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Midterm Evaluation: Wetlands portfolio (6 projects)
Commissioning Unit: China
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 07/2017
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: China
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1

Strengthen and clean up the Results Framework based on the shortcomings and guidance given in Section 3.1.2 and Annex 5, with emphasis on making any changes to indicators or targets now for approval by PSC and UNDP RTA before end of 2016. Introduce new indicators to track (i) scaling up of management and business planning and (ii) socio-economic improvements to livelihoods to improve robustness of M&E.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

(i) Scaling up of management and business planning (Outcome 3): the target for the number of management plans and business plans (existing indicator) are both adjusted to 3, and agree to supply trainings to all model WPAs which will be added as a new indicator for Outcome 3. According to the major adjustment approved by PSC and UNDP RTA, the number of management plan was adjusted from 8 to 2, the number of business plan was adjusted from 4 to 2. According to the MTR’s suggestion, after reconsidering the relationship between management and business plan, PMO decided to adjust the target for both numbers to 3. Besides developing plans, PMO also organized trainings for 8 WPAs and other WPAs of Hubei, and also invited Xinjiang PMO to attend the training. Through the training, our project successfully promoted the initiation of management planning of Dajiuhu National Wetland Park (a Ramsar site located in Shennongjia). At the same time, Chenhu (one of the demo sites, a Ramsar site) also has the intention to develop management plans. Both these examples show the positive driven impact on the project. So for management plan the indicator will be revised as: Target WPAs with updated management plans designed to conserve ecosystem functions and globally significant species: 3, WPAs that commence management planning process: 3. Since the original business plan number is 4, and we adjusted to 3, we will just add new indicator to management plan but not business plan.

(ii) Socio-economic improvements to livelihoods (Outcome 2): at the end of project, at least 25% fishermen should be resettled on land, and housing, livelihood transformation and living security supplied to the fishermen. It is proposed to add this as a new indicator for Outcome 2. At the moment there are 1634 households amounting to 5762 fishermen living in Honghu. These fishermen have lived in the lake for generations and lived by fishing, most of them are illiterate and seldom received formal education. Therefore to resettle these fishermen on land, and provide livelihood security will be a major task of Honghu in coming periods.

(iii) The MTR noted the difficulty of measuring the objective-level indicator “Total hectares protected and benefitting from ecosystem-based management“, which is currently measured via WPA expansion and the upgrading of the status of existing WPAs. The MTR noted the overlap of this indicator with the measurement of EHI improvement at project sites. The measurement of this indicator will be re-interpreted in accordance with the findings of the MTR.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2

UNDP CO, with its overall responsibility for quality assurance, needs to ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place to validate results, particularly with a programme of this size involving one national and six regional/provincial projects. There is a case for recruiting an M&E specialist to oversee the application of tracking tools across the entire programme and validate the monitoring results to ensure consistency and integrity of the data.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

National PMO and UNDP will get new staff to attend to M&E issues over the whole programme, and the recruiting is underway. This is also welcomed by Hubei PMO since it may facilitate the Hubei’s M&E system.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3

UNDP CO should consider revisiting the structure of its quarterly and annual reporting systems because PMUs spend significant time reporting and yet the output is not as useful as it could or, indeed, should be. It should also be possible to nest quarterly reports within a framework that provides the foundation to an annual report by year end. Tracking planned against actual progress with activities can be done simply using a spread sheet, enabling implementation to be readily assessed.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

UNDP has already designed a more streamlined format for quarterly and annual reporting system from the 2nd quarter of 2016.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4

The planned budget of US$ 668,530 should be spent by end of 2016 to ensure that disbursement of the remaining US$ 1.031 million is readily achievable in the remaining two years.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

The total disbursement of 2016 is $603,818.06, with a delivery rate of 90.3%. By Dec 31st 2016, the total disbursement of Hubei project is $1,558,693.32, accounting for 58.7% of the total project funds. In the following two years, PMO will make full use of the remaining funds to ensure that the project can be rationally and fully spent by the end of the project to achieve the best project results.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5

Intra-basin planning and management in Honghu watershed should be based on the application of ecological protection red lining (EPRL) to improve spatial land use planning. This is a timely opportunity for the project to pilot EPRL, given that the Honghu Watershed Management Council provides the mechanism to undertake such work and that local governments are encouraged “… to explore and experiment boldly in light of their own local conditions” (Section 3, CPC Central Committee and the State Council‘s Integrated Reform Plan for Promoting Ecological Progress, September 2015).
Note: Recommendations concerning the provincial and intra-basin level mechanisms necessary to deliver these wetland strategies for the province and Honghu watershed are covered elsewhere.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

In the Wetland Conservation Strategy of Honghu Watershed, in the section of Action Plans, the Strategy has clearly proposed the ecological protection red lining of Honghu Watershed, and rigid management and control to this red line. The Strategy will be implemented through the Honghu Watershed Management Committee.

