Project information document (pid) appraisal stage

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Report No.: 31773

Project Name

Rio de Janeiro Sustainable Integrated Ecosystem Management in Productive Landscapes of the North-Northwestern Fluminense (GEF)




General agriculture, fishing and forestry sector (80%);Other social services (10%);Sub-national government administration (10%)

Project ID


GEF Focal Area



Implementing Agency

Environment Category

[ ] A [X] B [ ] C [ ] FI [ ] TBD (to be determined)

Date PID Prepared

February 17, 2005

Date of Appraisal Authorization

March 22, 2005

Date of Board Approval

May 23, 2005

  1. Country and Sector Background

Country Eligibility: Brazil ratified the CBD on June 13, 1994 and the UNFCCC on February 28, 1994.
The proposed project’s objectives are fully consistent with the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is also consistent with the GEF Operational Strategy, and specifically with its Operational Programs on Integrated Ecosystem Management (OP 12) and Sustainable Land Management (OP 15), in that it addresses land degradation issues and promotes the adoption of comprehensive land and ecosystem management interventions that integrate ecological, economic, cultural and social goals to achieve long-term protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, the reduction of net emissions and increased storage of greenhouse gases in terrestrial ecosystems, and the conservation and sustainable use of watersheds, providing benefits at the local, national and global levels.
Country Drivenness: The project is in conformity with existing national priorities. With respect to biodiversity conservation, the project area (i.e., the five proposed watersheds in the N-NW Fluminense region) overlaps with Brazil's national priority areas for the conservation of Atlantic Forest, established as a result of studies and national workshops supported under the National Program for Biological Diversity (PRONABIO). With respect to land degradation, Brazil's national priority is to focus on food and livelihood security and the conservation and sustainable use of the underlying natural resource base on which the achievement of these social goals depend. This priority is being addressed through a number of national policy documents and environmental laws relevant to deforestation, soil erosion and control, and facilitating the adoption of sustainable agricultural production practices. For example, the First National Report for the Convention on Biological Diversity points out the importance of sustainable agricultural practices and agrobiodiversity, the latter essential for food and livelihood security. To prevent deforestation, the project will support increased compliance with existing relevant national legislation by improving both its application and enforcement in the project area. At the pilot microcatchment and farm levels, the project will support a number of activities that respond to these national priorities including sustainable agriculture practices, pasture management, and erosion control. Furthermore, the commitment of the Government of Rio de Janeiro State (GoRJ) to the project has proven to be solid. The Project Concept and Block B request were prepared by the State Secretariat of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Rural Development (SEAAPI), using GoRJ funds. During the project preparation process, the GoRJ further demonstrated its support to the Project through the following concrete actions: (i) rapid approval of the law which authorized receipt of Block B resources; (ii) release of state financial counterpart funds for preparation of the Project; (iii) mobilization of various state agencies' support; (iv) establishment of the preparation coordination team; (v) securing the needed co-financing for project preparation; (vi) development of efforts to systemize existing information, inventories, preliminary diagnostics and consolidation of a geo-referenced project database, with resources from the State and partners involved in the Project; and (vii) providing leadership during a series of project preparation meetings and workshops with local and state stakeholders. The GoRJ’s significant level of counterpart financing of the project (US $ 3.85 million in cash) is a clear indication of its future commitment to the success of the project during implementation.
Characteristics of the Region. The Atlantic Forest is one of the five biodiversity "hottest hotspots" among the world’s 25 top priority conservation areas, due to its exceptional level of species endemism and high level of vulnerability to a number of threats. In addition, it is overlapped by the Brazilian Coastal Atlantic forests and the Brazilian Interior Atlantic forests, which have been designated as maximum priorities for biodiversity.

The State of Rio de Janeiro (RJS) is unique in Brazil for having the highest percentage of the Atlantic Forest biome with respect to total area among all of the country’s states. Moreover, it is overlapped by a large portion of the Serra do Mar Corridor, considered to be one of the richest and globally most significant remnants of the original Atlantic Forest in the country. In RJS, the North and Northwestern Fluminense (NNWF) administrative areas have the largest stands of remaining forest in the State. Fortunately, some of these tracts are already being conserved in protected areas (PAs). In addition, there exist a number of additional, albeit smaller, forest fragments dispersed throughout the region, mostly located on private lands.

