UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY PDF B PROPOSAL

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Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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1

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY

PDF B PROPOSAL


Country:



Venezuela

Project Title:

Biodiversity Conservation in the Productive Landscape of the
Venezuelan Andes (PIMS 2734)

Focal Area:



Biodiversity

Operating Programme:

C
ross
-
cutting: OP 4 Mountain, and OP3 Forest Ecosystems

Strategic Priority:

BD SP 2: Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Production Landscapes and
Sectors

Duration:



PDF B: 10 Months; Full

Project:
P
hase I
-

4 years

Implementing Agency:

UNDP

Executing Agency:


Venezuelan
-
based NGO Programa Andes Tropicales (PAT)

Country Eligibility:


Venezuela Ratified the CBD in 1994

Block A Grant Awarded:

Not requested

Block B Grant Request:

$347,500

Estimated Council submission:
May 2005

(The GEF contribut
ion to the Full Project is

estimated at $4 Million for Phase 1)



PROJECT SUMMARY


1.

The full scale project will conserve the montane forest biodiversity and related ecological
services of the Venezuelan Tropical Andes. Forming part of the North Andean Bior
egion, this area
has globally significant biodiversity and is at the highest priority level for conservation. Venezuela
is proposing a long
-
term, three
-
part programme to secure this conservation.
The first two
parts are
sequential
ly phased
interventions wi
thin the Northern
Andes

Bioregion
per se
. P
hase I will
focus
on the
Venezuelan Andes Montane Forest Ecoregion,

also known as the
Mer
ida

Cordillera
,

covering 2.94 million ha, and found exclusively in Venezuela. This will be
followed by
Phase II

focusing on
Cordillera Oriental Montane Forest Ecoregion

trans
-
bordering with Colombia, and
including the Serrania Perija and Tama Massif in Venezuela.
A third

phase will focus on
the
Cordillera La Costa Montane Forest

forming a natural extension of the Northern Ande
s
Bioregion.
This
third phase
may be sequential or
parallel

to
Phase II

depending on
advances in
anthropic interventions and baseline actions. Each component will deliver differentiated and stand
-
alone global benefits. GEF funding for phases other than Ph
ase I will be contingent on
performance, delivery of significant impact, resources availability and leverage of co
-
funding.


2.


Phase I of this programme will fall principally under the GEF 3 Strategic Priority 2:
Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Production La
ndscapes and Sectors

and focus on the
Merida
Cordillera

where slightly over fifty percent of the montane forest habitat remains. Sixty percent of
this montane forest habitat forms part of the existing and potentially productive landscape and is
currently u
nder no form of conservation
-
oriented land use.

The main emphasis of intervention for
Phase I is thus to strengthen biodiversity conservation management at the landscape level. The
project is expected to achieve this objective through five interrelated l
ines of action, to be further
detailed through PDF B resources, as follows:
-

[i] Demonstration of sustainable agricultural
practices and alternative livelihoods in locations selected to form sustainable
-
use corridors nested

2

within the existing productive l
andscape; [ii] Mainstreaming biodiversity concerns into the major
productive sector in this region, including reviewing regulatory and normative frameworks,
addressing the commercialisation of biodiversity derived products and developing the related
instit
utional and capacity building requirements for these elements to be successful; [iii] Adaptive
management tools to facilitate the implementation of conservation measures from a bioregional
viewpoint; [iv] Capacity building of stakeholders in the productive

sectors, local governments,
communities, enforcement institutions and protected areas managers to effectively participate in
and deliver improved conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity across the broader
landscape; [v] the establishment of biol
ogical corridors through conservation
-
set asides under
different protection regimes and ownership providing increased connectivity between existing
protected areas.


LINKS TO NATIONAL PRIORITIES, PROGRAMMES AND ACTIONS


3.

At the South American regional lev
el an Andean Biodiversity Strategy has been developed for
the Tropical Andes Region, also known as the Northern Andean Region, covering parts of Peru,
Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela
1
. This strategy identifies the montane forests of the
eastern sl
opes and foothills of the Andes to be amongst the most important of the region’s
transfrontier forests and to constitute some of the most biodiverse in the world. As the Venezuelan
Tropical Andes constitutes the extreme eastern tip of this Region, it shar
es large areas of the
transfrontier Eastern Cordillera Montane ecoregion and exclusively houses the Venezuelan Andes
Montane Forest Ecoregion, the proposed project clearly complies with the priorities of this
regional Strategy. These two montane ecoregion
s have also been selected as top priorities for
conservation through a comprehensive evaluation undertaken within the Vision for the Northern
Andes Programme (WWF, 2001)

2

further endorsing the project’s links with regional programmes.


4.

At the national l
evel the Venezuelan Andes Region is one of the top priorities and figures
prominently in both development and environmental plans. It is an area with high strategic
importance for hydroelectric power production supplying significant amounts to the national

electricity system and to the neighbouring country of Colombia. It also plays a significant role in
water production with dams such as the Onia, Dos Cerritos, Agua Viva, Atarigua y Yacambú
supplying water for agriculture and urban use. Conservation
and preservation of watershed
s

and
upper river basins of the region
is

thus a priority for the country’s economy.


5.

The region
’s

importance in development priorities is not only restricted to this hydrological
potential. As part of a strategy to pro
mote decentralization
3
, Venezuela has developed a
Regional
Development Plan

(RDP) for the period 2001
-
2007 that identifies three sub
-
regions in the country
for promoting sustainable development. One of these is the Western sub
-
region or Axis, which
inclu
des the Andean region because of its potential competitive advantages for tourism,
agriculture, cattle and trout farming. The proposed project will have strong links with the
development initiatives for this sub
-
region as it includes components on the sust
ainable use of



1

See
CAN
-
BID, 2002.

2

B
road priorities were first selected using criteria that included representatively o
f landscape units in existing
protected areas, taxonomic groups and representativ
eness
, and accessibility of natural vegetation cover. These were
then ranked using criteria such as habitat and species biodiversity, degree of conservation and importance
in
ecological processes as determined by connectivity, number of river basins and elevational ranges.

3

This is to help
counteract the geographically concentrated population in Venezuela


3

natural resources, the conservation of biodiversity within the productive landscape and the
mainstreaming of biodiversity concerns into the principal productive sectors of the region.


6.

The proposed project
also has clear links with ke
y environmental plans. The conservation and
sustainable use of the Venezuelan Andes Bioregion is also one of five priority programmes
established in the
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

(NBSAP). Furthermore, the
NBSAP defines 15 strategic lin
es of intervention, many of which are reflected within the proposal.
One of these strategic interventions is the promotion of
in situ

conservation. The strategy advances
the need to establish environmental corridors and buffer zones to strengthen conserva
tion and
sustainable use of biodiversity. Indeed the concept of corridors has been legally adopted by the
Law of Biodiversity (1999) which is geared to stimulate the creation of such corridors. The
proposed project will have components for establishing sus
tainable use and ecological corridors
between existing protected areas seeking to protect biodiversity across the productive landscape
and thus falls clearly within the NBSAP
in situ

conservation priorities.


7.

Other NBSAP strategic interventions reflected

in the proposed project are: (i) promoting the
knowledge, economic valuation and information on biological diversity, including the promotion
of biological research and economic valuation of biodiversity and environmental services; (ii)
incorporating lo
cal communities into biodiversity management; (iii) preventing, mitigating and
controlling the environmental impacts of human activities, and particularly economic activities,
on biodiversity; (iv) promoting the sustainable use of biodiversity, through v
alorisation of
environmental goods and services and the promotion of biotrade development.



PROJECT CONTEXT


Geographical and Socio
-
economic Context of the Venezuelan Andes


8.

The Venezuelan Andes is one of ten bioregions distinguished in the country (MA
RN, 2001).
Unique among the other bio
-
regions of Venezuela, the Andean region constitutes the country’s
largest mountain system covering an extension of approximately 500 km. It encompasses the
Cordillera of Mérida, marking the limits between Venezuela and

Colombia, and portions of the
Eastern Cordillera of Colombia (Macizo de Tamá y Sierra de Perijá). It concentrates 20% of the
nation’s
4

population and covers the large part of four states and smaller areas of two more
5
.


9.

Agriculture is the main productiv
e sector of the region. In the Mérida Cordillera,
which will be
the focus of Phase 1 of the project
, and which covers 30,732 km
2

above 400m,
agricultural
activities occupy a little more than 24% of land between 400 and 3.500 m.a.s.l.
6

Cattle
-
rearing
tak
es up around 6% of the region and mixed agriculture and cattle rearing less than 1%. In land
with over 600 mm of rainfall and above 400 m.a.s.l, coffee and bananas are produced under semi
-
intensive and traditional systems with little use of agrochemicals
. Where rainfall is below this
level, intensive production of tomatoes, onions and peppers occurs. Above 1,600 m.a.s.l. coffee
plantations give way to celery production under traditional systems and with little use of
agrochemicals. In this area and, in th
e coffee production zone, extensive dairy cattle rearing is



4

Preliminary results of the XIII General Population and Habitat Ce
nsus, INE 2002 and including Barinas and Apure.

5

Lara, Trujillo, Mérida, Táchira and parts of Barinas and Apure

6

There are 11 small towns in area above 400m in Merida Cordillera with an estimated population of 761,907 (1997)


4

found. In
a few areas in Mérida this dairy farming is intensive with heavy use of nitrogen
-
rich
chemical fertilizers. Areas between 2,000 to 3,500 m.a.s.l. supply much of the nation’s garden

produce including cauliflower, carrot, lettuce, beetroot, potatoes and garlic. This is produced in
small plots with highly intensive use of agrochemicals and organic fertilizers.


10.


Following agriculture, tourism is one of the region’s most important pro
ductive sectors with a
million visitors per year (PAT, 2002). Hydroelectric production is also important
7

and mining,
especially in the states of Táchira and Trujillo, consisting mainly of coal followed by smaller
amounts of phosphates, plaster, clay, pol
y
-
sulphates, white clay, siliceous sands, limestone,
feldspar, granite and mica (Saavedra et al., 1999).




Global Significance of Biodiversity in the Venezuelan Andes


11.

The Venezuelan Andes forms the most extreme eastern tip of the North Andean Bioregion t
hat
is renowned for its biological distinctiveness, housing 45,000
-
50,000 plant species (8
-
20 percent
of the global total), 20,000 species of which can be found nowhere else on Earth. Conservation
International identifies this bioregion amongst the 25
hots
pots

for biodiversity at the global level
(Myers et al 1999)
8
. WWF includes it amongst the 17 priorities for conservation in Latin America
in their global 200 ecoregion programme. Bird Life International considers the Northern Andean
region as an area of w
orld
-
wide relevance for endemic birds (Stattersfield et al 1998, Wege &
Long 1995). Indeed it houses the world’s highest level of avian diversity and has 9 centres of plant
diversity recognized as globally important by
I
U
CN

and
WWF (Davies et al 1997).



