The Structure and Performance of National Implementation Coordinating Units

Since April 1997, the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States (GS/OAS) as the
executing agency, and the World Bank as one of the Implementing Agencies of the Global
Environmental Facility (GEF), in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, have been
engaged in the implementation of a four year project entitled “Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to
Climate Change” (“CPACC”). Funded by the GEF Trust Fund, the project seeks to support twelve
CARICOM countries (“Participating Countries”) in preparing to cope with the adverse effects of
global climate change particularly sea level rise, in coastal and marine areas.
Working through a Regional Project Implementation Unit (“RPIU”) based in Barbados, as well as
National Implementation Coordinating Units (“NICUS”) based in each participating country, the
project utilises a combination of demonstration actions and regional training and technology transfers
to achieve its objectives. Project activities are grouped within four regional and five pilot action
components as follows:
Regional Components
(1) design and establishment of sea level/climate monitoring network;
(2) establishment of databases and information systems;
(3) inventory of coastal resources and use; and
(4) formulation of a policy framework for integrated coastal and marine management.
Pilot Components
(5) coral reef monitoring for climate change;
(6) coastal vulnerability and risk assessment;
(7) economic valuation of coastal and marine resources;
(8) formulation of economic/regulatory proposals; and
(9) greenhouse gases inventory and vulnerability assessment of the agriculture and water sectors.
Terms of Reference
The Consultant was required to review and make recommendations on the functioning of NICUs with
particular reference to their effectiveness in the following areas:
• coordinating in-country activities;
• preparing quarterly reports;
• providing supporting services and institutional contacts for local and international consultants
contracted by the project;
• utilising funds allocated for support activities;
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• providing the RPIU with access to relevant local institutions/personnel for project
implementation;
• utilising of equipment and skills provided under the project; and
• departmental support for functional responsibilities of the NICu.
The consultant was also required to visit two countries (Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines) to undertake a more detailed evaluation of functioning of the two NICUs and to distill
any lessons which might inform the way forward.
Conclusions and Recommendations
In light of the limited resources available under the project, the many constraints within the internal
and external environments, the relatively immature state of the institutional arrangements for sound
environmental management and the fact that climate change is an emerging policy consideration, the
overall performance of the NICUs can be described as encouraging. While the Units have functioned
with varying degrees of effectiveness, each threw out its own array of insights and lessons that might
inform the design and implementation of later project interventions. Each country in its own way sent
out a glimmer of hope that the management of climate change issues will become more firmly placed
within the policy and institutional setting.
Of those Units that have been evaluated, those that seem to be more dynamic and effective such as
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Grenada and Dominica are those which appear to benefit
from:
• high levels of personal commitment from Unit Heads ;
• stronger levels of participation of collaborating agencies within the public sector;
• encouraging levels of support received from the political directorate.
However in many cases the Units are afflicted by:
• severe resource constraints. Most Units are run by one full-time officer who also carries other
substantive duties and responsibilities, which in many cases are deemed to be more important in
the overall scheme of commitments of a particular Ministry or Department. Other collaborating
agencies are similarly afflicted, resulting in missed deadlines. Many Unit Heads have had to pull
personnel and other resources made available for the National Communications project, to
strengthen the management of the CPACC Project. However this relief is only temporary and
unless additional support can be provided, the latter components of the CPACC are likely to be
adversely affected.
• low levels of appreciation of climate change issues at critical levels of the decision-making
apparatus such as Cabinet Ministers and Financial Managers;
• low levels of public awareness of climate change issues. This is seen as a critical deficiency, as it
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means that there is little public pressure on the political directorate to place climate change firmly
on the national policy agenda.
• changes in personnel as well as changes in the structure of Government Ministries with
responsibility for climate change/environmental management issues. This was particularly severe
in Saint Lucia (where there was a change of Government), in Jamaica and Grenada (where there
has been a reshuffling of portfolios of Government Ministries); and in Saint Kitts-Nevis and Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines (where there has been a change of personnel).
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Main Report
Introduction
Since April 1997, the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States (GS/OAS) as the
executing agency, and the World Bank as one of the Implementing Agencies of the global
Environmental Facility (GEF), in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, are embarking
on a four year project entitled “Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change” (“CPACC”).
