The Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a Seminar on Opportunities for Climate and Environment Impact with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on 26-27 April 2023 as part of the celebration of GEF Awareness Week. On Day 2 of the Seminar, two-panel discussions were held: (i) Panel Discussion 1: Developing a GEF Concept/Proposal; and (ii) Panel Discussion 2: Implementing a GEF Project.
Ms. Elvira Ablaza, PRIMEX’s Chief Operating Officer, was the only non-ADB panelist on Day 2. She spoke on PRIMEX’s experiences during the implementation of the GEF-funded Coastal and Marine Management in the Coral Triangle (CT) – Southeast Asia (TA 7813-REG), from August 2012 to December 2017. Also known as CTI-SEA, short for Coral Triangle Initiative – Southeast Asia, this project covering Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines (CT3), was expected to improve the management of coastal and marine resources in the Sulu-Sulawesi priority seascape within the Coral Triangle. The project had three outputs: (i) policy and institutional frameworks for sustainable coastal and marine resource management (CMRM) improved; (ii) ecosystem-based approach to CMRM pilot-tested; and (iii) effective project management established by ADB and the CT3 governments.
The project was rated Successful by ADB in 2018 as all its planned outputs were fully delivered and the project design and monitoring framework (DMF) targets were met and even exceeded in a number of cases, and the project was considered, relevant, effective, efficient, and sustainable. PRIMEX introduced a number of innovations during project implementation, the most noteworthy being (i) youth engagement and teacher training and (ii) harnessing the power of knowledge management (KM). The knowledge products produced by PRIMEX were considered “exceptionally good” by ADB.
Among the major lessons learned from project implementation were the: (i) the value of the participatory approach and stakeholder engagement in achieving project success; (ii) the important role of the private sector and local governments in sustainable financing; and (iii) the need for a careful study of the project implementation arrangements in order to prevent delays in project execution.
Day 2 of the ADB-GEF seminar was opened by Mr. Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General, and Chief-Designate, Sectors Group, while Mr. Qingfeng Zhang, Chief of the Rural Development and Food Security (Agriculture) Thematic Group delivered the closing remarks. Mr. Bruce Dunn, Director of the Safeguard Group and GEF Coordinator during his early years at ADB, served as Session Moderator.
Ms. Ablaza (right) with Mr. Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General and Chief-Designate, Sectors Group (left) and Mr. Bruce Dunn, Director, Safeguards Division (middle)