12.

The Venezuelan Andes exhibits all the characteristic diversity of this rich Northern Andean
Bioregion. Furthermore, positioned between the Caribbean Coast in the north, the Orinoco
lowlands in the southeast and the coastal range of the east, it has repre
sentations of Andean,
Amazonian
,

Coastal and Llanos species,

making this region particularly biodiverse. It marks the
northern limits of numerous Andean species and the eastern limits to a number of Central
American species. The Cordillera de Mérida,

for example, holds the westernmost population of
Tamandua mexicana

in South America, and the northernmost populations of the Andean rat
opossum,
Caenolestes obscurus.



13.

One of the two major habitat types of the Northern Andean Bioregion is tropical broadl
eaf
moist forest, composed largely of humid
Montane Forest

(evergreen, cloud and elphin)
9
. Found
between 500 and 3,500 m.a.s.l, this montane forest is one of the richest in the world and comprises
a complex group of forest that change enormously across its

altitudinal range and between
different Cordilleras and east and west facing slopes. The Venezuelan Andean region houses two
of seven North Andean Montane forest ecoregions classified by Dinnerstein et. al (1995) as the
highest priority for conservation w
ith globally significant biological distinctiveness. These are the
Venezuelan Andes Montane Forest Ecoregion
, covering 2.94 million ha, (Cordillera de Merida)
and the Cordillera Oriental Montane Forest Ecoregion trans
-
bordering with Colombia, covering
7.3
million ha and including the Serrania Perija and Tama Massif in Venezuela.

Montane forests



7

The main HEP complexes are
the Uribante
-
Caparo HEP complex, (Caparo
-
Uribante river basins), the José Antonio
Páez HEP Complex (Santo Domingo river basin) and the dams across the Boconó, Tucupido and Masparro Rivers.

8

CI names this the Tropical Andes Ecoregion

9

The second major h
abitat of the bioregion

the Paramo see Annex 3


5

are amongst the most endangered in the world with as much as 90% loss of cloud forest in the
Northern Andes Bioregion (Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Initiative, 200
2). However 52% of the
Merida Cordillera Montane Forest remains. (Please see Annex 2 for more information on
biodiversity of the Venezuelan Andes).


Threats to Global Values and their Root Causes


14.

Within Venezuela, the Andes region has the highest biodiver
sity, in terms of diversity by unit
area, of all the regions in this megadiverse country. In recognition of this, the Venezuelan
government has taken substantial steps towards conservation of this highly diverse area bringing
34% under strict protection. D
espite these efforts the Venezuelan Andes has increasingly high
levels of intervention (see map 2). The number of species under threat, or endangered, is rising,
with over 250 threatened species of birds registered in the region and two in danger of extinc
tion
10
.
Mammals of conservation concern include primates such as
Cebus albifrons, C. olivaceus

(in the
extreme north), and several unusual and restricted range rodents
11
, and carnivores, such as the
Mountain coati (
Nasuella olivacea),

and the Olingo
(Bassari
cyon gabbi)
. The main activities
causing this pressure have been identified by several authors (e.g. Delgado 1993, Yerena et al.
2000) and confirmed in a preliminary assessment undertaken in June 2002 in a workshop in
Mérida, with the participation of re
presentatives from local, national and international NGOs,
universities active in the region, national government and UNDP. The most significant of these
threats are described below together with their root causes. These threats are applicable to the
whol
e of the Venezuelan Andean region. PDF B activities will undertake a more detailed
characterization and quantification of these and how they manifest themselves in the Cordillera de
Merida as the focus of Phase I.


15.

Expansion of the agricultural frontier
,
a
nd to a lesser extent timber extraction, is causing
increasing deforestation leading to direct loss of the habitat and vegetation cover, fragmentation of
populations and an increasing number of local extinctions. Differentiated figures for agricultural
exp
ansion and timber extraction are not available, but aggregate figures indicate levels of
deforestation averaging 13,000 ha/yr in the Andean states (MARNR 1995). The agricultural
frontier is increasingly expanding into native forest stands on steep slopes i
n ecologically sensitive
areas as farmers seek additional land to increase profit margins following crop failures. These
failures are becoming increasingly common due to unsustainable agricultural practices, poor
access to technological advances, insuffic
ient alternative livelihoods and deficient distribution
systems and markets for products. Higher efficiencies and returns from agricultural activities are
further hindered by the fact that local communities do not have the know
-
how or trust to work
togethe
r to improve productivity chains or to protect common goods and services. Indeed, the level
of awareness of the value of montane forest biodiversity, or the environmental services that this
provides (see Annex 2), is very low not only in rural and communi
ty stakeholders but also in
decision
-
makers in central, regional and local governments.


16.


Encroachment into native forests stands is exacerbated by the fact that only a few of the
protected areas and watersheds have comprehensive management plans delimi
ting land
-
use, and



10

Threatened bird species include
Hapalopsittaca amazonina, Coturnicops notatus, Hemispingus goeringi, Amazilia
distants, Pauxi pauxi, Grallaria chthonia, and Grallaricula cucullata.

11

Chilomys instants, Thom
asomys laniger, T. hylophilus, T. aureus, T. cinereinventer
(Colombia),
T. vestitus
(Venezuela)
Rhipidomys latimanus, Aepeomys lugens
and
Neacomys tenuipesn


6

those that do exist are poorly known by local stakeholders. There are also significant gaps in the
information needed to monitor dynamic ecosystem processes thus impeding the identification of
critical areas that require enhanced protect
ion. Furthermore, despite Venezuela’s extensive set of
laws governing protected areas and forestry, these are not fully implemented. This is due to a
range of institutional weaknesses, including human resource deficiencies and incomplete
operational budget
s making on
-
site monitoring and law
-
enforcement activities sub
-
optimal. The
above mentioned unawareness of decision
-
makers of the value of services provided by these
Andean ecosystems translates into low budgetary priority given to conservation further
agg
ravating effective biodiversity conservation management.


17.

Agricultural practices including over
-
grazing and excessive use of chemicals

are

causing
species loss and increasing land degradation and soil compaction. Changes in the top soil are
destroying ke
y macro
-
habitats for the invertebrates and altering the diet of many mammal species
(Correa
-
Viana, 1995). Vegetable and potato production in high altitude, ecologically
-
sensitive,
areas relies heavily on chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In some cases t
hese may contain POPs
such as Aldrin, Chlordane and Hexachlorobenzene (in insecticides for vegetable produce and
fungicides for onions respectively). Indeed, Trujillo State has one of three known sites in
Venezuela that are long
-
term deposits of pesticides

contaminated with, or constituted by, POPs
such as DDT, Aldrin and Toxafeno (MARN, 2002). The heavy reliance on agrochemical
s

is
caused by a series of factors that include the pressure to produce higher yields for an ever
increasing market, and the subse
quent move away from crop
-
rotation cycles common of more
traditional farming; the general low levels of awareness of the dangers of these substances to
human and ecosystem health; the fall in investments in new technologies and the fact that most
farmers

do not have access to alternative production practices that are less degrading to the
environment. The heavy use of chemicals is leading to increased water and soil contamination
aggravated by deficient
waste collection disposal and solid waste

as investm
ent in basic
sanitation services has not kept up with population increases and immigration has occurred in
areas outside the existing services for waste disposal.


18.

Forest
-
Fires

caused by uncontrolled fire used in agriculture and mining activities, are
causing
habitat destruction and species loss. Fire is used in both forest and savannah areas for agriculture.
In forested areas it forms part of the land
-
clearing process and in the paramo savannahs it is used
traditionally to enhance pasture for cattle.
As farmers have little knowledge of fire management
procedures and prevention techniques, these fires often run out of control causing severe effects on
wild areas. In the case of paramos, fire not only modifies the native composition of flora but has
been

acknowledged as the cause of extending this habitat type below its normal altitudinal range
encroaching on areas that were once forested. Wildfires also affect the dry and sub
-
humid forests,
and the intense fires that occur in the Sierra de Perijá, are a
hazard for bordering forests. Fires used
to clear land prior to commencement of mining activities are also poorly managed in part again
due to inexperience with fire
-
management procedures. In both cases, the absence of effective
mechanisms for fire contro
l is due to deficiencies in the staffing and equipment of institutions with
this mandate and poor co
-
ordination between them. Again the low levels of awareness of the value
of environmental services, and the effect fires can have of these reducing producti
vity for farmers,
contributes further to the low priority given to fire management in the area.


19.

Invasive species

are increasingly common in the Venezuelan Andes and are causing a range of
impacts on both economic activities (particularly agriculture) and

native flora and fauna. A

7

comprehensive review on exotic species affecting Venezuelan biodiversity has been undertaken
by Ojasti et al (2001). This indicates that within Venezuela, the Andean region is the second most
important in terms of exotic species

with 22.4% of the registered invasive species. Potato
cultivations in the Venezuelan Andes have been impacted by pathogenic bacteria introduced in
exotic varieties of seeds and by the potato moth
Tecia solanivora

(Lepidoptera) from Guatemala.
The North A
merican Bull frog (
Rana catesbeiana
) has been detected recently as a significant
threat to Andean biodiversity, as well as feral cats and dogs, which predate on local native species.
Among the plants several species are important although complete evaluati
on of the impact is
lacking. African grasses such as
Melinis minutiflora

are established and advancing on the
cordillera slopes and Madagascar’s
Kalanchoe

sp. are conspicuous along secondary communities
bordering roads and towns. The root causes of this ex
panding invasive species threat include poor
co
-
ordination between institutions in the agricultural, livestock, forestry and environmental sectors
to define and implement comprehensive control and prevention actions; insufficient training of
staff on cont
rol measures; incomplete and dispersed information on invasive species amongst a
range of academic and governmental institutions; overlapping and incomplete legal and regulatory
frameworks and low public awareness of the effects introduced species have on
agriculture and
biodiversity.


20.

Poaching and sport hunting

are common activities in Venezuelan Andean region and have
strong cultural roots.

This illegal hunting of wild species

is exerting pressures on a range of
species and is a major source of biodiver
sity depletion in species with great value for conservation
such as the Andean Bear. The main species targeted are game mammals such as Agouti,
Dasyprocta
, lowland Tapir, Mazama deer, and birds such as the Currasows of the Cracidae family
in general. Altho
ugh hunting is illegal, the effective control of poaching and sport hunting is
hindered by institutional weakness and insufficient staff and operations budgets. This is
exacerbated by the fact that, although wildlife agencies have some programmes to regula
te sport
hunting based on sustainable harvest quotas, these are incomplete and poorly disseminated in the
region with the result that local stakeholders are largely unaware of permitted activities and limits.
The high commercial values of game, coupled wit
h the low awareness amongst private and public
constituencies of the effect depletion of key species can have on overall ecosystem integrity and
the provision on environmental services further contributes to the hunting threat.



