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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - In-situ Conservation of Genetic Diversity

1. Project Data:   
Project ID:
Project Name:
In-situ Conservation of Genetic Diversity
Natural Resources Management, Environment
L/C Number:
Partners Involved:
Prepared By:
Andres Liebenthal, OEDST
Reviewed By:
George T. K. Pitman
Group Manager:
Gregory Ingram
Date Posted:

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

The objectives of the project were: (i) to identify and establish in situ conservation areas in Turkey for the protection of genetic resources and wild relatives of important crops and forest tree species; and (ii) to develop the institutional capacity for preparing and implementing a national strategy for in situ conservation.

The project had five components: (i) site surveys and inventories, (ii) the establishment of gene management zones (GMZs), (iii) data management for the information acquired in (i) and (ii); (iv) a national plan for in situ conservation; and (v) institutional strengthening.
Total project costs of $5.5 million (vs. $5.7 million at appraisal) were financed out of a GET grant of $5.2 million and counterpart funds of $0.3 million.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Both project objectives were substantially met. This is a considerable achievement, since the project was the first to test and develop a new approach for the conservation of genetic diversity on a larger scale than had been tried before anywhere in the world.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The project funded a detailed survey and inventory in three priority areas (in the Aegean, Mediterranean and SE Anatolia regions), the establishment of 22 GMZs, the preparation of a National Plan for in situ Conservation, and associated technical assistance, training, data management system and interagency coordination mechanism.

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

The major outstanding issue relates to the project's sustainability. As discussed in the ICR, the maintenance of many of the achievements of the project in the future will require various actions, such as the publication of legal statutes for Gene Management Zones, the establishment of Regional and Higher Boards for in situ Conservation, stakeholder consultations, the provision of adequate budgets recurrent costs, staff training and upkeep of equipment, and arrangements for the introduction of cost recovery and revenue retention/reinvestment arrangements as appropriate. While the supervision staff and the ICR are to be commended for proposing and initiating action in these areas, which were not contemplated at preparation and appraisal, the fact that several such actions are still pending, during a period when the public sector is undergoing fundamental reform with across-the-board reductions in budgets and state interventions, casts the shadow of uncertainty across the sustainability of the results achieved by the project..

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Highly SatisfactorySatisfactory
    At the time of completion, there were still many pending actions needed to underpin the sustainability of the benefits of the project
Institutional Dev.:
    The sustainability of the project remains uncertain pending the outcome of several actions to be undertaken by the Recipient, involving stakeholder consultations, processing of statutes, establishment of funding mechanisms, and implementation of cost recovery measures.
Bank Performance:
Highly SatisfactorySatisfactory
    More attention should have been devoted, at the preparation and appraisal stages of the project, to ensuring the long term sustainability of the benefits of the project.
Borrower Perf.:
Highly SatisfactoryHighly Satisfactory
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Issues affecting the sustainability of the project need to be thoroughly addressed at the preparation and appraisal stages of the project, not left to be addressed through supervision and completion.
Successful conservation zones are typified by community participation in maintenance and management.
Continuity of task teams, both on the Recipient and Bank side, is extremely important in developing and maintaining mutual trust and understanding, and strengthening team spirit.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  To verify the sustainability of the activities initiated by the project.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR provides an interesting and well-written overview of the implementation experience of the project. Having recognized the need for critical follow-up actions to ensure the long term sustainability of the activities initiated by the project, it would have been useful for the ICR to have laid the groundwork for monitoring and evaluating the project's future operation by establishing a baseline of key monitoring indicators for measuring progress and compliance with expectations. Finally, the ICR should have shown the GET, rather than IBRD/IDA, as the source of financing in Table 8B.

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