এনএটিপি বিএআরসি অঙ্গ কৃষি মন্ত্রণালয়
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সর্ব-শেষ হাল-নাগাদ: ১১ জুলাই ২০১৯

এনভায়রনমেন্টাল এবং সোশ্যাল সেফগার্ডস

 

1. Introduction

 

The Environmental and social safeguard management in NATP-2 is considered as a major integral part of the project activities. Environmental and social safeguard are not viewed in isolation, but are integrated with the overall project activities as cross cutting issue. For addressing environmental and social safeguard management, “Environmental Management Framework (EMF) along with Pest Management Plan (PMP)” and “Social Management Framework (SMF)” were developed with an aim to provide inputs into the design of NATP-2 in accordance with the World Bank Operational Guidelines through identification of key environmental and social issues arising out of the proposed project activities and mainstreaming the environmental and social safeguard management measures in all stages of the project cycle (project preparation, project implementation and project operation). The EMF along with PMP and SMF were prepared to ensure that:

  1. Environmental and social considerations are fully mainstreamed in project planning, implementation, operation and monitoring;
  2. Pest Management Plan developed and disclosed are complied with; and
  3. The potential adverse impacts, if any, are adequately mitigated and potential benefits of the project are further enhanced to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the project.

The EMF and SMF reports of the NATP-2 project indicated that the project shall have no major adverse environmental and social impact. The environmental and social safeguards are to be applied to all the research sub-projects in different stages of the project cycle.

 

1.1 Environmental safeguard management

 

The environmental safeguard policies of the World Bank triggered in NATP-2 are Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01) and Pest Management (OP 4.09). NATP-2 has been classified as a Category B project under OP/BP 4.01 with a partial assessment as the environmental impacts are likely to be small-scale, site specific and with no irreversible impacts. Mitigation measures can be designed readily. In tune with the requirements of the OP 4.01, an Environmental Management Framework (EMF) has been prepared. In tune with the requirements of the OP 4.09, a Pest Management Plan (PMP) has been prepared and disclosed to public prior to Project Appraisal of NATP-2. Key environmental issues that will need to be addressed under NATP-2 include: (i) potential soil degradation; (ii) potential pollution of the eco-system with agro-chemicals, particularly in ponds and water bodies; (iii) potential pesticide-related health and safety issues; (iv) food safety issues; (v) possible depletion of groundwater due to irrigation; (vi) saline water intrusion in groundwater and surface water in selected sites. The EMF provides details on potential environmental risks in AIF sub-projects and other project activities, and outlines procedures to mitigate any potentially adverse environmental impacts; the EMF also provides further guidance for setting up a mechanism for environmental monitoring as well as for capacity enhancement. The EMF included relevant environmental codes of practices to avert negative impacts and strengthen positive outcomes expected to be generated from project interventions. The PMP focuses to address pest infestation and pesticides related issues in NATP-2 and also focuses on the promotion of IPM technologies, judicious use of nationally approved pesticides, environmental code of practices for nutrient and pest management, and creation of awareness about soil and nutrient management.

 

1.2 Social safeguard management

 