PROJECT RATIONALE AN
D PROPOSED GEF ALTERNATIVE


Rationale for Intervention


Problem Statement


21.

Large areas of globally significant montane forest are found in two montane ecoregions in the
Venezuelan Andes. One of these, the Cordillera de Merida Montane Ecoregion, constituti
ng Phase
I of the proposed intervention, is housed exclusively in Venezuela and still has slightly over fifty
percent of its original area remaining. Sixty percent of this is currently unprotected. The threats
described above are leading to encroachment of

productive activities into these unprotected habitat
blocks as well as into the existing protected areas resulting in increasing fragmentation of montane
forest across the broader landscape. Connectivity over large areas is vital to provide sufficient
hab
itat and altitudinal coverage for survival of focal species and conservation of the full Andean
biological endowment. As the Andean region becomes increasingly important in the nation’s
development, productive sector activity will increase particularly in
the agriculture and agro
-

8

industrial sectors and tourism, which are flagged as priorities for the region in the 2001
-
07
Regional Development Plan (RDP). Unless capacities for conservation of biodiversity in the
Venezuelan Andes are strengthened, pressure on

habitats and species will increase with the
concomitant loss of highly significant global biodiversity values. The mainstreaming of
biodiversity concerns into productive sectors, increased awareness of the value of biodiversity and
environmental services
and the more efficient use of different categories of protection as part of a
comprehensive, conservation
-
friendly land
-
use model are paramount if significant losses to these
global values are to be avoided.


22.

The main challenges of conserving Andean biodi
versity are described in more detail below,
together with an initial assessment of the actions planned to overcome these challenges in the
baseline scenario:



23.

Conservation in the productive landscape
.

The increase in productive activity projected in
the R
DP will led to further encroachment of native forest outside protected areas. The agricultural
sector is of particular importance given its effects on biodiversity through land
-
clearance and use
of aggressive practices. Under the baseline scenario some adv
ances will be made to make
agricultural practices more sustainable. The Andes University’s Institute for Ecological and
Environmental Sciences (ULA
-
ICAE), has undertaken research in the Andes region for over 2
decades, and will continue a range of projects

that include:
-

(i) analyses of agro
-
ecosystems in the
Tropical Andes including an evaluation of nitrogen cycle and erosion processes in agro
-
ecosystems and an assessment of the coffee production areas in the Mérida Cordillera; (ii) a study
of organic ch
anges and topography effects on water balances; (iii) a study to improve social
equity, economic competitiv
eness

and ecological sustainability in the potato cultivation of the
region
12
. These will provide important information but gaps will remain and th
ere will be no
programme for demonstrating the application of lessons learnt and best land
-
use alternatives.


24.

The Tropical Andes Programme Foundation (PAT) has been developing conservation and
community development projects in the Venezuelan Andes since 19
96. With the support of the
European Commission, of the Spanish foundation, CODESPA, and several cooperation agencies
of the European countries, the PAT will continue to work on agricultural development. PAT will
also explore options other than agricultur
e to expand the economic base of rural stakeholders and
promote sustainable alternative livelihoods. One of these is community
-
based rural tourism that
has shown great potential. A highly successful pilot project will be expanded to cover 22
communities in

5 municipalities bordering the Sierra Nevada and Sierra La Culata National Parks,
providing technical assistance for developing projects and credit for implementing them. However,
more wide
-
spread adoption in the region faces barriers such as information
gaps on potential
visitors sites and carrying
-
capacities in ecologically sensitive areas; insufficient number of trained
guides and guide material; poorly developed marketing and promotion materials and deficiencies
in infrastructure and access in some are
as.


25.

Productive Sector Management.

Currently sector planning and management in the region
does not adequately incorporate biodiversity concerns. Regulatory frameworks and norms do not
sufficiently address the need to protect habitat continuity across altit
udinal gradients or to limit



12

With the participation of the Faculties of Sciences Economics and Political Sciences of ULA, the

Potato Producer
Associations, and the Interactive Net CONDESAN


9

productive activities in ecologically sensitive areas. The structure of existing markets leads to the
use of aggressive practices to increase higher yields and acts as a disincentive for farmers to
expand production to less dem
anding crops biodiversity derived products. In sectors other than
agriculture there is a paucity of tools, guidance and mechanisms to encourage small scale
landowners to expand their economic base. Local and regional governments have little experience
or g
uidance to incorporate evaluations of broader ecosystem functions, including biodiversity and
ecological services, in development and sectoral planning, with the result that future development
in the region will continue to be dominated by sector interest
s leading to increasing degradation of
the natural resource base.


26.

Effective tools for conservation friendly land
-
use planning and management
. Integration
of biodiversity conservation and productive sector activities across a large region requires a stro
ng
base of knowledge on natural resources, ecological processes and socio
-
economic trends. It also
calls for a comprehensive set of tools for facilitating decisions on land
-
use and evaluating the
ensuing potential and actual impacts. Some advance will be m
ade on this under the baseline
scenario. The Institute for Ecological and Environmental Sciences (ICAE) is researching on the
preservation and the spatial patterns of plant biodiversity at different scales and on the impact of
human intervention on the bi
odiversity in the northern river basins of the Venezuelan Andes
(Bioandes
-
CONICIT). It is also undertaking a study of biodiversity and functioning of ecological
systems in a tropical altitude gradient (Venezuelan Andes) financed by CONICIT (Venezuela) and
CNRS (France). PAT has been involved in the compilation of geographic and cartographic
information for a Geographic Information System in the Venezuelan Andes at a 1:100,000 scale
and in certain areas at a 1:25,000 scale. The ICAE will also continue resea
rch on a regional
ecological analysis and large scale agro
-
ecological zoning. This will provide a basis for improving
land
-
use zoning but efforts need to be better co
-
ordinated, expanded and complemented to include
biodiversity concerns and conservation po
licies that encompass a bio
-
regional approach.


Capacity Building and Awareness: as presented under each component.


27.

Conserving sufficient habitat at the bioregional level

for survival of focal species and
conservation of the full Andean biological endowme
nt
.
In the early eighties the Andean Region of
Venezuela housed five parks, three of which are in the Merida Coridillera
13
. These were
established largely to protect water sources the productive areas of western Venezuela. Studies
undertaken by INPARQUES u
sing the Andean Bear as the focal species, determined that these
Parks covered only a very small fraction of the species distribution and would not be enough to
support long
-
term sustainable populations
14
. Habitat connectivity is one of the most essential
e
lements for ecological and evolutionary processes in any region, but in the Andes, altitudinal
connectivity is of particular importance. Many Andean species are altitudinal migrants, either
seasonally or daily or both. Key pollinator species such as hummin
g birds and butterflies, and seed
disperse
r
s such as finches, tapir and spectacled bears, periodically travel up or downhill from their



13

The National Parks of Sierra Nevada, Yacambú, Terepaima, Perijá and Tamá

14

Adequacy of habitat size in conservation can be determined using focal species such as the Andean Spectacled Bear
and the Mountain Tapir. The first of these is the most sensitive of Andean species to habitat size and shape requiring
non
-
overlapping home ranges of 3,000ha for each breeding female (a viable sub
-
population of these bears requires 50
breeding females,

and mega population of 500). The tapir, on the other hand, has a medium
-
sized home range
requiring between 500 to 600 hectares. The assumption is that if habitat sizes that are sufficiently large for these two
focal species are conserved, these will be li
kely to fulfil requirements for most other species (WWF, 2001).


10

main elevation belt, tracking resources as the resources disappear from the lowlands or the
paramos and become availabl
e at other elevations.


28.

Using the distribution of the Andean Bear in Venezuela as an indicator, seven additional
National Parks were established, all in the Merida Cordillera
15
, increasing the area under
protection in this Range to 906,000 hectares and to a

total of 1,424,00 ha throughout the
Venezuelan Andes. Under the baseline scenario these parks will be maintained however, despite
advances in conservation coverage, inter
-
connectivity between these parks, and across altitudinal
gradients, is barely suffic
ient to provide the habitat required for long
-
term survival of the Andean
Bear and the full complement of Andean biodiversity. With increased fragmentation of remaining
natural forest stands in the broader landscape, inter
-
connectivity will be depleted. Fu
rthermore,
encroachment in protected habitat by expansion of the agricultural frontier may increase as not all
protected areas are functioning optimally, either individually or as part of a comprehensive land
-
use model aimed at protecting the long
-
term sur
vival of the region’s complex mosaic of
ecosystems across the broader landscape.


Proposed GEF Alternative


29.

The overall objective of the proposed full
-
scale project would be to conserve the globally
significant biodiversity and ecological services of the
Venezuelan Andean Tropical Ecosystems.
Whilst the PDF stage will provide more details on the intervention design, in order to maximise
global benefits, two preliminary decisions have been taken for the GEF alternative. These were
made in the Mérida worksho
p held in June 2002 (paragraph 14) and during complementary
consultations to develop the approved Concept Paper.


30.

The first of these is that the long
-
term programme for the conservation of the Venezuelan
Andean will take place in three separate components

to adequately allow for adaptive management
and internalisation of best practices and lessons learnt.
Part I

of the programme,
for which GEF
preparatory funds are requested
, will focus primarily on the Montane Forest of the Mérida
Cordillera as this would

deliver the highest global and domestic benefits per unit cost for a variety
of reasons including the following: [i] The Merida Cordillera has particularly rich biodiversity due
to its position having representations of Andean, Amazonian and Coastal and
Llanos species.

Indeed

this range has the largest number of areas identified in the WWF Vision of Northern
Andean Biodiversity as priorities for conservation (see footnote 2 page 2); [ii] It is the area in
which human intervention is most rapidly increasi
ng, however, despite growing pressure, 52% of
the original area of the Montane Forest Ecoregion remains; [iii] There are a range of important
baseline activities related to the productive sector in this region on which to build; [iv]. Twenty
one percent is

already under protection facilitating the provision of inter
-
connectivity to conserve
sufficient habitat for the survival of focal species, and [v] It falls entirely within Venezuelan
territory avoiding the complexities of bi
-
national management.


31.

Part II

of the programme would cover the parts of the Venezuelan Andes along the Eastern
Cordillera bordering Colombia (Macizo de Tamá y Sierra de Perijá). This would address new
challenges such as bi
-
national management agreements, and deliver additional and dis
tinct global



15

The new National Parks were Guaramacal, Dinira, Páramos del Batallón d La Negra, Chorro El Indio, Sierra de la
Culata, El Guache, and Tapo Caparo.


11

benefits.

