Community-Based Biodiversity Management South Asia Programme (CBM-SA) Mid-Term Evaluation Report
About the publication
- Published: 2012
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Carine Pionetti with the collaboration of Pitambar Shrestha and the logistic support of LIBIRD’s CBMSA Regional Team
- Commissioned by: The Development Fund
- Country: Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, India
- Theme: Primary industry (agriculture fishing forestry)
- Pages: --
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: The Development Fund
- Local partner: LI-BIRD in Nepal, Anthra and Green Foundation in India, Green Movement in Sri Lanka and UBINIG in Bangladesh
- Project number: GLO-06/292-22 (QZA-11/0895-11)
The Community-Based Management of Biodiversity programme is funded by the Development Fund in South Asia and coordinated by LI-BIRD in Nepal. The CBM approach is being implemented in 29 sites across four countries with technical and organisational support from four partner organisations: LI-BIRD in Nepal, Anthra and Green Foundation in India, Green Movement in Sri Lanka and UBINIG in Bangladesh. All partner organisations focus on plant genetic resources, except for Anthra, whose focus is on animal genetic resources and associated wool-based craft and culture.
This evaluation, conducted during the period January to May 2012, aims at:
a) providing inputs to strengthen the sustainability of methodological and organisational approaches promoted in CBMSA programme.
b) offering critical feedback related to the participatory management of the regional coordination in CBMSA.
The evaluation was undertaken through a 37-days field work period, over which a total of 14 sites were visited in South Asia (6 sites in Nepal, and 2 in each of the other countries). Information was collected through individual interviews and focus-group discussions, in a gender-sensitive manner. Project staff provided support in terms of translation and facilitation.
All major CBM practices were investigated through a series of participatory exercises with farmer groups. Managerial and organisational issues were also discussed at length with field staff and project coordinators.
One of the key outcomes of this evaluation is a comparative assessment of the different CBM practices implemented at field level. Three practices, namely Community Seed Bank, CBM Fund and home garden stand out as most sustainable because:
The Community Seed Bank is the basis for preserving agricultural diversity par excellence. It can easily be run and managed by farmers, it provides a secure source of seeds to all farmers in any CBM group, and therefore, farmers feel a strong sense of ownership with the community seed bank.
The CBM Fund is used by hundreds of farmers across groups to start small enterprises such as livestock, vegetable cultivation, fruit cultivation, nursery, seed production, especially in Nepal. Thus the CBM Fund has proved successful, in Nepal, in generating new sources of livelihood for small and marginal farmers.
Home gardens are an integral part of most farming systems in South Asia. They are largely managed by women, who tend to grow a large number of food crops that are readily available for preparing daily meals. CBM has provided support to strengthen home gardens as a source of livelihood, and as a site for experimenting with agro-biodiversity.
Unforeseen positive outcomes from CBM also stand out, including increased social cohesion (and reduced caste discrimination in parts of Nepal and India), intensification of seed exchanges at community level, community empowerment, high level of project ownership at group level, organisational capacity of farmer groups, craft revival as an outcome of animal genetic resources conservation.
Some of the major concerns arising out of this assessment are:
insufficient programme coherence at regional level
inconsistencies in the ways in which CBM practices are being implemented across sites (especially Diversity Block, value addition and Participatory Varietal Selection)
lack of systematic attention to animal genetic resources
weak monitoring mechanisms.
Key recommendations include:
introduce CBM Fund to increase communities' capacity to mobilise funds autonomously for conservation and livelihood
scale-up the work on animal genetic resources (learning from Anthra's work)
conduct critical assessment of value addition (case-by-case) and focus attention and support on most viable models
support farmer-centered seed systems based on local seed production and marketing
increase women's representation at executive and decision-making levels in farmer groups and the number of female staff in partner organisations
reduce the number of implementing partners (in cases where country partners implement CBM through local NGOs)
Comments from the organisation, if any:
This is the first time this regional project is being evaluated in its totality by an independent consultant. The Development Fund is following up on each of the recommendations made by the report in conjunction with partners.