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PROJECT BRIEF

1. Identifiers


Project Number PAK/98/G31

Project Name: Pakistan: Mountain Areas Conservancy Project (MACP)

Duration: Seven Years

Implementing Agency: UNDP

Executing Agency: Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural

Development

Requesting Country: Pakistan

Eligibility: Ratified Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994

GEF Focal Area: Biodiversity

GEF Programming Framework: Operational Programme Four: Mountain Ecosystems


2. Summary: The MACP aims at protecting the rich ecological landscapes and biodiversity of the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Western Himalayan mountain ranges of northern Pakistan. It comprises a package of interventions to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss in the region. The principle focus is on empowering local communities to manage biodiversity, making them accountable for the quality of their resource stewardship. Four wildlife conservancies will be established encompassing a representative sample of the bio-geographic zones of the high mountains. Within the conservancies, activities will facilitate the in-situ conservation of habitats and species and promote sustainable uses of components of biodiversity.
3. Costs and Financing (US$):

GEF Project: 8,100,000

PRIF: 2,500,000

Subtotal GEF 10, 600,000

Co-financing


UNDP 1,500,000

Govt of Pakistan: 750,000

Local Communities 250,000

IFAD/UNDP 300,000

European Union 800,000

AKRSP 3,500,000

WWF 500,000

SDC 500,000

UK 100,000
Total Project Cost: 18,800,000

4. Associated Financing: n/a


5. Operational Focal Point Endorsement:
Name: Sikander Hayat Jamali Title: Secretary
Organisation: Ministry of Environment, Date: September 24, 1997

Local Government and Rural Development


6. IA Contact: Kevin Hill: UNDP/RBAP GEF Unit
The Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme, in sponsoring this project, are not making any judgement on the legal status of any territory “The following revisions were made to the project brief to take into account the recommendations of the Bilateral Consultations of 2 December 1997.
1.i. Section 3.1 of the brief has been revised to clarify the relationship between this project and the PRIF. The MACP aims to sustain the momentum gained under the PRIF in engaging local communities in conservation efforts.
1.ii. Section 4.3 of the brief has been revised to clarify the relation and coordination modalities with the World Bank PAMP. The World Bank’s PAMP focuses on strengthening three protected areas in geographically different areas and ecosystems from the MACP. In the Chitral district, the World Bank and UNDP will share responsibilities for conservation, with the WB focussing on strengthening management systems in Chitra Gol and UNDP focusing on supporting conservation of ecological landscapes outside the protected area. Both the PAMP and MACP were developed under a joint programmatic approach that reflects the comparative strengths of the implementing agencies and their involvement in the Pakistan.
1.iii. Section 4.3 outlines the scope of the MACP trust fund and linkages with the PAMP. The MACP will explore opportunities for linking the trust fund elements of the MACP with those of the World Bank PAMP during the design stage to improve efficiency and achieve economies of scale.
2. Section 6.1 clarifies the co-funding arrangements. Donors’ contributions are identified in connection with the project outputs, including the government and local communities cash inputs. In-kind contributions are not factored into the co-financing.
3. Section 7.2 states that there will be no follow up extensions requiring GEF funding.


Acronyms
AKRSP Aga Khan Rural Support Programme

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity

CCS Chitral Conservation Strategy

GNA Northern Areas Administration

GNWFP Government of North West Frontier Province

GOP Government of Pakistan

IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development

IUCN The World Conservation Union

masl Metres above mean sea level

NA Northern Areas

NADP IFAD/UNDP Northern Areas Development Project

NACS Northern Areas Conservation Strategy

NCS National Conservation Strategy

NWFP North West Frontier Province

PA Protected Area

PAMP Protected Areas Management Project

PLA Participatory Learning and Action

PMC Project Management Committee

PRIF GEF Pre-Investment Facility

PSC Project Steering Committee

SDC Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation

SVO Super Village Organisations

TOP Terms of Partnership

VCF Village Conservation Fund

VCP Village Conservation Plan

VO Village Organisation

VWG Village Wildlife Guide

WWF World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan



List of Annexes
Focal Point Endorsemen


Annex I: Incremental Cost Analysis



Annex II: Logical Framework Matrix

Annex III: Amendments Made following the STAP Technical Review

Annex IV: STAP Review

Annex V: Note on the Complementarity of Proposed UNDP and



World Bank Biodiversity Conservation Projects in Chitral

District, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan

Annex VI: Root Cause Annex

Annex VII: Public Involvement Plan:

