The Biodiversity Focal Area programming of the Global Environment Facility in its 7th  replenishment (GEF-7), responds directly to the GEF7 Four-year Framework of Program Priorities agreed by countries at CBD COP-13, as well as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, 2011-2020. Specifically, the proposed Biodiversity Focal Area is built around achieving the Four-year Program’s three objectives: (i) Mainstream Biodiversity Across sectors as Well as Within Production Landscapes and Seascapes, (ii) Reduce Direct Drivers of Biodiversity Loss, and (iii) Strengthen Biodiversity Policy and Institutional Frameworks. In line with the GEF-7 strategic programming for Biodiversity, the project “Enhancing Biodiversity Considerations and Effective Protected Area Management to Safeguard the Cook Islands Integrated Ecosystems and Speciesaims to bring about a paradigm shift towards delivering effective and scalable solutions at key target sites through enhanced ridge-to-reef, land/seascape and catchment scale approaches that bring together relevant sectors and other interested parties in an integrated, coordinated manner that will foster the necessary enabling conditions for achieving long-term environmental sustainability across entire islands, lagoons and coastal waters.

The expected Global Environmental Benefits that will result from an integrated sustainable management from ridge to reef safeguarding the integrity and functioning of ecosystems and production systems include:

  • Some 400 ha of terrestrial and 2,400 ha of coastal marine protected areas created or under improved management for conservation and sustainable use.  
  • A 118 ha of new protected area established, conserving key ecosystems that contain threatened endemic species and valuable fresh water sources. It features among the best remaining examples of primary montane rain and (Metrosideros) cloud forest in Eastern Polynesia, as cited in WWF’s Global 200[1].
  • 2,411 ha of landscape will be under improved practices (excluding protected areas)
  • 788,236 tCO2eq emission avoided during a 20-year period.
  • The investment will directly benefit an estimated 11,428 community members (5,627 female and 5,801 male) representing about 75% of the Cook Islands resident population.
  • US$ 26.5 million of co-financing leveraged and invested in this integrated catchment approach to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services; and effectively managing protected areas.
  • Improved management (i.e., community-based co-management) of selected priority catchments, as well as specific priority protected areas that are habitat to key threatened and endemic species.
  • Raised awareness and understanding of biodiversity considerations and mainstreaming safeguards across key development sectors (tourism, agriculture and infrastructure), as well as increased technical capacity within relevant government sectors and communities to apply sustainable control measures.

Table 1. brief description of the Project’s objectives, grant amounts, components, project location and the PPG team composition

Project Title: Enhancing biodiversity considerations and effective protected area management to safeguard the Cook Islands integrated ecosystems and species

Objective: To mainstream biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services safeguards across Cook Islands key sectors, in partnership with traditional leaders and communities, to deliver sustainably managed protected areas and catchments.

Grant amount: USD 3,502.968

Co-financing amount: USD 26,787,412

Target Locations (Island names):

Northern Group - Suwarrow

Southern Group - Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Takutea and Manuae

Pre-SESP rating: Moderate


  1. Mainstreaming safeguards to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services across key development sectors
  2. Improving the management framework to effectively conserve a national protected areas system representative of Cook Islands biodiversity.
  3. Raising awareness, managing knowledge, mainstreaming gender and monitoring, evaluating and disseminating project results.

International Consultant Team (4)

  • International GEF Project Development Specialist (PPG Team Leader) 
  • International Social and Environmental Safeguards Specialist
  • International Environmental Policy and Governance Specialist
  • International PPG Coordinator

National Consultant Team (2)

  • National Sustainable Land Management/Protected Areas and Livelihoods Specialist (National PPG Lead – Deputy Team Leader) [this TOR]
  • National Safeguards, Gender and Community Engagement Specialist

UNDP, in collaboration with the Government of Cook Islands, seeks to engage a qualified National Sustainable Land Management/Protected Areas and Livelihoods Specialist to work closely with the PPG Team Leader and the Environmental Policy and Governance Specialist. The consultant will serve as the National Team Lead and contribute to the delivery of the PPG tasks below.


[1] Olson, D. M., Dinnerstein, E. 2002. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89(2):199-224.

Duties and Responsibilities


The National Sustainable Land Management/Protected Areas and Livelihoods Specialist will be responsible for leading the technical assessments and preparation of reports, plans and guidelines to inform the design of all three Project Components with support from the Environmental Policy and Governance Specialist; furthermore the consultant will contribute to the formulation of all parts of the ProDoc, CEO ER and mandatory Annexes; and will also serve as the National Team Lead (overall Deputy Team Lead to the International GEF Project Development Specialist).

