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Ex-Post Evaluation 2006 Social Forestry and Conservation Project (SFCP) Lesotho

Brief report

Compiled by: Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg This expert report was compiled by independent, external experts. As such, the opinions and assessments contained therein are those of the authors exclusively.

Published by: Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH Evaluation Unit Dag-Hammarskjld-Weg 1-5 65760 Eschborn Germany Internet: http://www.gtz.de

Eschborn, 15 Jan. 2007

Contents Page 1. Tabular Overview 2. Project Description 2.1 Project title, project objectives, indicators, inputs to overarching objectives / scheduled results 2.2 Problem context, framework conditions 2.3 Project concept, consultancy approach 3. Results of Evaluation 3.1 Overall assessment 3.2 Assessment in line with the 5 international criteria for development 3.3 Assessment in terms of MDGs, poverty reduction and gender 3.4 Conclusions and recommendations 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 6 6

1. Tabular Overview Evaluation period Institute conducting evaluation Evaluation team October/November 2006, (on site: Nov. 2006) Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg Konrad Sandhofer (international appraiser) Teboho Maliehe (national appraiser) Project title Project number Overall term: Social Forestry & Conservation Project (SFCP) 99.2112.3-01.100 (91.2083.3-01.100) Jan. 1993 August 2002 Follow-on phase (DED): Sept. 2002 August 2004 Overall costs German input: Partner input: Total: EUR 9.71 million EUR 2.56 million EUR 12.27 million

(excluding follow-on phase) Project objective The rural population in the districts of Maseru and Mafeteng apply methods of participatory forest development that are integrated into a village land-use plan and involve erosion control measures. (Project objective for last implementation phase) Lead executing agency Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) Forestry Division (FD) of the Department of Conservation, Forestry and Land Use Planning (DCFLUP) Implementing organisations Other organisations/donors volved Target groups GTZ in- KfW / DED Direct: Rural population in Maseru and Mafeteng districts (especially small farmers, livestock owners, landless families, women) Intermediaries: Technical officials and on-site advisers belonging to the ministries involved, local elite, personnel from local NGOs Overall assessment 4

Individual assessment

Relevance 3, Effectiveness 4, Impact 4, Efficiency 4, Sustainability 4

2. Project Description 2.1 Project title, project objectives, indicators, inputs to overarching objectives / scheduled results The Social Forestry (& Conservation) Project (SFP/SFCP) aimed to empower the rural population in selected districts to apply social forestry methods that were integrated within a village land-use plan and contained erosion-control measures. Inter alia, project success was to be measured against the number of organised initiatives for afforestation and land-use as well as against the number of trees planted by communities, groups, institutions and individuals. To achieve the project objective, the following key measures were employed: Structure-generating promotion measures to build up a professional forest administration system; the elaboration of a conceptual and strategic basis for nationwide, participatory afforestation by local communities, as well as the generation of the necessary legal framework; Production and provision of planting material as well as technical forestry extension services for tree planting by local communities and the private sector (as of 1998 also increased promotion of fruit-tree cultivation); Introduction of standard community-level land-use plans and strengthening of requisite state and village structures in terms of their technical skills; Technical and material support for physical erosion protection measures on severely degraded areas (Donga rehabilitation). Local project executing agency was the (then) Forest Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.

2.2 Problem context, framework conditions Lesotho is mountainous; two thirds of the country lies above 2400 m. Barely 10% of the overall surface area of around 30,350 km2 is considered agriculturally useable on a sustainable basis. More than two thirds of the country is used for extensive cattle grazing right up into the summit regions. The remainder is taken up by villages and towns and barren land. The natural forests and shrubs have virtually disappeared, having been cut down for fuelwood and construction and turned into grassland. Dramatically advancing soil erosion, 3

caused by the climate, soil conditions and severe overexploitation of the remaining vegetation, as well as general ecological degradation constitute the core problem in the project area. The major causes are regarded as traditionally entrenched rights governing use of land, pastures and forests, the populations scant interest in resource conservation measures, the rather inconsistent implementation of resource conservation and land use policies as well as the low productivity of agriculture and cattle farming, resulting in a low level of investment. The project districts Mafeteng and Maseru (capital city) are located in the southwestern foothills which offer a favourable climate and topography and direct connections to the Republic of South Africa (RSA). The problems besetting rural areas, which with up to 200 inhabitants/km2 are very densely populated, manifest themselves in the extreme here: excessively high numbers of livestock (according to expert figures, up to four times the rangelands maximum capacity!), underproductive fields and herds, severe and advancing erosion damage as well as diminishing soil fertility, chronic lack of fuels and a large-scale dependency on imported goods and capital transfers (migratory labour) from the directly adjacent RSA.

