Regional: Sustainable Environmental Management of Projects in Central and West Asia

Sovereign Project | 48109-001 Status: Approved

Summary

The impact of the TA will be sustained environmental compliance across all ADB-financed projects in participating DMCs across CWA region. The outcome will be improved implementation of SSEMPs for category A and B projects in participating DMCs across the CWA region.

The TA will have three outputs: (i) project environmental monitoring solution (PEMS) developed; (ii) environmental management capacity of executing agencies enhanced; and (iii) executing agency performance on environmental management showcased.

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Project Name Sustainable Environmental Management of Projects in Central and West Asia
Project Number 48109-001
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8663-REG: Sustainable Environmental Management of Projects in Central and West Asia
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.50 million
TA 8663-REG: Sustainable Environmental Management of Projects in Central and West Asia (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 750,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Water-based natural resources management

Energy - Energy sector development and institutional reform

Public sector management - Public administration

Transport - Road transport (non-urban)

Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Other urban services

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description

The impact of the TA will be sustained environmental compliance across all ADB-financed projects in participating DMCs across CWA region. The outcome will be improved implementation of SSEMPs for category A and B projects in participating DMCs across the CWA region.

The TA will have three outputs: (i) project environmental monitoring solution (PEMS) developed; (ii) environmental management capacity of executing agencies enhanced; and (iii) executing agency performance on environmental management showcased.

Output 1 will be delivered through development and implementation of a continuous PEMS. The PEMS will serve as a monitoring, feedback, and training loop that will result in a solution customized to meet the needs and specific capacity gaps of each executing agency. The international environmental safeguards consultant will conduct a sector-focused capacity gap analysis. The international environmental safeguards consultant will develop a five-point ranking system on safeguards compliance, which will provide detailed criteria for ranking environmental compliance of ongoing projects. This ranking system will be used to accurately measure biannually the level and quality of environmental compliance in each ongoing project. After consultations with the directors and environment specialists of the executing agencies' project management units, and ADB's project team leaders in the sector divisions, a framework for the PEMS will be developed by incorporating any concerns over implementation issues. The PEMS framework will be finalized and then implemented in the field by national environmental safeguards consultants placed at ADB's resident mission in each participating DMC.

Output 2 will be achieved by developing and implementing the capacity enhancement plan. The quality of environmental management and compliance in ongoing projects is expected to increase with the implementation of the PEMS framework. The national environmental safeguards consultant placed at each resident mission will closely interact with each executing agency's project management unit, identifying executing agency- or sector-specific issues and customizing the PEMS for each executing agency. The national environmental safeguards consultant will achieve this through continuous involvement and close cooperation with all executing agencies and ADB project team leaders, and by conducting regular site visits. The national environmental safeguards consultant will first assess the capacity gaps and then develop and operationalize targeted and sustainable executing agency-specific capacity enhancement plans. Additional gaps found by the national environmental safeguards consultant will be bridged through the continuous monitoring, feedback, and training loop. Each national environmental safeguards consultant will have the annual target of improving the compliance of their projects by one ranking point, thereby ensuring improvement in environmental management at the executing agencies.

Output 3 will showcase the improvement in environmental management performance by the executing agencies. The national environmental safeguards consultant at the resident mission will liaise with government environmental institutions and agencies and nongovernment agencies in each participating DMC to establish a national environment network. This national environment network will promote better understanding of the implementation of environmental safeguards in the field, and will assist in developing mechanisms to overcome the challenges at various stages of implementation. The national environmental safeguards consultant will also prepare knowledge products to showcase the successes of executing agencies and their improved ranking in environmental management; these will be instrumental in improving environmental management capacity across all executing agencies in the participating DMCs.

Frequently conducted, project-focused environmental management and risk assessment training for each executing agency across the participating DMCs will increase national self-reliance in these areas. The TA through its continuous monitoring, feedback and training loop will address the prevailing situation of frequent turnover of executing agency environment staff by training all new staff. As a result, the TA will train a greater number of environmental professionals, thus moving toward sustainable environmental management.

1The key assumption to the success of the TA is that the executing agency environmental staff trained through the PEMS will be retained. In the event that staff turnover does occur, the nature of the capacity enhancement program is such that training will be repeated regularly, and will resemble the model of continuous on-the-job training to counter the impacts of staff turnover. The risk that the TA faces is that the prolonged decision-making process of executing agencies may cause delays in endorsing the ranking criteria, which could lead to long delays in actually implementing the PEMS. This risk will be managed by the active involvement and follow-up of the international environment consultant in keeping the process directed and well-paced.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Currently, 126 projects are under implementation across all sectors in 10 CWA DMCs; most projects involve large-scale construction and are classified as category A (16%) or category B (68%) for environment. Over the past few years, the quality of environmental impact assessments, initial environmental examinations, and EMPs as well as timeliness of submission and disclosure of these safeguard documents have improved. However, there is room for further improvement particularly as regards implementing the EMPs and preparing and operationalizing the SSEMPs. The capacity of the executing agencies' environment specialists needs strengthening, including monitoring the preparation and field implementation of EMPs and SSEMPs. Also, further capacity needs to be built to respond to scenarios not presented in the EMPs. Such scenarios could otherwise potentially result in noncompliance with the Safeguard Policy Statement, and thus could become a bottleneck to the overall implementation of the project.
Impact Sustained environmental compliance across all ADB-financed projects in participating DMCs across CWA region