Meanwhile, the Hubei Provincial Wetland Conservation and Restoration Institution (the Hubei Provincial Wetland Protection Strategy), which is supported by the PMO, also put forward specific requirements for the ecological protection red line in Hubei Province. Therefore, the red line of ecological protection lining was included in provincial and basin-level policy planning.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6

Weaknesses identified in the 'model' management and business plans should be addressed in order to ensure that only best practice is replicated. This is particularly important given that Outputs 3.4 and 3.5 were reduced from 8 to 2 management plans and from 4 to 2 business plans, respectively.

This should be followed up by a training of trainers type of approach to support at least the remaining 6 project WPAs in developing their own management and business plans. The trainers would be the two WPAs than have benefited to date, with some external technical support and facilitation. This initiative would also be included in the revised Results Framework with its own indicator that monitors replication having commenced during the project period, demonstrating sustainability post-project.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

The same as Response 1, the number of management plans and business plans are both adjusted to the same 3 sites, and the project supplies trainings to all model WPAs. Besides developing plans, PMO also organized trainings to 8 WPAs and other WPAs of Hubei, and also invited Xinjiang PMO to attend the training. Through the training, our project successfully promoted the initiation of management planning of Dajiuhu National Wetland Park (a Ramsar site located in Shennongjia). At the same time, Chenhu (one of the demo sites, a Ramsar site) also has the intention to develop a management plan. These examples demonstrate the driven effect of the project. A new indicator was added to management plan, please see Recommendation 1.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7

Realistically, at least 3 months (66 days) of CTA support should be provided annually to the Hubei project. This would amount 1.5 fulltime CTA positions being resourced for the 5 regional/provincial projects under CBPF-MSL Wetland Programme. An alternative would be to provide additional support to the existing part-time CTA position by recruiting a full-time national Technical Advisor to work under their direction.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

Since the CTA Dr John Mackinnon is too overloaded to take care all 6 project sites, UNDP has already recruit a new CTA for supporting Hubei, Anhui and Xinjiang project to share John’s responsibility. Mr Xue Dayuan, Hubei’s new CTA, is the former chief biodiversity expert of Ministry of Environment Protection, and the professor of Minzu University of China. He has very rich experience in mainstreaming work, negotiate with other department. More assistance can be afforded by adding additional CTA.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8

Consolidate the PSC’s role in overseeing project implementation, clarify its relationships with other coordinating, consultative and advisory bodies set up by the project, and strengthen its representativeness while keeping its size to a manageable number of 15-18 members by:

  • reviewing its core membership of 14 persons (Annex 1c) and eliminating or, in the case of HFD, reducing replication of representatives from the same departments;
  • inviting HDWR, HLRD and HTD to join the Committee;
  • where possible and along the lines suggested elsewhere in this report, increasing representation by women to 25%; and
  • increasing the representation of project sites to at least 4 of the 8 target WPAs.
Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is partially supported.

The list of PSC members will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly. Increasing representatives from HDWR, HLRD, HTD and WPAs. We will try to increase the female percentage. But due to the sectoral functions and division of labour, people involved in wetland protection are mostly male, while nominating the candidates, each department need to consider whether these candidates can represent their sector, whether they can fulfil the work, so gender may be not the top priority for their consideration. Another strategy is to encourage departments to nominate females to be alternate or proxy members.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9

HPWCCG should be revamped as its role is more akin to that of a task force, which should meet regularly (perhaps 3 monthly intervals) to maintain the momentum and oversight of implementing the provincial Wetland Conservation Strategy:

  • change its name to HPWCWG - Hubei Provincial Wetlands Conservation Working Group;
  • limit membership to 10-12 members of which 25% should be women;
  • include a member of the People's Political Consultative Committee to ensure the Working Group has political clout; and
  • make provisions within the respective departmental sectors for their representatives to be consistently available for meetings at least every quarter and reporting to PSC every 6 months.

If the Working Group needs to be able to consult with stakeholders, then a forum could be established that is open to all interested parties. Thus, HPWCCG may need to be differentiated into two groups: a small Working Group and a much larger Forum that is consulted prior to proposed sector plans being lodged with the relevant provincial government department. (Note that sector plans may have their own consultation processes, in which case there is no need to have a Consultation Forum linked to this Working Group.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is partially supported.

Change the Hubei Provincial Wetland Conservation Consultative Group to Hubei Provincial Wetland Conservation Working Group/Coordinating Group, to give full play to the coordinating role of the group. Besides, the expert panel established by the project has done much excellent work, but is not fully qualified for the technical consulting work required for the project. So we will re-establish the expert panel, inviting well-known and influential experts. Review the project results/deliverables before submitting to government agencies, and provide technical advisory services to the Working Group/Coordination Group.