Funded by the GEF Trust Fund, the Project seeks to support twelve CARICOM countries
(“Participating Countries ”) in preparing to cope with the adverse effects of global climate change
particularly sea level rise, in coastal and marine areas.
Working through a Regional Project Implementation Unit (“RPIU”) based in Barbados, as well as
National Implementation Coordinating Units (“NICUs”) based in each participating country, the
project utilises a combination of demonstration actions and regional training and technology transfers
to achieve its objectives. Project activities are grouped within four regional and five pilot action
components as follows:
Regional Components
(1) design and establishment of sea level/climate monitoring network;
(2) establishment of databases and information systems;
(3) inventory of coastal resources and use; and
(4) formulation of a policy framework for integrated coastal and marine management.
Pilot Components
(5) coral reef monitoring for climate change;
(6) coastal vulnerability and risk assessment;
(7) economic valuation of coastal and marine resources;
(8) formulation of economic/regulatory proposals; and
(9) greenhouse gases inventory and vulnerability assessment of the agriculture and
water sectors.
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Terms of Reference
A Mid-Term Review forms an integral part of the monitoring and evaluation program of the CPACC
Project. Section 34 of the Project Document provides for additional reviews or studies to be
contracted by the General Secretariat of the OAS (GS/OAS) as input into the Mid-Term Review.
As input into this process, the GS/OAS contracted the services of Mr. Cletus Springer, Impact
Consultancy Services Inc, from St Lucia to conduct an evaluation on the structure and performance
of national implementation coordination units. His terms of reference were:
The Approach
The evaluation was based on: (a) a review of relevant literature including the project document and
reports of relevant national and regional events; (b) the findings from telephone and face-to-face
interviews as well as field missions to two of the participating countries. Given the traditional
unreliability of mail surveys and questionnaires, the consultant opted to conduct telephone interviews
with NICU representatives and Focal Points as the preferred approach. Generally the approach has
worked reasonably well and has ensured an adequate response rate with 9 of 12 NICUs being
evaluated.
Factors Affecting the Evaluation
The timing of the evaluation coincided with the summer vacation of key individuals in some countries.
Problems were experienced as many representatives were away from their desks when calls were
made. A visit to Jamaica during the period August 16-21 was unsuccessful and had to be followed up
Terms of Reference
The Consultant was required to review and make recommendations on the functioning of NICUs with particular
reference to their effectiveness in the following areas:
• coordinating in-country activities;
• preparation of quarterly reports;
• providing supporting services and institutional contacts for local and international consultants contracted by
the project;
• utilisation of support funds allocated for support activities;
• providing the RPIU with access to relevant local institutions/personnel for project implementation;
• utilisation of equipment and skills provided under the project; and
• departmental support for functional responsibilities of the NICU
The consultant was also required to visit two countries (Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) for a
detailed investigation of factors which lead to the contrasting functioning of the two NICUs.
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with a telephone interview. Attempts to contact Antigua and Barbuda’s Focal Point were
unsuccessful. One attempt to contact the Focal Point in Antigua and Barbuda yielded a recorded
message indicating that the telephone was debarred from receiving international calls.
Structure of the Report
The remainder of this Report is presented in four main sections. Section B provides an analysis of the
situation that existed prior to the implementation of the Project. This is intended to assist in
establishing whether the functions assigned to the NICUS in Article 3 of the Agreement reached
between the GS/OAS and the Governments of the Participating Countries were realistic and whether
any of the assumptions made, were borne out.
Section C assesses the institutional capacity of the NICUs in the following areas:
• structure;
• coordination of internal and external inputs;
• facilitation of administrative support services;
• utilisation of project resources (equipment and skills); and
• reporting arrangements.
Section D provides the results of a comparative analysis of the institutional arrangements and
functioning of NICUs in Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines respectively and highlights
important lessons from these arrangements.
Section E concludes with a set of conclusions and recommendations on the way forward.
Review of the Pre-Existing Situation.
Mindful that evaluations have a retrospective as well as a prospective dimension, it is useful to assess
the first two years of the CPACC Project not only in terms of the objectives set for the project but
also in terms of the circumstances which existed prior to, or at the time of the project’s introduction.
