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Terminal Evaluation of the project ?Establishing integrated models for protected areas and their co-management in Afghanistan"
Commissioning Unit: Afghanistan
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 10/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Afghanistan
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

UNDP to communicate advice to national and local stakeholders to conduct the following recommendations.

1.1 Adopt pending legislation and protected areas management plans

1.2 Declare the Bamyan Plateau a protected area 

1.3 Fully implement outstanding WCS recommendations for BANP management after 2018 

1.4 Address status of women rangers and female business opportunities in BANP 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/11/19]

UNDP acknowledges the need to finalize below recommendations. However, UNDP doesn’t control any implementation of following recommendations. UNDP will, however, communicate to the responsible parties for implementation of below recommendations

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. UNDP will communicate this regularly to the government (MAIL) for implementation and to adopt pending legislation and protected areas management plans.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP in partnership with WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
1.2. UNDP will communicate this regularly to the government (MAIL) for declaring the Bamyan Plateau as a protected area.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP in partnership with WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. The Bamyan Plateau has been declared as protected area already History
1.3. UNDP will communicate this regularly to the government (MAIL) for fully implementing outstanding WCS recommendations for BANP management after 2018
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP in partnership with WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate this regularly to the government (MAIL) for addressing status of women rangers and female business opportunities in BANP
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP in partnership with WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP to communicate advice to national and local stakeholders and WCS to facilitate action within the limits of available resources within continuing projects in target regions

2.1 Continue minimal monitoring of the sustainability of project’s community interventions and follow-up on the ground in EIMPA target regions  

2.2 Establish a functional PAC in Wakhan National Park 

2.3 Revisit procedures and practices at PACs and improve quality of community participation

2.4 Further improve gender balance at PACs 

2.5 Extend systematic environmental training to teachers and younger-grades’ students

2.6 Extend the ‘junior ranger’ programme from Wakhan to Bamyan 

2.7 Focus on the awareness of environmental costs vs. benefits among local communities 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/11/19]

UNDP agrees with the recommendations. WCS can only contribute to the implementation of the recommendation in areas that they have funding. The government will be working on implementing the recommendations in all areas where possible. UNDP will regularly communicate the recommendations to government and stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to continue minimal monitoring of the sustainability of the project’s community interventions and follow-up on the ground in EIMPA target regions
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to establish a functional PAC in Wakhan National Park.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to revisit procedures and practices at PACs and improve the quality of community participation.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will advsie the government to further, improve gender balance at PACs.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIIL) to extend systematic environmental training to teachers and younger-grades’ students.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will advsie the MAIL on the extension of the ‘junior ranger’ programme from Wakhan to Bamyan.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will advise MAIL to focus on the awareness of environmental costs vs. benefits among local communities.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP to communicate advice to national and local stakeholders and UNDP and WCS to facilitate action within the limits of available resources within continuing projects in target regions

3.1 Fund-raise for follow-up implementation in BANP and for the establishment and management of the new protected area in the Bamyan Plateau

3.2 Professionalise MAIL ranger system (put rangers and professional ranger supervisors on the tashkil) and consider continued international support to it

3.3 Strengthen engagement with police for nature conservation

3.4 Ensure financial transparency and compliance of community councils and their leadership

3.5 Ensure full archiving of EIMPA project documentation with NEPA as GEF FP in Afghanistan 

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/11/19]

UNDP agrees with the recommendations. WCS can only contribute to the implementation of the recommendation in areas that they have funding. The government will be working on implementing the recommendations in all areas where possible. UNDP will regularly communicate the recommendations to government and stakeholders.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will communicate with the government to Fund-raise for follow-up implementation in BANP and for the establishment and management of the new protected area in the Bamyan Plateau. UNDP and WCS can only follow in Wakhan as part of existing funding. WCS could support out of existing funds some landscape management in part of the new protected area in the Bamyan Plateau (pending 1.2)
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to professionalise MAIL ranger system (put rangers and professional ranger supervisors on the tashkil) and consider continued international support to it
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to strengthen engagement with police for nature conservation.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP and WCS 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to ensure financial transparency and compliance of community councils and their leadership.
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
UNDP will communicate with the government (MAIL) to ensure full archiving of EIMPA project documentation with NEPA as GEF FP in Afghanistan
[Added: 2019/10/30] [Last Updated: 2020/04/01]
UNDP 2020/03 Completed This was a communication recommendation which UNDP and WCS continues to do regularly. History
4. Recommendation:

4.4 Advice for longer-term consideration

These recommendations do not require immediate action and follow-up. Derived from lessons learnt from EIMPA and its evaluation, and once communicated to the Government and the donor community, they however can be useful for future conservation work in Afghanistan. Strategic-level advice for the Government, UNDP and the international donor community at large (table 4.3) is meant to inform future directions of conservation and livelihoods development in Afghanistan. 

Table 4.3 Strategic advice in the context of nature conservation in Afghanistan

Formalise NEPA-MAIL roles in conservation policy and management of protected areas

Facilitate NEPA’s unimpeded access to protected areas for the effective implementation of its conservation policy mandates such as monitoring, assessment and reporting

Clarify within the Government system the role of NEPA as GEF focal point Improve visibility / branding of the role of the Government in GEF (and other international) projects

Develop stronger capacities at MAIL for working on livelihoods and community-based management issues

Fully address in the conservation context issues such as land ownership, zoning and resettlements needs, business and investment models (e.g. public-private partnerships) for protected areas

Explore alternative sources of tourism revenues (e.g. international eco-tourism, trophy hunting in Wakhan)

Explore schemes for biodiversity valuation, incentives / income compensation for communities to address grievances due to conservation-related limitations on the use of natural resources Formalise the mechanism for returning tourism revenues to protected-area communities

Strengthen conservation-focussed partnerships with mainstream development organisations and hand-over to them community development issues within protected areas

Further explore synergies to advance the cause of conservation with the World Bank, UN, bilateral support programmes and through international climate-change commitments 

Specific advice based on lessons learnt from EIMPA and its evaluation (table 4.4), in our view, can be helpful for the design and implementation of other or similar projects in the conservation-development domain in future, in particular in Afghanistan but also beyond (for instance, in larger Central Asia).

Table 4.4 Specific advice for the design of other or similar projects

Fully integrate execution with NEPA and MAIL / their local offices (aim at unified task force solutions for specific activities), involve their staff in project and training, regularly exchange work plans Provide more flexibility in response to governmental partners Be very clear in managing community expectations, especially with ‘seed’ interventions (i.a. clearly explain that conservation projects do not run community institutions and development at large) Strengthen and sustain replication commitments of communities (corrals, greenhouses, afforestation) Strengthen technical advice to and follow-up with communities, leave behind written or graphical guidance materials for how to sustain and expand results (corrals, greenhouses, afforestation) Resolve contradictions between economic and socio-economic criteria for selection of sites / households for project interventions, and make them fully inclusive Put emphasis on directly consulting communities, including women, in advance of interventions Ensure the continuity of business conditions vs. one-off interventions supporting the development of specific businesses Increase the use of female staff and community members, better educated / trained community members, and local Government professionals in community relations and training Ensure international cross-fertilization of practices for lower-level / operational governmental staff (e.g., rangers) Further strengthen focus on women education (specific as well as general) and consider women-only approaches in awareness and livelihood activities to promote gender equity Promote proactive attitude of the staff of tourism centres, use graphical language on signboards. Consider increasing the use of TV and social media in awareness programmes.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/11/16] [Last Updated: 2020/11/19]

Key Actions:

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