To include a member of the People's Political Consultative Committee to ensure the Working Group has political clout, this may be unnecessary. We already have a representative from Hubei Provincial People’s Government Office, which can guarantee the political clout of the group.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

 

Recommendation 10

The draft Communications Strategy should be implemented as a priority because it will help to underpin the key initiatives being undertaken at provincial, water basin and wetland levels. This will require a communications specialist to ensure that the strategy is effectively delivered.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

Due to the omission occurred during the work handover between former and current administrative assistant, relevant staff have been unaware of this strategy and its content. Thanks to MTR experts for reminding us of the strategy. The objective of this communication strategy is to increase the project visibility, raise the awareness of wetland protection of the relevant decision-makers, the public and the media in the aspects of awareness, education, training, information and promotion. PMO will translate the strategy soon and implement according to the practical situation of Hubei. At present we have some good candidates for communication officer. PMO will pay close attention to contact them and confirm the communication officer as soon as possible.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11

Institutionalize the Hubei Wetland Ecosystem Management Training Programme, ideally beginning in 2017 so that it can benefit from technical assistance well before the end of the project. HFD has indicated that it should be possible to secure a budget for this purpose.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

In order to ensure the sustainability of project, we intend to institutionalize an extensive training programme. Most of NRs and wetland parks are governed by HFD, so it would be easier to organize trainings by HFD. We will integrate the training resources, make the training plan, and include the training into the budget of HFD.

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation:

Recommendation 12

Linking up with other water basins along the Yangtze River to share and exchange data, information and experience via one or more platforms (web-based, mobile). Consider establishing the Hubei Chapter of a Yangtze River Basin Forum that meets annually to network, promote the ecological functioning and integrity of the Yangtze River Basin system and provides opportunities for professional development.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Response: This recommendation is supported.

This already exists. The Yangtze River Conservation Network, Hubei is already a member of this network. In order to promote the sustainable use of wetlands and the effective management of protected areas in the Yangtze River Basin, in reference to the successful experience of the wetland network in Hubei Province, the SFA, WWF, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai and other provinces in the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River have set up the Yangtze River Conservation Network in 2007. In 2010, the network expands to the entire Yangtze River Basin. The basin-level wetland ecosystem protection and management information sharing platform, will hold regular meetings and provide training annually, to link the wetlands across the basin, each provinces have a Network Office. Most Hubei’s wetland parks or nature reserves are members of the network.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation:

The PMO should be relocated to sit directly under the management authority of the Chizhou Municipal Forestry Bureau and needs to be in Chizhou City itself.  The authority of signature for activities should also be appropriately placed under the director or vice director of the Chizhou City Forestry Bureau.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05] [Last Updated: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: Anhui Forestry Department (AFD) had already informed Chizhou Municipal Forestry Bureau that the PMO would move to Chizhou City. The office had been prepared and facilities were purchased. The signature issue will be further discussed in 2017.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: New project management regulations need to be drafted and appropriate budget re-allocations made to reflect the new management authority and the re-focusing of activities as proposed in this MTR. They will need to be approved by the PSC and UNDP.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: 2.1) New project management regulation had been drafted and delivered to Anhui Wetland Conservation Center in September for review. The second version will be delivered in Q1 2017. 2.2) TYWP will be prepared.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: Two full-time technical officers need to be employed, one at provincial level under the AFB Wetlands Centre and the project coordinator, and one at Chizhou City under the PMO.  The former is expected to engage in delivering Outcome 1 and 2 and in particular supporting the government ‘ownership’, uptake and approval of the Shengjin Hu Basin Management Plan.  This officer should also be capable in providing technical oversight to the 15 or so sub-contractors and their plans and reports.

The latter is expected to engage in delivering tangible (visible) demonstrations for habitat restoration of wetland areas in and around Shengjin Hu. 

The PMO-based technical officer is also expected to act as the conduit between the sub-contractors’ Shengjin Hu Management Plan and the Shengjin Hu NNR authority in creating a viable plan for full funding submission with all project stakeholders in agreement. (Outcome 3).  

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: Recruitment advertisements had been posted.

The senior technical office was on board in Nov. 2016. The junior officer job position was posted the second time in Dec. and the position was changed to part-time as well. The interview will be held in Q1 2017.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: The Shengjin Hu Basin Management Plan and the Shengjin Hu Management Plan run from 2014 to 2018, but are not expected to gain planning approval until 2017.  The recommendation is that they are redrafted to run from 2017-2021 in order to provide a legacy and sustainable output from the project.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: Information had been forwarded. The timeframe had been changed and some contents had also been revised accordingly.

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: The Chizhou Shengjin Hu Basin Management Committee (CSBMC) was established in Chizhou City in May 2015.  With 18 different government agencies involved in the basin management, the task to achieve agreement to implement such a basin plan is very large.  Thus the project needs to allocate time and financial resources to this committee.  This should include funds for meetings, trainings, and a study tour if an appropriate site and agency to deliver this can be identified.  Again full ownership of this basin plan is important.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: PMO will try to have more connection with this committee.

