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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - El Kala National Park


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
06/20/2000   
PROJ ID:
P004870
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
El Kala National Park
Project Costs(US $M)
 11.6  7.1
Country:
Algeria
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 9.2  5.06
Sector, Major Sect.:
Agriculture Adjustment,
Agriculture
Cofinancing (US $M)
   
L/C Number:
     
   
Board Approval (FY)
  94
Partners involved
 
Closing Date
03/30/1997 06/30/1999
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Nalini B. Kumar
Andres Liebenthal Ridley Nelson OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The project had three objectives. (i) Mitigation of the degradation of biodiversity in the El Kala National Park and Wetlands Complex Region; (ii) Establishment of a methodology and procedures to be followed at Wilaya level for conducting environmental impact assessment studies; (iii) development of a natural resources management model suited to protected areas in populated regions. The objectives were revised downwards in mid 1998.

b. Components
(a) Preparation of a management plan for the El Kala region wetlands complex through (i) baseline studies; (ii) priority actions to stop further degradation; (iii) other actions to be carried out during execution of the management plan.

(b) Environmental monitoring and adaptive research covering (i) Introduction of a geographic information system; (ii) establishment of an environmental impact assessment unit and a subcomponent for environmental research; (iii) investigation of natural resource development potential in different subsectors.
(c) Environmental education to sensitize the population to environmental problems and boost the work of nongovernmental organizations.
(d) Institutional strengthening focused on Agence nationale pour la conservation de la nature (ANN), the Wilaya Environmental Inspectorate and the El Kala Project Implementation Unit.
(e) Creation of a El Kala Conservation Fund.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The grant was approved in April 1994 and became effective in September 1994. At appraisal the project financing plan envisaged a Grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of US $ 9.2 million and a contribution of US $ 2.48 million from the Government. The project, originally scheduled to close in March 1997, was extended twice and finally closed in June 1999. An amount equal to US $ 2 million was canceled. 69 percent of the grant amount was disbursed.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Minimal achievement of objectives. Though biodiversity conservation actions were undertaken to halt degradation, the Park management plan, which as appraised accounted for more than 67 percent of total project cost and was to guide the implementation of the project, did not materialize.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

(i) Improvement in ecological status of certain particularly risk prone sites; (ii) boost in scientific research about the Park; (iii) environmental education sensitized communities and local authorities to environmental problems; (iv) strengthening of environmental institutions increased awareness of environmental problems; (v) positive impact on participation of communities and local NGOs.

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

(i) management plan for Park was not produced; (ii) of the 15 baseline studies that were to serve as the basis of the management plan, only 3 were completed; (iii) achievements in environmental research, training and education were unsatisfactory; (iv) minimal progress in carrying out environmental education and training component (v) failure to provide for monitoring of results;

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
UnsatisfactoryUnsatisfactory
Institutional Dev.:
PartialModest
Sustainability:
UncertainUnlikely
    As noted in the ICR itself the long term financial, environmental and socioeconomic viability of the project depends on the adoption of the measures recommended in the management plan. However on project closing, despite two extensions, the management plan had not been produced.
Bank Performance:
DeficientUnsatisfactory
Borrower Perf.:
DeficientUnsatisfactory
    The ICR notes that borrower performance was 'mixed'. However, given the evidence in the report, OED interprets the ICR rating as 'deficient' which correponds to the unsatisfactory rating of the Evaluation Summary.
Quality of ICR:
Satisfactory

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

(i) The need to keep country realities in consideration in designing and implementing a project; ii) The importance of giving greater attention to sustainability issues, particularly in a GEF project because of the underlying dilemma---a GEF grant seeks to support investments for their global benefits while sustainability would require getting countries to take over financing in the future based on national interests. Hence the need for the Bank and the borrower to identify upfront alternative sources of financing that may be available on project closure---royalties, fees, private sector investments.(iii) Measuring the impact on the ground of a project is essential for the development of a more targeted and effective program strategy as well as for expanding support for conservation activities. Hence development of clear monitoring indicators with country ownership should be essential.

8. Audit Recommended?  No

          Why?  

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

Satisfactory but with some shortcomings. (i) Some unclear statements in the ICR confuse the analysis. The appraisal report does not mention a project development objective. However, the ICR mentions two different project development objectives. Para 21 notes the project development objective to be bringing of stakeholders in local development to a regional consensus around the theme of biodiversity conservation. The Executive Summary of the ICR on the other hand notes the original project development objective to be the sustainable protection of the Park. (ii) No clear rating on borrower performance. (iii) Borrower's contribution to the ICR and Aide Memoire are in French only.

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