxy for a KEFZ. And the monitoring system will continue to cover that area. XMG has decided to provide the financial support.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: 4.Prepare a KEFZ management strategy, incorporating the lessons learned on the Project A detailed management strategy for the KEFZ is lacking and should be developed in the near-term, so that mainstreaming efforts can be more tactfully implemented. The management objectives of the KEFZ should be formulated, conservation and ecological function targets outlined, roles and responsibilities defined, including for monitoring and evaluation. The management strategy should be prepared consistently with the land use plans, e.g., for the eco-corridor and/or for the two KEFZ counties, Shangcheng and Xinxian.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Agreed. Xinyang municipal KEFZ have been listed as a national construction pilot site, while the KEFZ Pilot Site Construction Scheme of Xinyang municipality is under formulation. Under this circumstance, a comprehensive classification of the management in KEFZ is under preparation. On the basis of implementation of the project, a KEFZ management strategy including management content, monitoring and evaluation system, as well as adjustment strategy which were in line with the municipal 12th five year plan will finally come up in the near future. Meanwhile, all these indicators are going to be take into the Xinyang Municipal 13th Five Year Socio-economic Development Plan to form a complete and clear management strategy.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: 5.Adjust the monitoring system in response to the KEFZ management strategy The monitoring system for the KEFZ should be adjusted based upon the framework set out in the management strategy. The monitoring system should include management response and corrective/preventative action planning, and also tracking of the implementation results of the biodiversity conservation guidelines and incentive mechanisms that were developed during the project and any others formulated afterwards. The monitoring system should also be extended to include relevant socio-economic variables. Tracking should also extend to the demonstration activities, including replication and scaling up of relevant biodiversity conservation friendly interventions.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Totally agreed. XMG has planned to classify the management existing in the municipal administration area. On the basis, the HHRB HCLG will organize relevant department of environmental protection, forestry, and agriculture to be responsible for the improvement of the monitoring system, to be more specific, more monitoring content of economic profit and loss evaluation, e.g. biodiversity friendly production mode, demonstration promotion activities will add into it. Moreover, management response and corrective/preventative action planning will also involved. Thus management response will divided into different functional departments of environmental protection, forestry and agriculture accordingly.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: 6.Incorporate a socio-economic assessment process into activities linking poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation Poverty alleviation is a very complex topic, and extends far beyond providing alternative livelihood opportunities, e.g., through sustainable use of natural resources. Evaluating the impacts to human well-being as a result of biodiversity conservation programmes is difficult to assess, largely because monitoring systems are typically weak and not coordinated among relevant sectors. The TE team recommends incorporating a socio-economic assessment process into the poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation linkages promoted through the guidelines developed during the project. For example, baseline conditions might be reconstructed when interviewing communities as part of the ecological immigration programme, and livelihood assessments made before and after implementation of such activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Agreed. Based on the recommendation, a comprehensive assessment system on statistic of ecological immigration programme will be proposed accordingly by the HHRB HCLG which will mainly focus on comparison of relationship between economic variables and biodiversity abundance, and how to set up the report procedure to make the evaluation results well acquired. Besides, a corrective/preventative system is established under the municipal government to effect in poverty alleviation department to manage and evaluate the efficient of the poverty alleviation investment ensuring that the evaluation carried with adaptive adjustment annually was in line with the KEFZ strategy.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: 7.Define roles and responsibilities for supervision and management of the KEFZ One of the main, inherent features of biodiversity mainstreaming is broad stakeholder participation, and this often requires clear definitions of roles and responsibilities, e.g., for supervision and management of the KEFZ. The TE team recommends that supervision and management responsibilities of the KEFZ be defined, and the mainstreaming ?champion? tasked with facilitating inter-sectoral collaboration and reporting.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Good advice. According to the KEFZ management objectives, XMG will make the arrangements of the roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder in the later stage after the closure of the project. And the HCLG will take the coordination work in the future.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: 8.Engage the agencies responsible for protected areas into the management of the KEFZ It is important to realize that the intended positive impacts of biodiversity mainstreaming will not only be in those areas outside of existing protected areas. The ecological functions and ecosystem services within the protected areas will play an integral part of the mainstreaming efforts, and it is important to sufficiently engage the agencies responsible for management of the protected areas into the process. One possible strategy would be to mandate the agencies responsible for protected areas to supervise and manage the eco-corridor. These agencies have the knowledge and skills to carry out such management, albeit, their resources might need to be increased to effectively cover the expansive corridor.