Since the early 1980s, Non-Governmental Organisations and to a lesser extent Governments, had
begun to register growing concern over the general state of the environment. There was an emerging
recognition reflected in documents such as the 1988 Agreement establishing the Caribbean
Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) as well as in the Declarations emanating from such fora as the
First CARICOM Ministerial Meeting on the Environment held in 1989, that urgent action had to be
taken to stem the rapid deterioration of the environment. The UNCED and UNSIDS helped to
accentuate this awareness through the participation of Caribbean politicians, technocrats and
community activists in meetings leading to global Conventions dealing with issues such as Climate
Change, Biodiversity, Ozone Depletion and the trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes
among others. Caribbean SIDS played a critical role in the establishment and functioning of the
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Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) which helped defend the interests of SIDS in the negotiations
on the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
While these events and their accompanying statements helped to catalyse the development of policies
and analytical tools and the creation of Ministries of the Environment, in nearly all counties, in very
few cases have these actions been placed within an overall strategic context that is informed by a clear
raison d’etre and an appreciation of the social, economic and environmental benefits that these actions
can bring. Consequently, successive Caribbean Governments have tended to see conflict rather than
complementarity between environment and development. The situation has not been helped by a
daunting social and economic development agenda and the poor performance of many Caribbean
economies.
So that the situation which existed prior to the introduction of the CPACC Project was characterised
by the following:
(a) the absence of sustainable development strategies that:
• are developed in consultation with the private sector and civil society;
• articulate policies, programmes, projects and activities that seek to routinely
integrate economic and environmental considerations;
• take account of inter-sectoral linkages; and
• recognise the varying nature of the institutional requirements;
(b) the absence, in many countries, of approved national environmental action plans and
environmental quality criteria;
(c) a multiplicity of Governmental agencies with responsibility for various aspects of the
environment and the absence of institutional mechanisms to coordinate their policies
and programmes (avoid duplication of effort and wastage of scarce resources);
(d) a proliferation of outdated environmental laws often weakly enforced by disparate
Government agencies;
(e) the limited development planning and project cycle management capacity;
(f) a lack of trained personnel in critical areas such as Natural Resource Management;
Project Cycle Management; Environmental Engineering; Coastal Zone
Management, Collaborative Management, Conflict Resolution, Policy Analysis and
Design, and Coastal Engineering among others;
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(g) the absence of institutional mechanisms to facilitate structured and sustained dialogue
among partners in the development process;
(h) the severe financial crises faced by nearly all Caribbean Governments;
(i) the low levels of appreciation of climate change issues; and
(j) the absence of regional institutions with the mandate and capacity to effectively
manage sustainable development issues, including climate change.
Conclusions
From the above analysis it is clear that the project was not introduced in the most ideal conditions.
From a reading of the project document, it is not clear whether the implications of this situation were
clearly assessed in the context of the ability of the NICUs to fulfil their roles and the overall success
and sustainability of the project. There is no indication that a detailed analysis of the institutional
setting was done. This suggests therefore that: (a) an assumption was made that the situation
described earlier would not have had an adverse impact on the project; or (b) that the situation would
have improved during the course of the implementation of the project. It is instructive however, that
the designers of the project decided to dedicate the largest part of the project’s resources to capacity
building, giving priority in the first instance to building such capacity at the regional level and in turn
to use this regional capacity to strengthen the capacity of national institutions.
Review of Institutional Capacity and Performance of the NICUs
According to Article 3 of the Agreement between the GS/OAS and Governments in the “Participating
Countries” the National Unit is accorded the following functions:
(a) to coordinate activities undertaken by the Regional Unit in accordance with other
activities undertaken by NICUs in the region:
(b) to advise the Regional Unit in all matters related to the implementation of activities
undertaken or organised on a national level including the selection of project sites and
local consultancy and technical services;
(c) to coordinate and support the execution of activities undertaken by the project in
which the Government participates in the First Schedule of the Agreement which
relates to:
• establishing a sea level and climate monitoring network;
• establishing bases and information systems;
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• preparing an inventory of coastal resources and the use of such resources; and
• formulating a policy framework for integrated coastal and marine
management;
(d) to inform the relevant agencies of the activities relating to the project and to facilitate
the coordination and participation of national agencies and civil society groups in all
activities relating to the project;
(e) to prepare quarterly programme reports on Project activities in which the Government
is participating, for submission to the General Secretariat through the Regional Unit;
(f) to provide the Regional Unit with access to national information and data bases of
direct relevance to the project activities in which the Government participates;
(g) to ensure the maintenance of national databases and their related inventories which are
generated as a result of the Project;
(h) to facilitate the provision of institutional contacts for the consultants contracted by the
Regional Unit, including the monitoring and evaluation team;
(i) to disseminate nationally, all regional and national reports, training documents and
educational materials produced under the project; and
(j) to participate whenever requested by the General Secretariat in the semi-annual
reviews of the Project implementation, based on the reports referred to in paragraph
(e) above.