Meetings, trainings, and study tour had already been arranged in 2016-2017 TYWP. More activities will be planned in TYWP.

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: The Chizhou basin committee need to endorse their basin plan and submit to both county government and then provincial government (various, or directly to provincial government and funding departments – ADRCs) to approve. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: The basin plan delivered the third version in Nov., which hasn’t been delivered to the committee. It was reviewed by new CTA, experts again and need more external experts to provide technical support.

Key Actions:

19. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7: The project document target of 80,000 ha of new WPAs to be designated by December 2018 is not achievable. It needs to be changed to ’By December 2018, 80,000 ha of WPA submitted for approval, of which 60,000 ha to be designated’.  Thus planning and submission of the remaining 48,000 ha within the project timeframe still needs to go ahead, even if higher level approval lags behind.  This is because higher level approval is now being determined by the Anhui Wetland Conservation Master Plan (2016-2030)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: The indicator will be changed in TYWP, next PIR from project side. It might be changed in PD with UNDP’s approval.

Key Actions:

20. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8: The designation of smaller local nature reserves or wetlands under county, district, even Administrative Village Committee management is a partial solution to the land conflicts.  This needs further promotion as it is already in line with provincial policy.  Areas less than 8 ha could be included if local WPA designation is accepted.  AFB need to take a lead in creating the conditions to make this happen.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05] [Last Updated: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: Suggestion accepted by Anhui Wetland Conservation Center and need further follow up.

Key Actions:

21. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: The Shengjin Hu wetland restoration demonstrations need to be clearly conceptualized, be bold, and be visibly implemented and should also be one of the key tasks of the PMO level technical officer.  They should include both technical and institutional (collaborative management) aspects.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: The restoration demonstration contracts were signed in June 2016, just right before the MTR and following that it encountered the flood. The demonstrations are in process now.

Technical officer might not be hired as the one with great experiences on wetland restoration demonstrations. We need experts who were really focus on this field to provide suggestion. More experts will be involved in

Key Actions:

22. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: The training skills and capacity of An Qing Forestry Bureau (AQFB) need to be better utilized.  This could be achieved through an external events contract and the hire of persons as individual experts

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: The following wetland training in Anhui will get them involve in.

Key Actions:

23. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11: There is a need for more emphasis in working directly with local government stakeholders, namely those who have an impact on wetlands.  This means working with government - water resource and environmental protection on specific issues.  A number of 10-15 key issues should be selected across the seven WPAs and quarterly meetings agreed with these government offices. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: Need to follow up and More activities will be planned and budget will be re-allocated in 2017.

Key Actions:

24. Recommendation:

Recommendation 12: Shibasuo Wetland PA Management Plan should include a detailed chapter on integrated wetland basin management, including a mechanism for collaborative institutional authority and management decision-making.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: Information had been forwarded and was accepted

Key Actions:

25. Recommendation:

Recommendation 13: The PMO should be represented on the Chizhou Shengjin Hu Basin Committee, at least as a temporary member or observer.  At present, the project is represented via the director of the Chizhou Forestry Bureau (CFB).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Management Response: The recommendation had been raised to Chizhou Forestry Bureau and was accepted.

Key Actions:

26. Recommendation:

Recommendation 14: Despite Shengjin Hu NNR being listed as a Ramsar site, it needs to adopt a more pro-active management approach for the benefit of biodiversity, in particular more submerged aquatic vegetation and a suitable water management regime aimed at seasonal variable water levels suitable for wetlands plants and animals/birds.  At present it appears largely managed for water storage and compartmentalized for fishing value.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Space

Key Actions:

27. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: Fine-tune the Results Framework, based on the shortcomings and guidance given in Section 3.1.2 and Annex 5, with emphasis on making any changes to indicators or targets now for approval by PSC and UNDP RTA before end of 2016. In particular:

?- Introduce a new indicator to track socio-economic improvements to livelihoods.

?- Review baselines and midterm results to check that targets are realistic.

?- Expand scope of ‘mangrove cover’ indicator to include ‘other associated wetland habitats’ in order to conserve mud flats important as stopovers for migratory birds.

?- Redefine other indicators and targets as specified in Annex 5.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Following the suggestion of the MTR, CTA and PMO will prepare a proposal for the modifications of the strategic results framework. Then, it will be circulated for peer review and approval by the PSC.

Key Actions:

28. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: UNDP CO, with its overall responsibility for quality assurance, needs to ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place to validate results from tracking tools and scorecards (e.g. METT, Capacity Assessment Scorecard), particularly with a programme of this size involving one national and six regional/provincial projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

When the PMO applied the tracking tools and scorecards during the MTR, there were quite some uncertainties on the content of the financial scorecard. The PMO suggests not only to validate results from the tools but also provide support when applying those tools. PMO suggested that for all regional/provincial projects to hire a national expert to be responsible for the evaluation validation and technical support during the TR. UNDP is in the position to make the decision.

