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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Environment protection and resource conservation

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Environment protection and resource conservation
Project Costs(US $M)
 57.2  23.17
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 29.2  16.2
Sector, Major Sect.:
Natural Resources Management,
Cofinancing (US $M)
 13.5  0
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
06/30/1999 06/30/1999
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John C. English
Andres Liebenthal Ridley Nelson OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The project's general objectives were to improve protection of the environment and management of natural resources. In particular it aimed to: strengthen key federal and provincial environmental protection institutions, environmental legislation, and professional environmental education; disseminate information concerning damage to the environment and natural resources; and implement subprojects to rehabilitate, protect, develop and manage agro-ecological resources that had been damaged, or were threatened with damage.

b. Components
The project had two broad components: institutional strengthening, and natural resource rehabilitation and management.

(i) Institutional strengthening. Support to environment agencies in the federal government and provinces of Sind and NWFP; technical assistance to assist in strengthening environmental legislation and the development and implementation of regulations for the 1983 Environmental Ordinance; establisment of a GIS unit at the University of Peshawar; and initiation of a mass awarenesss campaign at the federal level and in Sindh and NWFP provinces.
(ii) Natural resource rehabilitation. A series of eight sub-projects were to be implemented, including rehabilitation of upland watersheds and rangeland, improvement of mangrove and riverine forests, and study of the management of alpine pastures and surveys of wildlife in key habitat areas to provide a basis for management planning.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
At the Mid Term Review, it was agreed that two of the upland watershed components, which had been included at appraisal under EU cofinancing, would be financed separately by the EU, and that the security situation in the alpine pasture study area (close to the Kashmir cease-fire line) was such that the sub-project could not be implemented. A total of US$4 million was cancelled from the credit. Because of administrative and political delays, the procurement of technical assistance under an umbrella contract was delayed by two years. This meant that the original specified consultants were no longer available. Further disagreements ensued and only 25% of the planned expenditure on consultant services was eventually made (ICR Table 8A). This was a major reason for the final expenditure only being US$ 23.2 million.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The physical objectives of the five resource management sub-projects were achieved and about half of the targets were exceeded. ERRs were reestimated for three components. Two excceded the SAR estimates and one fell short. Achievements in institutional development were less impressive, partly because of the shortfall in TA. The proposed agencies were established or expanded and most staff benefitted from training. Technical facilities and equipment were improved. However, the ICR considers that the resulting capacity has not yet been fully utilized.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The project assisted in preparation of the environmental act of 1997 which created several key egencies and in getting them established, thus providing the basis for longer term environment management efforts in Pakistan.

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

The principal shortcoming was the delay in consultant appointment and the consequent shortfall on the institutional side.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
    Although there was a significant shortfall in this area, achievement was sustantial in comparison with what went before.
    Economic sanctions imposed on Pakistan late in the project led to general austerity measures, which have created uncertainty as to the ability of the government to continue to fully fund project activities.
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Where technical assistance is a key element of a project, procurement arrangements should be completed before effectiveness.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  A second opinion on the effectiveness of the institutions supported by the project would be valuable.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is of good quality. It made a particular effort to re-estimate the ERRs for three regional sub-components and provides a detailed review of the outcome of the project. The plan for future operation is also above average in coverage.

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