Background: the Seychelles Marine Ecosystem Management Project

The Seychelles Marine Ecosystem Project was a medium-sized GEF/World Bank project that was implemented from August 2000 to March 2004.The $1.25 million project fell under the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Operational Programme of the GEF Biodiversity Focal Area. GEF provided $0.67 million in funding; the Government of the Seychelles co-financed the remainder. The stated goal of the project was the ‘successful management of Seychelles’ unique and threatened marine ecosystems in light of recent global and local changes in particular coral bleaching’. Its overall objective was ‘identify, monitor, manage and rehabilitate remnant ecosystems by the removal of critical barriers including lack of skills, scientific understanding and conservation management knowledge and direction’.

At closure, the project was favourably rated by its Terminal Evaluation, with the delivery of project outcomes considered to have been ‘satisfactory’ and the probability of sustainability assessed to be ‘likely’.

This chapter presents a Review of Outcomes to Impacts that seeks to answer whether the completed project has in fact contributed to achieving lasting and beneficial environmental impacts.

The impacts towards which the SEYMEMP would contribute

The starting point for the SEYMEMP Review of Outcomes to Impacts assessment was to identify the project’s intended environmental impacts, which for GEF projects is the delivery of global environmental benefits. These are defined in the Review of Outcomes to Impacts manual as ‘lasting improvements in the status of an aspect of the global environment that safeguards environmental functioning and integrity as well as benefiting human society’. The SEYMEMP project identified four key aspects of the marine environment that provided the justification for GEF support to this project and which formed the project’s intended global environmental benefits. The benefits are lasting improvements in the status of hard coral reefs, reef fish assemblages, marine turtles and whale sharks (see Table 7.3).

It is important to have a clear understanding of the desired final impact of an intervention, since this provides the foundation for the development of an appropriate outcomes-impacts Theory of Change. To characterize the SEYMEMP global environmental benefits further,Table 7.3 provides the rationale for their selection according to their documented global significance, lists the key attributes essential for their long-term survival and identifies the main threats to attainment of the global environmental benefits.

TABLE 7.3 Global Environmental Benefits (to Biodiversity) for the SEYMEMP Project

Global environmental Rationale for global Key attributes Threats

benefits significance

Hard coral reefs of

The Seychelles coral reefs

 
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