Despite the global significance of the biodiversity of the biome, these areas are threatened by: (i) deforestation primarily attributable to logging and charcoal production (tropical moist broadleaf forests), and (ii) small-holder agricultural expansion manifested through introduction of conventional monocropping (floodplain forests and grasslands), slash and burn agriculture (tropical semi-deciduous forests), and irrigated horticulture (restingas and mangroves). In response, the Federal and State governments have initiated a number of attempts to conserve existing biodiversity, arrest the processes that lead to degradation, and rehabilitate existing, degraded lands.

In the corridor that extends from south and north-central RJS to Minas Gerais and São Paulo State, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is supporting a number of activities designed to increase the number and size of priority areas under protection. In the NNWF specifically, the most recent initiative to conserve biodiversity is the soon to be implemented KfW-supported Pro-Atlantic Forest Program which is focused on strengthening: (i) management of the Desengano Park and the Mata do Carvao Reserve, the two main protected areas (PAs) in the NNWF; and (ii) the enforcement system in and around the PAs. In terms of arresting and reversing the processes leading to degradation of the biome, key programs focusing on smallholder agriculturalists include: (i) the National Smallholder Agriculture Program (PRONAF) that provides support for smallholder agricultural credit and basic infrastructure (e.g., road repair and rural electrification); and (ii) the Microcatchment State Program for Rural Sustainable Development (Rio Rural) and (iii) the State Program for Fruit Production and Diversification (Frutificar) - all designed to promote sustainable agriculture practices among smallholders while increasing their socio-economic well-being. Despite these efforts much remains to be done.

Key constraints which limit the effectiveness of the aforementioned responses to threats to biodiversity conservation while promoting sustainable agricultural practices include: (i) an absence of policies and institutional frameworks which promote the incorporation of ecological considerations in human settlement and agricultural production systems; (ii) limited human and financial resources to facilitate the integration of ecological planning principles in sector policies and institutional processes; (iii) the lack of alternative livelihoods relevant to communities living in proximity to areas of high biodiversity; and (iv) low public awareness of the significance of, threats to, and potential solutions leading to the sustainable management of, the Atlantic Forest.

Bearing these constraints in mind, the project will support an integrated ecosystem management (IEM) approach to the conservation of the Atlantic Forest within the broader framework of the Serra do Mar Corridor. The few remaining large areas of native forest in the NNWF are already under some form of protection and the aforementioned KfW project will support the improved management of these areas. To complement this approach, and in light of the numerous smaller forest fragments dispersed throughout the region, the project strategy will focus its activities at the microcatchment level, working to revert land degradation and foster biodiversity-friendly activities and attitudes in areas within and in proximity to these forest remnants. As project implementation progresses, microcatchment "clusters” (defined as significant numbers of farmers who adopt sustainable agricultural practices and biodiversity-friendly approaches) will contribute to the gradual development of the biological corridor through linking protected areas and forest fragments. This will contribute to benefits at the local level and will also enhance biodiversity conservation within the PAs through the corridor effect while supporting increased public awareness in adjacent communities. Such an approach will ensure that biodiversity of global importance can be conserved. Moreover, the protection of this forest will serve to store a significant amount of carbon and thus reduce the net emission rate of CO2 into the atmosphere. Similarly, the adoption of sustainable land management practices in other productive landscapes can make a substantial contribution to carbon storage.