2.3 Project concept and consultancy approach The project was implemented from 1993 through to 2002 in three phases (including the pilot phase), with DED providing follow-up through to 2004. The project was based on a concept geared to the GTZs former planning approach (ZOPP1): Through the project objective, the target groups potential income was to be increased and their demand for forest products better satisfied whilst protecting their natural resources (overarching result/overall objective). To this end, the project provided comprehensive outputs, inter alia in the field of concept and strategy development for social forestry and local land-use planning, as well as the restructuring and training of state forest administrations at all levels. This was intended to empower the state forest administration to implement the concept of social forestry throughout Lesotho. Further services geared to the target population, such as information events on the ecology and significance of forest management, technical extension for afforestation and the provision of packages of material (planting stock and equipment) were intended to empower them to conduct local and private afforestation measures and to rehabilitate degraded areas.

Objectives-oriented Project Planning

It was aimed to achieve the direct results by applying the new concepts and strategies and by providing professional extension services and planting stock for afforestations by local communities, private actors and the forest administration, and by having the target population implement rehabilitation measures for degraded areas. The projects indirect results were geared to improving the target populations economic situation and self-sufficiency in terms of forest products whilst securing the sustainable use of natural resources.

3. Results of the evaluation 3.1 Overall assessment The ex-post evaluation of the project arrived at the overall assessment mark 4 (not satisfactory). Project results have remained significantly below expectations and, in spite of visible successes and results in certain other key areas, the anticipated development impacts have not been achieved. 3.2 Assessment in line with the 5 international criteria for development Project relevance is categorised as satisfactory (3). During its term, the project initiated some major structure-generating measures in the institutional, conceptual-strategic and legal area, with a view to promoting national forest management. Although the project failed to meet expectations, the positive aspects do outweigh all others. SFP/SFCP effectiveness is not deemed satisfactory (4). Although some of the scheduled objectives were achieved, the project was not very effective overall in terms of achieving the objective, since many of the measures implemented at great effort (local afforestation, expansion of state tree nurseries) ultimately produced no results. The projects impact in terms of helping resolve the fuelwood problem and reduce ecological degradation and poverty has remained marginal overall, as the successful locations were too small and too isolated overall to be able to significantly influence negative processes. Assessment mark: 4 (not satisfactory). SFP/SFCP efficiency is judged as low (5), as the project was too cost-intensive overall in relation to the results ultimately achieved. On top of this, some very costly strategic errors

were made (massive expansion of state tree nurseries that in recent years have only been operating at 20-30% of their capacity). The sustainability of the results achieved during the project term also has to be judged as not satisfactory (4), since most of the outputs of the project were not used neither by the target groups nor the counterpart organisation - to build up a sustainable process that would have led to a change in afforestation trends or to ecological rehabilitation and poverty reduction.

3.3 Assessment in terms of MDGs, poverty reduction and gender The project concept failed to differentiate sufficiently among target groups and was geared generally to the village target group. A poverty analysis is not at hand. The project contributed only marginally to the achievement of the MDGs and to poverty reduction. The positive results in terms of poverty reduction are restricted to the operators of the tree nurseries promoted by the project, to most of the owners of private village afforestations and to a few communities (> 10%) with successfully managed local afforestations and successfully rehabilitated eroded areas (dongas). The project essentially failed to exploit existing potential for expanding fruit farming and introducing non-wood forest production (honey production, forest by-products). To a small extent, the project has officially helped overcome poverty-relevant structural problems. The official concepts, strategies and legal basis are, however, not implemented across the board. A gender analysis is not at hand and the project concept was not gender differentiated. Nonetheless, in most of the project areas the majority of women felt the projects outputs addressed their needs. Within the project areas, men and women contributed equally to the organisation and implementation of local afforestation. In most of these areas, the project has strengthened womens role in the implementation of joint tasks in the project villages and alleviated their situation with regard to the procurement of fuelwood and animal fodder; however, these positive results can only be regarded as relatively secure and sustainable for the 25-30% of afforestation areas that are relatively well managed.

3.4 Conclusions and recommendations SFP/SFCP developed the conceptual basis for social forestry and was instrumental in generating the strategic and legal framework conditions for its implementation in Lesotho. How6

ever, project implementation at the target-group level placed too much emphasis on the state-administrative sector. Extensive promotion and the hands-on involvement of village and civil-society organisations would have been the better option. The appraisers thus recommend that: Lesothos current privatisation policy should be applied speedily to 70% of government tree nurseries. Remaining capacities in the state tree nursery enterprises should mainly be used for overarching core tasks, e.g. research into tree species, testing, rearing of difficult tree species, production of grafting materials for fruit trees etc. The process of reforming legal regulations governing land allocation and the state regulation of prices for forest seedlings should be continued to secure the economic viability of private tree nurseries. The intensity of extension services for existing village afforestations should be stepped up, especially with regard to stand tending and optimum usage (above all in timber marketing). Mainstreaming social forestry within a comprehensive, community-based natural resources management concept should be advanced.