A third component

would focus on
the
Cordillera La Costa Montane Forest Ecoregion

also classified as the highest conservation priority with globally outstanding biodiversity.
Although the most extreme north east point of the Norther
n Andean Bioregion is generally
recognised to be the Merida Cordillera, the Coastal range forms a natural extension of this vast
mountainous area (see Map 1). This third component would not only protect additional and
differentiated montane forest biodiver
sity but also permit more extensive gene flow across the
extended Venezuelan Andean Region. While Parts I and II would be sequential interventions the

third component
may be sequential or
parallel

to
Part II
depending on
advances in anthropic
interventions

and baseline actions. Each component will deliver stand
-
alone global benefits but
GEF funding for components other than Phase I would be contingent on performance, delivery of
significant impact, resources availability and leverage of co
-
funding.


32.

The sec
ond decision made for the GEF alternative is that, in addition to being restricted to the
Merida Cordillera, Phase I would focus on strengthening biodiversity conservation management at
the landscape through the mainstreaming of biodiversity concerns into
the key productive systems
of the region with particular emphasis on the agricultural sector which dominates the productive
landscape in the Venezuelan Andes. In the default scenario productive systems would continue to
exert pressure on biodiversity and s
ector planning and management would not adequately
incorporate biodiversity concerns. The alternative scenario would support selected demonstrations
of conservation compatible land
-
use practices in areas selected for their strategic location to form
sustai
nable
-
use corridors, reducing loss of remaining unprotected forest stands and enhancing
connectivity between existing protected areas. Mainstreaming would also include the promotion
and adoption of a biodiversity overlay across leading productive sector ac
tivities. This would
consist of the revision of legal and normative frameworks and the development and adoption of
management tools to assist and effectively guide resource users, planners and decision
-
makers in
the promotion of sustainable use practices a
nd overall conservation management. It would also
include awareness and education campaigns for key stakeholders and the monitoring of
biodiversity integrity and the provision of ecosystem related services.


33.


This alternative scenario would be further str
engthened by actions taken to establish biological
corridors across the broader landscape, involving local community participation in land
-
use
planning and developing partnerships and co
-
management regimes for those areas in the corridors
that would serve
as conservation set
-
asides. The resultant mosaic of National Parks linked by
sustainable
-
use corridors in the productive landscape and biological corridors with conservation
set
-
asides in the broader landscape, would provide an ecological and socially sust
ainable land
-
use
model delivering improved biodiversity conservation at the bioregional level.




EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND ACTIVITIES OF FULL PROJECT


34.

Within the strategic framework outlined in the previous section, the project is expected to take
action at d
ifferent, but complementary levels, to deliver the following broad groups of outputs
described below. These expected outputs will be corroborated and further detailed with PDF B
preparatory funding for more in
-
depth threats assessments, gaps analysis, eval
uation of
alternatives and broader consultation.



12

Sustainable Use Corridors Established in the Productive Landscape with Biodiversity
Compatible Agricultural Practices and Alternative Sustainable Livelihoods


35.

Sustainable
-
use corridors would be establish
ed to deliver effective conservation to biodiversity
in the productive landscape that occupies at least 50% of the land above 400 m.
a.
s.
l in the Merida
Cordillera. These would be formed by promoting pilot demonstrations to test, validate and adapt
sustai
nable
-
use and conservation principles in productive activities in locations strategically placed
with regard to unprotected forest stands. While these would focus principally on conservation
-
compatible agricultural practices they would also include pilot d
emonstrations in other productive
sectors such as cattle
-
rearing and tourism initiatives. PDF funds will be utilized in the
identification of sites and corresponding stakeholder groups for these demonstrations. Preliminary
discussions, held with the local

farmers and schools, as well as the rural communities living in
National Parks and municipal authorities, indicate support and potential pilot areas for these
demonstrations. Conversations have also been held with the Andean Development Corporation
(CAF)
, to co
-
ordinate future co
-
operation with National and Regional authorities aiming to
support conservation activities in the vicinities of the Yacambú
-
Quibor irrigation system.


36.

Th
is component would
also
include
promot
ing

participatory natural resource ma
nagement
strategies whereby communities
in these sustainable
-
use corridors
have ownership of sustainable
-
resource use plans and programmes
. This would not only facilitate the reliability of successful
demonstrations throughout the corridor but also increas
ing
public participation in the project,
particularly of those
communities bein
g
targeted to

change behaviour and livelihood base.

Through capacity actions delivered in component 4,

key

community institutions
would be

strengthened
to take a leadership role
s in defining these
participatory natural resource management
strategies
.


Mainstreaming Biodiversity Concerns into Productive Sector Management


37.

As part of preparation work the legal framework and incentive systems for productive sectors
in the Merida
Cordillera would be reviewed to identify required modifications for the
incorporation of sustainable
-
use considerations. Particular attention would be placed on the
agricultural sector, however, livestock rearing, mining and transport sectors would also be

included. Full
-
scale project activities under this component would address the identified reforms
thus facilitating the adoption of conservation compatible productive activities and promoting
practices validated through the demonstration pilots.


38.

This com
ponent would also address the commercialisation of biodiversity derived products,
including issues such as organic produce, certification requirements, removing barriers to local,
national and international markets, eco
-
tourism standards and codes of condu
ct, as well as the
corresponding institutional and capacity building requirements for these elements to be successful
at the local and national level. These activities will be fully integrated with, and supported by, the
National Biotrade Programme, curren
tly being developed jointly by the Ministry of Science and
Technology (MCT) and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) and
supported by the Andean BIOTRADE Programme of CAN
-
CAF
-
UNCTAD
16

and the UNDP
Country Office. Preparatory work wil
l identify potential products and stakeholder groups requiring



16

For more information see
www.biotrade.org
, Regional Programmes, Andean BIOTRADE Programme


13

assistance, and necessary feasibility studies and preliminary requirements to prepare pilot
demonstrations for implementation in the context of the full scale project. The impact of invasive
sp
ecies in the productive sectors and in biodiversity will also be reviewed during the preparation
of this component to determine measures required to address this threat.


A Set of Adaptive Management tools to Facilitate the Implementation of conservation
Measures From a Bioregional Viewpoint


39.

This component would generate critical biodiversity information complemented by socio
-
economic and cultural data to effectively guide conservation management needs, sustainable
resource use requirements, productive se
ctor impact and the required alternatives or remedial
measures to achieve conservation objectives. This information would facilitate the definition of
biodiversity indicators and a corresponding monitoring system on which to accurately determine
developme
nt impacts, sustainable use activities, and the overall efficacy of proposed conservation
measures. It would be made available to relevant authorities responsible for decision making and
planning including the 90 municipal, and 5 state authorities and the
Andes Development
Corporation (CORPOANDES). PDF B preparatory funding will identify all relevant information
existing as part of baseline operations, as well as information gaps which will need to be addressed
in support of project objectives.


40.

Full sca
le project activities under this component would also include the valuation of
ecosystems goods and services, especially with regards to water regulation as provided by the
Andean Montane forest
17
. Valorisation of these critical services would also involve

costing and
payment by beneficiaries and distribution of these resources to communities that are involved
in
conservation. To assist in the valuation of environmental services, PDF preparation work will
draw on experience from other nearby Andean countri
es, such as Colombia, to identify viable
valuation and payment systems for the Venezuelan Andes, including the type of legal and financial
issues that will need to be addressed in the Venezuelan Andean context. Particular importance
would be placed on the
relationship between income revenue from environmental services and
poverty alleviation schemes. Initial analyses based on information generated from different
projects
18
, and from discussions held in the context of Concept development, have indicated that
the areas which provide most environmental services are located in Andean municipalities with
lowest Human Development Indices. To ensure that the project design maximises positive impacts
on equity, from a human development perspective, and its relationsh
ip with conservation
management schemes, PDF preparation work will draw on an Equity and Human Development
Study and institutional framework proposed by UNDP Venezuela in alliance with the Ministry of
Planning and Development (MPD), the Statistics National

Institute (INE) and research centres.


A Capacity Building Programme developed along with a supporting Public Outreach and
Education Strategy


41.

Capacity building activities delivered through this component would be cross cutting and as
such complement ea
ch of the project’s components. They would be designed to target resource



17

This will be complemented by the valuation of water regulation services provided by the Paramo to be undertaken
in the UNEP Regional Paramo Project see Paragraph
60 and Annex 3.

18

INE/PNUD: Proyecto VEN/97/009 SIGEL y VEN/02/002 SISTEEM; PAT/INFOGEO, 2002



14

users and planners, decision
-
makers, private sector entrepreneurs, at both local and sub
-
regional
levels to address the development and consolidation of skills required to effective
ly undertake
conservation management across the landscape as a whole. PDF preparation funds will undertake

for each proposed line of action


a capacity needs assessment in order to design a practical
skill enhancement programme for the different stakehol
der groups and institutions participating in
the project at local and national levels. The project’s proponents have actively consulted with
stakeholders and disseminated general information on this project initiative through meetings and
seminars held at

national and regional levels during 2002. This has provided a good opportunity to
undertake a preliminary assessment of institutional strengths and weaknesses, particularly those
related to information management and decision
-
making processes. It has also

enabled the initial
identification of potential partners from private and public sectors, such as CORPOANDES and
CAF, for multi
-
sectoral working alliances to further ensure a participatory approach to project
objectives, facilitate replication and assist
future sustainability.


42.

In addition to capacity building, the project would incorporate an education and public
outreach programme which would focus on raising public awareness regarding the diverse goods
and services derived from ecosystem integrity, the

financial costs resulting from unsustainable
practices, and the overall socio
-
economic and environmental importance of conserving, through
alternative productive methods, Andean biodiversity. Project preparation resources will identify
the most effective

means of communication for the different stakeholder groups being targeted,
including modalities for the dissemination of best practices and pilot demonstration results.


Biological Corridors Established to Increase Habitat Connectivity Across the Broad
er
Landscape


43.

This component would seek to establish physical biological corridors between existing
protected areas by creating conservation set
-
asides under different modalities of protection and
ownership in the largest intact montane forest stands of a
reas strategically located with regard to
these larger core areas. The conservation set
-
asides would be determined with the full participation
of community and private stakeholders and would be managed under partnerships and co
-
management regimes. These bi
ological corridors would be formed at a time when habitat remnants
of the montane forest are still large enough to provide connectivity through cost effective
interventions. They would be located in areas selected using criteria such as biological importan
ce
and habitat size amongst others. They would aim to include at least 1,500m of elevation change
increasing their potential importance for altitudinal migrants and providing conservation to key
montane forests endemics (the average elevational range for a
n endemic of an altitudinal band is
between 500 and 1,000m, WWF 2001). At their highest altitudinal point, action would be carefully
co
-
ordinated with interventions, to be undertaken through the UNEP regional project, to maintain
the integrity and connecti
vity of the
paramo
and its interface with bordering forests. Where
possible the corridors would also include broad enough corridors to provide horizontal
connectivity within the montane forest band.


44.