These scope of the functions assigned to the NICUs suggest that these units would have been:
• suitably positioned, with the authority and ability to leverage the necessary support from the
relevant collaborating agencies;
• suitably equipped with technical and administrative resources to inter alia: effectively manage the
consultancy function; fulfil the reporting requirements of the project; undertake the required
research; maintain databases and related inventories; and support the policy formulation process.
Structure of NICUs
The structure of the NICUs were found to be broadly similar. In most cases the units were managed
by one technical officer who often carried other substantive duties. In countries where the National
Communication Component (NCC) has already commenced (Grenada, Dominica, Barbados, Jamaica
and Trinidad and Tobago) the local counterpart has been used to provide additional technical support
to the NICUs. In the case of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines additional technical support is
10
provided through the Ozone Secretariat. However in all countries where this arrangement is in place,
there is concern about the ability of the NICUs to manage when the NCC is completed.
In all the countries surveyed, the NICUs are supported either by Ad Hoc Steering Committees
(Grenada, Dominica and Saint Lucia) or by Standing Committees (Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, Barbados). In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a National Environment Advisory Board
– which incidentally is chaired by the CPACC Focal Point, has oversight over all environmental
management matters, including climate change. A similar arrangement is in place in Trinidad and
Tobago and to a lesser extent Jamaica, where the legal, policy and institutional apparatus of the
Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority
(NRCA) respectively, has helped to bolster the work of the NICU. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, Climate
Change is addressed in a 1996 amendment to that country’s National Conservation and
Environmental Protection Act No. 5 of 1987.
Interestingly Climate Change is given full treatment in Trinidad and Tobago’s National Policy on the
Environment. Further that country reports that there is strong political support from the two main
political parties, for that country’s involvement in climate change initiatives.
Nearly all Steering Committees comprise the key development/environmental management agencies,
such as those responsible for physical planning and development control, meteorological services,
fisheries, forestry, surveys and mapping, science and technology policy coastal zone management and
disaster preparedness. The Committees/Councils in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
were found to have the widest embrace. In addition to the agencies listed earlier, Grenada’s Steering
Committee also comprises representatives of the NGO community, the Chamber of Commerce, the
Trades Union Council and the Sustainable Development Council (SDC). This is in part, a reflection of
that island’s successful experience with UNDP’s Capacity 21 Pilot Programme, which has enabled it
to maintain a fairly well-functioning SDC, with a strong culture of institutional collaboration. In Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, the Advisory Board also includes the Solicitor-General as well as a
representative an umbrella organisation of NGO’s. Interestingly the UNDP is included among the
agencies on Jamaica’s Steering Committee, while the OAS office is named among agencies in
Grenada.
There was a fairly wide variation in the activity levels of the Steering Committee/Boards. NICUs in
Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines report having frequent meetings while Saint
Kitts/Kitts reported that very few meetings were convened. Dominica reported that meetings were
held as and when needed.
Coordination of Internal/External Inputs
All countries surveyed, report receiving adequate support from the collaborating agencies based in the
public sector, especially from Ministries/Departments responsible for Physical Planning, Fisheries,
Meteorological Services and Forestry. While such support is willingly provided, it is sometimes
accompanied by complaints of overburden. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reports receiving good
private sector and NGO support. Many Focal Points accept not having done enough to encourage
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stronger private sector participation in the work of the NICUs.
