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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - National Environmental Management Project

1. Project Data:   
Project ID:
Project Name:
National Environmental Management Project
Burkina Faso
Natural Resources Management, Environment
L/C Number:
Partners Involved:
Germany, France, Norway, UNDP
Prepared By:
Andres Liebenthal, OEDST
Reviewed By:
Ridley Nelson
Group Manager:
Gregory K. Ingram
Date Posted:

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

The main objective of the project (as the first phase of a 15-20 year program) was to halt and reverse the current process of degradation of natural resources in order to ensure lasting agricultural growth, restore biological diversity, and establish a long-term method of forest and wildlife management. Specifics objectives were to:

(i) implement the community land management (terroir) approach on a large scale;
(ii) monitor natural resource management activities in order to identify and disseminate best practices; and
(iii) monitor changes in environmental conditions.
Components included:
(a) implementation of community land management approach in 120 communities in three provinces;
(b) implementation of combined management plans for protected forests and surrounding land in 47 communities in two provinces;
(c) technical support for natural resource management operations already in progress in 1000 communities in 18 provinces;
(d) creation of a national environmental monitoring system and a system for assessing impact at the project level;
(e) human resources development; and
(f) project management and studies.
Total project costs of $ 19.6 million were financed from an IDA credit of $15.0 million (approved in April, 1991;closed in December, 1998), a German grant of $0.6 million, a French (CCCE) grant of $ 1.0 million, a Norwegian grant of $2.0 million, a UNDP grant of $0.5 million, and counterpart funds of $0.6 million.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The main objective of the project was only partially achieved While the community land management approach was implemented on a large scale, along the lines expected at appraisal, the monitoring of natural resource management activities funded under the project has so far yielded only very limited indications of their impact on environmental conditions. At this point, there is still no adequate evidence to indicate if the project has made a good start towards its main objective of halting and reversing the degradation of natural resources, as should have been expected for a project billed as the first phase of a 15-20 year program.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Following a slow start, the project implemented the community land management approach in 202 villages in three provinces; combined land and forest management plans were implemented in 43 villages in two provinces; and technical support was provided to additional villages in 18 provinces. Towards the end of the project, a monitoring and evaluation unit was established to monitor the activities under the project and their impact on natural resource management.

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

The monitoring and evaluation component was only implemented late in the project cycle and failed to reach its objectives. As a result, it is not yet possible to determine the impact, if any, of the community land management approach on the ongoing process of natural resource degradation in Burkina Faso, or on rural incomes. This would have been useful to validate the justification of the piloted approach, and justify its continued support through a follow-on project.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactoryMarginally Satisfactory
    The monitoring of environmental conditions needed to underpin the justification for this and follow-on projects, was not carried out.
Institutional Dev.:
    These ratings are equivalent.
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Attention must be given to ensuring that the community land management plan leads quickly to the assumption of responsibility by the villages/communities. This produces a more lasting and far-reaching impact. Operationally, this requires strengthening the communities' technical financial and organizational capabilities.
Community organizations should be given greater responsibility and strengthened so that communties can establish their priorities not only by type of investment/activity, but also in relation to a budget determined at the outset. This approach will make it possible to prevent too high a priority being given to large investments with limited benefits.
It is important to incorporate the financial dimension into the natural resource management approach, especially for those activities that generate revenue,and to strengthen the capabilities of target communties in this respect (preparation of budgets, cash management, etc.) in order to create the conditions conducive to the long-term sustainability of project investments.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  To verify the sustainability of the investments made under the project, assess their impact on environmental conditions, and evaluate their economic returns.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

This ICR provids a well written overview of the implementation experience of the project. A comprehensive table of project activities provides a solid basis for the monitoring and evaluation of future operations, but unfortunately, there are no indicators of environmental conditions. The lessons are well chosen from the experience. Borrower comments on the ICR are presented. The ICR documents that comments were solicited from the cofinanciers but none were received. It should be noted however, that there is no substantive reason why the appraisal and the ICR neglected to carry out an economic analysis. Most of the items in the achievements table could have been modelled at appraisal and, given adequate monitoring, their economic justification reevaluated in the ICR.

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