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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Management Of Natural Resources


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
05/25/2000   
PROJ ID:
P000106
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Management Of Natural Resources
Project Costs(US $M)
 24.4  25.04
Country:
Benin
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 14.1  14.14
Sector, Major Sect.:
Natural Resources Management,
Environment
Cofinancing (US $M)
 8.0  9.43
L/C Number:
C2344      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  92
Partners involved
Germany, France, UNDP 
Closing Date
12/31/1997 06/30/1999
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Christopher D. Gerrard
Ronald S. Parker Gregory K. Ingram OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The project had two main objectives: (1) institution-building, to strengthen the planning, management, monitoring and evaluation capacity of the Directorate of Forests and Natural Resources (DFRN) and the National Remote Sensing Center (CENATEL); and (2) pilot activities, to promote sustainable production and natural resource management systems in rural areas in order to stop and possibly reverse the degradation of renewable natural resources.

b. Components
The institution-building activities included (a) reviewing and enacting new laws and policies governing the use of forests and wildlife resources; (b) reorganizing and strengthening the technical and human resource capacity of national institutions in accordance with their new roles and functions; (c) research and development; and (d) training of project personnel, villagers, etc. in participatory approaches to natural resource management.

Site-specific pilot activities included (a) watershed management and land tenure operations in four different agro-ecological zones; (b) forest management in three gazetted forests in the central and southern parts of the country; and (c) wildlife management and poaching control in sensitive buffer zones adjacent to two National Parks in the northern parts of the country.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
IDA supported 58% of project costs at appraisal; GTZ (Germany) provided 21% to the institution-building and watershed management components; AFD (France) 9% to the watershed management and land tenure operations; UNDP 3% to institution-building and watershed management components; and the government 9%. The two bilateral co-financiers largely financed the extra local costs associated with the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project achieved many of its objectives, but with some shortcomings. It facilitated the enactment of laws and policies that foster the collaborative management of renewable natural resources, involving both government agencies and local communities, and it demonstrated the possibility of working out collaborative arrangements for watershed, forest, and wildlife management in the pilot areas. However, it largely failed to strengthen the planning, management, monitoring and evaluation capacity of the target national-level institutions, which strengthening will ultimately be necessary in order to scale up this approach to natural resource management throughout the country.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

(1) The new forestry law, which provides an enabling environment for collaborative forest management with local communities, was approved by the National Assembly in July 1993, the new forestry policy was adopted by the government in November 1994, and a Presidential decree relating to the application of the law was issued in July 1996. However, a parallel law with respect to collaborative wildlife management, which was prepared in 1998, is still waiting approval of the National Assembly.
(2) The watershed management and land tenure component, which was expanded to a fifth site in 1994, fulfilled most of its objectives and even exceeded expectations in some regions. (GTZ and AFD are continuing to finance this component under a new project, which will attempt to scale up this component to include more villages.)
(3) The wildlife management and poaching control component developed participatory management plans in the two project areas, established 37 village management associations, trained local people in alternative income-generating activities, and dramatically reduced the incidence of poaching. (GEF, AFD, the Netherlands, Germany, and the EU are continuing to support this component under a new National Parks project.)
(4) The forest management component developed participatory management plans in two out of the three targeted forests.

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

(1) The project failed to bring about any significant restructuring of DFRN, so that the benefits of participatory forest management remain restricted to the two forests where management plans were put in place. The strengthening of the technical and human resource capacity of national institutions was limited to the project implementation unit, which was dissolved when the project closed. However, many staff, who were on fixed-term contracts, have now established local NGOs which are working for the follow-up projects being co-financed by GTZ and AFD.
(2) While the remote sensing unit (CENATEL) was fully equipped, its staff were trained, and technical assistance was provided, it failed to provide technical support to the watershed, forestry, and wildlife components, and to provide meaningful data on the environmental impact of the project.
(3) The National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRAB) largely failed to provide research and development support for the watershed management teams in the pilot watersheds.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
SatisfactoryMarginally Satisfactory
    While the project achieved substantial development results in a difficult environment, it failed to achieve one of its major objectives, namely, the restructuring of the DFRN. The achievements of the remote sensing and research components were also unsatisfactory.
Institutional Dev.:
NegligibleModest
    The ICR interpreted this rating narrowly as referring only to the restructuring of the DFRN. Including the new forestry law and policy, and the development of local, community-level institutions raises this rating to modest.
Sustainability:
LikelyLikely
Bank Performance:
SatisfactorySatisfactory
Borrower Perf.:
SatisfactorySatisfactory
Quality of ICR:
Satisfactory

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

(1) The collaborative management of renewable natural resources, involving both government agencies and empowered local communities is environmentally, socially, and economically feasible. However, the sustainable management of these natural resources needs to involve all parties who are presently using the resource, and to put in place institutional arrangements which create incentives for all parties to abide by the management plan.
(2) It is important to pay as much attention to the process, as to the substance of institutional reforms. Supporting the restructuring of a central government department (in this case the Directorate of Forests and Natural Resources) takes time, diligence, and opportunism on the part of Bank staff. Government commitment to genuine institutional reform is hard to sustain.
(3) It is important to recognize all sources of peoples' income when working out collaborative management plans for natural resources. Rural people who live on the boundaries between agriculture and forests, wildlife, or pastoral areas typically derive income from more than one resource. Management plans should seek synergies among the incomes derived from the utilization of the different resources.
(4) There is a difference between monitoring a project's progress and monitoring its impacts. The project having failed to build government capacity to monitor impacts, a follow-on project should out-source environmental impact monitoring to the private sector, and social and economic impact monitoring to academic institutions or consultant firms.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  This was a complex institutional reform project involving several co-financiers and a number of components, from changing national laws and policies, to restructuring the government's administration to conform to these new legal frameworks, and to building capacity at the local, community level. An audit has potential to learn a lot about both the process and the substance of such institutional reforms with respect to the collaborative management of natural resources.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR was very complete and objective. It openly discussed the project's strengths and weaknesses, and its successes and failures, at all stages of the project cycle, in a very transparent and analytical way. The difference of opinion concerning the outcome of the project arises from OED's definitions of "satisfactory" and "marginally satisfactory". It would have helped to have a map, as well as a table showing specifically which co-financiers financed which components, at appraisal and at closing.

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