Evaluation of Closed Darwin Initiative Projects in Brazil

This assignment evaluated a cluster of five “closed” Darwin projects in Brazil. Four of the five projects were well implemented, achieved their objectives and have had lasting long term impacts. They represented excellent value for money and produced results in excess of the value of the investment by Darwin Initiative. They have made important contributions to helping Brazil implement the Biodiversity Convention. Highlights of the outcomes of these four projects include: demonstration of the value of a fiscal incentive (the ICMS Ecologico) in encouraging municipal governments to promote conservation and create protected areas; establishment of a long term programme of research and monitoring of river dolphin populations and behaviour which has made very important contributions to the management and conservation of Amazonian flooded forests; repatriation of herbarium data on the flora of northeast Brazil, strengthening the capacity of local herbaria and academic and research institutions and improving the quantity and quality of botanical research outputs; and demonstration of the socio-economic importance of Amazon fisheries and evidence that co-management initiatives can safeguard the future of the fishery and conserve biodiversity.

Mid Term Review of Buffer Zone Restoration and Development in Knuckles Forest Reserve

This mid term review was of a project “To enhance the sustainable conservation of biological diversity and ecosystem services in the Knuckles Forest Reserve (KFR), Sri Lanka, by addressing the main threats to environmental protection through the development of options for buffer zone management that improve the livelihoods of local communities.” The project worked with communities in the two districts of Kandy & Matele that encompass the Knuckles Forest Reserve & its buffer zone. The project was aligned to the Sri Lanka NBSAP which recognises the biodiversity value of the wet zone forests and promotes the natural regeneration of degraded areas. The NBSAP states the importance of working with the communities around the Conservation Area in the Buffer Zone and states that the Forestry Department is adopting participatory approaches to management. The NBSAP also acknowledges the value of research from the University of Peradeniya in informing implementation of the NBSAP.

Mid Term Review of ADEPT – Agricultural Development & Environmental Protection in Transylvania

The review encompassed both a desktop study and site visit combined with interviews with the United Kingdom and Romanian project team, project partners and beneficiaries. The project was implemented by the ADEPT Foundation, which is based in the UK and Romania in cooperation with wide range of Romanian partners. The purpose of the project was to To assess and conserve the biodiversity of a 90,000 ha area of the South East Transylvania, a hilly mid-altitude region with biodiversity of European importance within a historic rural landscape (over 50% of the area represents habitats listed under EU Habitats Directive, many being priority habitats, with many species listed in Habitats and Birds Directives).

Photo credit: Paul Bica