  1. Objectives

The development objective of the proposed project is to promote an integrated ecosystem (IEM) approach to guide the development and implementation of sustainable land management (SLM) practices while providing environmentally and socially sustainable economic opportunities for rural communities in the North and Northeast Fluminense administrative regions of Rio de Janeiro State (RJS).
The global environmental objectives are to: (i) address threats to biodiversity of global importance, (ii) reverse land degradation in agricultural landscapes, (iii) enhance carbon sequestration, and (iv) increase awareness at all levels of the value of adopting an IEM approach in the management of natural resources.
Progress toward the objectives will be measured according to indicators associated with the main expected outcomes and impacts of the GEF Alternative, which are:

 Change in total land area characterized by biodiversity-friendly agricultural practices that enhance soil structure stability in microcatchments (1,140 ha by PY 5);

 Total area of riparian and other indigenous forests rehabilitated for biodiversity conservation and hydrology stabilization objectives (570 ha by PY5);

 Area of biodiversity conservation-friendly land use mosaics established on private lands supporting corridor connectivity in project watersheds (320 ha by PY5;

 Reduction in erosion (50 % by PY5) and downstream sedimentation (50 % by PY5) rates in at least 5 microcatchments; and amount of CO2 sequestered (1.5 ton of CO2 per ha by PY5);

 Creation of coordinating bodies characterized by significant stakeholder representation from microcatchment, municipal and state levels (1 Regional Committee by PY 1; 50 local/microcatchment Committees by PY2);

 By PY4, 30 rural community organizations created that have adopted and implemented IEM strategies in 50 microcatchments;

  • Education, training and awareness of beneficiary stakeholders (2,400 by PY5), project executors (150 by PY 4), and schools (25 by PY4);

  • Best practices and lessons learned disseminated through workshops/events in the NNWF region (20 by PY3 and 30 by PY 5), national workshops (4 by PY5), media campaign (3 by PY5) and a homepage (1 by PY 1).

For further details on indicators, see Results Framework in Annex 3.
The proposed project would support the long-term conservation and rehabilitation of agro-ecosystems through an IEM approach to the conservation of the Atlantic Forest, and would include the development and implementation of sustainable land management (SLM) practices that provide environmentally and socially sustainable economic opportunities for rural communities. Financing the incremental costs associated with the adoption of integrated and cross-sectoral approaches that would lead to sustainable landscapes, it would build on the Baseline Scenario by: (i) establishing community information programs and facilitation for broader-based organization leading to the preparation of sustainable land management plans for each project site; (ii) training technical assistance providers to assist communities and individual small holders with the identification, preparation and implementation of investments consistent with addressing ecosystem management issues identified in the watershed strategies and microcatchment implementation plans; (iii) training communities to implement monitoring and evaluation activities directly; (iv) supporting policy studies and information campaigns in support of SLM; (v) developing an aggregated ecosystem management information system to provide a database for developing methodologies to implement, monitor and evaluate ecosystem management in the context of rural development activities; and (vi) supporting the integration of programs and policies at the local level by capitalizing on the existing coordination mechanisms, particularly through the State and Municipal Rural Development Councils.

The proposed project is consistent with the current Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), in support of “A More Equitable, Sustainable, and Competitive Brazil,” and would help strengthen one of the five pillars for development identified in the CAS, that of Environment and Natural Resource Management, and is relevant to each of the three specific themes identified under this pillar: (1) natural resource management; (2) environmental protection and management; and (3) global environmental externalities, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity. In addition, the proposed project would contribute to more sustainable land management, one of the long-term country goals identified in the CAS. Furthermore, the project is fully consistent with the CAS’s emphasis on the importance of coupling conservation strategies with efforts for poverty reduction and sustainable growth.

  1. Rationale for Bank Involvement

  1. Description

For a detailed description of project components, see Annex 4.
Component 1 – Planning for Integrated Ecosystem Management Actions (US$ 0.70 million, 4.9% of total project cost)

This component promotes the formulation of incentive policies, regulations and plans to orient interventions by decision makers and rural producers in support of natural resources sustainability and management of ecosystems as landscapes. These are key elements in the development of a dynamic framework for rural and environmentally sustainable decision-making to be supported under the project. There are two sub-components: (i) Development of Policies, Regional Plans and Regulations and (ii) Local Land Management Planning.

Component 2 - Incentive System for Integrated Ecosystem Management (US$ 8.83 million, 60.9% of total project cost)

This component will provide incentives for small farmers and other relevant natural resource managers to shift from existing non-sustainable agriculture practices to sustainable livelihood activities which enhance biodiversity, reduce or reverse land degradation, and increase carbon sequestration within an IEM framework. It has two sub-components: (i) Financial Incentive Program for Sustainable Agriculture and (ii) Support to Adaptive Management Practices (targeted research to address technical constraints associated with different sustainable land uses).

