|Overview : |
In accordance with UNDP and GEF M&E policies and procedures, all full- and medium-sized UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects are required to undergo a Terminal Evaluation (TE) at the end of the project. This Terms of Reference (TOR) sets out the expectations for the TE of the full -sized project titled Implementing an integrated “Ridge to Reef” approach to enhance ecosystem services, to conserve globally important biodiversity and to sustain local livelihoods in the FSM.
The TE process must follow the guidance outlined in the document ‘Guidance For Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’
PROJECT BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT`
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an independent sovereign island nation consisting of four States spread across the Western Pacific Ocean (from west to east): Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. Together, the States comprise 607 islands that stretch over a longitudinal distance of almost 3,000 km mostly located between 6 and 10 degrees north of the equator. The combined land area the FSM [High Islands and Atolls] is approximately 728 km2 with 2,700,000 km2 of EEZ in the Pacific Ocean. The total area of High Island is approximately 658 km2 (Yap 97 km2, Chuuk 95 km2, Pohnpei 358 km2 and Kosrae 110 km2).
Marine and terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services underpin social well-being and the economy of the Federated States of Micronesia and are vital to food security. These resources and services, however, are currently being undermined by unsustainable natural resource use and practices; spread of invasive alien species; the impacts of climate change; and the limitations of government to effectively implement its programs and policies.
The FSM R2R Project is designed to engineer a paradigm shift in the approach to and management of natural resources from an ad-hoc species/site/problem centric approach to a holistic ecosystem-based management “ridge to reef” approach guided by planning and management process that are informed by actual data. The shift to an ecosystem-based approach within National and State governments will ensure that whole island systems are managed to enhance ecosystem goods and services, to conserve globally important biodiversity and to sustain local livelihoods.
The project’s goal is to implement an integrated “Ridge to Reef” approach to enhance ecosystem services, to conserve globally important biodiversity and to sustain local livelihoods in the FSM. The objective is to strengthen local, State and National capacities and actions to implement an integrated ecosystems management through “ridge to reef” approach on the High Islands of the four States of the FSM.
The project’s intervention will achieve this objective through the following set of outcomes:
Outcome 1: Integrated Ecosystems Management and Rehabilitation on the High Islands of the FSM to enhance Ridge to Reef Connectivity, or Sustainable Land-use Management; and
Outcome 2: Management Effectiveness enhanced within new and existing PAs on the High Islands of FSM as part of R2R approach, or Protected Area Management.
The project is seeking to:
- Promote an integrated approach towards fostering sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation by seeking greater awareness, knowledge, and participation of all stakeholders in achieving a greater balance between environmental management and development needs. In doing so it will reduce conflicting land-uses and land-use practices and improve the sustainability of terrestrial and marine management so as to maintain the flow of vital ecosystem services and sustain the livelihoods of local communities.
- Demonstrate sustainable land management practices testing new management measures, as needed, to reduce existing environmental stressors and institutional limitations.
- Enhance the FSMs capacities to effectively manage its protected area estate as well as increase the coverage of the terrestrial and marine protected area network on the High Islands.
Since the global Covid-19 pandemic has escalated into a global humanitarian and socio-economic crisis in the first quarter of 2020, many countries including FSM responded immediately by implemented strict travel restrictions as a necessary measure to mitigate the spread of the virus. International travel is limited to only necessary travel and those entering the country must have in possession a Quarantine Certificate and a mandatory negative COVID-19 test result. Travelers entering FSM are expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine period (in isolation) before they are allowed to move freely. Initially there was a lockdown period, with national government priorities focused on a Corvid 19 response plan. This had a negative impact on the project, resulting in delays to implementation for at least 4 months but with the lifting of restrictions implementation gradually picked up since June. To date, there are no known cases of Covid related deaths in FSM. National Government officials continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.