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Objectives and Procedures

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1-Inception Workshop Objective:

The overall objective of the Inception Workshop (IW) is to assist the project team to understand and take ownership of the project's goal and objectives, as well as finalize preparation of the project's first annual work plan on the basis of the project's logistics framework matrix. This will inter alia include reviewing the logistics framework (indicators, means of verification, assumptions), imparting additional details (emerging issues), and on the basis of this exercise finalize the Annual Work Plan (AWP) with precise and measurable performance indicators, and in a manner consistent with the expected outcomes for the project. Specifically, the IW will:

  1. introduce the project staff to the UNDP /GEF expanded team which will support the project during its implementation
  2. detail the roles, support services and complementary responsibilities of UNDP-CO and RCU staff vis-a-vis the project team
  3. provide a detailed overview of UNDP-GEF reporting and monitoring and evaluation (M & E) requirements, with particular emphasis on the Project Implementation Review (PIRs) and related documentation, as well as mid-term and final evaluations
  4. provide opportunities to inform the project team on UNDP project related budgetary planning, budget reviews, and mandatory budget rephrasing
  5. provide an opportunity for all parties to understand their roles, functions, and responsibilities within the project's decision - making structures, including reporting and communication lines, and conflict resolution mechanisms.

2-Process:

Two major emerging issues were raised, including the new situation in Egypt since 25th of January 2011, and the outcomes of COP10 for Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, October 2010. The current situation after 25th of January 2011 calls for changes in the performance of the government through innovative ways of thinking, transparency and social justice. As a matter of fact, the project document calls for changes, transparency and also social justice especially for local communities that have been marginalized in most protected areas. The outcomes of COP10 relevant to the project were the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011 – 2020) that includes innovative ways of resource mobilization, revenue generation, endorsement of the ABS protocol, and post Biodiversity 2010 target.

During April and May 2011, possible stakeholders based on the project documents were identified, and many meetings were held with representatives of EEAA, NCS, private sectors, governmental agencies, (e.g. tourism and others), NGO's, and others to discuss the detailed planned activities, their roles and responsibilities. Emphasis was also given to co-financing from international (e.g. IUCN) regional (Med-Pan), bilateral (Italian Egyptian Environmental Cooperation Program, US AID and Spain) and national organizations and agencies, including investors.

A core team of experts was formed to review the project document, emerging issues, preparation of Inception Work Plan (IWP), with focus on the detailed planned activities during the first year, with the project logical framework (indicators, baseline, targets, source of verification and assumptions). Meanwhile, several Inception Reports of similar projects were reviewed and considered as guidance for the core team.

It is interesting to say that several investors and organizations have expressed their interests to take part in co-financing the project. Consequently, arrangements were made with legal experts and the Director of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to start the process of the legal and regulatory framework straight away after the Inception Work Plan Workshop which is expected to be held during July 2011. Meanwhile, the possible national and international consultants, including the specialists who have participated in the preparation stage of the project (Project Development Specialist), were identified, and arrangements are being made to start implementation of the project after the IW.

3-Procedure Outline:

    The general flow chart of the followed procedure for setting out the planned activities, targets, time frame, responsible party and the planned budget (source of funds, budget description and amount) consisted of the following steps:
  • Project Outputs and Identification of Planned Activities
  • Evaluation of Criteria for Setting out Priorities and Planned Activities
  • Identifying the Priorities of the Activities
  • Setting out the Timing Program
  • Suggested Distribution of the Project Budget on the Outputs and Activities
  • Suggested Annual Budget
  • Committed Funding as Mentioned in the Project Document

Project Period : 6 years
Project Budget : (M $)

GEF UNDP EGYPT (CASH) EGYPT (IN KIND) TOTAL
3.61 0.25 13.80 1.27 18.93

National co-financing of $ 13.8 million represents re-injection of $ 2.3 million per year, equivalent to 50% of PA system revenues.

4-Project Objective:

Establishment of a Sustainable Protected Area Financing System (SPAFS), with associated management systems and capacities needed to ensure the effective use of generated revenues for priority biodiversity conservation needs.

The project aim is to overcome barriers to sustainable financing by utilizing re-injected revenue as co-financing together with a set of planning, allocation, management and monitoring tools. The project will guide investment of re-injected funds into a number of high priority sites (the first phase will be at Ras Mohammed, Wadi El-Gemal and Wadi Rayan), and activities that provide continuing long term investment, financing and expansion of Egypt's PA system, mainly through self-generated revenues.

5-Project Outcomes:

01Outcome I: Legal, policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks that facilitate revenue generation, revenue retention and other aspects of sustainable PA financing and management are established and functional.