Key Actions:

29. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: PSC should deliberate whether or not to proceed with Output 1.2 (Guidelines for managing and zoning coastal wetlands), advised by CTA, National Project, UNDP (Implementing Agency) and taking into account the following points: 

    - Guidelines will provide an opportunity to amplify application of new regulations and to introduce best international practice from Ramsar and elsewhere.

    - The participatory process that would accompany preparation of guidelines, as specified in ProDoc, will raise awareness about wetlands and build understanding and ownership of the guidelines, as a result of introducing local best practice and experience.

    - It was planned in ProDoc that the guidelines would contribute to national guidelines under the National Project and to the model management plans of the Hainan project (Output 2.4).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

This point were raised to PSC in Dec. 2016. PMO is to draft detailed recommendations on strengthening the Wetland Conservation Regulation. PSC is to be more involved in the process of drafting the Wetland Conservation Regulation and provide expertise on technical issues. In addition to that, the PMO is to support the development of a comprehensive coastal wetland management guide.

Key Actions:

30. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: PMO’s proposals to pursue the following activities are fully supported by MTR team:

    - A comprehensive monitoring plan for several demonstration PAs, which will inform the preparation of a wetland biodiversity and environmental monitoring manual.

    - Preparation of guidelines on mangrove restoration, supported by training workshops.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

 

PMO already started to develop a comprehensive monitoring plan for 3 demonstration PAs and the guidelines on mangrove restoration. Activity will be continued in 2017

Key Actions:

31. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: Strengthen collaboration with tourism sector and proactively agree to set up some model demonstrations. (Note: Tourism sector needs to be represented on PSC.)

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Tourism Dept. will be invited to join PSC. But no guarantee they will agree to join. Regarding model demonstration, PMO already started to demonstrate a community-based eco-tourism model in a selected PA  and activity will be continued in 2017.

Key Actions:

32. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: Prepare a Communications Strategy as a matter of priority, not only to meet stakeholder interests but also to provide clear direction on where to invest human and media resources in order to maximize impacts through:

(i) raising awareness about Hainan’s mangroves and other wetlands, their importance for global biodiversity, and servicing the needs of the province from storm surges and tidal flooding, for example, and meeting its needs for food and water security;

(ii) sharing knowledge about how to conserve and sustainably manage these wetlands and their management; and

(iii) enabling those organisations, communities and individuals with a common interest in wetlands to network.

The draft Communications Strategy should shape a communications programme that prioritizes what and how communications should be delivered over the remaining project period.

Note: Project might also benefit from having a UN Volunteer or similar to assist Communication, Education and Awareness Specialist, who is only part-time.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Expert team will develop a 'strategy' on basis of agreed communications plan and KAP. Plan itself may need updating. PMO feel that this is mostly covered already and wish to focus most energy on implementation.

Key Actions:

33. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7: Planned budget of US$ 807,231 should be spent by end of 2016 to ensure that disbursement of the remaining US$ 1 million is readily achievable by June 2018.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO will endeavour to speed up delivery by initiation some new contracts in Q1 2017. We will spend the money in less haste but more efficiently and try to catch up in Q1 of 2017.

Key Actions:

34. Recommendation:

Recommendation8: Potential impact of the project would be much greater if it included a new dimension: to work with government to introduce (or enforce, if already introduced) the ‘polluter pays’ principle to Hainan’s aquaculture industry and, at the same time, to work with the industry to show how to ‘improve’ such farming and make it environmentally sustainable. If this is not possible, then certainly it should become a priority follow-up initiative alongside the project.

At the same time, introduce more focus on safeguarding upstream river basins and the immediate proximity of mangroves from aquaculture and infrastructural access and facilities, in order to restore, maintain or enhance ecological functions and ecosystems services.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Agreed but difficult to implement. PMO will discuss with HEEPD and HMFD to find possibilities to monitor some fish farming individuals and enterprises. Further actions to be decided after the meeting.

Key Actions:

35. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: These three interlinked strategies and plans, Master Plan for Hainan PA System (awaiting approval), Provincial Wetland PAs Strategy, Action Plan & Climate Resilience Plan (drafted) and Financing Plan for Hainan PA System (drafted), need to be coherently linked with each other, approved or endorsed at an appropriately high level within provincial government and then, in the case of the Wetland PAs Strategy, mainstreamed across other sectors by a suitable coordinating body using an appropriate “multiple planning integration” modality as advocated by Provincial Government. 

This portfolio can be simplified into two documents: Hainan Wetlands Strategy and Action Plan, with climate resilience as a cross-cutting theme; and the Master Plan for Hainan’s PAs System, which can include the Financing Plan for Hainan’s PA System as the latter covers all terrestrial PAs. The findings of the Financing Plan in respect of wetland PAs can also feed into the Hainan Wetlands Strategy and Action Plan.

