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Mid-term Evaluation for Qinghai Protected Areas Project
Commissioning Unit: China
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 01/2016
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: China
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: The MTR team recommends the modifications to the strategic results framework, as outlined in the separate table below. The recommended changes are to the indicators and targets; the project objective and outcomes remain the same. These recommended modifications should be reviewed and approved by the project management team, the UNDP CO, the RTA, and finally by the Project Steering Committee (PSC). Upon approval by the PSC, the modified strategic results framework should be the official version used for the remainder of the implementation timeframe and for the terminal evaluation.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

By reviewing strategic results frameworkand indicators during the MTR of the project, PMO is aware of the issues of outcome and output indicators and targets. Following the recommendationsof the MTR, after discussion with Director of PMO and other PMO staff, CTA and Project Manager jointlyprepared an updated strategic results frameworkwith modifications ofsome indicators and targets suggested by MTR report. Then, it will be circulated forUNDP review and submitted to PSC for approvalduring PSC meeting in October 2015.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: The following actions are recommended to improve inter-linkages between project components and communication/coordination among national and international consultants:

2a:   Create a project website, primarily for internal purposes, and assign one of the PMO staff members responsible to update the site at least on a monthly basis. A working area should be established, where national and international consultants can provide concise information/feedback. Comments should be translated on a regular basis;

2b:   Deliverables produced by national and international consultants should include an executive summary that is translated from Chinese to English or English to Chinese. These deliverables, with translated executive summaries, should be uploaded to the project website within one month from finalization;

2c:   Opportunities for collaborating across project components should be discussed on a weekly basis in project management meetings, including the project manager and component managers.

2d:   Component managers should prepare annual monitoring and evaluation plans for their respective outcomes, using the strategic results framework as a guideline, but also developing interim performance indicators and targets to assist them in assessing the progress of work. Quarterly progress reports on the monitoring and evaluation plans should be prepared, translated to English, and uploaded to the project website.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

PMO was aware of the weakness of communications, in particular, communications between international and national consultants. Agreeing with detail MTR recommendations above, firstly, PMO will establish a website for the project while knowledge management system is in operation in order to set up area for the communications among international and national consultants as well as the project staff and upload the summary of consultants' project report on the website. Secondly, PMO will keep regular meetings to discuss collaboration issue cross components on a weekly basis. Thirdly, component managers will prepare annual monitoring and evaluation plans for their respective outcomes, using the updated strategic results framework as a guideline, and component managers will also prepare the Quarterly Progress Reports on the monitoring and evaluation plans.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: A mentoring program should be designed and implemented to strengthen the capacity of provincial and sub-provincial stakeholders in biodiversity conservation strategic planning and management implementation. A specific group of provincial and sub-provincial staff from QFD and other departments responsible for PA management should be selected for the mentoring program. The design of the program should be adaptive, e.g., responding to opportunities for interaction as part of assignments carried out by national and/or international consultants.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

PMO will take biodiversity conservation strategic planning and management implementation as mentoring programme into capacity building under component. PMO will select a specific group of provincial and sub-provincial staff from QFD and other departments responsible for PA management for the mentoring programme.PMO will cooperate with QFD and Environment Protection Department together to design a mentoring program on biodiversity conservation strategic planning and management implementation, to organize training workshopsand experience sharing workshops on biodiversity conservation strategic planning and management implementation.

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4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: A plan should be developed and implemented to increase gender/minority inclusion in the collaborative management arrangements and activities piloted under component 3. The targets of this plan should be integrated into the updated strategic results framework, which is outlined below in Recommendation No. 5.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

Gender/minority inclusion is cross-cutting issue. PMO will continuously pay attention to gender balance issue and discuss arrangement and criteria to increase women in village co-management committees and assess to meet women's needs and specifically design project activity to address the needs.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: A thorough assessment should be made of the each of the tracking tools, for both the baseline and midterm figures. The indicators and targets of the strategic results framework should be then reformulated and/or reconciled.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

PMO and consultants will reviewboth the baseline and midterm figures of tracking tools and reconcile the indicators and targets of the strategic results framework. Then, The indicators and targets of the strategic results framework was reviewed and approved by PSC on 21 October 2015 (same actions as Recommendation 1).

