Consultants document key lessons and results from the Samar Island Biodiversity Project

James Berdach and Dr. Lope Calanog

Mr. James Berdach, International Evaluation Specialist/Team Leader, and Dr. Lope A. Calanog, National Evaluation Specialist, finished the documentation of successful outcomes and areas for improvement in establishing an island-wide protected area system in Samar through the UNDP-assisted Samar Island Biodiversity Project (SIBP).

The report, which will be submitted to UNDP by the end of October, identified lessons learned and best practices as well as its catalytic effect, and the project’s monitoring and evaluation systems. PRIMEX consultants recommended how the results can improve the design and implementation of other UNDP/GEF projects.

SIBP was implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under the support of UNDP/Global Environmental Facility until December 2011. It aimed to protect a representative sample of the biodiversity of the Philippine archipelago by expanding conservation coverage in the Eastern Visayas bio-geographic zone through the establishment of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP), a new protected with an area of 333,300 hectares and a surrounding buffer zone of 125,400 has.

PRIMEX won the bid to conduct the project’s terminal evaluation which lasted for 14 weeks, from June to October 2012. The report is expected to throughly discuss recommendations in the areas of partnerships, advocacy, and institutional arrangements, among others. It will also highlight lessons distilled from the project implementation including the importance of effectively engaging and mobilizing local communities, LGUs, and civil society; the benefits of managing smaller protected areas against establishing island-wide protected area systems.