Annex VIII Description of Baseline Programmes

Annex IX: Lessons Learned & Key Findings of the External

Evaluation of the PRIF Phase

ANNEX X: Habitat & Site Descriptions Area



1. Project Context:
1.1 Environmental Context: The MACP focuses on protecting the rich biological diversity of the Western Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush mountains of northern Pakistan1. The region is an important species mixing zone, its zoogeography characterised by a blending of the Palearctic and Oriental realms. The species tally includes 45 species of mammals (from Roberts 1997), 222 species of birds (from Roberts 1991), 32 of reptiles, 6 of amphibians, and some 1000 species of vascular plants (from Stewart 1972). Approximately 80% of the 300 or so species of plants known to be endemic to Pakistan are found in the northern mountains. The vegetation zones vary from xeric types to alpine meadows and heaths, stands of oaks and birch, and conifer forests.
1.2 The landscape of the project region is dominated by some of the world’s highest mountains, with several peaks over 8,000 metres. Separating the mountains are a number of narrow valleys carved by rivers and streams (including the Indus and its tributaries). Much of the area lies in a rain shadow, receiving less than 200 mm of rain annually, though higher elevations may receive up to 2,000 mm of snowfall each year. Snow melt provides a permanent water source, feeding rivers and streams. Habitat types are determined by both altitudinal and climatic factors, in turn influencing the distribution of plants and animals. The main habitats include the Dry Alpine and Permanent Snowfield Zone, the Himalayan Moist Alpine Zone, and Dry Temperate Coniferous Forests (see Annex X for a description of these habitats). The flora and fauna of the region is diverse with several globally significant species represented, including the Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia), Markhor (Capra falconeri), Himalayan Ibex (Capra ibex siberica), Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus), and a range of avifauna. The region is also rich in agro-biodiversity being a centre of distribution for species such as Morrel Mushrooms (Morchella spp.), Wild Thyme (Thymus serphylum), Cumin (Cumin cyminum), Wild Rose (Rosa Spp.), Walnuts (Juglans regia), Pine nuts(Pinus gerardiana), Apricots (Prunus armeniaca), and Costus roots (Sassurea lappa). Additionally, ethno-botanical records show that over 200 species of plants are used in folk medicines.
1.3 Socio-Economic Context: The project region contains a rich mix of peoples, languages and cultures. It has a total population of approximately 1.2 million, permanently settled in valley areas. Per capita incomes vary spatially, ranging from Rs 4000- 6000 per annum (US$100-150—Malik, D, 1996). Agricultural and livestock production provide the main sources of livelihood. The average landholding per household rarely exceeds one hectare, with the most widely sown crop being maize, followed by wheat and barley, buckwheat, and rice. Goats, sheep and cattle are kept by villagers for the production of dairy products, meat, wool and skins. A transhumant cycle is followed with livestock being herded to high mountain pastures for grazing during the summer months and being stall fed during the winters.
1.4 Policy Context: Pakistan affirmed its responsibilities for conserving biodiversity in becoming a party to the CBD in 1994 2. The government is presently regearing conservation policies and strategies in order to better reflect socio-economic and institutional specificities. The new approach emphasises the need to secure the participation of communities in wider conservation efforts and promotes the sustainable utilisation of components of biodiversity. In 1993, the government endorsed the National Conservation Strategy (NCS) as an environmental policy statement. Developed following extensive consultations with major stakeholders, the NCS provides a framework for co-operation between federal and provincial governments, NGOs, the private sectors, and local communities in pursuing sustainable development. In addition, the Government has prepared a Biodiversity Action Plan (with funding provided by the GEF through a PDF Block B grant). The Plan aims at fulfilling provisions of the CBD and provides an integrated framework for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, prioritising interventions and setting implementation targets.
1.5 Institutional Context: Responsibilities for implementing conservation measures are vested with the Provinces under Pakistan’s constitution, and provincial Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries departments are tasked with wildlands management. At the national level, the Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development (MoE) is responsible for overall policy and planning, inter-provincial co-ordination and international liaison for all matters related to the natural environment. Within the Ministry, a Director General of Environment serves as the focal point for international conventions related to the environment, including the Convention on Biological Diversity. The office of Inspector General of Forests (IGF) in the Ministry looks after all policy co-ordination and liaison matters related to forestry, rangelands, and wildlife management.
2. Baseline Course of Action
2.1 Threats: While low human populations have historically limited anthropogenic impacts on the biodiversity of the high mountain region, the present situation is typified by an acceleration of threats— spurred by demographic, economic and technological change in the region. Proximate threats to species and habitats can be summarised as follows:

¨ Degradation of rangelands by domestic livestock, leading to a loss of habitat quality for wild ungulates.

¨ Hunting: Ibex, Markhor and other wild ungulates are hunted for food by local villagers and for sport by outsiders; Snow Leopards, Lynx, Otters, Grey Wolves and other predators are hunted for pelts, and in retaliation against livestock predation.

¨ Forest loss owing to the unsustainable harvest of fuelwood, trees for the construction of shelters, and fodder for livestock.

¨ Overharvest of medicinal plants and other economically useful flora.

¨ Disease transmission from livestock to wild fauna, particularly closely related species.


2.2 Underlying Causes: The underlying causes of the above mentioned threats can be broken down into two levels, namely those associated with institutional, capacity and policy related weaknesses and those stemming from structural, social and economic factors. The first level includes the following factors:

¨ Communities have little utilitarian stake in protecting the resources leading to open access and depletion. Until recently, there was little recognition in government circles of the importance of community participation in conservation planning and management.

¨ Legal instruments to support community-based conservation initiatives are poorly developed.

¨ Incentives for conservation are weakly developed, and opportunities for capturing monetary values from wild resources are limited. There is a dearth of appropriate models for effecting sustainable use measures suited to local agronomic, ecological and socio-economic conditions.

¨ There are few avenues for information exchange and networking between communities, meaning they have been unable to share experiences related to natural resource management endeavours.

¨ Technical, human and institutional capacities amongst government and non government agencies responsible for conservation are weakly developed.


The second level comprises the following factors:

¨ Lack of access to water limits potential for fodder production for stall feeding of livestock – leading to over grazing in upland pastures (where competition with wildlife is greatest).

¨ Livelihood opportunities are limited owing to a lack of skills, market opportunities, access to inputs including credit, and structural economic problems. Conditions of poverty cause smallholders to be risk averse in making resource-use decisions. Many sustainable resource-use methods are untried and risky and are thus unattractive to communities.

¨ Population growth is increasing pressures on natural resources and the adaptive management capacity of communities in the face of growing population densities in valley areas is weak.

¨ There is limited access to alternative fuel sources to meet household energy demands.

¨ Technology change has made previously sustainable resource-use practices environmentally destructive. In particular, access to firearms has reduced the effort involved in hunting.

¨ Moral values for wildlife are poorly developed. Formal and informal education programmes tend to ignore conservation issues.

¨ Some cultural factors inhibit adaptive resource-use management; women play a major role in managing livestock and agricultural activities and are largely responsible for fuelwood collection, but their ability to participate in conservation endeavours is constrained by their poor social status.