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

Recommendation 6: A knowledge management strategy should be developed, including (1) defining the roles and responsibilities for interpreting information inputs; (2) formulating a strategy for developing management responses to ecosystem perturbations; (3) outlining roles/responsibilities and processes for interpreting PA management effectiveness; and (4) describing how PA management results and lessons learned will be disseminated. In addition to the KMS strategy, a value-for-money analysis should be carried out, comparing the costs and benefits of having an information management system hosted by the QFD to the option of expanding the existing information management system operated by the Qinghai Environmental Monitoring Centre.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

Prior to MTR, PMO had a discussion and consultation on strategic arrangement of KMS management with Wildlife and Nature Reserve Management Bureau of QFD(WNRMB) and has been getting WNRMB involved in KMS development and management and will combine the information of nature reserves and Monitoring and Patrolling of NRs managed by WNRMB together and information will be updated by individual nature reserves. Meanwhile, PMO will share managerial authority of KMS with WNRMB during the project cycle. Afterwards, PMO will hand over the managerial authority to WNRMB to ensure that KMS benefits Qinghai biodiversity conservation in a long term. However, it was not written on a plan.With the development of KMS, PMO and WNRMB will develop a KMS management strategy together in 2016 and submit for approval in the PSC meeting in 2016.

Regarding options for KMS analysis, the advisory team assessed thefeasibilityoftechnical proposal of KMS. One option is to have an information management system hosted by the QFD. Another optionis to expand the existing information management system operated by the Qinghai Environmental Monitoring Centre. The advisory team recommended to develop a KMS combing with forestry information centre of QFD rather than to expand the existing information management system of the Qinghai Environmental Monitoring Centre. Because the latter is project-based information system that only focuses onenvironment monitoring SNNR and Qinghai Lake surrounding area at macro-level, it does not meet the need of provincial biodiversity conservation and nature reserve management. Moreover, it is necessary for QFD to have overall KMS covering 10 nature reserves and provincial biodiversity information. Therefore, the decision is clear and reasonable.

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Recommendation 7: The QBSAP should be strengthened by including: (1) actions addressing potential climate change impacts to biodiversity, (2) an itemization of the major ecosystem services and some approximate economic values, and (3) actions associated with improving the PA staffing and funding shortfalls within the Qinghai PA system

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

PMO will immediately coordinate with Qinghai BSAP working group and recommend the integrating the research results and issues listed above into the BSAP.(1) A report on potential climate change impacts to biodiversity has been finished and results could be integrated into the QBSAP; (2) Itemization of the major ecosystem services and some approximate economic values has been estimated by another QFD co-financing project, and the results could be used in QBSAP;(3) share research reports of financial assessment and METT with QHBSAP working group and integrate the issues of the PA staffing and funding shortfalls and recommendations into QBSAP, moreactions need to be taken to improve the PA staffing and funding shortfalls within the Qinghai PA system.

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation:

Recommendation8: Recommendation: The MTR team recommends the following actions to strengthen the biodiversity mainstreaming efforts:

8a:   Summarize results of the comprehensive review of provincial regulations into a written report, indicating which regulations were reviewed, and what steps were taken to remove conditions and/or entire regulations that are not conducive biodiversity conservation.

8b:   Work with the Provincial Land Resources Department in updating the Provincial Land Use Plan by indicating the key conservation areas highlighted in the QBSAP.

8c: Work with at least one County Land Resources Department, in one of the areas where the pilot villages are located, and assist them in developing their county Key Ecological Function Area Plan. This county plan should make reference to the village level conservation zoning areas.

8d:   Identify linkages between provincial departments and academic institutions to facilitate applied research, e.g., the effects of the pylon structures used for electrical transmission developments. The project should try to fund some preliminary research as a means of operationalizing the partnerships.

8e:   Prepare a running tally of (1) specific activities added to sectoral plans that have been operationalized (approved budget and implementation started); (2) specific activities in the QBSAP that have been operationalized (approved budget and implementation started); items/activities that have already been considered for the 13th 5-year plan.

8f: Develop specific inspection protocols for each of the new regulations and guidelines being developed, and invite inspection stakeholders to participate in the process.