Most NICUs report having little difficulty coordinating internal and external project inputs. When
problems are experienced, it is often due to one or a combination of the following:
• staff shortages/changes in personnel in collaborating agencies ;
• unavailability of critical data or difficulty in accessing data that is available- often because it is not
computerised or because it “resides” in different Ministries, which are not linked by computer to
the CPACC Focal Point;
• computer malfunction (Saint Kitts/Nevis) – where hardware/software provided by the RPIU was
damaged during passage of a hurricane in 1998. Replacement provided by the Government has a
history of malfunction.
• financial constraints occasioned by unpredictability in the flow of project/counterpart
resources- e.g Jamaica where US$30,000 anticipated from RPIU for Coastal Resources
Monitoring did not come through; and
• bureaucratic constraints
Facilitation of Administrative Support Services
Few difficulties were reported in this area. Many Units report being able to co-opt additional
administrative support from a “parent” agency, when necessary. However Grenada reported that
Component 6 was putting a strain on available resources. A meeting with “the Minister” has
yielded “in-principle” approval of the release of additional staff, but at the time the evaluation in
Grenada was being conducted, the staff promised were yet to be deployed. The Focal Point in
Grenada admitted to being “challenged to understand the issues involved in the CPACC” as she
has had no formal training or experience in this area. In fact her background is in Business
Administration. Barbados reports having no administrative support staff dedicated to the CPACC
project.
Utilisation of Project Resources
The consensus was that the resources made available to the NICUs through the CPACC/RPIU were
inadequate. Given the institutional and financial constraints identified earlier, it is easy to understand
why such a view is being advanced. In many cases there does not appear to be sufficient national
ownership of the project to induce Governments to provide the requisite counterpart support. Even in
countries where there is strong ownership, financial austerity measures have resulted in severe cash
flow difficulties, which have in turn led to a re-ordering of national priorities.
Many NICUs admit to having received excellent support from the technical resources available within
the RPIU, with at least one Focal Point describing it as the best institutional support among the five
projects that now fall under his jurisdiction. However it is felt that additional project resources should
be allocated to strengthening the capacity of at least the key collaborating agencies. Additional
support was requested for the following purposes:
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• sensitizing the political directorate and the general public to climate change issues and concerns;
• providing more hands-on support/training on Geographic Information Systems/digitizing of
physical planning data;
• facilitating internet access for support/collaborating agencies;
• building the capacity of the NICUs and support agencies to ensure sustainability of the Project;
• building a sound legal framework for localised management of climate change ;
• facilitating a stronger focus on people involvement in climate change as distinct from the more
technical/sterile aspects of the project ;
• repackaging of public education material that is now available to allow easy assimilation by school
children.
Reporting Capability
While pointing to the burdens involved in preparing progress reports to the RPIU, nearly all NICUs
report being up-to-date in this regard. Delays are sometimes experienced where several agencies are
involved in the implementation of a particular component of the project. The Unit Heads/Focal Points
insists that given the constraints under which they operate, it is just not possible for reports to be
centrally prepared within the NICUs.

Comparative Analysis of the Structure and Functioning of NICUS in Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines and Jamaica.
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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Introduction
The facts and findings presented in this section are derived from a face-to-face interview with Dr.
Reynold Murray, Environmental Services Coordinator, based in the Ministry of Health and
Environment. Dr. Murray was interviewed on Wednesday 8 September 1999.
Synopsis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ approach to the management of the CPACC Project thus far,
reflects a combination of strong and committed leadership at both the political and technical levels, as
well as an abiding interest among non-governmental agencies. The management of the project has
also been greatly facilitated by tight and effective institutional arrangements governing environmental
management. While the management of the project has not been trouble-free, innovative ways have
been used to overcome several of the problems which have emerged. It also seems to be the case that
the personality and commitment of the leaders of the NICU and the collaborating agencies, is a key
factor in the successes registered so far.
Accomplishments
A major accomplishment has been the use of an National Environmental Advisory Board (NEAB) to
oversee the management of the CPACC. While the formation of this Board (in 1995) predates the
CPACC, the fact that the mandate of the Board extends over all environmental matters, including the
CPACC, has helped to “naturalise” and strengthen the connection between climate change and other
related environmental issues such as: coastal and marine area management, physical planning, control
of greenhouse gas emissions, and bio-diversity management, among other issues.