Further information on threats and underlying causes is provided in Annex VI.
2.3 Problem Definition: The proposed project is based on a successful, field-tested approach to biodiversity conservation in Pakistan’s high mountains, building on the activities of the GEF PRIF: Maintaining Biodiversity in Pakistan with Rural Community Development. The PRIF was established to test the viability of community-based approaches to conservation management3, focusing on currently unprotected landscapes. Implementation commenced in early 1995, and is scheduled to conclude in mid 1998. An Independent Evaluation of the PRIF phase was completed in April 1997 with the aim of determining its efficacy in advancing conservation objectives. Annex IX provides a synopsis of the Evaluation Mission’s main recommendations. In summary, the Mission concluded that the pilot approach had yielded very positive results in a short period, and would, if continued, provide a strong foundation for achieving stable biodiversity conservation in a cost-effective manner (Garratt et al, 1997). Development of this proposal commenced following the Mission’s endorsement of the approach.
2.4 The conventional approach to protecting biodiversity in the high mountains has centred on the establishment of traditional protected areas such as National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Several PAs have been established in the Northern Areas, namely the Khunjerab, Karakoram and Deosai National Parks, plus 2 Wildlife Sanctuaries (Satpara and Astore). In the Hindu Kush region of NWFP, one National Park (Chitral Gol), and 3 Game Reserves (Goleen Gol, Tushi, and Mahudand) have been created. All these sites face accelerating pressures from anthropogenic uses of wild resources. Communities in the periphery of these PAs had little say in their establishment and have not been involved in management activities. Such exclusion is having a contra-conservation effect.
2.5 Another problem is that many of the existing PAs are too small to safeguard biodiversity and provide for the survival needs of species. This is especially a problem in the high mountain region, where wildlife has adapted to the limited carrying capacity of the cold desert environment by existing at low population densities and dispersing over vast areas. To protect biological diversity in this region, larger ecological landscapes will need to be brought under conservation management and corridors will need to be formed to link core wildlife areas. The question arises as to how best to achieve this aim. The establishment of traditional PAs is not an answer, because these landscapes support sizeable human populations. Any attempt to establish a traditional PA would likely lead to severe social conflict, in turn making conservation efforts meaningless. Clearly, a balance needs to be found between the management of wildlife and the resource-use needs and practices of local communities.
2.6 Conservation programmes in the region have tended to be administered from the top down—following a trend established during the colonial era. Ownership of most wildlife and forest resources is vested with the State, Protected Areas have been established without accommodating the needs and views of local communities, and the focus has been on the enforcement of legislation and regulations by the State apparatus. For various reasons, these approaches have failed to protect biological diversity. Many of Pakistan’s Protected Areas exist only on paper, lacking active management and suffering from a plethora of human pressures. Despite the designation of Protected Areas and enactment of legislation aimed at according strict protection to threatened species, population numbers of these species continue to decline.
2.7 As already alluded to, the main problem is that there is a marked absence of ownership on the part of local communities over conservation efforts. The failure of conservation programmes to address the concerns of these communities has had the unfortunate result of alienating them— with severe contra conservation implications. Many of these programmes are simply untenable because they do not provide local communities with alternative means of livelihood but yet expect them to forego uses of natural resources. As a result, villagers residing in areas of interest for conservation have had little reason to alter their resource-use practices. If this situation were to continue, accelerating threats would result in the extinction of a range of presently endangered species.
2.8 The traditional conservation model is costly to administer. It requires sizeable investments to be made in building infrastructure and equipment inventories, and in recruiting park guards and other PA personnel. Budget constraints invariably mean that financial outlays have been insufficient to enforce regulations. Financial and human resources have been stretched, leading to a low return per unit of investment4. The challenge, in these circumstances, is to find more cost-effective solutions to managing wild resources. One way of satisfying this need would be to decentralise management control and share responsibilities for wildlife conservation with civil society, and in particular, local communities and landowners.
2.9 To achieve this aim, local communities will need to be accorded a utilitarian stake in the management of wild resources. In part, this may be achieved through an education campaign aimed at sensitising communities to the non-monetary values of biodiversity, including benefits accorded by consumptive uses of flora and fauna and those captured through the flow of ecological services. But this alone will be insufficient, and monetary incentives will also be needed. Opportunities for catalysing productive uses of wild resources on a sustainable basis need to be found in order to increase their relative values and to provide a direct incentive for their conservation. The objective must be to secure a nexus between the development objectives of local communities and the objectives of ecosystem management.
2.10 If the problem is to be effectively addressed, conservation planners will need to gear strategies towards accounting for the perspectives of villagers, their world views, knowledge base, perceptions of risk and past and present patterns of natural resource management. If problems of open access are to be resolved, usufruct rights over wild resources will need to be accorded to villagers, empowering them to guard against over-exploitation by outsiders. The ability of local communities to adapt their resource-use practices has been outpaced by demographic, economic and technological change. Social mobilisation efforts need to focus on challenging them to recognise the implications of such change and to rethink their development strategies in the face of it in order to sustain their local ecological capital endowment. These efforts will need to be complemented by investments in productive infrastructure aimed at widening livelihood options. No single conservation or development agency can address all these requirements, hence the need to marry and better focus efforts.
2.11 Baseline Programmes: The rate of socio-economic growth in the mountain region has historically been slow, mainly because of the political and geographic isolation of the area. Administrative and socio-economic changes, though gradual, have however occurred— their impact being most visible over the past 20 years. A number of rural support programmes in the region have augmented government development initiatives aimed at diversifying rural livelihoods. These initiatives form an important baseline for the MACP, addressing some of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss. Agents of change have included the various government departments but also NGOs and donor bodies such as the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), UNICEF, FAO, the World Bank, and IFAD.
2.12 AKRSP, in particular has been a major catalyst of community development. Established in northern Pakistan in the early 1980s, the NGO has been extensively involved in social mobilisation and community organisation, the development of productive physical infrastructure (including access roads and irrigation channels), human resource development, agricultural sector support, livestock and social forestry programmes, micro-enterprise development and micro-credit schemes. Community organisation work has facilitated the development of Village Organisations/Womens Organisations (VOs/WOs) as well as supra-village networks—providing an institutional backbone for implementation of the MACP. Other projects linked to the MACP include the IFAD/UNDP sponsored Northern Areas Development project, a component of which will support the strengthening of agricultural support services in the Northern Areas. In addition, the European Union is funding the Dir Kohistan Upland Rehabilitation and Development project which has a similar agenda to that of AKRSP, working in areas where AKRSP is not operative.
2.13 A number of NGOs including WWF, IUCN and several local NGOs are working to integrate conservation and development objectives and spearhead conservation education. In addition, the World Bank is developing a Protected Areas Management Project to strengthen three PAs, one of which lies in the project region. This work comprises an important baseline of conservation effort in the high mountains, though additional efforts are warranted to stabilise threats. These various efforts were considered in designing the MACP, with gaps being evaluated in the process of developing the GEF alternative. A more detailed account of baseline initiatives is given in Annex VII.
3. Alternative Course of Action
3.1 The PRIF established a process for engaging communities in conservation efforts, through awareness raising, piloting participatory planning methodologies, identifying local concerns, needs, and priorities, and challenging community members to rethink their development strategies. [The aim was to ensure the compatibility of these strategies with the objectives of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.] The approach has been applied in 12 valleys, each comprising a project site, and has been modified as necessary to reflect different field conditions. At each site, communities (working through Village Organisations) have developed Village Conservation Plans (VCPs) focusing on both species and habitat management. The Plans provide a vehicle for integrating biodiversity conservation and community development activities in the project areas. Each plan provides information on biodiversity in the area, threats facing species, solutions to remove pressures, actions needed in order to put them into effect, and responsibilities for implementation.
3.2 The MACP aims at sustaining the momentum gained under the PRIF in order to achieve stable conservation. This will necessitate an extension of efforts to cover new valleys. Such extension is critical to provide for the long-term ecological viability of conservation (i.e., to ensure that sufficient habitat is protected and biological corridors are maintained), plus to ensure that a representative sample of the region’s biodiversity is protected.
3.3 The PRIF may be regarded as phase 1 of a two phase programme, establishing the feasibility and modalities of community based conservation in northern Pakistan. The MACP has been designed taking the lessons of the PRIF phase into account. Activities will initially be differentiated by location (i.e., existing vs new sites). In new areas, the process piloted under the PRIF will be orchestrated. In Villages that have already been the focus of attention under the PRIF, the project will focus on implementing Village Conservation Plans and strengthening the capacity of village institutions to manage biodiversity.
3.4 It is proposed that project sites be clustered, with a single cluster comprising a number of valleys, harbouring significant biodiversity and constituting a viable ecological unit. Each unit will form a Conservancy, managed by local communities in partnership with government as multiple-use areas. Four Conservancies will be so established, building on the nucleus valleys that have been the focus of the PRIF phase. Criteria for site selection include biodiversity significance, social factors, the quality and quantity of baseline endeavours, and contiguity to existing protected areas.
3.5 Site Descriptions: The project is located in the North West Frontier Province, and the Northern Areas, a federally administered region. The four conservancy areas, namely the Gojal and Nanga Parbat Conservancies in Northern Areas and the Tirichmir and Qashqar Conservancies in NWFP cover a total area of some 10,800 square kilometres. The Gojal conservancy lies in the Karakoram range, at its point of intersection with the Pamirs in Afghanistan and China. The Nanga Parbat conservancy lies in the Western Himalaya. Tirichmir is located in the high Hindu Kush, and Qashqar in the Hindu Kush foothills. The two northern conservancies (Tirichmir and Gojal) are characterised as cold deserts. Much of the landscape in these areas is treeless, with permanent snowfields found above 4000 metres. In contrast, Nanga Parbat and Qashqar conservancies harbour ecologically important tracts of indigenous forests.
3.6 Biogeographic Overview of the Project Sites:


Conservancy

Tirichmir


Qashqar

Gojal

Nanga Parbat

Mountain Range

Hindu Kush

Hindu Hush

Karakoram

W. Himalaya

Important Biomes (see Annex X for description)

Dry alpine zone/snowfields; alpine meadows;

Scrub oak; dry temperate forest

Dry alpine zone/ snowfields; alpine meadows

Dry temperate forest

Zoogeographic Importance

Flyway for migratory birds.

Transitional zone between Palearctic and Oriental realms. Cedar and juniper forests (critical habitat for the Musk Deer). Pine forests (crucial for growth of morrel mushrooms).

Habitat of globally significant species: Marco polo sheep, Snow Leopard and Wooly Flying Squirrels (until recently thought to be extinct).

Transition zone between alpine and moist temperate biomes. Medicinal plants. Possibly harbours populations of Wooly Flying squirrels.

Key Flora

Juniperus communis, Salix dendriculata, Mertensia tibetica, Polentilla desertorum

Picea smithiana, Pinus willachiana, Cedrus deodara, Quercus ilex, Taxus baccata

Poa grasses, Draba trinervia, Polygonum affine, Saxifraga sibirica, Euphorbia kanaorica

Betula utilis, Juniperus communis, Sorbus aneuparia, Alopercus and Poa grasses, Anemone and Rannunculaceae

Agro-biodiversity (wild races)

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca); Walnut (Juglans regia); Acorn (Quercus ilex);

Pine Nut (Pinus gerardiana);

Cumin (Cumin cyminum); Wild Rose (Rosa webbiana); Hippopi (Hippopi rhamnoides); Ephedrine (Ephedra sp.)