In areas where biological corridors are not feasible or

desirable, connectivity between selected
core conservation areas would be promoted to a lesser degree through the sustainable use corridors
to be set up through Output 1 across the productive landscape. The result would be a
comprehensive
land
-
use model
constituted by existing protected areas, their buffer
-
zones, and
interconnecting and interspersed biological and sustainable use corridors. Project preparation

15

funds would be used to provide critical information on which to base the selection of these
prop
osed corridors and to better assess the need to strengthen the protected areas that would form
the anchors for these biological corridors.


SUSTAINABILITY AND POTENTIAL REPLICABILITY


45.

The proposed project includes specific components that provide crucial
elements for the
sustainability and replicability of project outcomes. These include the definition and clear
articulation

by way of project preparation funds

of adaptive management tools to facilitate the
implementation of conservation measures both with
in the existing protected areas and the greater
productive landscape; an ecological services valuation component, and a cross
-
cutting capacity
building programme developed along with a supporting public outreach and education strategy.
Furthermore, strengt
hening the ecological, social, administrative and financial sustainability of
conservation from the bio
-
regional perspective, underpins the entire project rationale.


46.

Although Venezuela is one of the first Latin American countries that adopted and applied

the
concept of “corridor” (Yerena and Romero 1993), until now it has been implemented to maintain
the physical interconnection between protected areas providing spatial continuity of wild habitats
that exist inside and outside of such areas. However,
as the Andes is a complex zone of natural
and anthropic landscapes, with more than 700 years of human intervention, physical
interconnection can only be maintained in certain portions of the Cordillera. (Yerena 1994). In
this sense, the concept of corrid
or needs to be extended to form the basis of a land
-
use model for
territorial and environmental management that harmonises biological conservation and sustainable
development. This would be the first project carried out in Venezuela to establish sustainabl
e
-
use
and biological corridors across the landscape as part of a regional land
-
use model to achieve
biodiversity conservation at the bioregional level. As such it has strong replication value. Specific
components such as recording, publishing and dissemina
tion of lessons learnt will be built into the
final design to enhance replication in the country at the regional and international levels.



COUNTRY ELIGIBILITY


47.

Venezuela ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (C
B
D) on September 12, 1994,
through

the promulgation of a Special Law (Official Gazette No. 4.780 Ext).


STAKEHOLDERS


48.

The primary stakeholders to benefit directly from, or be affected by, the project are those of the
Merida Cordillera estimated as 761,907 in 11 small towns above 400m and
through future phases
the 4.5 million people living within Venezuelan Andes (INE, 2002). Within the Merida Cordillera
the main stakeholders will be the peasants and farmers individually and through their community
organizations. These organisations includ
e the “Irrigation Committees” (community organizations
that group the producers of each zone), the local associations of potato and vegetables growers,
the community centres and the local governments (the Andes Mountain system includes 90
municipal govern
ments). In Phase II an important stakeholder group would be the indigenous
groups of the Sierra de Perijá (approximately 200,000) that include the Bari, Yucpa and Guajiro
peoples. The latter ethnic group, located mainly in Zulia state and Colombia, is one

of the largest

16

in Venezuela and is the indigenous group that has had most social participation despite its poor
organization in the urban centres. Although this group does not live in the Merida Cordillera and
as such would not be directly involved in Ph
ase I, they would be invited to key project activities to
facilitate their full interest and participation in Phase II.


49.

The key role that local communities and indigenous groups could play to conserve
environmental attributes and to promote sustainable d
evelopment would be incorporated in all
aspects of the project cycle. In addition to these stakeholders, a range of institutional stakeholders
would be involved in the different stages of the project cycle and have an interest in its
conservation goals. A
t the national level, the lead ministry would be the Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources (MARN) vested with the responsibility for discharging the government’s
environmental management responsibilities and managing all ABRAE
-
classified lands. The

leadership of MARN would be strengthened by the active participation of the Ministries of
Science and Technology and of Production and Commerce through its Vice Ministry of
Commerce and its Vice Ministry of Tourism. These Ministries both have close links
with the
MARN and are currently collaborating under the National Programme for Biotrade. Another key
player that will be activity encouraged to participate in project design and implementation is the
Ministry of Agriculture and Land, responsible for estab
lishing agriculture and food policy and
regulations, overseeing fisheries management, developing of agro
-
industrial chains and promoting
rural development.



50.

Other national institutional stakeholders would include: (i) the National Guard, administering
e
nvironmental laws and assisting MARN to enforce protected area regulations, control illegal
trafficking, and perform regular surveillance end enforcement operations (ii) the Venezuelan
Council for Investment Promotion (CONAPRI) and the Venezuelan Foreign C
ommerce Bank
(BANCOEX); and (iii) Organizations that finance scientific research in the Andean bioregion
including the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research

CONICIT/MCT and
FUNDACITE Mérida and Táchira, the National Institute for Agric
ulture Research (INIA), the
State Unit for Agriculture and Cattle Development (UEDA), the Center for Research Applied to
the Agriculture Reform (CIARA Foundation), the Panamerican Center for Development and
Investigation on Environment and Terrestrial (CI
DIAT), and those that undertake the research
including a number of Venezuelan universities.


51.

At the regional and local levels, important institutional stakeholders include: (i) The Ministry
of Development and Planning’s regional development agency in Ve
nezuelan Andes, the Andes
Development Corporation (CORPOANDES); (ii) MARN’s and INPARQUES regional offices in
Mérida; (iii) the Governments of Lara, Mérida, Táchira, Trujillo, Apure and Barinas States and
the 90 Andean municipal governments; (v) local
, national and international non governmental
organizations
19

that actively promote conservation and sustainable development interventions in
the Venezuelan Andes; (vi) research institutes such as the Institute for Environmental and
Ecological Sciences (IC
AE) belonging to the University of The Andes (ULA).







19

These include Conservation International, Tropical Andes Programme Foundation, FUDENA, World Conservation
Society, the Salle Foundation amongst others.


17

FINANCING PLAN OF FULL PROJECT


52.

The estimated costs for the project at this initial stage of the project cycle are: Phase One (4
years) total US$ 6
-
10 million, with US$ 4 million from GEF and US$ 2
-
6 million in co
-
financing
from the Government of Venezuela through the Ministry of the Environment (MARN) and
Corporación Andina de Desarrollo (CORPOANDES), Conservation International and others to be
confirmed. Phase Two (4 years) is expected to be in a
similar range.



PROPOSED PROJECT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY


53.

The current PDF B request has full endorsement of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
(RboV) and is estimated at US$ 490,500 of which US$347,500 is requested from GEF, and co
-
funding provided by l
ocal and international NGOs, including Conservation International (CI).
Project preparation funds will be required to further identify and detail proposed project
components, including the most cost
-
effective measures and activities to fulfil project objec
tives.
This will include drawing on existing information (scientific
-
socio economic and cultural) for the
definition of contextually viable project strategies in conservation management, identifying
stakeholder groups and pilot demonstration areas for the

application of conservation compatible
productive practices, defining capacity building requirements for each proposed line of action, the
most appropriate outreach and public dissemination plan for replication purposes, as well as the
project’s monitori
ng and evaluation strategy along with corresponding indicators and means of
verification. PDF funds will be utilized for the definition and costing of the proposed GEF
alternative, including the required consultative processes and negotiations at both loca
l, sub
-
regional, and national levels and for the preparation of the project brief and document.



IA COORDINATION AND LINKAGES TO GEF AND IA PROGRAMS


Links to UNDP Programmes in Venezuela


54.

A new Country Programme (CP) for Venezuela was prepared in year
2002 by a joint team
from the Government and UNDP, in consultation with different national and international
organizations and in conformity with the Constitution of 1999 and the Economic and Social
Development Plan, 2001
-
2007. Both of these documents pla
ce environmental management as a
high priority within the context of sustainable development. This CP was approved by the
Executive Board of the UNDP and of the UNFPA in January 2003. Input from the MARN for
defining priorities for UNDP support in the co
ntext of the CP, confirms a high level of consistency
between these and the proposed project. In particular the project would support the following
priorities of the CP in different arenas: (i)
political:

strengthening regional integrated
environmental ma
nagement and institutional capacities for PA management, environmental
management by local governments and local communities participation in decision
-
making
processes; (ii)
economic
: assisting the conservation of forest ecosystems within PAs and the
pro
ductive landscape and promoting integrated community management of natural resources and
environmental services; (iii)
social
: building technical capacity in forest ecosystem management
and disseminating best agroecology and tourism practices (iv)
land
-
us
e
: conserving and managing
river basins and developing bioregional plans for land
-
use and conservation.


18


55.

At the project level two initiatives have close links to the proposed intervention. UNDP
Venezuela in alliance with the National Oil Company (PDVSA) a
nd Trujillo’s State Government
is executing a Human Local Development Project. This project “Fortalecimiento del Tejido Social
Fase II” will contribute to improving living conditions in the lower area of Trujillo State, in
particular La Ceiba, Miranda and

Andrés Bello Municipalities. Amongst other actions, this will
strengthen local institutional capacity, facilitating inter
-
institutional coordination and promoting
the
Social Network
. Additionally, the Country Office, in alliance with local partners in th
e context
of Capacity 2015 Programme, is planning to develop a Preparatory Assistance that aims to develop
the capacities needed at the national level to meet its sustainable development goals under Agenda
21 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at
the local level.


Links to other GEF proposals


56.

The GEF has financed two Enabling Activities in Venezuela. One is the completed
GEF/UNDP supported National Biodiversity Strategy that provides an important framework for
priority setting for the present pr
oposal. The other is an on
-
going UNDP/GEF project that will
produce the First National Communication on Climate Change. This will include a green house
gases emissions inventory for energy and non
-
energy sectors and the identification of mitigation
optio
ns for these. The development of the proposed project would incorporate relevant advances
made in this arena.


57.

A GEF/UNDP full
-
scale project


Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere Reserve
and the Wetlands of the Orinoco Delta



is under implem
entation. Even though this project
focuses on the protection of the coastal and freshwater biodiversity and thus delivers distinct
biodiversity benefits, it also promotes the
sustainable
use of
biodiversity through the development
of pilot experien
ces and the commercialisation of the products rendered by the biodiversity. This
aspect will enhance learning capacities and serve as a model to replicate better practices on
biodiversity management, as well as the incorporation of local communities in th
ese processes.
Furthermore, as the Venezuelan Andes constitutes the highest portion of the Orinoco River Basin,
increased protection of this region will have positive effects throughout the river course. In this
sense links will also occur with the projec
t
Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biodiversity
in the Eco
-
region of the Venezuelan Plains

undertaken by FUDENA with support from GEF
through the World Bank. This project targets a biodiversity that is different from both the Delta
and Andean projec
t and is located in the drainage basin of the River Santo Domingo, an important
water reservoir rising in the Venezuelan Andes. Working in the areas upstream from the FUDENA
project site and protecting the upper river basin will contribute positively to co
nservation efforts
downstream. Conversely the proposed Andean project will benefit from lessons learnt through the
FUDENA project relating to the creation of protection areas under private domain including
private land
-
owners and farmers.