Responsibilities and Deliverables

The list below outlines key responsibilities and deliverables of this contract. The PPG Initiation Plan for these projects provides further and more detailed guidance regarding the responsibilities of the prospective PPG team and must be consulted accordingly.

  • Preparatory Technical Studies and Reviews (Component A): Prepare inputs, and lead the required analyses and studies, as agreed with the PPG Team Leader, including:
  1. Conduct Baseline and Situational Analysis/Develop Landscape Profiles for each of the targeted catchments and protected areas, including: biological profile (updated/consolidated species list; description of main biomes/ecosystem types, key ecosystem services and other biological/ecological attributes - including ecological condition; verified extent (in ha) of each catchment; conservation priorities and goals; key gaps in knowledge relating to status of biodiversity in each protected areas, etc.; integrated risk/threat profile (including social, economic, environmental, institutional, political [with inputs and support from the Environmental Policy and Governance Specialist] and climate-change-related risks and vulnerabilities); resource-use profile (description of socio-economic context at landscape - size and brief profile of  communities within the catchment areas, key business sectors active in the area and any socio-economic development plans that may have effect in the project domain; key land uses in surrounding catchments and PA buffer areas; key natural resources used by the communities, or for other economic exploitation; recommendations for establishment of working agreements between communities in the catchments on SLM/SFM practices  with the aim of creating/strengthening sustainable livelihoods, setting up collaborative partnerships with neighbouring landowners and land users - with gender considerations built into targets);
  2. Conduct a Rapid Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) Survey for communities in the catchments, neighbouring landowners and land users;
  3. Contribute to identification of criteria for final selection of project sites and collate geolocation and spatial data for each targeted PAs and intervention sites in catchments;
  4. Assess management  and/or management-planning status of  targeted and planned PAs (i.e. Rarotonga Cloud Forest), to include at least: collation of data for completion of the  baseline Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool(METT) for each PAs (using latest template) and set targets for mid-term and end-of project; overview of  legal status of each PAs and review of existing regulations/enabling policies or frameworks controlling land-use activities (and any gaps); compilation of existing management plans and/or zonation plans for PAs, including strengths and weaknesses;  assessment of ecological/biological representation of each target PAs (and any gaps, with recommendations for addressing these in management or landscape plans); description of existing planning/management methods/tools/activities and gaps that need to be filled for each PAs (e.g. for riparian zones, fire, IAS, key biodiversity areas and species) with a brief assessment of their feasibility and cost-effectiveness; compilation of resource inventories (existing and required), with assessment of feasibility and cost-effectiveness; overview of social management plans and community engagement mechanisms; and recommendations/guidelines for steps/processes/formats for improving the management framework;
  5. Support completion of any other relevant studies that are determined by the Team Leader and PPG Working Group to be necessary for the preparation of the ProDoc and other final outputs of the PPG, including the gender and safeguards analysis, risk analysis and screening for environmental and social safeguard risks, and development of the budget and workplan.
  • Formulation of the Prodoc, CEO ER, mandatory and project-specific annexes (Component B): Prepare and support development of final PPG deliverables as agreed with the PPG Team Leader, including:
  1. Contribute to development of the Theory of Change and Project Results Framework;
  2. Contribute to development of the project’s Results Framework by refining indicators and verifying baselines and targets including identification of means of measurement, and assumptions for indicators; and contribute to completion of the GEF Core Indicator Worksheet;
  3. Complete the baseline METT for each PAs, using the required template, and set mid-term and end-of-project targets (supported by a feasibility assessment);
  4. Provide specific inputs to the project design to mitigate the risks associated to introduction of SLM/SFM practices;
  5. Take lead to guide the GIS support services personnel for ensuring preparation of the georeferenced maps and verified geographic coordinates for the project sites for inclusion in the Mandatory Annexes;
  6.  Contribute to identification of costed-out activities required for delivery of outputs and outcomes under all project Components;
  7. Develop a full Climate-Risk Screening Report and estimate Green House Gas Reduction expected from project interventions  (based on the preliminary CC screening and FAO EX-Ante estimations done at PIF stage);
  • Validation Workshop (Component C):
    1. Contribute to preparations of and participate in the Validation Workshop;
    2. Revise documentation in line with review inputs received through the validation process; and
    3. Written contributions/review inputs to ProDoc, CEO ER and Annexes, as agreed at PPG Inception.