Walnut (Juglans regia); Acorn (Quercus ilex); Horse Chesnut (Aesculus indica); Pine Nut (Pinus gerardiana); Wild Rose (Rosa webbiana); Hippopi (Hippopi rhamnoides); Morell Mushroom (Morchella conica);

Ephedrine (Ephedra sp.)



Apricot (Prunus armeniaca); Walnut (Juglans regia); Wild Rose (Rosa webbiana); Hippopi (Hippopi rhamnoides); Ephedrine (Ephedra sp.)

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca); Walnut (Juglans regia); Acorn (Quercus ilex); Pine Nut (Pinus gerardiana); Costus Root (Sassurea lappa);

Thyme (Thymus serphylum); Cumin (Cumin cyminum); Wild Rose (Rosa webbiana); Hippopi (Hippopi rhamnoides); Ephedrine (Ephedra sp.)




Key Fauna

Snow Leopard, Himalayan Ibex, Ermine, Long-tailed Marmot, Goshawk, Himalayan Snowcock, Chukar,


Musk Deer, Kashmir Markhor, Small Kashmir Flying Squirrel, Himalayan Black Bear, Yellow Throated Marten, Common Otter, Koklas Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Golden eagle, Common Kestrel, Alpine Chough

Himalayan Ibex, Marco Polo Sheep, Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Lynx, Bobak Marmot, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Lammergier, European Sparrow Hawk, Himalayan Snow Cock, Snow Partridge

Musk Deer, Astore Markhor, Common Otter, Chinese Birch Mouse, Royle’s High Mountain Vole, Monal Pheasant, Himalayam Snowcock, Golden eagle, Marsh Harrier

3.7. The proposed conservancies will be analogous to Managed Resource Protected Areas (category VI PA) as defined in IUCN’s register of Protected Area Management Categories (IUCN/WCMC, 1994). The specific management objectives are to:

¨ protect biodiversity by providing for the ecological needs of species and improving survivorship by arresting threats;

¨ develop and apply effective management measures for sustainable use; and

¨ contribute to ecologically sustainable development of the area.
The strategy contains a mix of elements which are summarised below. The project aims at building the institutional, human and financial capacities of local communities and supporting government agencies to sustain the proposed conservation model into the long term. The project has seven main components (outputs), namely

[1] Building local-level conservation planning & management capacities within the conservancies.

[2] Conservation education and awareness.

[3] Building monitoring capacities.

[4] Engendering ecologically sustainable development (or ‘ecodevelopment’).

[5] Encouraging sustainable uses of biological resources.

[6] Establishing a conducive policy, legislative and government institutional framework for community based conservation.

[7] Setting up a financial mechanism for the conservancies.


3.8 Output 1: The institutional and human capacity of community level organisations to conserve biological diversity will have been strengthened, and planning and management structures will be in place [GEF funding: US$ 2,720,000]
For those villages that have already been the target of interventions under the PRIF phase, efforts will focus on further training, institutional strengthening of village organisations (VOs), and building cluster-level management linkages. Further management planning will be undertaken as institutional and human capacities are enhanced. The main focus will be on the implementation of the Village Conservation Plans with partner agencies taking responsibility for the supply of productive infrastructure such as irrigation systems and the funding of social forestry initiatives (see output 4). For those new villages that have been selected under the PRIF phase for inclusion under the MACP, the focus, initially, will be on social mobilisation. Using participatory learning and planning tools, the project will assist communities to evaluate their natural, physical and human capital base and to assess their needs and priorities. Villagers will be challenged to rethink their development model in light of ecological capital values. These activities will lead to the preparation of Village Conservation Plans, following the general approach tested under the PRIF. Again, planning will be undertaken in an iterative manner as capacity is built. The focus will be on engendering self-help, de-emphasising the role of outside agencies in activity implementation. [This fits in with the general pattern of development fostered in the region by AKRSP and other rural development programmes.]
3.9 The emphasis of the MACP is on engendering local solutions to conservation management problems, and empowering communities to make their own decisions regarding species and habitat management. The project will provide training to community members in adaptive natural resource management and sustainable use measures. This training will build upon the existing local knowledge base, incorporate best practice information from field trials into natural resource management methods, and draw on the results of the demonstration projects that will be conducted as part of output 5. Based on the problems identified in the VCPs, the project will:

* develop better livestock management methods;

* develop mechanisms for managing sustainable use activities; and

* impart improved forest management skills, particularly to women.

The project will train village specialists in various aspects of eco-systems management, building on the village specialist network already established by AKRSP (see Annex VIII for details). The network consists of agricultural, livestock and forestry specialists who have been trained as contact farmers and extension workers5. Use of the network will provide for greater, and more cost effective, community outreach. The approach will build a cadre of local resource persons who may serve as sustainable use extension workers beyond the life of the project (refresher training will be required and will be funded through the financial mechanism).

3.10 In recognition of the substantial role played by women in the use and management of natural resources, the project includes a “Gender in Conservation” component. This is based on the understanding that unless women’s needs and perceptions are effectively addressed, they are unlikely to be able to participate, given existing gender relations, as full stakeholders in project implementation. The integration of gender issues into the project involves a number of elements, including sensitising project staff in gender issues, performing gender analyses at the village level to better understand the roles and position of women in the village setting, targeting awareness activities at women, and enhancing their natural resource management skills.