02 Outcome II: Levels of financial resource mobilization are adequate to ensure effective conservation oriented management of Egypt's PA system.

03Outcome III: Business Planning and cost-effective management systems are ensuring the effective allocation and management of mobilized resources.

6-Identification of Planned Activities:

The outputs were studied carefully during April and May 2011, and divided into a number of activities as given in Annex I. Each of the 108 activities presents one of the pilot schemes and/or activities of the project. It is important to note that the implementation of some activities should not always be in sequence or in parallel; some flexibility is left as need necessitate and the priorities dictate.

For example while there will be some studies (e.g. economics of protected areas) by both national and international consultants, training will be carried out for NCS and PA staff on financing protected areas. Similarly, while revenue generation options are considered, specific activities will be launched (e.g. souvenir / bookshop / medicinal plants products) to ensure tangible results within the first year. Therefore, activities can be altered or even totally replaced by other pilots or activities, during the Inception Workshop and for justified reasons so as to:

  • Suit EEAA / NCS / EPF changing requirements.
  • Give the chance of doing what can be implemented with success and NOT doing what we may discover cannot be implemented, if necessary.
  • Justification of a change or replacement of any sub-output for reasons mentioned above, or others if they appear during project implementation, is to be discussed with EEAA, UNDP, GEF and stakeholders to reach consensus.

 

As each outcome gives only a brief indication of the pilots or the activities of the project, this does not allow understanding of what really needs to be implemented. Similarly, the project document gives only brief descriptions and guidelines of the activities. Therefore, each outcome was given an introduction focusing on the main issues, based on what is already mentioned in the project document and the results of previous projects funded, as well as the experience of the project manager as the former Director of NCS for 10 years. Following the introduction, the ways in which major issues will be addressed, and the agreed activities will be implemented at the priority 3 PAs (Ras Mohamed, Wadi El Gemal and Wadi El Rayan) and at NCS headquarters.

Evaluation criteria for setting our priorities of the planned activities

    The following evaluation criteria were identified:
  • Relative importance (as compared to the outcome and the other activities)
  • Commitment of "Government"
  • Commitment of the "Private Sector"
  • Possibilities of Success
  • Possibilities of Replication
  • Estimated time of implementation of activities
  • Estimated participation of Egyptian Experts
  • Estimated participation of Foreign Experts

7-Outline of the Work Philosophy

It is intended to adopt a work philosophy of optimizing the workforce with gradual augmentation as the need arises. This means: the start will be with three full time staff under the guidance of the Project Manager. Then, in due course and as the project pilots and activities progress and / or increase, expert effort on the newer pilots / activities and / or additional experts will be contracted.

Meanwhile, all the Experts and support staff will be regularly apprised of the progress made in each of the running pilots / activities so as to make full use of anyone who can be summoned to participate and offer support when his / her original work is on hold for a technical or other reason. This again optimizes the resources so as not to appoint extra staff or to have unproductive staff.

Whenever field surveys are needed, temporary staff will be appointed for undertaking the field work.

Occasional short assignments of special features will be contracted to specialized experts to fulfill.

Foreign experts will be contracted only when the expertise is not available locally or when a technology transfer is absolutely needed.

The project will be performed and coordinated under the general supervision of the CEO of EEAA and the daily work will be managed by the full time Project Manager. Each Sub-Outcome will be followed up by Experts guided by the Project Manager.

The Terms of Reference of all the Experts and support staff will be formulated to include deliverables that will condition payments, and will be written by the Project National Advisor in cooperation with the Project Manager.

National Experts and support staff will be appointed, and emphasis will be given to those who participated in the Project Preparatory phase. Experts with international experience and knowledge of the state of the art of the project pilots and activities will be given priorities for implementation of the project.

Close contact and cooperation with EEAA management is to be considered throughout the Project.

It is strongly believed that such “objective-optimization” of the workforce is the best for project progress and making full use of the budget.

8-Needed Immediate Work

This section outlines the next steps needed to finalize the project timing program and budget distribution on the outcomes and the planned activities over the six years of the Project.

Initially, it is necessary to obtain the approvals of the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs and EEAA as well as UNDP and to introduce any additional requirements.

Then, as customary in similar projects, it is required to present the Project Outputs and activities to the Stakeholders, particularly from government agencies that are expected to be directly involved. This is to take place through a Workshop that is left to the decision of EEAA and UNDP to arrange and call for invitations ast the appropriate time.

Meanwhile, as the Project was approved in June 2010, it will be necessary to review the Timing Program and to redistribute the Budget of the current project.