58.

The UNDP/GEF
initiative of the
Conservation of the Caura River Basin
will also have links
with the proposed Andean project. The Caura project also promotes the valorisation of products
and services derived from the biodiversity and within this context, will serve as a

reference for
initiatives in the Andes region of Venezuela, particularly with regard to methodologies for
valorisation. It will also provide insights in the promotion and insertion of the local communities

19

in the process of handling environmentally deriv
ed benefits and sustainable use products as a tool
to upgrade local development and conservation.


59.

Another closely linked project is the proposed UNEP regional project “
Integrity and
Integration: Conservation of the Biodiversity of the Paramo in the Nort
hern Andean Biological
Corridor,
for which PDF B funds have been recently approved. This project would have both
national and regional components and would work in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela. It
would seek to conserve the biodiversity and safeg
uard the hydrological functions of the Andean
Paramo by linking their conservation and sustainable use to the provision of economic benefits for
local mountain communities. It would focus on maintaining the integrity and connectivity of the
paramo
(gras
sland habitat) by building capacities to

manage Andean grasslands and by taking
regional action to link local paramo leaders and create and solidify a pan
-
paramo community in
the Northern and Central Andean bioregion. Site specific action in Venezuela w
ould be restricted
to paramo areas and the interface with neighboring forests and as such would provide biodiversity
benefits that are clearly different from the proposed UNDP project. Grasslands and Forest habitats
are strikingly contrasting and each req
uire a range of specific management capacities. By the
UNDP and UNEP projects each focusing principally on one of these habitats, complexity within
the projects will be reduced and capacity strengthening increased. Synergies and
complementarities will be e
nhanced as the preparatory phases will be overlapping. Annex 3,
prepared in unison with UNEP for their recently approved PDF B submission, provides a more
detail account of complementarities.


60.

A recently submitted UNEP regional PDF A entitled: “Improving

Conservation of Tropical
Montane Cloud Forests in the Northern Andean Region” would also have close links with this
proposal. In this regard, UNEP has indicated that the PDF A initiative will not include on
-
the
ground interventions in Venezuela and that c
lose collaboration in the design phase will ensure that
potential overlap

is avoided and synergies maximized.


61.

Finally, Venezuela is preparing a new GEF proposal with the WB for the Canaima National
Park in the Guayana region that is expected to be subm
itted at the Pipeline 13. The UNDP Andean
project and the WB Canaima will target very different biodiversity. Venezuela considers them
both to be high priorities and they have already been endorsed by the Government Focal Point (see
Annex 4 for the UNDP Pr
oject endorsement). The Canaima project will focus on social
participation in protected area management while the Andean project will focus on enhancing
biodiversity conservation in the productive landscape and to a lesser extent on the consolidation of
pr
otected areas from a bioregional perspective. Given the differences in target biodiversity,
strategic priorities, scope and scale, these initiatives are highly complementary and will be
working with a variety of distinct stakeholder groups, collectively ad
dressing an interesting variety
of conservation challenges and a corresponding array of innovative remedial measures with
relevant stakeholder groups and alliances.

To enhance this complementarity, both PDFB
preparation teams will continue to maintain coor
dinated working relationships in the eventual
design and preparation of these projects.


Description of Proposed PDF B Activities


63. PDF B resources will finance preparation activities required for the definition, development
and costing of the full
-
scal
e project's components. This will include consultations with a broad

20

range of stakeholders at local and national levels to ensure critical inputs to project design and the
definition of their specific roles and contribution to project development, implemen
tation,
monitoring and evaluation. In the same vain, optimal institutional arrangements for executing and
implementing the full
-
scale project will be defined, agreed upon and formalized, as will the
required co
-
financing for the full
-
scale initiative.


64.

Upon completion of the analytical and consultative PDF B work, GEF project documentation,
including a Project Brief and its Executive Summary, will be delivered for GEF financing
consideration.


65. PDF B activities will broadly fall under two main catego
ries, namely those pertaining to the
process
-
related aspects of project design and those associated with the detailing of individual
project components.


66. Activities related to the
process
of project formulation are detailed below and will represent a
c
ontinual, progressive, iterative process occurring throughout the entire PDF B, rather than
specific, time
-
bound events. This will ensure that information collected during these analytical
exercises can be duly confirmed as project design features are furt
her clarified and defined.


67.

Activity 1
:

Conduct a detailed
stakeholder assessment

to: (i) fully identify and confirm
relevant actors at local and national levels, (ii) determine how these are or will be affected by the
proposed project, (iii) define t
heir role and participation in project design, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation, (iv) identify the corresponding mechanisms, consultative structures,
and channels for effective information flows to ensure their active participation throughout proj
ect
development and subsequent implementation.


68.

Products to be delivered:




Comprehensive report of major stakeholder groups and their relation to the project (i.e.
their relationship to the targeted BD, practices they engage in that have a bearing (po
sitive
or negative) on the targeted BD, etc). Primary focus will be placed on actors operating in
the productive or potentially productive landscape currently comprising 60% of the MC,
including relevant institutions, private entrepreneurs, small
-
scale pro
ducers, etc.




Summary of stakeholder consultations and the mechanisms by which this participation was
secured.




Elaboration of the Public Participation Annex as part of the full
-
scale project's
documentation.



69.

Activity 2:

Undertake a more
in
-
depth
ana
lysis of the globally significant elements of
biodiversity present in the Merida Cordillera
, including what is required by each of these elements
to assure their long term conservation and survival. This assessment will include BD within the
existing PAs,
as well as adjacent areas currently representing over 60% of the montane forest
habitat forming part of the potentially productive landscape and presently under no form of
conservation
-
oriented land use.


21


70.

Products to be delivered:




A succinct priorit
y listing and description of the globally significant BD of the MC based
on existing information, including identification of
critical baseline information gaps

that
must be filled (either during the PDF B or at the earliest stages of the FS project) to en
able
effective monitoring and impact measurement during full
-
scale project implementation.




Identification of BD baseline indicator values (starting point for measurement) on which
project performance and impact will be based during implementation (e.g. if

the Andean
spectacled bear is selected as one of the targeted biodiversity elements, determine if
sufficient information exists on its population, distribution and requirements, as well as
threats to this species, to allow the project to define a contextu
ally viable strategy for its
long
-
term survival in
-
situ).




A map delineating critical BD rich areas requiring conservation
-
oriented land use planning,
or extended PA status (i.e. priority areas where connecting biological corridors could be
potentially est
ablished, and those where conservation
-
compatible land use models and
productive practices could tested).



71.

Activity 3:


Undertake, with a representative stakeholder group, a detailed analysis of the
threats and

root causes of biodiversity loss

in the

MC, highlighting the causal linkages and
relationships between direct threats (deforestation, clearing for agriculture, habitat loss, etc) and
their origin (inappropriate economic or sectoral policies, inconsistent or incompatible regulatory or
legal fram
eworks, etc). This will permit a precise appreciation and definition of the indirect or
intermediate causal factors acting as critical barriers to the conservation and sustainable use of
targeted BD and the identification of optimal and contextually viable

corrective measures. Special
emphasis will be accorded to identifying the specific barriers, and opportunities, for integrating
biodiversity conservation in productive sector activity in a manner consistent with country context,
existing biodiversity cons
ervation problems, viable opportunities and demand.


72.

Products to be delivered:




A comprehensive and detailed threat analysis based on: (i) up to date field based
information and inventories, (ii) stakeholder interviews, (iii) relevant sectoral policie
s and
legal frameworks affecting BD conservation and sustainable uses, institutional capacities
and mandates, including the extent to which these provide an enabling environment for
conservation efforts within the productive landscape, etc.




A root
-
cause a
nalysis matrix succinctly depicting principal threats and their corresponding
levels of causality, with particular emphasis on the productive landscape.




A map superimposing: (i) critical areas of high global biodiversity and (ii) areas identified
as evide
ncing current or potential anthropogenic threats/activity as a means of highlighting
the geographic areas and production systems where BD faces most critical threats.



22



Definition of corresponding remedial measures to conform the project strategic
interven
tion, including development goal, purpose, outcomes, outputs and activities
.
This
will include measures by which to: (i) facilitate the incorporation of BD within productive
systems (including their prioritization in accordance to threat and impact), (ii)
define the
systemic and institutional capacities required to facilitate this integration, review of the
legislation, regulatory, and incentive systems guiding productive sector activity, (iii) create
and/or consolidate partnerships (local communities, priv
ate sector, line Ministries, relevant
institutions) supportive of conservation principles integration into the broader development
agenda and the delivery of biodiversity and productive systems gains, and (iv) on the
ground demonstration projects with high

replication value.



73.

Activity 4:

Identify, describe and quantify the
baseline activities

upon which the GEF project
will build, following the detailed evaluation of root
-
causes of biodiversity loss, and the initial
identification of corresponding reme
dial and/or preventive measures. This analysis will permit the
identification of: (i) on
-
going or planned baseline activities supportive or essential to the delivery
of project objectives, (ii) critical baseline activity gaps which need to be addressed by
the GEF
and/or others, and (iii) those baseline activities which need to be upscaled or modified to
effectively conserve globally significant BD as identified in Activity 2.


74.

Products to be delivered:




A detailed baseline assessment including correspon
ding actors and institutions, as well as
the required coordination, programming mechanisms and agreements to ensure the
necessary complementarities and co
-
financing support to effectively deliver identified
corrective actions (i.e. project objectives).




A
description of the situation resulting from the current "business as usual model"
-

i.e.
what is likely to happen without the GEF intervention with particular emphasis on what
would occur in the productive landscape and the effects of these activities on t
he attendant
biodiversity.


75.

Activity 5:

Development of a
Logical Framework Matrix and Results Management Table

based on on
-
going preparation work and to be conducted with a representative stakeholder group
detailing the project's development goal, purp
ose, outcomes, outputs and activities. Emphasis will
be placed on the definition of measurable and quantifiable
indicators

and
means of verification
, as
well as the existence of corresponding baseline values on which to base the project's anticipated
conse
rvation targets and impacts. Indicators and benchmarks for measuring sustainable use of
biodiversity, its mainstreaming into productive sector activity, as well as related capacity building
measures will be accorded priority attention. As project design co
nstitutes an iterative process, it is
expected that more than one logframe exercise will be required to effectively incorporate feedback
from PDF B analyses and forthcoming information, and adjust the project's strategic intervention
accordingly.


76.

Prod
ucts to be delivered:



23



Logical Framework Matrix and Results Management Table as part of GEF project
documentation.




Logical sequence and time
-
frame required for undertaking the various project components
and their corresponding activities.