3.11 The establishment of wildlife conservancies will require that Village Conservation Plans be made congruent at the cluster-level, and that effective institutional structures be developed to manage wild resources. The structures will comprise several elements. At the village level, VOs will take responsibility for implementing and monitoring conservation management activities. At the cluster-level, Conservancy Management Committees (CMCs) will be formed by representatives of VOs in each conservancy area, by District officials, and representatives from provincial conservation authorities. The Committee will take overall responsibility for developing a Conservancy Management Plan and for guiding and monitoring its implementation. It will establish regulations for conservation management, to be supported through an enabling legal and policy framework. District Management Committees have already been established under the PRIF phase in each project area, comprised of the Deputy Commissioner, the Divisional Forest Officer, the Superintendent of Police and VO representatives. These committees offer an effective mechanism to link government and villagers in managing the conservancy areas, to ensure compliance with regulations, and to monitor implementation at the local-level. These Committees will be strengthened to form the CMCs.
3.12 Output 2: Conservation values will have been imparted to local communities through a well targeted conservation education and awareness drive, with avenues developed for the sharing of information/experiences regarding natural resource management amongst villagers. [GEF funding US$ 1,050,000; co-funding US$ 500,000]
3.13 The project strategy recognises that a carefully designed education and awareness campaign will be important in order to sensitise communities to the need to maintain eco-system integrity and to impart moral values for conservation. Awareness building will be fostered by sponsoring village exchange programmes to enable communities to share experiences as regards resource management. Such exchanges will highlight positive conservation efforts within the conservancies. Separate exchanges will be orchestrated for men, women, and youth to enable the full participation of various stakeholders.
3.14 In conjunction with WWF-Pakistan, the project will also support a “schools in conservation” programme within the conservancies. This initiative will provide teachers with training in conservation instructional methodologies. Appropriate material for use as teaching aids will be developed with the assistance of WWF. Education workshops will be organised to provide teachers from different conservancies the opportunity to share their experiences, problems, and discuss future plans. Special events, focusing on the importance of conservation (such as speech contests and essay competitions), will be organised. With the assistance of other NGOs and funding from the local administration, schools will be involved in native tree planting measures. Finally, by engaging local artists, environmental posters will be prepared for distribution to local schools, colleges and other institutions. The project will also sponsor a media outreach programme, focusing on radio. Various ethnic groups within the conservancies broadcast radio programmes in their own languages. Under the MACP, broadcasters will be sensitised to conservation issues, and a regular fact sheet will be prepared for distribution to radio announcers as a means of disseminating information on conservation and sustainable use initiatives in the mountain region. Awareness activities would be continued over the longer term, with funding provided through the financial mechanism.
3.15 Output 3: A system for monitoring and evaluating project impacts, including ecological, and socio-economic outcomes will have been established. [GEF funding US$ 700,000]
The main focus of activities under this component will be on building capacity at the village level to enable stakeholders to independently monitor impacts and assess the sustainability of uses of wild resources. The objective is to sustain monitoring efforts, as part of an integrated planning and management system, beyond the life of the project. A series of training workshops will be conducted, focusing on learning-by-doing. The workshops will concentrate on building skills in survey techniques and data recording and analysis methods. Simple, easily verifiable and understood indicators will be developed through a participatory process for use at the local-level. Monitoring mechanisms have already been put in place under the PRIF phase, and some training in wildlife survey methods has been provided. However these mechanisms need to be refined and strengthened, and substantial capacity building is required to institutionalise monitoring efforts.
3.16 Output 4: Development agencies and communities will be targeting financial and human resources towards long-term village ecodevelopment in the conservancies. [GEF funding: nil; co-funding: 5,350,000]
Substantial efforts have been made to mobilise linkages with other development programmes or “partner agencies”, such as AKRSP, the EU financed Dir Kohistan Environmental Rehabilitation Project, and the IFAD/UNDP Northern Areas Development Project. Partner agencies will address some of the ultimate causes of biodiversity loss in the project areas by investing in productive infrastructure and livelihood activities. [These agencies will respond to communities’ perception of needs articulated in Village Conservation Plans.] In particular, the partners will be responsible for:

¨ building productive infrastructure, such as irrigation channels and hydro powered lift irrigation systems to extend the area under cultivation;

¨ piloting field initiatives to demonstrate the viability and efficacy of ecologically sustainable land use practices (such as rotational grazing);

¨ providing technical assistance to improve livestock husbandry methods;

¨ improving animal health, so enhancing the productivity of livestock (enabling villagers to obtain meat and milk needs from smaller herds);

¨ supplying technical inputs, seedlings and financial resources for social forestry programmes;

¨ supplementing government agricultural and livestock extension services to improve the productivity of animal husbandry and farming system methods; and

¨ providing enterprise support to implement the results of the sustainable use demonstrations that will be effected under the MACP.

These co-operative partnerships will serve to increase the cost-effectiveness of the project by avoiding duplication of effort and targeting interventions towards achieving ecologically sustainable and conservation compatible development objectives. The approach will ensure a more efficient use of scarce conservation and development funds. The aim is to fully integrate conservation into the development paradigm of villages within the conservancies, creating the foundations for ecologically sustainable development beyond the life of the project.
3.17 In all cases, interventions will be framed through a process of micro-planning undertaken in conjunction with the MACP, and based on community priorities and needs as articulated in the Conservation Plans. Interventions proposed under the alternative strategy are substitutional to the extent that:

¨ in the business as usual situation, community development needs would have been articulated without reference to conservation objectives (under the alternative strategy a shift in development priorities will occur, with interventions modified to address the ultimate causes of biodiversity loss);

¨ additional development assistance is specifically being leveraged for communities in the conservancy areas (under the alternative strategy, partner agencies will include biodiversity conservation objectives in the criteria set employed in prioritising development interventions and in choosing project locations6);

¨ activities take on board the priorities and needs of all community members, including marginalised groups that are most responsible for deleterious land use activities such as unsustainable utilisation of forest products; and

¨ activities incompatible with conservation objectives (such as the construction of link roads to high pastures) will be restricted.

The project will sign Memorandums of Understanding (MoU’s) with the partner agencies, establishing a joint programmatic framework for conservation and community development interventions.


