Sustainability and Risks
  1. Sustainability
  2. Critical risks
  3. Possible controversial aspects
  1. Sustainability:

    Project design has addressed institutional sustainability through the rationalization of protected area management responsibilities, capacity building and institutional strengthening at the local level (both government agencies and NGOs) to meet the new challenges of decentralization. The NFA, which has strong institutional capacity and a proven track record for forest management at the county level will have lead responsibility for project implementation at the field level. Initiatives to engage local communities and other local stakeholders, including the Church and other private landowners, in project preparation and implementation should contribute to social sustainability. With regards to financial sustainability, Government has demonstrated consistent financial commitment to implementation of the ongoing GEF Danube Delta Biodiversity Project. Additionally, the forestry sector is a net contributor to the national economy through revenue earnings and taxes on forest products including timber and the products of wood industries. Government recognizes that an effective system of protected areas is an essential element of sustainable forest management and have committed to contribute to the incremental costs of the project, and to financially support protected area management after completion of the project. Contributions will be provided by both the central Government and NFA. Mechanisms to support sustainable conservation and public awareness from revenue generation more directly related to protected area management, together with a strategy for their adoption at the project sites and other priority conservation sites, will be developed by the project. Possible sources of revenue include users fees for recreational, educational and other sustainable use of protected area resources. In addition, the project will review and support establishment of eco-labeling to provide for higher priced markets for forest products derived from forest ecosystems managed in a biodiversity friendly manner (notably at the Vanatori-Neamts demonstration site).

  2. Critical Risks (reflecting assumptions in the fourth column of Annex 1): Risk Rating :
    H (High Risk) S (Substantial Risk) M (Modest Risk) N (Negligible or Low Risk)

  3. Possible Controversial Aspects:

    a. NFA has a long and distinguished history of good and conservative forest management practice. However, since NFA is a commercial entity whose traditional role includes forest resource exploitation, the concept of allocating responsibility for management of protected areas to the NFA has been likened by some in the environmental NGO community as using the wolf to guard the sheep. However, MWFEP, and NFA recognize that the new NFA role will focus on safeguarding the public interest in forest management, including protected area management. Consequently the project will build some of the new skills needed to implement this newly assigned mandate. In addition, the project will provide for the participation of environmental stakeholders in project oversight and implementation, and will ensure that public awareness activities publicize the project's mainstreaming objectives and the NFA's changing role and focus on safeguarding the public interest in forest management.

    b. Conservation management of project sites includes controlling access to natural resources, in order to protect ecosystems in core areas, and reducing exploitation to sustainable levels elsewhere in the protected areas. This may limit income for some groups of stakeholders in the short term. The project will work closely with affected stakeholders to support the establishment of mechanisms for sustainable management of protected area resources, specifically including grazing and game animals.

Main Loan Conditions

Conditions of Board presentation:

The POC and PCT shall have been established in a manner and under terms of reference satisfactory to the Bank.

Conditions of effectiveness:

A Project Manager, procurement specialist, financial manager and office assistant for the PCT shall have been appointed under terms of reference satisfactory to the Bank.
A financial management system, satisfactory to the Bank, shall have been established.

Readiness for Implementation

[ ] The engineering design documents for the first year's activities are complete and ready for the start of project implementation.
[X] Not applicable.
[ ] The procurement documents for the first year's activities are complete and ready for the start of project implementation.
[ ] The Project Implementation Plan has been appraised and found to be realistic and of satisfactory quality.
[ ] The following items are lacking and are discussed under loan conditions (Section G):

Compliance with Bank Policies

[X] This project complies with all applicable Bank policies.
[ ] [The following exceptions to Bank policies are recommended for approval: . The project complies with all other applicable Bank policies.]

Task Team Leader/Task Manager:  John Fraser Stewart				

Sector Manager/Director: Kevin M. Cleaver

Country Manager/Director:  Andrew Vorkink