Started in July 2015, the APFNet project “Landscape Approach to Sustainable Management of Forests in Prek Thnot Watersheds” was designed to develop capacity and raise awareness on the concept of integrated watershed planning for national and local stakeholders. This was to be implemented via scientific assessments, analysis and participatory land-use planning at the landscape level, as well as improvement of community livelihoods by promoting agroforestry and establishing community-based enterprises. The project is carried out by the Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development (IRD), with a four-year duration. Total funding for the project is USD 573,015 of which USD 499,215 is provided by APFNet.
From 3 to 6 November 2019, during the completion stage of project implementation, a terminal evaluation was carried out on the ground by an independent evaluation consultant, aiming to assess project performance, outcomes and impacts stemming from the project. The evaluation team visited the field plots and met with different stakeholders from provincial and community levels.
After site visits, document review and interviews with different stakeholders, including the project management team, the Provincial Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, commune chiefs and local farmers, the consultants gave positive feedback on the project’s performance. The key achievement of the development of an Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) was highly appreciated by the consultant. Developed through a participatory approach among stakeholders, the plan serves as a guide to decision-makers and resource managers for managing the watershed to maximize the benefits for each stakeholder, while at the same time protecting the ecological functioning of the watershed. To date the plan has been used by each commune inside the watershed area as a guide and basic information for developing their annual Commune Investment Plan and Commune Land Use Plan in the future.
Interview and reflection with different stakeholders on the project’s impact and achievements.
Overall, the consultant was very impressed by project achievements. Suggestions on further adoption and implementation of the IWMP on the ground among policy-makers and practitioners to integrate the plan into various development programmes, while increasing the capacity development of resource managers in watershed management, are very significant. The consultant also suggested strengthening of comparative analysis on different land uses against the project objectives and continuing to periodically monitor the tracking indicators of the IWMP.