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

Sovereign Project | 48109-001

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
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 TA has recently completed its initial phase, including hiring consultants, conducting orientations with consultants, and introducing the TA to ADB staff.
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

1. Hiring of two headquarter-based consultants and seven national environment specialists (NES) in ARM, AZE, GEO, KAZ, KGZ, PAK, and TAJ. Ongoing recruitment of NES consultants for AFG and UZB.

2. With Executing Agency (EAs) focal persons, NES conducted project site visits to: review on-site compliance with environmental management plans; identify project-specific and EA-specific environmental management capacity gaps; and conduct an initial exploration of corrective measures to address these capacity gaps.

Output 2: Environmental management capacity of executing agencies enhanced

1. Detailed guidelines were developed to help focus the capacity building work of the NES.

2. Capacity enhancements plans (CEPs) developed in ARM, AZE, GEO, KGZ, PAK, and TAJ, with KAZ to follow soon. CEPs provide a general structure for capacity building efforts in these countries, with the purpose of strengthening the environmental management, reporting, and monitoring capabilities of EAs.

3. Initial capacity building efforts focused on improving the quality of semi-annual Environmental Management Reports, which were due on 15 January 2015.

Output 3: Executing agency performance on environmental management showcased

1. Work in this output area has not started yet, but some of the NES are expected to start organizing national environmental networks in Q2 2015.

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. 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 (18 person-months)

National Environmental Safeguards Consultants - 5 (total of 180 person-months)

National TA Support Consultant HQ based (21 person-months)

Procurement Office cabinet in TJRM
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 Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 09 Apr 2014
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 10 Jun 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 18 Mar 2015

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
1,500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,500,000.00 10 Jun 2014 400,874.39

Safeguard Documents

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Evaluation Documents

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