  • Final Deliverables:
    1. Technical Report: Baseline assessments of as per section 1, above;
    2. Completed GEF Core Indicator Worksheet and Project Taxonomy;
    3. Final FAO Ex-Ante Carbon Tool Calculations Summary for inclusion in the annex;
    4. Climate-Risk Screening Report;
    5. Completed METTs and KAP surveys with baselines and mid-term and end-of-project targets;
    6. Collate maps and GIS coordinates for inclusion as annexes; and,
    7. Written inputs to ProDoc, CEO ER and Annexes, as determined by PPG Team Leader.

Table 2. PPG Milestones, dates, fee disbursement percentage and required approvals


PPG Milestones


Tentative Dates

Fee Disbursement (%)

Review and Approvals Required


Inputs to the detailed work plan[1] including PPG inception workshop, field visits and meeting with key stakeholders in coordination with the PPG team leader 

10 days

 September 2021





Inputs to the PPG inception workshop report and workplan


Inputs in the first draft of the Project Document, including all mandatory and project specific annexes (see final deliverables section above, literals a to g), in compliance with the UNDP-GEF ProDoc format and the GEF requirements.

 20 days

January 2022




Consultation and validation workshop

12 days

March 2022



Input to the Validation Workshop Report


Inputs to the Second draft of the Project Document, including all mandatory and project specific annexes (see final deliverables section above, literals a to g), submitted to UNDP-GEF for the technical clearance and submission to GEF SEC for CEO endorsement for review.

15 days

May 2022




Inputs to the Finalized Project Document with the mandatory and project specific annexes and the CEO Endorsement Request revised with comments from the UNDP teams and the GEF SEC

13 days

December 2022



Completion of assignment i.e. approval by the GEF SEC



70 days





[1] Note that Travel bans, restrictions and requirements will likely affect the dates and structure of the missions. The above table provides tentative information for mission budgeting/ICs financial proposal purposes only. Flexibility is expected from the selected candidate in terms of the possibility of having alternative mission and consultation arrangements (i.e. online consultations and online inception/validation workshops. Having one single consultation/truth-grounding mission when travel restrictions are lifted, etc.).


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism, and;
  • Knowledge of GEF project development, implementation and/or evaluation with capacity development elements.

Functional Competencies

  • Able to communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a simple and concise manner;
  • Capable of working in a high- pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously;
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills;
  • Exercises the highest level of responsibility and be able to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;
  • Works well in a team;
  • Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks;
  • Focuses on results for the client;
  • Welcomes constructive feedback; and
  • Fluent English language (both oral and written) and excellent communication and presentation skills, particularly in the preparation of written documents.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Only those applications that are responsive and compliant will be evaluated. Incomplete applications will not be considered;
  • Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the technical criteria will be weighted at 70% and the financial offer will be weighted at 30%;
  • The technical criteria (education, experience, language) will be based on a maximum 70 points. Only the top 4 candidates that have achieved a minimum of 49 points [TN1] [AT2] from the review of education, experience and language will be deemed technically compliant and considered for financial evaluation;
  • Financial score (max 30 points) shall be weighted at 30%  and ranked based on the best value for money proposal of those technically qualified;
  • The financial proposal shall specify an all-inclusive lump sum fee. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal must additionally include a breakdown of this daily fee (including all foreseeable expenses to carry out the assignment).
  • Applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score (max 100 points) and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.

Evaluation Criteria


Max. Point

  1. Technical Qualification and Experience



Education (Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field of the natural sciences, with preference for Ecology, Integrated Natural Resource Management or other specializations relevant to management of land and forest)



Minimum of 10 years demonstrable experience in fields such as sustainable land and forest management (with experience in catchment or PA management preferred), sustainable forest and land management, integrated natural resource management;



Prior experience with FAO Ex-Ante Carbon Tool Calculations



Demonstrable research experience, well-developed analytical capacity and proficiency in synthesising data and presenting it in well-structured formats



Prior experience of participating in a project development team for a UNDP-supported, GEF-financed protected area-related project, and experience using the GEF METT and KAP surveys.



Fluent in English



Financial Proposal



Total combined score



Documentation to be submitted:

  • Applicants must submit a duly completed and signed UNDP Personal History form (P11) and/or CV including Education/Qualification, Professional Certification, Employment Records /Experience;
  • Applicants must submit a duly completed and signed Annex II Offeror´s letter to UNDP confirming interest and availability for the Individual Contractor (IC)
  • Applicants must submit a Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price in US Dollars. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (including travel, living expenses, and number of anticipated working days), as per template provided.  If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.  


  • All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using his/her own resources; and
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed based on provision of supporting documentation.
  • Kindly note you can upload only ONE document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF file to attach).