Following the social assessment undertaken for the preparation of SMF, OP 4.12 (Involuntary Resettlement) was not triggered. No land will be acquired under NATP-2. Potential issues related to resettlement in AIF sub-projects are not expected; should any arise during implementation, they will be addresses adequately, based on the provisions and guidelines incorporated in the SMF. However, OP 4.10 (Indigenous Peoples) has been triggered because the geographic coverage of the current project NATP- 2 has been extended, it is expected that the project also operates in areas where small ethnic and vulnerable communities live. The Social Management Framework (SMF) of NATP-2 included a Gender and Inclusion Framework (GIF) focused on participatory processes, social inclusion and accountability. So all sub-projects should follow the guidelines provided in the GIF and maintain the requisite consultation processes and documentation. NATP-2 has provision to design strategies under the GIF to enhance voice, participation and inclusion of women and vulnerable groups through information dissemination, and an on-going strategy for consultation and communication. The mobilization, consultation and communication strategy focused on the above. The project actively seeks the participation of marginal, small-scale, women (including female-only households), and near-landless farmers, and specifically address their agricultural technology needs for raising productivity and incomes. The SMF of NATP-2 also included a Tribal Peoples Development Framework (TPDF) and a screening template to determine if NATP-2 project activities (in particular areas where AIF sub projects will be implemented) include small ethnic and vulnerable communities - in which case the sub-project will be required to prepare and implement a Small Ethnic and Vulnerable Communities Management Framework in compliance with the SEVC Development Framework included in the SMF. The project should ensure consultation and communication with small ethnic and vulnerable communities in an inclusive and culturally appropriate manner and seek to enhance their participation and voice in the design and implementation of AIF sub-projects that impact them. The SMF has also included a Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy for NATP-2 at the sub-project and the overall project level along with roles and responsibilities stated clearly. Third party monitoring and social accountability elements are to be highlighted and specific M&E indicators and criteria for social assessment performance have to be identified. An accessible and usable grievance redress mechanism is to be devised in close consultation with communities. The SMF has contained implementation arrangements, reporting and budget indication.

 

2 Performed safeguard management activities under PIU-BARC

 

Environmental and social safeguard management activities are being implemented as crosscutting issue by the Project Implementation Unit of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (PIU-BARC). PIU-BARC has been implementing environmental and social safeguard activities through selection processes of CRG & PBRG sub-projects, workshops, monitoring, trainings, field days, etc. The Competitive Research Grant (CRG) and the Program Based Research Grant (PBRG) sub-projects were selected considering the national research visions and themes across agriculture sub-sectors. During the reporting year (2017-2018), a number of environmental and social safeguard activities have been undertaken by the component as follows:

 

2.1 Environmental and social safeguard management activities performed under CRG program

 

The CRG program that promotes demand driven, basic, strategic, applied and adaptive research with better research-extension-farmer linkages. Better linkages make new technology more relevant and speed up dissemination. The CRG critically targets to mobilize research capacity, stimulate creativity and promote efficiencies in the research system. CRGs are open to all research providers- National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) and non-NARI research providers (Public Universities, NGOs and Private Organizations). In the CRG system, research providers are selected on competitive basis using calls for research proposals and subjected them to rigorous review by the peer reviewers before the final selection.

Total of 190 Competitive Research Grant (CRG) proposals (sub-projects) were awarded since the inception of NATP-2 covering different aspects of crop, livestock and fisheries production and being implemented by 27 different NARIs and non-NARIs institutions/organizations/universities of which institute wise distribution of sub-projects were 13 NARIs had 96 (51%), 11 public universities had 90 (47%) and other organizations had 4 (2%). These sub-projects were reviewed & verified and showed satisfactory compliance with safeguard measures based on exclusion criteria and environmental screening matrix. All the CRG sub-projects addressed environmental and social safeguard issues directly or indirectly to improve environmental and social development through sub-project interventions. The results of most of the CRG sub-projects showed positive impacts on environmental and social development.    

Eighteen CRG sub-projects addressed environmental issues such as biodiversity, mangrove ecosystems, agro-forestry, and water management. Twenty-nine CRG sub-projects addressed climate change impacts on land use system in coastal and other areas, various aspects of fish production, farming in haor/beel region, development of salt & submergence tolerant rice varieties and heat tolerant of sunflower varieties, methane emission in dairy farming system and its mitigation options and low carbon farming technique. Similarly, seven CRG sub-projects were on varietal adaptation trials trying to identify varieties suitable for coastal, hill, haor/beel, barind tract, modhupur tract and monga regions. Seven CRG sub-projects focused on environment friendly farming techniques and water conservation. In addition to these, some sub-projects were related to increase productivity and production, improvement of livelihoods of farmers, soil health and water use efficiency; and strengthening of IPM approach leading to reduce the load of agrochemical uses at farm as well as at national level. Hence, most of the projects under CRG are not only environment friendly but also improving the environment of the project areas. All the information generated through the research component and disseminate to extension components will enhance crop, livestock and fisheries production in the country through promoting environment friendly technologies. The major positive and effective activities to ensure environmental and social safeguard management measures through some CRG sub-projects which are illustrated in Table 1.