The structure and composition of the NEAB has also had a positive impact on the work of the NICU.
The Board which is chaired by the Environmental Services Coordinator/CPACC Focal Point,
comprises 11 persons drawn from the following agencies:
• Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Agricultural Officer)
• Department of Fisheries
• Department of Forestry
• Ministry of Community Development (Director)
• National Trust
• National Youth Council
• Ministry of Health (Environmental Health Officer)
• Ministry of Finance and Planning (Town Planner)
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• Ministry of Legal Affairs (Solicitor-General)
• National Association of Development Organisations (NADO) – an umbrella grouping of NGO’s
• Chamber of Commerce
A positive feature of the NEAB is its balanced composition. In addition to the key public and private
sector agencies the inclusion of NGOs helps to broaden public knowledge and involvement in the
management of the environment. The CPACC has benefited from this arrangement. Both public and
private sector agencies have provided good support to the NICU. The Ministry of Agriculture was
actively involved in the installation of GPS instrumentation, while the Fisheries Department assisted
with coastal mapping and the preparation of coastal inventories. Dr. Murray insists that such support
is rooted in the respective institutions and not in one or two personalities. Planning officials also
assisted with the development of meta-data for coastal inventories. However Dr. Murray feels that
there was need for greater involvement from the Ministry of Planning at a more procedural level, in
bringing climate change issues into the domain of everyday concerns.
The support of the private sector and NGOs has been described as being “very strong”. An example
of the strength of this was the support provided by Cable and Wireless and the Lions Club
respectively with a highly successful public-speaking competition among six secondary schools on the
subject: The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Small Island States with specific reference to Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines”. The NICU produced information packages for the participating schools. This
competition helped to cultivate strong interest among students and teachers alike and has spawned a
huge demand for information on climate change and related issues. To accommodate this surge in
interest, the Unit has had to conduct a series of workshops targeted at the two constituencies. A
workshop is also planned to sensitise insurance companies to climate change issues.
Constraints
The unpredictability of resource flows has been cited as the main constraint to the effective
functioning of the NICU. While support at the Ministerial level has been good, the highly centralised
nature of the decision-making culture within the public sector, (requiring the involvement of the Prime
Minister in all money matters) has on occasion led to interruptions in the flow of resources to the
Unit. Now that the Government meets the recurrent costs of the Unit (including the Internet costs of
the CPACC) interruption in the flow of resources whether from the project or from the Government
can at times be disruptive. One matter which remains unresolved is the allocation of Government
funds to meet the cost of maintaining monitoring equipment provided under the project.
Another constraint which has been cited is with fulfilling the reporting requirements of the project.
While the centralisation of oversight responsibilities for environmental matters within the NEAB has
clear advantages, it can also serve as a drawback where adequate administrative support is not
provided. Until such support is provided, the preparation of the necessary project reports will
continue to rests with the Environmental Services Coordinator/CPACC Focal Point. It is not
surprising that he finds it burdensome.
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Concerns
Dr. Murray is conscious of the need to begin the process of introducing the necessary policy actions
that would help to mitigate the likely impacts of climate change. He believes that countries need not
await the empirical data from the project to begin to take the necessary actions such as : the
formulation of laws that make environmental impact assessments mandatory for projects within the
coastal zone and the adjustment of setbacks for new developments within the coastal zone. He
laments the fact that the international environmental conventions to which Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines is signatory have yet to be converted into hard law. Against this background Dr. Murray
recommends that the CPACC should be adjusted or extended to allow these concerns and others to
be speedily addressed.
Jamaica
Introduction
The facts and findings presented in this section are derived from a telephone interview with Mr.
Clifford Mahlung, Applied Meteorologist with the National Meteorological Service.
Synopsis
Jamaica’s NICU has benefited from strong support from the key collaborating agencies in the public
sector, almost from the inception of the project. Instructively there is avid interest and involvement
from the academic and scientific community. There has also been good ministerial support for the
activities of the NICU. However unlike Saint Vincent and the Grenadines the level of participation
from the NGOs has been unsatisfactory. The presence of A National Environmental Action Plan with
a strong component in coastal and marine issues has helped to advance the implementation of related
components of the CPACC.
