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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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.


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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


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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.


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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


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Success and Benefits(4)

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


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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)


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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)


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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


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Menzbier’s Marmot

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

Taxonomy

Kingdom: ANIMALIA

Phylum: CHORDATA

Class: MAMMALIA

Order: RODENTIA

Family: SCIURIDAE

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


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Siberian Ibex

Capra sibrica – Lower Risk Taxonomy

Kingdom: ANIMALIA

Phylum: CHORDATA

Class: MAMMALIA

Order: ARTIODACTYLA

Family: BOVIDAE

Common Name/s: ASIATIC IBEX (Eng)

SIBERIAN IBEX (Eng)

Species Authority: Pallas, 1776

Assessment Information

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

Year Assessed: 1996


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Snow Leopard

Uncia uncia – Endangered

Taxonomy

Kingdom: ANIMALIA

Phylum: CHORDATA

Class: MAMMALIA

Order: CARNIVORA

Family: FELIDAE

Common Name/s: OUNCE (Eng)

SNOW LEOPARD (Eng)

Species Authority: (Schreber, 1775)

Assessment Information

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

Year Assessed: 2002