Detailed Monito
ring and Evaluation system for the full
-
scale project, including
corresponding budget and responsible parties, institutions, and project structures envisaged
for M&E functions. The M&E system will also specify reporting requirements and
corresponding frequ
ency thereby enabling systematic tracking of project advances and
overall adaptive management, as appropriate. The M&E system will be devised to track
and assess project performance against identified baseline values, and will include both
GEF and co
-
finan
ced activities forming part of the larger GEF project alternative.




Rationale for the project's intervention strategy and the specific choices made in relation to
its components (goal, purpose and outcomes
-

e.g. why emphasis in the productive
landscape (S
P2) as opposed to an exclusive or predominant protected area focus (SP1),
etc..)



77
. Activity 6:


Appraise the "global and national benefits
"

resulting from the full range of
proposed remedial measures to determine those eligible for GEF incremental fina
ncing and those
requiring financing from other sources. Identify and negotiate the programming partnerships,
project implementation arrangements, and co
-
funding commitments needed to fully cover the
spectrum of corrective measures identified.


78.

Products

to be delivered:




Definition of baseline programming partners, co
-
financing sources and the project
activities they will fund, corresponding letters of commitment.




Preparation of the Incremental Cost Matrix as part of required GEF project documentation.



79.

Activity 7:

Based on the logical framework matrix, identify full
-
scale project activities that
must continue on after the project's lifetime for conservation efforts to succeed, including the
measures that will be undertaken during project implementa
tion to ensure the long term
sustainability of these activities.


80.

Products to be delivered:




Sustainability assessment of activities that will need to continue on a long term basis after
the project ends, and a detailed description of the measures and
specific requirements that
need to be set in place as part of the full
-
scale's project implementation to ensure the
sustainability of these efforts.




24

81
. Activity 8:

Identification and description of the most relevant initiatives (GEF and non
-
GEF)
both in

Venezuela and the Andean region

(with particular emphasis on the Andean Forest region)
with which the project should collaborate, coordinate activities, and engage in information and
best practice exchanges. Particular attention will be given to defining
the complementarities and
collaborative relationship between the proposed project and the UNEP
-
GEF regional Paramo
project, including the mechanisms by which this coordination will take place. Finally, lessons will
be drawn from the WB/FUDENA project and U
NDP's Caura project with respect to the
commercialization of biodiversity, as appropriate.


82.

Products to be delivered:




Description of the relevant initiatives to the project and how they relate to proposed
components (i.e. relevant initiatives dealing
with biodiversity conservation in productive
landscapes, sustainable use corridors, best practices in BD sectoral overlays, including eco
-
tourism, BD conservation in shade coffee areas, etc).




Mechanisms and agreements for systematic collaboration and info
rmation exchanges.




Annex on lessons learned from other relevant projects
-

how these apply to this proposal,
and the manner in which they have been incorporated into design considerations.



83.

Activity 9:

Determine and detail the
optimal arrangements fo
r project execution and
implementation.
Consideration will be given to the full range of possible executing entities based
on the following assessment criteria: relevant authority and mandate, operational, managerial, and
programme oversight capacity, effe
ctive coordination track
-
record, absorptive capacity, internal
turn over rate, cost
-
effectiveness, etc). Equal attention will be placed on assessing the capacity of
key stakeholders as potential implementation partners so as to determine the most viable, e
ffective
and sustainable implementation arrangements for the full
-
scale project. Specifics pertaining to
project decision
-
making structures (i.e steering committees, etc), including the roles, functions and
responsibilities of selected institutions will al
so be defined as will communication lines and
conflict resolution mechanisms.


84.

Products to be delivered:




Execution and Implementation arrangements fully defined and detailed, including
definition of project decision
-
making, advisory, and coordinating
structures, their
corresponding composition and Terms of Reference, operational modalities and meeting
frequency.




Analysis of the institutional actors considered as per the criteria mentioned above.



85
. Activity 10:

Formulation of GEF project documenta
tion

(Executive Summary, Project Brief
and required annexes) as per agreed upon formats and GEF information requirements for Work
Programme Inclusion. Recommendations made by the STAP reviewer, GEFSec and other IA/EAs,
and GEF Council Members will be duly
addressed at the relevant moments during the evaluation

25

process. Preparation of a UNDP Project Document, as per agreed upon format, to include
operational details such as Terms of Reference (consultancies, sub
-
contracts, project decision
-
making structures,

UNDP budget, workplans, etc).


86
. Products to be delivered
:




Executive summary



GEF Project Brief



UNDP
-
GEF Project Document


Activities related to the definition and further development of project specific components
are detailed below.




Mainstreaming B
iodiversity in Production Landscapes and Sectors


87. PDF B activities for this component will focus on reviewing the legal, regulatory, policy
frameworks and incentive systems guiding productive sector activity in the MC. Drawing on PDF
B analyses special

attention will be placed on production systems where BD faces the most critical
threats, where proposed modifications and reforms can yield the greatest impact, and where
demonstrations can provide the highest replication value. Preparation work will foc
us on
identifying support and capacity building needs at institutional and systemic levels to facilitate the
incorporation of BD conservation principles within development agendas, land use planning,
productive sector planning and policy formulation. Full
-
scale project activities under this
component would secure the adoption of identified reforms thereby facilitating the application of
conservation compatible productive practices to be validated through targeted pilot
demonstrations.


88. PDF B activities

will also analyze the potential and viability of developing market incentive
measures including, organic produce, certification requirements, purchasing agreements, standards
and codes of conduct (i.e. eco
-
tourism), the application of incentive systems, a
s well as the
corresponding institutional and capacity building requirements for these elements to be successful
and sustainable at the local and national levels. Preparation work would identify potentially viable
products and corresponding stakeholder gro
ups (small and medium scale entreprises among
others), and engage in the necessary feasibility studies and preliminary requirements to prepare
pilot demonstrations based on innovative processes and activities for implementation as part of the
full
-
scale pr
oject.


89. PDF B activities will also include determining the viability of valuation and payment of
ecosystem goods and services (especially regarding water regulation as provided by the Andean
montane forest), including mechanisms for the re
-
distribution

of resources to participating

conservation oriented communities. Examples from similar schemes in Colombia will be analyzed,
including the legal and financial issues that would need to be addressed in the Venezuelan context.


90. Products to be delivered
:



26



Comprehensive review of the legal and regulatory frameworks guiding sector specific
activities in the productive landscape, including detailing of causal linkages, critical
barriers and opportunities for reform.




Detailing of principal recommendations fo
r policy, regulatory and incentives reforms
required to effectively mainstream biodiversity conservation principles into productive
sector activity and how these will be tested and promoted via proposed pilot
demonstrations.



Feasibility assessments confirm
ing the contextual viability of commercializing biodiversity
derived products and services, the establishment of innovative market incentive structures,
and detailing of corresponding partnerships at local and national levels.



Viability assessment for the
establishment of "valuation and payment of ecosystem goods
and services".





Sustainable Use Corridors Established in the Productive Landscape with Biodiversity
Compatible Agricultural Practices and Alternative Sustainable Livelihoods


91. Sustainable
-
use c
orridors would be established to deliver effective conservation to biodiversity
in the productive landscape that occupies up to 60% of the land above 400 m.a.
s.
l in the Merida
Cordillera. To this end PDF activities will identify strategic locations with r
egards to unprotected
forest land (based on the results of Activity 2) and develop a set of pilot demonstrations to test,
validate and adapt sustainable use and conservation principles in the productive activities
occurring in these locations.


92. Pilot
demonstrations will focus primarily on conservation
-
compatible agricultural practices,
but may also include pilot demonstrations in other sectors such as eco
-
tourism. As mentioned
above, demonstrations will be carefully selected on the basis of strategic l
ocation, receptivity and
support of stakeholder groups, strategic impact, supportive baseline and co
-
financing prospects, as
well as considerations regarding replicability potential and overall sustainability.


93.

Products to be delivered
:




Map depicting
the location of sustainable use corridors within the productive landscape.



Detailed description of pilot demonstrations including the rationale for their selection, the
sustainable use practices they seek to promote, the benefits that these would deliver t
o
existing biodiversity, and how they are the most strategic in terms of conservation impact
in the Merida Cordillera.



Feasibility and sustainability assessment of proposed pilot demonstrations, including the
means by which replication of best practices wo
uld be ensured throughout the remainng
productive landscape.





Biological Corridors Established to Increase Habitat Connectivity Across the Broader
Landscape



27

94. Under the full
-
scale project this component would seek to establish physical biological
corr
idors between existing protected areas by creating conservation set
-
asides, under different
modalities of protection and ownership, in the largest intact montane forest stands of areas
strategically located in relation to larger core protected areas. These

biological corridors would be
formed at a time when habitat remnants of the montane forest are still large enough to provide
connectivity through cost effective interventions.


95. As such, PDF B preparation work would determine the viability of establish
ing the proposed
connecting corridors, and determining optimal modalities of conservation, including partnerships
and co
-
management regimes as appropriate, with the full participation of community and private
stakeholders.


96. Proposed corridors would be
located in areas selected using criteria such as biological
importance, habitat size, and stakeholder receptiveness, among others, and would aim to include at
least 1,500m of elevation change. At their highest altitudinal point, action would be carefully c
o
-
ordinated with the UNEP regional Paramo project, to maintain the integrity and connectivity of the
paramo and its interface with bordering forests.


97. In areas where biological corridors are not feasible or desirable, connectivity between selected
core

conservation areas would be promoted through the sustainable use corridors to be set up
across the productive landscape. The result would be a comprehensive
land
-
use model
constituted
by existing protected areas, their buffer
-
zones, and interconnecting a
nd interspersed biological and
sustainable use corridors.


98. Project preparation funds would be used to provide critical information on which to base the
selection of these proposed corridors and to better assess the need to strengthen the protected are
as
that would form the anchors for these biological corridors.


99. Products to be delivered
:




Map depicting the location of biological corridors connecting protected areas within the
productive landscape, including rationale for the selection of specific
corridor sites.



Conservation modalities of proposed corridors determined, including agreements with
relevant stakeholder groups



Description of the benefits to be derived from greater connectivity.



Mechanisms for collaboration with UNEP Regional Paramo proj
ect in place.





A Set of Adaptive Management tools to Facilitate the Implementation of Conservation
Measures From a Bioregional Viewpoint


100. PDF B preparation work for this component would identify the information, management,
and monitoring tools neede
d to effectively guide conservation management in the wider landscape.
Activities would therefore focus on the development of biodiversity indicators, baseline values and
a corresponding monitoring system on which to accurately determine development impact
s, the
effects of sector specific activities, and the overall efficacy of conservation oriented
mainstreaming efforts in overall BD threat reduction. To this end, baseline information will be

28

reviewed and critical information gaps identified to determine t
he corresponding management
tools required.


101. Products to be delivered
:




Management Tools and corresponding capacity building requirement for monitoring
impacts and conservation status within the productive landscape.