Accomplishments
Jamaica is involved in four (4) regional components of the CPACC as well as in one pilot component
(coral reef monitoring). Implementation of these components is facilitated through a Project Steering
Committee comprising the following:
• Ministry of Environment and Housing
• Natural Resources Conservation Authority
• Planning Institute of Jamaica
• Town Planning Department
• Department of Physics of the University of the West Indies
• Survey Department
• Ministry of Water
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• Centre for Marine Sciences of the University of the West Indies
• Water Resources Authority
• Forestry Department
• National meteorological Services
• United Nations Development Programme.
Initially the Committee met on a quarterly basis but as more components came on stream the
Committee now meets on a bi-monthly basis. The NICU was set up with strong ministerial
endorsement from the then Minister of Public Utilities and Transport, under whose portfolio the
NICU was established. However the Unit now falls under the Ministry of Water which was created
two years ago.
Satisfactory progress has been made with the implementation of the various components of the
CPACC in which Jamaica is involved. The inputs of the Coast Guard with the installation of the Tidal
Gauges (Component 1), and more recently from the NRCA with Coral Reef Monitoring for Climate
Change (Component 5) are cited as good examples of positive involvement and support from the
collaborating agencies. Although not being a member of the Steering Committee the Coast Guard
facilitated greatly the installation of the tidal monitoring equipment on its facilities at Port Royal and
Discovery Bay. However the gauge at Discovery Bay has to be repositioned to facilitate a better flow
of marine traffic. Financial provision for the maintenance of the tidal gauges has been made in the
1999 Budget of the National Meteorological Services.
Constraints
Difficulties were reported with financial resource flows from the RPIU. Initially it was thought that
US$30, 000 would have been made available for coral reef monitoring (component 5). It is unclear
whether these funds were in fact programmed to go to the NICU or whether there was a
misunderstanding between the RPIU and the NICU. However the problem was overcome as the
NRCA already had planned to undertake a similar activity. It is still anticipated that the funds
originally expected from the RPIU would be made available to purchase fuel for an aircraft to be used
for an aerial surveillance exercise. NICU officials are hopeful that they will be able to find suitable
aerial photographs of the target area and that a fresh aerial survey would be not be required. However
the manner in which this potential problem was handled suggests a preparedness on the part of NICU
official to seek innovative solutions to problems as they arise.
Inadequate staffing within the NICU was cited as another key constraint. While the use of the
administrative staff assigned to the national communications component has helped to ease the
situation somewhat, there still falls to the Focal Point/Head of the NICU a range of responsibilities
that cannot be delegated to someone else. As is the case in several other countries the Focal Point
Unit Head carries his other substantive duties as a meteorologist. The cumulative impact of these
responsibilities has resulted in the late completion of the questionnaire for component 3. The situation
has not been helped by a contraction in the number of Ministries following a recent realigning of
ministerial portfolios. This has caused a further dispersion of data sources and has made retrieval
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more difficult.
Concerns
The low level of awareness about climate change issues, among the political directorate and the public
at large has been cited as a matter of grave concern to the head of Jamaica’s NICU. Most persons are
unaware of the potential threats posed by climate change and/or sea-level rise. It is felt that may be
due to the fact that the social and economic benefits to be gained from early, informed action and
conversely the high cost of inaction, have not been clearly and convincingly presented. It is felt for
example that the Government could be doing more to encourage the use of cheaper, alternative forms
of energy as is being done in Barbados and Saint Lucia.
To address this concern it is being recommended that a public education and awareness strategy be
designed by the RPIU and that the NICUs be assisted in implementing this strategy. It is further felt
that the material now available is too technical and needs to be rewritten so that the average citizen
could grasp its message.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Conclusions
In light of the limited resources available under the project, the many constraints within the internal
and external environments, the relatively immature state of the institutional arrangements for sound
environmental management and the fact that climate change is an emerging policy consideration, the
overall performance of the NICUs can be described as encouraging. While the Units have functioned
with varying degrees of effectiveness, each threw out its own array of insights and lessons that might
inform the design and implementation of latter project interventions. Each country in its own way sent
out a glimmer of hope that the management of climate change issues will become more firmly placed
within the policy and institutional setting.