An alternative option is to combine all three documents into a single, three-volume report.

All of these strategies and plans need to be completed and approved/ endorsed in 2016, to allow at least 1.5 years to put these mechanisms in place for their implementation.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

There are several issues such as new decision not to approve plans at sectoral levels. PMO will draft a proposal on what to do and deliver to PSC for approval.

Key Actions:

36. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: Senior international (fluent in Chinese) or national expertise, with experience of institutional development in the environmental sector and familiarity in applying competency standards, should be procured on an intermittent basis to mastermind and oversee delivery of Outputs 1.3 and 2.2 over at least an 18 month period. Work with the PA agencies (Output 1.3) should begin within 6 months of the Yinggeling pilot having started. Once Yinggeling has completed the competency standards these can be applied to other wetland PAs.

A modular training programme should also be designed to enable PA site and provincial PA agency staff to develop priority competencies. (Some competencies will require recruitment but most of the competencies can probably be acquired through short 1-5 day training courses/workshops.)

Note: Project should also refer to Global Register of Competences for Protected Area Practitioners, 2016, launched by IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas to promote management professionalism.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Approved in principle but such expertise may not be easy to locate. Competency standards continue to be revised and finalised. A start has been made to hire a Beijing human resources company to undertake this work.

Key Actions:

37. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11: Transform the Mangrove Research Working Group into a Mangrove Technical Advisory Group, which could take some ownership of the proposed guidelines on mangrove restoration and also input its expertise to PSC, MWPAN and HFD, providing it with a role potentially beyond the life of the project (see Section 3.2.1).

Potential future vision: Given Hainan’s national importance for mangroves, the province may wish to envisage itself as becoming a regional research and training centre for mangroves. The enhanced capacity within PAs and agencies, training modules, wealth of literature supported by web-based platform and MWPAN augur well for such a venture post-project. This Mangrove Technical Advisory Group could well champion such an initiative.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO have already strengthened the research working group and created a "Hainan Wetland Conservation Consultation Expert Group". Budgets are released to cover basic operations of this team. PMO will add activity to 2017 workplan to set up an information and news sharing platform on a website for use by network membership and related experts. Item agenda for PSC will include seeking advice on how to formalize network and website beyond end of project. HFD would need to consider permanent support for such activities.

Key Actions:

38. Recommendation:

Recommendation 12: Realistically, at least 3 months (66 days) of CTA support should be provided annually to the project. This would amount to 1.5 fulltime CTA positions being resourced for the 5 regional/provincial projects under CBPF-MSL Wetland Programme. An alternative would be to provide additional support to the existing part-time CTA position by recruiting a full-time national Technical Advisor to work under the direction of the CTA.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PD limitations probably mean CTA only available for 50 days per year. International CTA has reduced number of projects supervised from 6 to 3 which gives him more time to spend on this project but any further shortfall in expert advice must be covered by other contracted consultancies.

Key Actions:

39. Recommendation:

Recommendation 13: The following changes to PSC should be considered:

    - meetings be held at least twice annually and attended only by PSC members, unless it is necessary to coopt additional expertise for a specific agenda item;

    - total membership should not exceed 20;

    - reduce HFD members from 5 to 3 and HDF from 2 to 1 member;

    - invite HDRC, Tourism Commission and HAD to join PSC;

    - maintain MWPAN membership at 6-7, each representing a different PA; at least 2 members should be female; 2 members should be PA directors and the other 4-5 should reflect a range of expertise;

    - If PSC needs a consultation mechanism, then a separate Stakeholder Forum should be established for such purposes.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Some revision can be agreed. This recommendation has been discussed by PSC. At least twice meetings a year will not be possible. But others were generally agreed. Tourism will be invited to join as per recommendation 5 above. Effort to secure female members will be made but no guarantee it can be achieved.

Key Actions:

40. Recommendation:

Recommendation14: UNDP CO should consider revisiting the structure of its quarterly and annual reporting systems because PMUs spend significant time reporting and yet the output is not as useful as it could or, indeed, should be. In so doing, it should also be possible to nest quarterly reports within a framework that provides the foundation to an annual report by year end. Tracking planned against actual progress with activities can be done simply on a spread sheet, enabling implementation to be readily assessed.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

Agreed. UNDP already designed a more streamlined format for quarterly reporting.

Key Actions:

41. Recommendation:

Recommendation 15: Use of the term alternative livelihoods should be used more cautiously or, at least, with more clarity about its reality within the local context. For example, bee-keeping and crab-raising are additional forms of more sustainable income generation that contribute to the diversity of sustainable livelihood options within their respective communities. However, they are not a realistic alternative for current unsustainable aquaculture approaches to shrimp and fish farming that are highly lucrative, partly or largely because such farms do not pay for the cost of their damage to the environment.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO will search for 'alternative' livelihoods than can really reduce the pressure of unsustainable aquaculture. Probably much can be done with aquaculture itself to make it far more sustainable and less environmentally damaging.

