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Challenges, Success and Benefits of Regional Projects: The Central Asia Transboundary Biodiversity Project. Emilia Battaglini, The World Bank GEF Focal Point Sub-regional Workshop, Belgrade April 1-2, 2008. Project Basics. Started in 1999, through 2006

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Challenges, Success and Benefits

of Regional Projects:

The Central Asia Transboundary Biodiversity Project

Emilia Battaglini, The World Bank

GEF Focal Point Sub-regional Workshop, Belgrade April 1-2, 2008

project basics
Project Basics
  • Started in 1999, through 2006
  • Total project cost: $13.6 m, including a GEF grant of $10.2 m
  • Area: the Western Tien Shan territory (KAZ, KIR, UZB), a recognized protected area, and home to 3,000 species of fauna and flora, and endangered wildlife.
  • Project highly relevant for global environment
primary objectives
Primary Objectives
  • Support the protection of vulnerable and unique biological communities within the West Tien Shan
  • Strengthen and coordinate national polices, regulations and institutional arrangements for biodiversity protection

 Regional approach: expand and improve management of protected areas overlapping the boundaries of three countries.

associated objectives
Associated Objectives
  • Strengthen and expand strict nature reserves in the West Tien Shan to conserve unique plant and animal communities, including wild relatives of domesticated species
  • Identify alternative and sustainable income-generating activities for local communities and other stakeholders to reduce pressure on the nature reserves and their biological resources
associated objectives1
Associated Objectives
  • Strengthen local and national capacity through education and training and raise public awareness of biodiversity values and increase participation in biodiversity conservation
  • Establish regional cooperation mechanisms for biodiversity conservation activities to strengthen protected areas management and wildlife protection and prevent the fragmentation of habitat corridors.
program success and benefits 1
Program Success and Benefits (1)
  • Fauna and flora restoration: successful creation and extension of protected areas, incl. four new nature reserves, protected areas increased from 4% to 8% of Western Tien Shan
  • Harmonized laws and improved policies and institutions and monitoring
  • Strengthened protected areas management with a bioregional plan developed for each protected area using a common methodology and scientifically justified recommendations for long-term biodiversity conservation
success and benefits 2
Success and Benefits (2)
  • All participating countries given equitable voice and roles, even though the sizes of countries differed markedly
  • Financial sustainability: self-generating resources, national budget support and follow-on project financing
  • Evaluated very high in helping to build country commitment and regional cooperation with well-articulated governance mandate
  • Program focused on an initial set of interventions designed in accordance with country and regional capacities, leaving more demanding activities for later stages.
success and benefits 3
Success and Benefits(3)
  • Regional scientific work and training
  • Aims well matched to institutional capacities at both the national and regional levels, first steps focused on just four geographical areas with further expansion of protected areas
  • A good practice example of cross-sector cooperation where representation on the national and regional steering committees included government, academia, and NGOs
success and benefits 4
Success and Benefits(4)

Conservation: Monitoring occurrence of protected species in PAs confirms increase in biodiversity

challenges 1
Challenges (1)
  • Enactment of all parts of the new law. A tripartite agreement for the Western Tien Shan Biosphere not yet reached
  • Important component to enhance public participation in conservation activities near protected reserves was limited because participating countries failed to deliver their financial commitments
  • Government contribution and co-financing less than planned
  • Small Grant Program could have been bigger to stimulate public participation (was smaller than planned)
challenges 2
Challenges (2)
  • Compliance with environmental and social safeguards (e.g. compensation issues related to the involuntary resettlement of peoples living in the Karatau NR)
  • More attention should have been given to country issues identified in CAS
  • More realistic timeframe and project indicators
  • Cost effectiveness of small grant program (higher transaction costs in UZ
  • High project management costs (25% of budget)
lessons from regional programs review
Lessons from Regional Programs Review
  • More effective when clear delineation and coordination of roles of national and regional institutions
  • Adequate contribution from all countries: strengthen regional supervisory body
  • Sustain ownership and commitment from all countries: harmonize legislation across countries
menzbier s marmot
Menzbier’s Marmot

Marmota menzbieri - Vulnerable species according to the IUCN red book (last assessed in 1996)







Common Name/s: MENZBIER'S MARMOT (Eng)

Species Authority: (Kashkarov, 1925)

Assessment Information

Red List Category & Criteria: VU B1+2c ver 2.3 (1994)

Year Assessed: 1996

siberian ibex
Siberian Ibex

Capra sibrica – Lower Risk Taxonomy






Common Name/s: ASIATIC IBEX (Eng)


Species Authority: Pallas, 1776

Assessment Information

Red List Category & Criteria: LR/lc ver 2.3 (1994)

Year Assessed: 1996

snow leopard
Snow Leopard

Uncia uncia – Endangered







Common Name/s: OUNCE (Eng)


Species Authority: (Schreber, 1775)

Assessment Information

Red List Category & Criteria: EN C2a(i) ver 3.1 (2001)

Year Assessed: 2002