Of those Units that have been evaluated, those that seem to be more dynamic and effective such as
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Grenada and Dominica are those which appear to benefit
from:
• high levels of personal commitment from Unit Heads ;
• stronger levels of participation of collaborating agencies within the public sector;
• encouraging levels of support received from the political directorate.
However in many cases the Units are afflicted by:
• severe resource constraints. Most Units are run by one full-time officer who also carries other
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substantive duties and responsibilities, which in many cases are deemed to be more important
in the overall scheme of commitments of a particular Ministry or Department. Other
collaborating agencies are similarly afflicted, resulting in missed deadlines. Many Unit Heads
have had to pull personnel and other resources made available for the National
Communications project, to strengthen the management of the CPACC Project. However this
relief is only temporary and unless additional support can be provided, the latter components
of the CPACC are likely to be adversely affected.
• low levels of appreciation of climate change issues at critical levels of the decision-making
apparatus such as Cabinet Ministers and Financial Managers;
• low levels of public awareness of climate change issues. This is seen as a critical deficiency, as
it means that there is little public pressure on the political directorate to place climate change
firmly on the national policy agenda.
• changes in personnel as well as changes in the structure of Government Ministries with
responsibility for climate change/environmental management issues. This was particularly
severe in Saint Lucia (where there was a change of Government), in Jamaica and Grenada
(where there has been a reshuffling of portfolios of Government Ministries); and in Saint
Kitts-Nevis and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (where there has been a change of
personnel).
Recommendations
The consultant’s understanding of the purpose of mid-term evaluations is to inform any adjustments
that may be needed to ensure that a project fulfils its objectives. In some cases such evaluations have
been known to prompt a redesign of the objectives of a project, where the initial objectives have been
found to be unrealistic. It is not clear whether similar actions are being contemplated or indeed are
permissible within the context of the guidelines and procedures of the GEF.

The following recommendations have been distilled from the evaluation of the performance of the
NICUs thus far:
• that interest and commitment at the highest political and administrative levels is critical to the
success of project interventions like CPACC. The RPIU should seek a fresh commitment from the
respective Minister and administrative heads of the Ministries responsible for environmental
issues. This might best be done via a mission by project personnel and the implementing agencies
to the respective countries;
• that the design of future project interventions should be based on the results of a detailed analysis
of the institutional capacity of the relevant implementation agencies. A consultant should be
recruited to review the findings of the evaluations and to propose a model institutional framework
which could be piloted in one or two of the islands;
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• that the RPIU should undertake the preparation of a public education and awareness strategy for
implementation by the NICUs at the earliest opportunity. Such a component should include
activities aimed at clearly demonstrating the social and economic benefits to be derived from the
subject project;
• that more time and resources should be allocated to strengthening the institutional capacity of
implementing agencies;
• that the results of the evaluation of the respective components of the project should be shared
with the political directorates of the Participating Countries;
• that the possibility of equipping the key collaborating agencies with computers should be
examined;
• that the reporting requirements for the project be reviewed and a simpler format for the
presentation of reports be introduced;
• that the human resource capacity in the participating countries be evaluated to establish whether
the expertise is available to undertake the tasks required.
Appendix 1 List of Persons Interviewed
Mr. Rawlston Moore Environmental Officer, Ministry of the Environment and Energy –
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BARBADOS
Mr. Gerard Hill Head, Environmental Coordinating Unit, Ministry of Agriculture
and the Environment – DOMINICA
Ms. Joycelyn Paul Planning Officer, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development
GRENADA
Mr. Dilip Jaigopaul, Chief Hydrometeorologist, Ministry of Agriculture – GUYANA
Mr. Clifford Mahlung Applied Meteorologist, National Meteorological Service – JAMAICA
Ms. June Hughes Environment Unit, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the
Environment – SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
Ms. Marva Salvador-Arthur
Mr. Kishan-Coomar-Singh Environmental Management Authority- TRINIDAD AND
TOBAGO
Dr. Reynold Murray Environmental Services Coordinator, Ministry of Health and the
Environment -SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Mr. Cornelius Fevrier Former Coordinator/Focal Point, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries,
Forestry and the Environment- SAINT LUCIA