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: XMG will seriously consider this advice. Due to the institutional adjustments can not be made in a short term, managements of KEFZ will still be under the local government.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: 9.Operationalize the compensatory and incentive mechanisms into the municipal and local government budgets The TE team recommends that the compensatory and incentive mechanisms developed during the project be operationalized into the municipal and local government budgets. This way, the biodiversity conservation focused programmes could more easily be differentiated from the other, existing compensation and incentive schemes.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: XMG will seriously consider it. The budget classification system in China is defined by MOF, cannot be adjusted by municipal government. But municipal government will arrange those critical departments including finance, agriculture, forestry to come up with methods of taking compensation and mechanism into municipal or local budget. In that case, the statistic departments would taking those index separately and managed by municipal finance department as a whole.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: 10.Investigate opportunities for co-management of the KEFZ Communities within buffer areas around provincial and national nature reserves in the Xinyang Municipality are act ively participating in the management of the protected areas, through various benefit sharing schemes, enforcement support services, etc. Similarly, communities and the private sector might possibly provide complementary support to the supervision and management of the KEFZ, which might turn out to be more cost efficient and also a way to maintain a high level of awareness among some of the key beneficiaries.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Highly agreed. We will actively conduct those investigation activities to capture more co-management opportunities for KEFZs. In addition, KEFZ management experience promotion workshop -Luoshan egret community management experience promotion is going to organize in early Aug.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: 11.Consider expanding the KEFZ to the adjoining Tongbai Mountain area The Tongbai Mountain KEFZ is located close to Dabie Mountain KEFZ (Xinxian and Shangcheng Counties), and it seems reasonable to consider jointly managing these two areas, not only for improved efficiency reasons, but also to facilitate cross-municipality collaboration, focusing more on landscape scales rather than administrative boundaries.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Agreed with this advice. ?Strategy and Action Plan of Biodiversity Conservation in Henan Province? has been formulated, and under approval. It has incorporated Xinyang Municipality Dabie Mountain and Tongbai Mountain as a whole area for management.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation: 12.Use an environmental flows assessment within the upper HHRB to support the KEFZ management strategy Considering that water retention is the key ecological function within the upper HHRB KEFZ, it might be advisable to use an environmental flows assessment to support the KEFZ management strategy. Environmental flows assessments take into account flow regimes, water quality, energy cycles, biotic interactions, and ecological habitats in estimating conditions that are both conducive to biological and social systems.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Agreed. Xinyang Municipality Eco-environmental Function Zoning was under formulation. All these indicators will be incorporate into it, and support the management of KEFZ.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation: 13.Explore the linkage/synergies with cross-cutting national program mes Based upon interviews with municipality and local government sectoral officials, the national Soil and Water Retention program me run by the Department of Forestry seems to have direct synergies with the mainstreaming efforts sponsored by the project, as the key ecological function in the upper HHRB is water retention. These synergies should be further explored, and viable linkages be capitalized on. Similarly, there could be complementary synergies with the disaster risk reduction program me running in the country.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: Agreed. We will explore the linkage/synergies with cross-cutting national program me through CBPF forum.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation: 14.Risk management should be more inclusive among key stakeholders Responsibility for management of project risks should be spread among key stakeholders, with agreed upon mitigation and reporting procedures. The steering committee should take a more active role in risk management, and mechanisms put in place that ensure follow up on decisions made during committee meetings.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: All these advice will be shared through the CBPF Forum to provide precedents to all the stakeholders for reference.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation: 15. Work programming should be more extensive and be linked to the logical results framework Projects should be programmed across the entire implementation time frame, not only year-to-year, and preferably using the critical path methodology. In this way, progress and delays can be clearly communicated to implementing agency and implementing partner managers and to the project steering committee members. This is particularly useful for projects having mutually supportive outcomes or outputs. And, adjustments to work activities can be more easily implemented, to ensure that sufficient progress is made toward performance targets, including deadlines. Under a critical path modality, it would also be easier to introduce payment based upon achievement of milestones, rather than on an advanced payment approach. Work programming should also be linked to the targets in the logical results framework; clearly indicating when such targets are expected to be realized and providing a decision-support tool for adjusting project resources accordingly.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/11/24]

PMO: We consider using critical path methodology within the implementation time frame. Meanwhile, all these advice will be shared through the CBPF Forum to provide precedents to all the stakeholders for reference.

Key Actions:

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