Component 3 – Organization and Capacity Building for Integrated Ecosystem Management (US$ 2.80 million, 19.3% of total project cost)

The objective of this component is to facilitate the creation of environments favorable to the formation and strengthening of rural organizations for self-management of natural resources. It will support training, education and associated community efforts designed to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. Its sub-components are: (i) Community Organization, (ii) Training of Project Executors, and (iii) Training and Environmental Education of Beneficiaries.

Component 4 – Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation (US$ 2.16 million, 14.9% of total project cost)

The objectives of this component are to ensure the effective implementation of project activities and management of resources; to monitor whether or not the project is achieving the desired results or would need to be adjusted or changed; and to increase the potential for repeating project lessons and transferring experiencex at state, national and international levels. There are three sub-components: (i) Participatory Management of the Project, (ii) Monitoring and Evaluation, and (iii) Project Dissemination.

Project Area, Benefits and Target Population

The project covers 5 watersheds (a total of 6,570 Km2 and 44 % of the NNWF) and the 24 municipalities that overlap with the NNWF region (two of these municipalities belong to the Região Serrana administrative region of RJS)1. Within these five watersheds, on-the-ground pilot activities will be supported in approximately 50 microcatchments (to be selected in PY1). Based on previous surveys carried out by EMATER-Rio, the 50 microcatchments are expected to cover an area of about 100,000 ha (15% of the aggregate area of the five watersheds) and be home to approximately 4,000 rural families. In addition, a significant percent of the rural population of the NNWF will be targeted through project-supported activities designed to increase environmental awareness through the local media.

Primary beneficiaries of the proposed project (watershed/ecosystem managers) would include small farmers and other stakeholders who depend on the sustainable use of natural resources to support their livelihoods. Secondary beneficiaries are those individuals and communities who receive indirect "goods and services" from a more sustainably managed watershed/ecosystem. The project would achieve environmental, financial, institutional and social benefits at four levels: individual farmers and farmers groups; rural communities living in project-supported watersheds; municipal and regional offices and individuals and groups that they service, and state offices; and the general public living in the NNWF regions.

The proposed project would take into account the views, roles, and rights of these stakeholders, and would involve them in planning, designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the project. The project will bring economic and social benefits to the target population, particularly through the provision of appropriate training, technical assistance and supporting incentives to rural producers and stakeholder groups leading to adoption of improved environmental and production practices.

The global environmental benefits will include: (i) improved conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, by (a) supporting the implementation of the Serra do Mar Biodiversity Corridor through the adoption of IEM concepts and SLM practices in selected watersheds and microcatchments, respectively; (b) promoting public and private protected areas and conditions for their sustainable management in sites containing remnants of the Atlantic Forest biome; (c) adopting improved agricultural practices that enhance biodiversity and arrest/reverse land degradation (non-till systems, legume crop rotation, mulching, low-impact agro-forestry, eco-tourism, and other conservation agriculture practices); and (d) promoting conservation of agro-biodiversity; and protection of watersheds in areas of global importance; and (ii) increased storage of greenhouse gases in terrestrial ecosystems, which will be achieved primarily through the adoption of improved land management practices.
The national benefits will include: (i) an improved legal, policy and planning/institutional framework to support IEM and SLM concepts and practices thereby facilitating the adoption of sustainable on-farm practices and off-farm interventions, while improving livelihood opportunities; (ii) IEM/SLM concepts and practices fully integrated into wider rural development and environmental management programs both locally and nationally; (iii) increased awareness and community commitment to the responsible use of natural resources; (iv) increased economic benefits flowing to rural communities and NGOs derived from the ecological "goods and services" associated with the sustainable use of natural resources; (v) improved management skills at local and national levels; (vi) increased participation in activities important to local communities (e.g., soil management and monitoring); and (vii) increased social capital and community empowerment.

  1. Financing

















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