 

Table 1: Positive and effective activities to ensure environmental and social safeguard management measures through some CRG sub-projects

Sl. No.

Environmental issue/ Areas of  subprojects

Environmental and social safeguard issues addressed

Remarks

1

Biodiversity

Biodiversity conserved, Social safeguard ensured and Indigenous knowledge conserved through collection and characterization of important plant genetic resources including crops, forest and medicinal plants. Enhanced genetic improvement on crops, fish and livestock species.

Awarded eleven sub-projects

2

Mangrove ecosystem

Improved environment through the development of climate resilient mangrove ecosystem in the Sundarban.

Awarded one sub-project

3

Madhupur garh ecosystem

Biodiversity conserved, vegetation expanded and enhanced resources conservation through agroforestry; Improved livelihood of the farming community through system approach.

Awarded one sub-project

4

Coastal ecosystem

Environmental and social safeguard usses were well addressed and livelihoods of farmers will be improved through the interventions of these sub-projects. For example, farmers in the coastal area will be benefited using Perna viridis farming system as blue economy.

Awarded nine sub-projects

5

Rooftop gardening

Rooftop gardening is popularizing, increased vegetables and fruits production, expanded vegetation, improved environment through reducing CO2 in the air.

Awarded three sub-projects

6

Upscaling of lac production technologies

Utilization of beneficial insect enhanced; employment opportunities generated for women along with Poverty reduction of the ultra poor and marginal farmers.

Awarded one sub-project

7

Char land ecosystem

Food security and nutrition enhanced and livelihoods of ultra poor farmers in char areas have been improved through introducing high value and nutrient rich crops along with enhancement of productivity of kenaf.

Awarded two sub-projects

8

Haor and beel ecosystem

Environmental and social safeguard issues were well addressed and livelihoods of farmers will be improved through the interventions of these sub-projects. For example, Fish production will be increased and sustained and livelihoods of farmers and fishermen will be improved through adopting improved management.

Awarded seven sub-projects

 

9

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Pesticide use reduction targeted; conservation of beneficial insects promoted, enhanced safe food production and reduced health hazards. Use of IPM reduces environmental pollution and reduces the cost of production and increases the availability of safe vegetables in the market. Use of pesticide reduced; the livelihood of the farmers improved through increased vegetables, tea, soybean, cotton and fruits production.

Awarded four sub-projects

10

Soil quality/ Soil degradation

Soil health Improved through management of acid soils for sustainable crop production in Madhupur Tract and Northern & Eastern Piedmont Plains. Soil health improved, farmers’ income increased, Improved livelihood of the farming community through implementation of conservation agricultural practices.

Awarded three sub-projects

11

Biofertilizer upscaling

Use of inorganic fertilizer reduced; enhanced soil heath, nutrient use efficiency and organic matter content; reduced GHG emission and increased rice yield.

Awarded two sub-projects

12

Compost, vermicompost and tricho-compost production

Improved organic farming, employment generating opportunities increased particularly for women.  Improves soil health and reduces the use of chemical fertilizers resulting in reduced environmental pollution through the production of compost, vermicompost and tricho-compost from household organic waste.

Awarded three sub-projects

13

Methane emission

Methane gas emission will be reduced in dairy production systems applying existing feed resources through GLEAM model under different climatic zones of Bangladesh and identified mitigation options.

Awarded one sub-project

14

Pesticide related health and safety issues

Food safety will be ensured and farmers will be benefited through knowing adulterated pesticides and residual effects.