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome Improved implementation of SSEMPs for Category A and B projects in participating DMCs across the CWA region
Progress Toward Outcome The main focus of the TA has been on capacity building (Output 2). National environmental specialists (NESs) hired in each country provide trainings to PMUs on ADB's environmental safeguards requirements and undertake frequent site visits to address project-specific compliance issues. As part of these efforts, the TA aims to improve the development and implementation of site-specific environmental management plans (SSEMPs), an international best practice that helps monitor the implementation of environmental mitigation measures specific to site conditions.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Project environmental monitoring solution developed

2. Environmental management capacity of executing agencies enhanced

3. Executing agency performance on environmental management showcased

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Output 1: Project environmental monitoring solution developed

(i) With Executing Agency (EA) focal persons, national environmental specialists (NESs) conducted project site visits to: review on-site compliance with environmental management plans; identify project-specific and EA-specific environmental management capacity gaps; and propose corrective measures to address these gaps.

(ii) A ranking system was developed, with the objective of providing detailed criteria for ranking environmental compliance of ongoing projects. The system, with 49 separate criteria, is being used to continually measure the progress of every ADB project. Thus far, the NESs have conducted two rankings, the first in Q4 2014 and the second in Q3 2015.

(iii) These project rankings will help support a monitoring, feedback, and training loop that can be customized to meet the needs and specific capacity gaps of each executing agency. The RETA can now better assess capacity gaps at the project level and also track the on-site progress of its capacity building efforts.

Output 2: Environmental management capacity of executing agencies enhanced

(i) Hired two headquarter-based consultants and nine NESs in AFG, ARM, AZE, GEO, KAZ, KGZ, PAK, TAJ, and UZB.

(ii) Detailed guidelines were developed and orientations were conducted to help focus the capacity building activities of the NESs.

(iii)The NESs developed capacity enhancements plans (CEPs) to provide a general structure for capacity building efforts, aimed at strengthening the environmental management, reporting, and monitoring capabilities of EAs.

(iv) Initial capacity building efforts in Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 focused on improving the quality of semi-annual Environmental Management Reports and providing general training on ADB's safeguard requirements.

(v) In Q2 and Q3 2015, the NES shifted their focus to address more site-specific issues, including improving the implementation of SSEMPs. A number of the NESs also contributed to training on the Grievance Redress Mechanism, as it related to environmental safeguards.

Output 3: Executing agency performance on environmental management showcased

(i) In Q3July 2015, two regional workshops were jointly organized with RETA 7548. The workshops, held in PAK (July 28-30) and KGZ (August 4-6), gathered over 100 environmental safeguard staff from the PIUs of ADB-funded projects in the region. The events offered an opportunity to share experiences in managing environmental safeguard compliance and lessons learned from public consultation and handling complaints.

(ii) NES support included nominating participants, preparing invitations, and assisting the EAs in developing written case studies and presentations. In PAK and KGZ, the support of the NESs extended to coordinating logistical arrangements and setting up site visits.

(iii) In six countries ARM, AZE, KGZ, GEO, PAK and TAJ the NESs have put together a list of government environmental institutions and non-government organizations that will take part in a national environment network. The first meetings of these networks have already been held in AZE and TAJ, with the other countries to follow in Q1 and Q2 2016.

Implementation Issues

1. In AFG and UZB, there were some initial difficulties in finding qualified consultants, which caused a delay in TA implementation in those countries.

2. The last of the NESs was hired in UZB after a protracted search. This consultant subsequently resigned after 6 months, leaving the position vacant.

3. Changes to EAs led to some delays in start-up activities in some countries, such as in AZE.

Geographical Location

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design TBA
During Project Implementation Discussed the RETA activities with staff of Executing Agencies/Project Implementation Units. Environmental stakeholders will be mobilized to form a network of national environmental experts.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services

International Environmental Safeguards TA Consultant (40 person-months)

National Environmental Safeguards Consultants - 8 (total of 278 person-months)

Regional (UZB & GEO) Environmental Safeguards Consultant (21 person months)

National TA Support Consultant HQ based (40 person-months)

Procurement Office cabinet in TJRM

Responsible Staff

Responsible ADB Officer Zehra Abbas
Responsible ADB Department Office of the Director General, CWRD
Responsible ADB Division Portfolio, Results, Safeguards and Social Sector Unit, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines

Timetable

Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 10 Jun 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 30 Mar 2016

TA 8663-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
10 Jun 2014 - 10 Jun 2014 31 Dec 2017 - -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
2,250,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,250,000.00 10 Jun 2014 916,055.35

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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