3.18 Output 5: The knowledge base regarding sustainable use of components of biodiversity will have been enhanced, with results applied in on-going community development activities. [GEF funding: US$ 870,000; co-funding US$ 200,000]
A major focus of the proposed strategy is to increase the relative values of wild resources as an incentive for their conservation. A great range of wild resources with consumptive and productive use values exist in the high mountain environments. These include wild thyme, cumin seed, wild roses, various species of fungi, a range of medicinal plants, and wild ungulates (trophy hunting). At the present time, a number of barriers exist to the sustainable use of these resources. These include a lack of technologies and techniques for habitat enrichment and propagation, lack of knowledge of market determinants and structures, inadequate management structures, and a dearth of skills and experience. The project will undertake a set of demonstration experiments aimed at establishing the economic and ecological viability of sustainable use options and developing an effective management regime7. The choice of sites for demonstration projects will be determined by ecological factors, by social conditions, and by the degree of maturity of each village in the planning process. The results of these experiments will be disseminated throughout the conservancy areas using the village specialist network (see output 1). A key focus will be on developing effective regulatory measures to ensure that use occurs on a sustainable basis and to avoid problems of market saturation.
3.19 In order for the project concept to bear fruit, it is important that those communities that assume the costs of conservation management also reap the benefits. Good management must be rewarded. Thus, an incentives regime will be developed under the project to give wild resources focused value (see output 6).
3.20 Tourism Activities: Eco tourism in the northern mountain areas of Pakistan has not developed into a large scale industry-- though considerable potential exists for development, particularly of domestic tourism. Government records show that some 16,000 Pakistani and foreign tourists visit Chitral (NWFP), and 20,000 visit the Hunza area (NAs) annually. Tourists can be broken down into two categories, those who travel on fixed itineraries arranged through domestic tour operators; and independent travellers. Many tourists conduct trekking tours, and mountaineering expeditions are regularly mounted. Tourism is generally unmanaged, and is placing moderate pressures on the natural environment—pressures that can be expected to grow as tourist numbers increase. These pressures include consumption of fuelwood, contributing to the loss of native forests, trampling of ecologically fragile areas, and littering. The project will sensitise local villagers to the implications of these pressures in terms of sustaining the tourist industry, and their impacts on biodiversity.

The main focus of tourism activities will be to:

¨ Train Village Conservation Committee members in tourism promotion techniques and develop linkages with tour operators to mobilise marketing expertise (UNDP inputs);

¨ Develop a Code of Conduct for tourists within the given conservancy to ensure that they do not damage the fragile mountain ecosystems, and develop a management strategy to attenuate threats to biodiversity (GEF inputs);

¨ Train local guides in visitor management techniques (UNDP/GEF cost sharing);

¨ Develop interpretation materials for tourists regarding the conduct code (UNDP/GEF cost sharing).

¨ Identify appropriate fee schedules for visitation to the conservancy areas (GEF inputs);

¨ Find ways and means of co-ordinating tourism management activities between different villages along trekking routes (GEF inputs).

¨ Develop promotional literature on tourism potential in the conservancies (UNDP inputs).
3.21 GEF inputs aim at incorporating biodiversity concerns into tourism management at the village level. Activities will focus upon the Nanga Parbat and Tirichmir conservancies. The Nanga Parbat areas offers a number of tourist attractions, including wildlife viewing opportunities and spectacular scenery. In the Tirichmir conservancy the major tourist attraction is the Tirichmir mountain, the highest peak in the Hindu Kush range. This peak is mainly visited by mountain climbing groups, with locals hired as porters.
3.22 A further set of activities, aimed at developing a viable trophy hunting industry based on carefully regulated Markhor and Ibex hunting will also stimulate tourism, by developing the niche market in sport hunting. In addition, the project will investigate options for leveraging trekking permit fees for the purposes of capitalising the Trust Fund. Tourism issues will also be dealt with under other project outputs, including advocacy activities, policy related activities, and monitoring.
3.23 Output 6: Government policies and regulations will have been remoulded to support management of the conservancies and institutional capacities for managing participatory conservation models will have been strengthened. [GEF funding US$ 1,060,000]
To ensure sustainability and provide incentives for communities to actively participate in conservation efforts, it will be necessary to develop an enabling policy and legal environment that supports project activities in the conservancies. The project will promote the development of specific rules governing the management and sustainable use of natural resources in these areas. At the regional level, the project will facilitate the drafting of laws supporting rules and regulations for the enforcement of model wildlife laws in both NWFP and NAs. In addition, the following provisions will be made specifically for the conservancies:

¨ legal recognition (through gazetting) of the conservancies; the project will extend the existing Protected Area categories to accommodate a range of management objectives from strict preservation (IUCN Category I) to community-based conservation areas or “conservancies” (IUCN Category VI)8.

¨ extension of appropriate authority (in the form of tenure, lease or other options) to local communities, conservancy management committees and other traditional groups of users;

¨ provision of rules that facilitate and provide incentives for sound local management, including:

- allocation of trophy hunting licences to the conservancies;

- permitting the commercial sale of economic plants (e.g., mushrooms, cumin, medicinal plants);

- collection of conservation fees from trekkers and other tourists;

- licensing of certified guides;

¨ requirement for conservancy management plans that will guide development activities within conservancy boundaries and that have the status of subsidiary legislation between periods of review;

¨ reconciliation (and acceptance) of local resource inventories in the conservancies with ongoing government monitoring and reporting.


