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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Transcarpathian Biodiversity Protection Project

1. Project Data:   
Project ID:
Project Name:
Transcarpathian Biodiversity Protection Project
Natural Resources Management, Environment
L/C Number:
Partners Involved:
MacArthur Foundation
Prepared By:
John C. English, OEDST
Reviewed By:
Patrick Grasso
Group Manager:
Roger Slade
Date Posted:

2. Project Objectives, Financing, Costs, and Components:

The objectives of the project (as stated in the Project document) were to:
  1. Support the Unkrainian portion of an overall trilateral effort (Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine) to protect habitat fragments, stop species loss and update habitat management;
  2. Incorporate this small Ukrainian GEF project (US$500,00) as an add-on to the proposed Slovak Biodoversity Protection Project (GEF US$2.3 million) (A three country trust fund of US$600,000, towards which the MacArthur Foundation contributed US$300,000, was also established); and
  3. Develop and implement the legal, institutional and administrative interventions to achieve the long term protection of the area in Ukraine as well as the abutting zones in Poland and the Slovak Republic.

The principal components were:
  1. A Biodiversity Protection program (US$148,000) to initiate a range of activities, including technical studies of flora and fauna and development of land use policies for buffer zones of the protected areas;
  2. a Management Resources Program (US$210,000), primarily provision of facilities, equipment and transport;
  3. a Training Program and a program to promote public awareness (US$135,000); and
  4. a Management Program (US$40,000).

US$500,000 of the total cost of US$580,000 was to be met from the GET grant, US$10,000 from the trilateral Trust Fund and the balance from the Government of Ukraine.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

A series of activities were undertaken in support of these objectives:
  1. A trilateral foundation was established together with a trust fund. The foundation prepared and adopted a strategy for public conservation in the Eastern Carpathian region and agreed to work for the establishment of an International Biosphere Reserve in the region.
  2. An inventory of the biodiversity in the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR) was undertaken and a book prepared. This identified a number of new species and detected several not previously known to exist in the region. An objective was to use GIS in planning for the reserve and, while the relevant equipment was supplied, it was greatly delayed and only limited use was possible. Educational materials and exhibits were prepared.
  3. In the Ukraine, the CBR was almost doubled in size.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Substantial increase in the size of the CBR and completion of the inventory of its biodiversity and, through publication of the inventory in the form of the book, making this knowledge accessible to local users.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

Although the project has helped strengthen the basis for further work in managment of the CBR and conservation of its biodiversity, it is not clear that it has actually help ensure that follow-up activities can be undertaken.
6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Highly SatisfactorySatisfactory
    The project achieved most of its specific, relevant objectives. These objectives indicated that the project was to be seen as linked to the larger projects in Slovakia and Poland, but its contribution to cross-border biodiversity protection (which was a major objective) is not clear from the ICR. Sustainability is also uncertain.
Institutional Dev.:
    The ICR states that the "project investments will not be sustainable in the mid- or long term without additional financing" (para. 20). Fifteen months after closing the ICR does not indicate that such financing has been forthcoming or is in prospect. It is also not clear that the trust fund is generating significant resources for the CBR.
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Biodiversity and NRM projects in countries in transition should ensure that the local communities are fully informed about the objectives of the effort and should seek to improve the project's replicability by integrating the results into policy at the local, regional and national leveles of government.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  The transborder elements of the project and the efficacy of the trust fund should be investigated in greater depth.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

Overall the ICR is satisfactory. However, it is somewhat difficult to reconcile the achievements as described in terms of the components, with the objectives as stated, which gave prominence to the cross border aspects of the biodiversity conservation effort. In addition the report is only six pages in length, while the summary is almost four pages, and the two are quite repetitive. The latter should have been pared to no more than two pages.

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