Performance Evaluation of the Integrated Protected Areas Co-management (IPAC) Project
This report evaluates the democracy and governance components of the Integrated Protected Areas Co-management (IPAC) project in Bangladesh.
IPAC’s aim was to help the government’s Forest Department, Department of Environment and Department of Fisheries and local stakeholders develop a strategy for co-managing protected areas.
The evaluation found that IPAC has been managed well overall, has done some high quality and well-documented work, met most democracy and governance targets, and contributed to its objectives in a challenging context. IPAC can be particularly credited with what one observer called an “unprecedented level of coordination” with the three departments, helping them to work together on biodiversity conservation issues. A national strategy and action plan for protected areas was developed and approved.
It did, however, note areas for improvement, such as empowering resource users at the local level. It issued recommendations in three areas: policy and legislation; participation, local co-management organizations, and protected area co-management; and capacity building, communication, and outreach.
Site-based work, it said, should be approached on a pilot basis with a focus on quality and getting processes right. Protected area projects should be passed under a governance lens and projects should be monitored with an eye on meeting overall objectives.