Key Actions:

42. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: The corrective action taken in March 2016 to replace the PMO manager needs to be followed up.  The PMO should be placed directly under the line management of the AMFB with the director or deputy director of AMFB having signatory control of activity approval.  The PMO office should sit within AMFB.  New project management regulations need to be drafted, and reviewed by PSC before UNDP approval.  It is expected that under the AMFB line control, the focus on Outcome 1 and 2 will be enhanced. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

According to the document [2016, No. 904] of Xinjiang Forestry Department on Nov 18, 2016, with the topic as ‘Announcement of Re-establishing Altai PMO for UNDP-GEF China Wetland PA System Programme. It is decided to set up Altai PMO in Altai Mountains Forestry Bureau, under the line management of AMFB and Altai Forestry Bureau headed by the Secretary General of CPC of AMFB, Mr. Aimaitibieke·Yimash as the signatory control of activity approval.

The PMO will be reallocated accordingly, which become the linkage between Provincial Forestry Department and Liangheyuan NR, whith supervision role for pilots in the NR.

Key Actions:

43. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: The PMO operational budget needs to be quadrupled and the PIO also needs an operational budget equal to about a quarter of the PMO level.  The budget for PMO operational activities was inadequate to begin with (e.g. due to the extensive PA coverage of the project), added to which costs have risen twofold since the project design,  especially for travel, hotel and sustenance. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

After a discussion and consultation on operational budget, PMO reached an agreement with UNDP,NPD and XFD and this issue and solution will be reflected in TYWP/AWP and QPR within 5% limitation ceiling of management cost.

Key Actions:

44. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: New project finance regulations need to be drafted to accommodate the costs of implementing local activities.  The regulations need to include a ‘no-receipt’ invoice claim form for activities where official receipting is not possible. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO is drafting the new financial regulations and internal management regulations for project management with the standards of ‘no-receipt’ expenditures by consultation with provincial finance department, and the new regulations will be implemented after approval of NPD and PSC.

Key Actions:

45. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: The building of an institutional coordination mechanism for AMWL is important for the success of the project. The Altai Leading Group (ALG) has recently become active and begun discussing an AMWL Sustainable Development Plan.  This is a very positive move.  In order to ensure sustainability, the Altai Government needs to support the ALG together with its Altai Ecological Conservation Committee (AECC) as a cross-sector collaborative working group.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO is urging sub-contractor of Shanxi Normal University to speed up and submit the first draft of Landscape Plan on 20th December. After the submission, the draft plan will be consulted by the relevant sectors and then incorporated into the sectors’ (such as Altai DRC, Land Resource bureau, Water Resource, Forestry bureau, Animal Husbandry, Tourism) 13th FYP for implementation. The ALG will also paly active roles for mainstreaming efforts.

Key Actions:

46. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: The Forest station guards at Sandaohaizi need clear instruction on engagement with the Kazakh shepherds and need to work much more closely with the Animal Husbandry bureau to better understand the number of shepherding families and numbers of livestock in each of the three alpine pasture areas.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

 

PMO has coordinated with Altai Animal Husbandry, Sandaohaizi Station and Animal Husbandry of Qinghe County, and a joint coordination with local herders for monitoring of the numbers of shepherding families and livestock is underway for consideration.

Key Actions:

47. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: Strengthened collaborative management (co-management) between the Liangheyuan NR and interested Kazakh shepherds’ groups needs to be established.  The objective would be ‘sustainable biodiversity conservation of Sandaohaizi with Kazakh-supported management and control of livestock’.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

According to this recommendation PMO is carrying out community co-management with local herds around Liangheyuan NR, especially the community co-management taken in Sandaohaizi to control livestock numbers already got the support from Animal Husbandry Bureau of Qinghe County.

Key Actions:

48. Recommendation:

 

Recommendation 7: The target 20% reduction in livestock numbers is insufficient in order to protect wetland biodiversity.  It is recommended that the target for the central valley is increased to 30% reduction and that of the furthest pasture valley increased to 50% reduction.  This will allow a level of comparison in differing protection regimes.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

To change the indicator of livestock reduction from 20% to 30% or 50% is a challenging target for the project’s implementation. Actually, PMO has reached a consensus with Altai Animal Husbandry Bureau: i.e. keeping livestock in captivity in winter, and trying best to reduce livestock number near PAs. So after analyzing the possibility and discussion inside, PMO suggests that it is better to keep the original target and indicators.