Awarded two sub-projects

15

Food safety issues

Food and nutritional safety issues are being adequately addressed through improving crop, livestock and fish production in terms of quality and quantity. For example, food safety will be improved through quantitative analysis for the toxic chemical residues in fruits and vegetables selling in the  markets; quantitative analysis of bottled drinking water and evaluation of pesticides residue of raw, washed & cooked vegetables; residual assessment of hazardous pesticides and antibiotics in shrimp/prawn farming systems of south-west Bangladesh; production of low cholesterol mutton by using herbs; nutritional analysis and popularization of minor fruits, popularization of organic vegetable production, etc.

Awarded twelve sub-projects

 

 

2.2 Environmental and social safeguard management activities performed under PBRG program

 

The PBRG program is a long-term (up to 4 years) coordinated research program following inter-disciplinary or inter-institutional approach to promote demand led, strategic, and cross cutting research issues to conduce team building holistic research culture for achieving desired output for commodities and production practices. Most importantly, coordinated PBRG program amongst NARIs will widen scopes in integrating multiple organizations for jointly combating national agricultural problems and strengthening their research and research management capability apart from effective and proper resource uses in national perspectives. PBRG programs are being coordinated involving at least two research providers: coordination can be inter-institutional or it can be interdisciplinary within the institute. NARIs, Public University and Private Research Providers were considered for PBRG program. Non-NARI research providers must have adequate technical manpower and physical facilities for conducting the proposed research.

Total of 39 Program Based Research Grant (PBRG) proposals were awarded since the inception of NATP-2 covering different aspects of crop, livestock and fisheries. Thirty-nine PBRG sub-projects are implementing by 27 institutes/organizations under five coordinating institutes/organizations such as BARC (26), BARI (5), BRRI (5), BFRI (Fisheries, 2) and BINA (1) to generate technologies related to crops, fisheries and livestock production along with their supply chain and marketing, etc over 9 division/discipline covering crops, fisheries, livestock, agricultural economics and rural sociology, planning and evaluation, soil, forest, agricultural economics and nutrition. Like CRG sub-projects, PBRG sub-projects were also reviewed & verified; and showed satisfactory compliance with safeguard measures based on exclusion criteria and environmental screening matrix. Similar to CRG sub-projects, all the PBRG sub-projects also addressed environmental and social safeguard issues directly or indirectly to improve environmental and social development through the sub-project interventions. The results of most of the PBRG sub-projects showed positive impacts on environmental and social development.

Five PBRG sub-projects addressed environmental issues such as biodiversity and agro-forestry. Seven PBRG sub-projects addressed various aspects of fish production in haor/beel/plain region and four sub-projects focused on various aspects of livestock production. Similarly, three PBRG sub-projects focused on  environment friendly integrated farming systems. Three sub-projects dealt with the improvement of charland and coastal ecosystems. Similarly, one sub-project dealt for use of solar pump for surface water irrigation, one for the improvement of soil quality & soil heath and nine sub-projects on food safety issues. In addition to these, other 10 sub-projects were related to improvement of livelihoods of farmers and strengthening of IPM approach leading to reduce the load of agrochemical uses at farm as well as at national level. Hence, most of the projects under PBRG are not only environment friendly but will improve the environment of the country. All the information generated through the research component followed by dissemination to extension components will enhance crop, livestock and fisheries production in the country through promoting environment friendly technologies. The major positive and effective activities to ensure environmental and social safeguard management measures through some PBRG sub-projects which are illustrated in Table 2.

 

Table 2 : Positive and effective activities to ensure environmental and social safeguard management measures through some PBRG sub-projects

Sl. No.

Areas of sub-projects/Environ-mental issue

Environmental and social safeguard issues addressed

Remarks

1

Biodiversity

Biodiversity will be conserved, Social safeguard will be ensured and indigenous knowledge will be conserved through collection and characterization of important plant genetic resources including forest and medicinal plants. Small indigenous fish species (SIS) will be conserved, and farmers’ income will be increased.

Awarded four sub-projects

2

Charland ecosystem

Soil organic matter will be enhanced and livelihoods of ultra poor farmers in char areas will be improved and women empowerment will be enhanced through the introduction of improved agro-forestry practices and agricultural technologies along with adaptation of high-value crops and development of business model in charland ecosystem of Bangladesh.