A Capacity Building Programme de
veloped along with a supporting Public Outreach and
Education Strategy


102. Under the full
-
scale project capacity building activities would be cross cutting and as such
complement each of the project’s components. They would be designed to target resourc
e users
and planners, decision
-
makers, private sector entrepreneurs, at both local and sub
-
regional levels
to address the development and consolidation of skills required to effectively undertake
conservation management across the landscape as a whole.


103. PDF preparation funds will undertake

for each proposed line of action


a capacity needs
assessment in order to design a practical skill enhancement programme for the different
stakeholder groups and institutions participating in the project at local

and national levels.
Capacity related preparation work will duly draw on the stakeholder assessment analysis.


104. In addition to capacity building, PDFB activities would develop an education and public
outreach programme focussed on raising public awar
eness regarding the diverse goods and
services derived from ecosystem integrity, the financial costs resulting from unsustainable
practices, and the overall socio
-
economic and environmental importance of conserving, through
alternative productive methods,
Andean biodiversity.


105. Project preparation resources will identify the most effective means of communication for the
different stakeholder groups being targeted, including modalities for the dissemination of best
practices and pilot demonstration res
ults.


106. Products to be delivered
:




Capacity building needs assessment of relevant institutions and stakeholder groups
participating in the full
-
scale project.



Design of a corresponding capacity building programme corresponding to the full
-
scale
proje
ct components identified during preparation work.



N
ATIONAL
L
EVEL
S
UPPORT
A
ND
J
USTIFICATION FOR THE

PDF

B



107. The GEF Operational Focal Point, MARN, has expressed its full approval and endorsement
to the proposed project, and has underlined its synergy

with the vision and mission of the Ministry,
as well as with the NBSAP.



29

108. Numerous preparatory activities/consultations have already taken place including a workshop
in June, 2002 in Mérida in which MARN, INPARQUES, several NGOs, academic institution
s and
UNDP participated to conceptualize the project idea. The concept was subsequently presented to
the Board of Directors of MARN, at which time the GEF Focal Point in Venezuela indicated his
support for the concept. Several meetings have also taken pl
ace to seek synergies and to avoid
overlap between various planned initiatives, including the UNEP/GEF
Paramo

project and the
WB/GEF
Canaima National Park

project. Preliminary contacts have also been made with several
potential donors.


109. PDF resourc
es will support the necessary technical and consultative activities required to
ensure that the resulting full scale project represents a strategic intervention in which key
stakeholders are intimately involved, and where the necessary conditions are in pl
ace for a
successful conservation initiative sustainable over the long
-
term. In addition to the theoretical
analytical and consultative activities that form part of the proposed PDF project, several highly
targeted field
-
based studies will be undertaken t
o fill in critical information gaps.


PDF

B

I
MPLEMENTATION
A
RRANGEMENTS


110. The executing entity for the PDF B will be the Venezuelan
-
based NGO,
Programa Andes
Tropicales
(PAT
)
. PAT will assign a person to act as Technical Coordinator for the PDF B on
a full
-
time basis during the implementation of the PDF B preparation phase. A PDF B
Steering Committee

comprised of representatives of MARN, the Ministry of Planning and Development, an institution
representative from the productive sector to be identified

and UNDP will be established to oversee and
guide preparation work.
In addition to the Project Steering Committee, an
Operational Committee

for
the PDF B will be established comprised of representatives of MARN (the National Biodiversity
Office), CI/Venez
uela, PAT and UNDP/Venezuela to guide and oversee day to day activities. Specific
TORs for both Committees will be presented as part of PDF B Project Document documentation.


111. PAT will take responsibility for coordination of PDF B activities, includin
g the preparation of
TORs, PDF expertise selection, making appropriate arrangements for the logistical and technical
support of project design workshops, stakeholder meetings and consultation, and project related
awareness and cartographic activities. The
UNDP Resident Representative will assign a
Programme Officer (PO) to provide backstopping as required to the project, including support and
GEF programming guidance to the PDF Technical Coordinator. In addition, GEF project design
support will be provided

during critical moments of project development and formulation (i.e.
logframe preparation, incremental costs analysis, etc) and financed through PDF resources as
depicted in the proposed budget. The Technical Coordinator (TC) will be contracted immediatel
y
following approval of the PDF B proposal.


112. PDF B activities will be undertaken by a variety of institutions as well as individual experts
under the direct supervision of the TC. The TC will report to the PDF B’s Operational Committee
established f
or this
preparatory phase
. Information regarding project advances and delivery of
expected products will be regularly provided by the TC to the Steering Committee. When
necessary, the TC will report to the Steering Committee as appropriate, particularly i
n aspects
related to co
-
financing negotiations and commitments.



30

113. According to UNDP guidelines and procedures, international and national sub
-
contracts will
be accorded through competitive

bidding processes when these exceed US $30,000. Selection of
ca
ndidates will be based on technical criteria and cost
-
effectiveness.


114. A more thorough explanation of the roles and responsibilities of key PDF B project staff and
committees will be developed by the TC once the PDF B proposal has been approved.


PDF

B

B
UDGET



115. The total amount requested from the GEF for the implementation of this PDF B is US$
347,500 and the total co
-
financing US$ 143,000. Co
-
financing for the PDF B has been secured
from the Government of Venezuela (MARN) as an in
-
kind contribut
ion amounting to (US$
20,000), and consisting of time dedicated to PDF B activities by technical and management level
staff. In addition, co
-
financing has been secured from CI/Venezuela (US$ 81,000) and from PAT
(US $42,000). Letters of commitment for th
is co
-
financing of the PDF B are attached as Annex 5.


116. It is important to note that both CI and PAT financed the initial workshop to conceptualize
the project. Based on this workshop it was recognized that there was a need to gather and compile
geog
raphic information that would allow for a more precise planning and definition of the project
area. In addition, with CI and PAT co
-
financing a GIS database will be further developed at a
scale (1:250,000).


117. The PDF B will be implemented over a perio
d of ten months. Mechanisms have been put
into place that will allow for immediate start
-
up of PDF activities in the event of successful review
by the GEF.



ACTIVITY

GEF

OTHER

TOTAL

1. Inception Workshop

10,000


10,000

2. Detailed Stakeholder assessmen
t

25,000


5,000


30,000

3. In
-
depth analysis of the globally significant elements of
biodiversdity in the Merida Coordillera

10,000


15,000


25,000

4. Analysis of threats and root causes of biodiversity loss in the
Merida Coordillera

15,000


15,000


30,
000

5. Identify, describe and quantify the baseline activities
, including
definition of foundational baseline activities (co
-
financing)

8,500

5,000


13,500


6. Logical Framework Matrix and Results Management Table

6,000

12,000


18,000


7. Global and nat
ional benefits appraisal, including identification of
co
-
financing sources

10,000

15,000


25,000


8. Identification of full
-
scale project activities

7,500

0


7,500


9. Identification of most relevant GEF and non GEF activities with
which the project cou
ld develop synergies, etc..


7,500

13,000

20,500


10. Arrangements for project execution and implementation

5,000


4,000


9,000

11. Mainstreaming biodiversity in production landscapes and
sectors

25,000


10,000


35,000

12. Sustainable use corridors

35,0
00


14,500


59,500

13. Biological corridors

35,000

14,500


49,500

14. Set of adaptive management tools

10,000

5,000


15,000


31

15. Capacity building program

30,000

15,000

45,000

16. Formulation of GEF project documentation

33,000

0


33,000


17. Consultat
ive workshop(s) to agree and endorse GEF project
documentation (including translation)

5,000


5,000

PDF B
Technical Coordinator

30,000

0



30,000

GEF Specialist support throughout PDF process (includes three 6
day missions (including travel days) at 213
DSA and estimated
USD 1,000 for ticket from the consultant's home based in Honduras

30,000

0



30,000

TOTAL

$347,500


$143,000


$490,500


PDF B Workplan


ACTIVITY

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

1. PDF B Inception Workshop

X










2. Detailed Stakeholder asses
sment


X

X

X







3. In
-
depth analysis of the globally significant elements of
biodiversdity in the Merida Coordillera

X

X

X








4. Analysis of threats and root causes of biodiversity loss in the
Merida Coordillera



X

X

X






5. Identify, describe

and quantify baseline activities, including
definition of foundational baseline activities (co
-
financing)



X








6. Logical Framework Matrix and Results Management Table





X

X





7. Global and national benefits appraisal, including definition
of
co
-
financing sources





X






8. Identification of full
-
scale project activities
-

sustainability







X

X



9.
Identification of most relevant GEF and non GEF activities
with which the project could develop synergies, etc







X




10. Arrangements

for project execution and implementation








X



11. Mainstreaming biodiversity in production landscapes and
sectors





X

X

X




12. Sustainable use corridors




X

X

X

X




14. Biological corridors




X

X

X

X




15. Set of adaptive management tool
s







X

X



16. Capacity building program







X

X



17. Formulation of GEF project documentation








X

X

X

18. Final consultative workshops to review and endorse GEF
project documentation








X

X

X



NEXT STEPS


118. Upon approval of the PDF
by the GEF, an Inception Workshop will take place no later than a
month after the PDF B’s signature and once the principal individuals comprising the PDF B
project team have been contracted. The Inception Report to be prepared after the event will include
a detailed workplan for PDF B activities, with clearly established time
-
frames for the delivery of

32

key products and corresponding responsible parties. The Inception Workshop will also provide an
opportunity for fine tuning of TORs and PDF activities/tasks.



119. The Inception Workshop will provide an opportunity for the PDF B project team to meet and
interact with the UNDP
-
Venezuela staff as well as responsible parties from the UNDP/GEF
Regional Coordinating Unit in Mexico. Equally, it will ensure that th
e required familiarization
with GEF operational guidance and documentation requirements are clear. Guidance and
information regarding subsequent GEF review and approval processes will also be provided, as
will examples of well
-
prepared GEF project document
s.


120. The Inception Report will be submitted to UNDP Venezuela and the UNDP
-
GEF Regional
Coordinating Unit in México.


33

B
IBLIOGRAPHY


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1995.
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Bisbal, F. 1987.
Carnívoros Considerados en Peligro de Extinción. Pp: 42
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174.

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1995. Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos
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Myers, N. Mittermier, R. Mittermier, C. Da Fonseca, G and Kent, J. 2000.
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-

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-
Abril, Merida, Venezuela.


35

L
IST OF
A
NNEXES





Annex 1:

Maps and Socio
-
economic information




Map 1:

The Venezuelan Andes

Map 2:

Nationa
l Parks in the Cordillera de Mérida



Map 3:
Critical Areas for conservation


Annex 2:

Biodiversity in the Venezuelan Andes and Existing Protected Areas


Annex 3:
Proposed GEF Biodiversity Interventions in the
Venezuelan Andean System



A Co
-
ordination
Approach Between Implementing Agencies


Annex 4

:

Government Focal Point Endorsement Letter.


Annex 5 :

Letters of Co
-
financing from CI and PAT