8g: Establish a tracking register for the new regulations and guidelines that are being developed, in order to document how the regulations and guidelines are being implemented in practice. The register should include a brief description of the activity/investment, the timeframe, investment value, photograph documentation, etc. The register should also include a list of environmental impact assessments that have used the guidelines in assessing biodiversity impacts and recommending appropriate mitigation measures.

8h: Ensure that waste management provisions are included in regulations/guidelines, as many of the communities among the pilot villages in Outcome 3 have complained of poor waste management as part of infrastructure development projects.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

Regarding recommendations 8a, 8b, PMO has coordinated with Qinghai Office of Legislative Affairs to collect the review reports from key departments as the department has conducted desk review of existing regulations and policies. PMO have included Provincial Land Resources Department into advisory group in mainstreaming biodiversity conservation to 13th Five-Year Plan and sectoral plans.

As for recommendations 8c, PMO needs to coordinate with county land resource managementauthoritywhether there is specific land use plan developed or developing in the contextof county Key Ecological Function Area Plan. Due to the life cycle of land use mapping, it is necessary to consult with local land use management authority and make sure that the village level conservation zoning areas will be referenced in country-level land use plan.

 

As for recommendations 8d, PMOwill seek for the existing global good practicefor the sectors. Right now, mainstreaming specialist will helppurchase the guideline of the effects of the pylon structures used for electrical transmission development that may be applied this practice in the design and deploymentof the pylon structures.To fund some preliminary research, such as the design of the pylon structures, is beyond the GEF project scope.

 

As for recommendations 8e, 8f, 8g, it is good tracking approach to see what extend the regulations and guidelines have been applied in practices. PMO will coordinate with Qinghai Office of Legislative Affairs to follow on this approach that will continue to take leading role to promote this strategy.

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation:

Recommendation 9: Based upon the findings of the MTR mission and recommendations included in reports prepared by national and international consultants, the following actions are recommended for the second half of the project in terms of strengthening the sustainable financing capacity of the PA system:

9a:   Establish a task force with relevant provincial and sub-provincial stakeholders for formulating a system for reviewing ecological compensation programs and making recommendations of how the funds are allocated. The system should include tracking how the funds are actually disbursed.

9b:   Identify a few key revenue generation options, identified in the PA financing report, and pilot them, preferably at least one in each of the nature reserves. Lessons learned from the pilot results should be consolidated into a series of case studies.

9c:   Facilitate development of a regional plan for implementing policy reforms that would lead to a more systematic and strategic approach to improving financial sustainability, especially for ecotourism and payments for ecosystem services.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

Following recommendation 9a, instead of setting up a task force, PMO will work closely with Financial Division of QFD to review the ecological compensation programs and tracking the funds flow.The ecological compensation programs have been strictly supervised and financially inspected by government agencies.

Regarding recommendation 9b and 9c, PMO is coordinating with provincial Political Consultative Conference to identify the issues PAs in Qinghai are facing and make recommendationto decision makers to improve the PA financial sustainability.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation:

Recommendation 10: The project should develop and implement a site level pilot of a collaborative arrangement between thegovernment run Public Service Program and community co-management structures as means of addressing shortfalls in PA staff.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

Following the recommendation, the PMO will coordinate with SNNR Administrationat both county level and site level as well as the county-level governments and authorities (such as husbandryauthorities) to establish collaboration between co-management and Public Service Program and will continue to make effort on this linkage.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation:

Recommendation 11: The following actions are recommended to strengthen the nature reserve management plans:

11a: The plans should include biodiversity assessment protocols, building upon what was accomplished through the baseline surveys sponsored by the project.

11b: The Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) should be considered to be integrated into the management plans, as regular management tool.

11c: The process of compiling and reporting on the monitoring and patrolling data from the community driven collaborative management arrangements in the pilot villages should be described in the plans.

11d: Each management plan should include a specific activity that is consistent with the PA system strategy of increasing the capacity and number of PA staff on a system scale.

11e: The plans should also indicate how the monitoring and patrolling information obtained through the Public Service Position (PSP) activities, a Government-sponsored collaborative management program.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/08/13]

Regarding recommendation 11, these detail recommendationsarehelpful. PMO will provide the recommendations to nature reserves and management plan development specialist to ensure the recommendations are integrated in the development of management plans.

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