Awarded three sub-projects

3

Coastal ecosystem

Soil organic matter will be enhanced and livelihoods of farmers will be improved through Climate Resilient Participatory Farming Systems Research. Highly stress tolerant rice cultivars will be developed through introgression of multiple salt tolerance loci (QTLs) into commercial cultivars.

Awarded two sub-projects

4

Haor and beel ecosystem

Fish production will be increased and sustained and livelihoods of farmers and fishermen in haor and beel areas will be improved through adopting improved management approach.

Awarded one sub-project

5

Upscaling of solar pump

Use of solar pump for surface water irrigation in the southern region of Bangladesh will save energy and improve environment by reducing fossil fuel burning.

Awarded one sub-project

6

Soil quality/ Soil degradation

Soil pollution will be reduced and soil health will be improved through amendment of acidic, saline and heavy metal polluted soils using biochar for sustainable crop production.

Awarded one sub-project

7

Food safety issues

Food and nutritional safety issues are being adequately addressed through improving crop, livestock and fish production in terms of quality and quantity. For example, food safety will be improved through identifying contaminants and adulteration in food chain and their prevention through improved postharvest practices. Post-harvest losses will be decreased and quality crop, livestock & fish production will be increased; and livelihoods of farmers will be improved by increasing farmer’s income and food/nutritional safety will be ensured. Nutritional safety will be enhanced through determining critical limit of plant nutrients for major crops.

Awarded nine sub-projects

 

2.3 Implementation, coordination and institutionalization

 

Implementation, coordination and institutionalization are the key factors for success and sustainability of any project activity. In view of this, following activities undertaken during reporting year. PIU-BARC organized a series of workshops on selection process, annual research progress, annual monitoring progress, etc. of CRG and PBRG sub-projects. In the inception workshops of CRG & PBRG sub-projects, all the PIs and Co-PIs were being advised to follow the environmental and social safeguard implementation guidelines in the sub-projects. The workshops and proceedings sensitized the stakeholders and participants. Environmental and social safeguard management issues have been institutionalized through the focal persons of the research proponent institutes/organizations where research proponents were acted as focal persons.

 

2.4 Women participation, empowerment and mainstreaming

 

PIU-BARC always encourages women participation in all the activities undertaken in the unit as equal opportunity basis. Women are working as PIs (22) or Co-PIs in many research sub-projects and took part in the project activities. Besides, some other women including female farmers in the project areas are also involved in project activities particularly training programs, workshops, field days, etc. CRG and PBRG research programs have created ample opportunities for economic development; identify special requirements for enhancement of women activities, power sharing and leadership opportunity through women participation in the project. Women friendly technologies are also developed through these programs. No problem faced by women in the project. Hence, mainstreaming of women is progressing through project activities.

 

2.5 Environmental and social safeguard compliances

 

Reviewed and verification of all 229 CRG and PBRG sub-projects covering different aspects of crop, livestock and fisheries showed satisfactory compliance with safeguard measures based on exclusion criteria and environmental screening matrix. PIU-BARC advertised for invitation of Concept Notes on CRG and PBRG proposals through different media for wider circulation and open competition. After rigorous reviews by distinguished reviewers in the country, CRG and PBRG sub-projects were selected following the guidelines described in AIF-1 and Project Implementation Manual (PIM). All the project activities were performed in transparent way. Moreover, observations reveal that any PIU-BARC activity under CRG & PBRG subprojects covering crops, livestock, fisheries and supply chain does not involved in land acquisition, involuntary resettlement, encroachment of reserve forests, and use of prohibited pesticides, etc. No complain has been received from any one either from female or male working under the subprojects and any other stakeholder of the project due to any activity of the component. Finally, all PIs/Co-PIs are aware of environmental and social safeguard management than before. The above information reveals that all the project activities of PIU-BARC implemented in the reporting year are met with total compliances to environmental and social safeguards.


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