Key Actions:

49. Recommendation:

Recommendation 8: The PMO needs to commission further vegetation surveys within Sandaohaizi, and continue to build on monitoring data so that the project and forestry authorities can demonstrate measurable impacts of ‘sheep grazing numbers against upland peat-meadow health’.  Without such evidence, the XFD and AMFB will remain weak in its arguments to conserve important wetland biodiversity.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO has carried out quarterly monitoring of plants in another part of Liangheyuan NR, and to follow-up this recommendation PMO is planning to carry out vegetation investigation in Sandaohaizi in 2017, and the investigation plan is under drafting.

Key Actions:

50. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: The findings and recommendations of consultant / sub-contract reports need to be distilled as a matter of priority.  If they are not distilled soon, they are likely to be too late to have any relevance or bearing on this project.  Under performing contracts need to be cancelled.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO realized time pressure already requested project consultants/sub-contractors to submit technical reports and provide suggestions on priority activities on 20th December 2016. Then PMO will coordinate with relative sectors to consider these suggestions. If not then cancel contracts and recruit project consultants.

With the new CTA is place, and after the TPR organized on Nov. 22, 2016, PMO worked out how to deal with the sub-contracts with guidance from new CTA, the plan for cancelling the sub-contracts and recruit new sub-contractors has been approved by UNDP and TPR, PMO will speed up recruitment accordingly.

Key Actions:

51. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: The Liangheyuan NR mining restoration efforts (physical and bio-engineering) should be captured and promoted through a short technical brochure, so that the opportunity to replicate such efforts in another AMWL PA and / or adjacent or nearby mining areas to Liangheyuan NR can be enhanced.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

 

PMO is urging Liangheyuan NR and the land restoration consultants to speed up their work and submit timely technical plan for restoration of old mining area. Based on their reports, PMO will select some available schemes for demonstration and popularization with a short technical brochure by summarizing experiences

Key Actions:

52. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11: In 2015, remote-sensed images from five decades in Altai were analysed.  The consultant needs to produce a graphical time sequence of the five-decade imagery, allied to a known threat analysis with the Liangheyuan NR staff and AMFB for the AMWL.  This should be presented in two workshops with the results feeding into the XFD PA expansion plans.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

 

PMO already requested project consultant Mr. Ye Xinping to provide remote-sensed images and relevant data, these outcomes can feed into the PA expansion plans of XFD and AFB.

Key Actions:

53. Recommendation:

Recommendation 12: On a trans-frontier conservation level, cross-border cooperation needs to be initiated on a XUAR government level.  On a nature reserve level, cross-border cooperation with Mongolia has started, but, this needs to be strengthened. The cross-border actions need a higher level of government involvement, such as via a diplomat / ‘government officer of China’.  This activity needs to be added as a new Output to Outcome 1 (protection of ecosystems though PA planning).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

The project made progress on cross-border cooperation at PA site level, on the basis of this PMO plan to carry out cooperation work with Mongolia Altai-Sayan Province, Kazakhstan, Russia in 2017, and to take establishing wildlife corridors as a main task by the coordination of  government at high level.

Key Actions:

54. Recommendation:

Recommendation 13: The AMFB and the XFD should engage with the Cultural Heritage Department and the Xinjiang government directly in discussing the damage that tourism is already bringing to Sandaohaizi. 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

PMO is planing to recruit the consultants from Xinjiang Word Heritage Committee to develop Altai eco-tourism plan in which control of tourist number in Sandaohaizi is a key part.

Key Actions:

55. Recommendation:

Recommendation 14: In the lowlands (and possibly midland staging pasture areas) the traditional winter grazing lands are being eroded by land allocation for infrastructure and new re-settlements for the migrant influx of Han Chinese families.  This is creating a greater pressure on Kazakh shepherds to pasture their livestock longer in Sandaohaizi.  XUAR government funds from past mining revenues should allow for not only re-settlement of Kazakh herders in new accommodation with courtyard wintering pens for their sheep, goats, horses and camels, but also the allocation of wintering pasture lands.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

There may have some misunderstanding on the issue of migrant of Han Chinese families in the MTR report, actually, no any Han Chinese settlement in Sandaohaizi area. Furtherly, in the drafting management plan of Liangheyuan NR, the infrastructure contruction in Sandaohaizi is limited or prohibited. Currently, In addition, Altai Administrative Office is planning to keep one million livestock heads per year, and the national government has already allocated funds annually for constriction of sheepfold.

Key Actions:

56. Recommendation:

Recommendation 15: Road access for tourist vehicles across the meadows needs to be prohibited.  Further, truck access for shepherds’ yurts should be restricted to allow delivery at the start of the season and pick-up at the end with limited movement in between.  Parking designated areas may need to be developed higher up the valleys on the existing road areas and outside the reserve.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/07/05]

The NR’s management plan will deal with vehicle control in Sandaohaizi area, and the parking area will be designed outside of eco-function zones. PMO will request Liangheyuan NR Management Bureau to take controlling vehicle in Sandaohaizi as their responsibility, and this part of work will be included into the project’s annual assessment.

Key Actions:

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