3.24 This work will be supported by institutional capacity building to develop and strengthen the capabilities of government staff to support management of the conservancies. The role of government will be to ensure conservancy regulations are implemented, to monitor impact, to provide extension services, and to apply the incentives regime to reward and penalise communities based on the quality of management. Training efforts will aim at sensitising government officers to the mechanics of community-based conservation, plus strengthening their skills base in order to effectively execute their oversight and support functions and apply the community conservation model in other areas.
3.25 Output 7: A Biodiversity fund will be in operation and will be contributing towards meeting the recurrent costs of Conservancy management. [GEF funding US$ 1,700,000; co-funding US$ 2,400,000]
A financial mechanism will be developed to cover the costs of conservation interventions beyond project closure—so ensuring financial sustainability. Recurrent costs associated with conservation management in the conservancies include the expenses associated with monitoring implementation of the Conservation Plan, enforcing regulations, on-going operations, and awareness efforts9. It is proposed that a trust fund be established to cover these costs, with an endowment being created and invested in capital markets. The net proceeds from investments would be allocated to conservation committees in the conservancies to cover agreed expenditures.
3.26 The MACP will support a participatory process aimed at guiding design and management of the fund, and following best practice guidelines from other GEF Trust Fund initiatives. UNDP has committed seed financing (US$ 1 m), and the Government of Pakistan will also make a contribution of US$ 0.5 m). The GEF would provide seed finance of US$ 1.5 m, plus support trust fund establishment. The project would solicit additional moneys from other donors during implementation to capitalise the trust at US$ 5 million.
3.27 Project design also makes provision for establishing early incentives for biodiversity conservation, as a means of building trust with local communities. Village Conservation Funds will be established in participating communities, capitalised jointly by UNDP and villagers. The funds will be invested in high yielding deposits, with the proceeds drawn upon by communities to implement those aspects of the Village Conservation Plan dealing with ecodevelopment. A Terms of Partnership agreement between the project and communities will stipulate mutual obligations as regards management and utilisation of the funds. Communities will be required to deposit a portion of the proceeds from sustainable use activities in the fund—providing a means of sharing benefits in an equitable manner10.
3.28 End of Project Situation: The following results are expected to have been achieved by the end of the project:

¨ Four large wildlife conservancy areas will have been established, covering a representative sample of the bio-geographic regions of the W. Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges and providing sufficient habitat for species survival. There will be evidence of active conservation, with improvements in habitat quality and an increase in populations of keystone species such as Markhor and Himalayan Ibex.

¨ Land within each conservancy will be zoned and managed by communities for multiple uses including strict protection, harvesting of wild resources, social forestry, livestock and agricultural activities.

¨ Strong capacity for conservation management will have been established at the local-level. Village organisations will be planning, managing and monitoring conservation efforts, and Conservancy Management Committees will have been established and will be regulating community-based management. A Conservancy Management Plan will have been prepared for each site, agreed upon by participating villages, and will be guiding resource-uses and development activities in the conservancy areas. A system for policing regulations will be in place, supported by the necessary legal instruments.

¨ Environmental awareness programmes will have been executed to impart conservation values to community members, and a forum for inter-village communications will have been established to enable villagers to share experiences with other communities.

¨ A record of project impacts will be available, lessons learned will have been documented and disseminated, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms will have been memorialised as part of the community-based management paradigm.

¨ Development programmes within the conservancies, including those sponsored by communities, governments, NGOs, and donors will be geared towards the achievement of conservation objectives. The foundations for long-term sustainable development in the conservancy areas will be in place, supported by a conducive policy, regulatory and institutional framework.

¨ Field trials of sustainable use models will have been completed, with the results guiding resource-uses in the conservancy areas. Existing extension agents, including community-based agricultural, livestock and forestry specialists will have been trained in technical aspects of sustainable use, with mechanisms established through government and NGOs for the provision of future refresher courses.

¨ Government wildlife policies will have been reoriented towards supporting community-based conservation, as provided for under the Biodiversity Action Plan. Enabling legislation will exist to give legal backing to the conservancies, providing a means for targeting incentives to conservancy villages, regulating resource uses, and enforcing Conservancy Management Plans.

¨ The institutional capacity of Provincial Wildlife and Forestry Departments to co-manage the community based conservation paradigm will have been strengthened, with government supporting operations of the Conservancies by providing management advice, ensuring compliance with regulations, and monitoring impacts.

¨ A conservancy trust fund will be in operation, meeting a portion of the recurrent costs of field operations, with funds management mechanisms in place to ensure full financial accountability.
3.29 Project Beneficiaries: Beneficiaries include the following stakeholders.

¨ Global communities will benefit from the protection of unique ecosystems, species and races that otherwise would face local and global extirpation. A number of economic benefits will be captured by this constituency, including direct use values, future use, option, existence and recreational-use values. The Tirichmir conservancy serves as an important flyway for migratory birds, and habitat protection under the project will serve to protect refugia for these species and so ensure their long-term survival.

¨ Local communities: The project will stem the erosion in ecosystem functions and maintain use, option, amenity and other values for the benefit of future generations. Activities sponsored under the project will enhance the ecological sustainability of baseline development programmes.

¨ Government: Local and Provincial government staff will benefit from training programmes, additional field experience, and being sensitised to participatory conservation methods. In the long-term, the community-based conservation approach offers a more cost-effective means of achieving biodiversity conservation relative to traditional models—improving the returns from conservation investments appropriated through national and provincial budgets.



¨ Field Staff working for Partner NGOs and Development Agencies will benefit from training in participatory conservation methods, exposure to new experiences and access to lessons learned material.
3.30 Stakeholder Participation in Project Design: This brief has been developed following extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including local community leaders, government personnel at all levels, donor agencies and NGOs. An iterative process is being followed, with increasing stakeholder participation engendered at each stage of project development. The proposal builds on the outcomes of the participatory planning exercise initiated in villages under the PRIF phase, and fully reflects the needs and priorities of local villagers. The views of major stakeholders were extensively canvassed in conducting the mid-term evaluation of the project. The recommendations of the Review Mission, as they relate to the scope of any follow-on-project, have been taken on board in formulating the proposal. Additional meetings were scheduled with stakeholders during the process of project formulation. Finally, important stakeholders were invited to attend a workshop in Gilgit (in August, 1997) to discuss the shape of the MACP. Their views and design recommendations are fully reflected in this document.
3.31 Indicators: The logical framework matrix in Annex II provides a list of indicators and sources of verification for gauging project impacts.


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