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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Danube delta biodiversity project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Danube delta biodiversity project
Project Costs(US $M)
 1.74  1.74
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 1.50  1.54
Sector, Major Sect.:
Natural Resources Management,
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/1998 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
To protect and enhance the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta ecosystem and contribute to biodiversity conservation within the delta.

b. Components
There were seven components:

(i) strengthening the Danube Plavny Authority and the warden service;
(ii) establishing the Danube Biosphere reserve;
(iii) improving monitoring and data base management;
(iv) initiating the restoration of three areas of wetland;
(v) improving public awareness in local communities of the functioning and importance of the Delta ecosystem;
(vi) facilitate the participation of the Danube Bioshere Reserve in regional initiatives; and
(vii) establish a Trust Fund to assist with the financing of the reserve's recurrent costs in the operational phase.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project was implemented as planned. The Ukraine Danube Biosphere Reserve was established, and improved techniques and participatory methods for the protection and management of its biodiversity were implemented. With the strengthening of the warden service, a more proactive approach to management of the protected area was established, and the capacity of the Reserve Authority to manage the area in collaboration with local users was increased. The project fostered collaboration with Romania, especially on technical exchanges. At the end of the project, a Romanian-Ukraine transboundary biosphere reserve was established. The project also led to collaboration and partnerships on delta conservation and natural resource management, which are continuing.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The delta is particularly important as a habitat for migratory birds. Its improvement and maintenance will, under the current economic conditions in the Ukraine, depend heavily on obtaining continued external support. The project played a significant role in developing links between the authority and relevant organizations in western Europe and increased the confidence of the Ukrainians in working with external parties (including expanding their language skills).

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

The principal shortcoming was that it was the proposed trust fund, to provide continued support was not established. While other sources of external support ( e.g. from the Dutch Government and the WWF) are continuing, the lack of a trust fund does weaken the financial base of the Biosphere Reserve.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Particularly in societies where public participation has been minimal, and where the collaboration of local users is important for successful management of an ecosystem, well-planned public education and awareness programs are needed early in the project to get the public involved in a meaningful way.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is of good quality. It provides a detailed review of the outcome of the project and assessment of its current position.

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