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Development of `Eswatini’s Big Five Reserve Technical Guidance Package
|Location :||Mbabane, SWAZILAND|
|Application Deadline :||19-Sep-21 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Additional Category :||Climate & Disaster Resilience|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||Sixty Days spread over six months|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||Sixty days spread over six months|
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
Eswatini’s protected area estate currently stands at 5.2 % of the total area. This include the following: Proclaimed under the Game Act and the National Trust Commission Act: Malolotja Nature Reserve, Mlilwane Nature reserve, Hlane Royal Nature Park, Mantenga Nature Reserve, MlawulaNature Reserve, Hawane Dam Nature reserve, Mkhaya Game reserve, Emantini Nature Reserve , Libetse nature Reserve, Phophonyane Nature Reserve, Lubuyane Nature Reserve, Lomati Nature Reserve and proclaimed under Other Effective Conservation Measures: Shewula Community Conservancy, Dombeya Game Reserve, Mahamba Gorge Nature Reserve, Rosecraft, Mgogodla Community Conservancy, Luzelweni Community Conservancy and Mhlosinga Nature Reserve.
Eswatini’s protected areas are rich in biodiversity with their share of endemism as represented in various ecosystems. Travel and tourism, especially to Eswatini’s Protected Areas, contribute to approximately 5,7% of the country’s GDP. The country has set a target under the Strengthening the National Protected Area Systems (SNPAS) Project to expand protected Areas from 3.9% to 6% of the country. Also, Target 11 of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan states that at least 10 per cent of Eswatini’s areas of biological importance are protected to contribute to biodiversity and ecosystem services. As such, protected landscapes are to be conserved through effectively and equitably managed connected systems. In this regard, Eswatini has established three protected landscapes namely: the Lubombo Landscape, the Malolotja Landscape and the Ngwempisi Landscapes.
In Eswatini, the conservation of ecosystems and species in line with the National Development Strategy (Vision 2022). Unsustainable utilization and overexploitation of resources, as well as a financing shortage, threaten the expansion and management of these areas and the corresponding livelihoods they support. This impedes sustainable development. In order for Eswatini’s Protected Areas to achieve their environmental, social and economic outcomes, addressing the challenge of adequate financing and resourcing is needed.
Eswatini Government is in the process of merging several farms in the Lubombo Region under the lubombo landscape to establish Eswatini’s Big 5 Reserve. In the area to be merged there are two main nature reserves: Hlane Royal National Park and Mlawula Nature Reserve. These two reserves are situated in north-eastern Swaziland, c.12 km south of the town of Lomahasha and 20 km north of Siteki. The reserve complex covers the northern portion of the Lubombo range (up to the Mozambique border) and the plains to the west. A major part of the area lies at low altitude.
The vegetation is predominantly mixed bushveld in Hlane and dry thornveld, open grassland and moist woodland in Mlawula. Trees of Acacia, Sclerocarya, Combretum and Dichrostachys are widespread and common. In the west of Hlane the bushveld is predominantly evergreen, and the herbaceous layer is seasonal. In the lower-lying eastern Hlane and western Mlawula area, drier Acacia savanna dominates. There is some highly localized sandveld, which is dominated by Terminalia, Strychnos and Perotis. The riverine vegetation differs quite substantially from the surrounding woodland and is dominated by Schotia, Ficus and Acacia, and locally by dense stands of Spirostachys and Euclea. Ravines in the Lubombo range support dense moist forest, and the plateau is covered by open grassland savanna.
This is the only reserve complex in Swaziland holding breeding Torgos tracheliotus and Trigonoceps occipitalis. Gyps coprotheres is seen regularly, and it is suspected that the breeding colony in nearby Mozambique regularly obtains much of its food from this area. Gyps africanus also breeds here in important numbers; 26 pairs nest at Mlawula, and at least triple that number at Hlane (Monadjem in press). Other important raptor populations include breeding Aquila rapax, Polemaetus bellicosus and Terathopius ecaudatus. The sand forests and riparian fringes hold Hypargos margaritatus, Lamprotornis corruscus and Nectarinia veroxii. The surrounding bushveld and savanna support Poicephalus cryptoxanthus, Cossypha humeralis, Eremomela usticollis and Telophorus quadricolor.
With regard to non-bird biodiversity, this complex holds the endemic cycads Encephalartos lebomboensis (Rare) and E. umbeluziensis (VU). The latter is highly localized and extends just across the international border into Mozambique. Two other highly range-restricted plants, Aloe keithii (VU) and Euphorbia keithii, occur here. Leptotyphlops telloi and Platysaurus lebomboensis, two very range-restricted reptiles, found only in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland and Mozambique, occur in the Lubombo sector of Mlawula Game Reserve. The endangered mammal Ceratotherium simum (LR/cd) has been reintroduced.
The natural vegetation and associated fauna in this wildlife complex represent a natural relict of the erstwhile Swaziland lowveld. Extensive landscape alteration and modification is widespread outside this natural oasis. Vultures are used for traditional medicine quite heavily outside protected areas. The ranges of Gyps africanusand Torgos tracheliotus appear to have decreased dramatically in Swaziland over the last 20 years. All of Swaziland’s vulture species are included in the first schedule of the Game Act as Royal Game, and are consequently protected by law, although this is not always enforced. There are currently seven operational vulture restaurants in Swaziland, which supply an estimated 60% of the vultures’ food demands.
In addition to the protected areas, there are other farms that are currently used for cattle ranching that have to be incorporated to the Eswatini Big 5 Nature Reserve. This includes: Ndvukuyemangendla, Kronpan/Holipan, Manzimnyame and Oribi Farm.
The overall objective of the proposed consultancy is to develop a targeted action plan for establishment of the Eswatini Big 5 Reserve. This Action plan will be used to inform the merging for the reserve and to allocate wildlife across the reserve. Facilitate the implementation of the action plan including coordination of stakeholders and mobilisation of the resources required for merging the farms. The consultant will also guide the task team in delivering on a consolidated nature reserve.
Duties and Responsibilities
Tasks to be performed
Expected deliverables and Implementation Schedule
The consultant shall conduct and provide the deliverables (in hard and soft copy, in English) as per implementation schedule presented in the table below:
Institutional Arrangements and Reporting
The Consultant will report to the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs through the Chief Environment Coordinator on all technical aspects and day to day execution of the assignment, and to the UNDP Resident Representative through the Team Leader for Environment and Climate Change on all contractual obligations. A multisectoral Technical Committee established by the Principal Secretary shall be responsible for the organization and convening of technical/consultation meetings to collect inputs to the deliverables.
The Technical Committee shall provide oversight and support the consultant in working with local authorities during the implementation of the assignment, in line with agreed schedule of meetings with stakeholders. All deliverables are subject to review and acceptance of the technical committee and UNDP in terms of qualification. Relevant costs for meetings and field missions shall be covered separately by UNDP.
Duty Station and Duration
This is a home-based assignment requiring 60 days of consulting effort spread over 6 months.
Corporate and Core Competencies:
Required Skills and Experience
Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments
Proposals must be expressed as an all-inclusive Lump Sum Amount and fixed for the contract period regardless of cost components. Payment shall be based on submission of satisfactory deliverables on assigned tasks
A. Recommended Presentation of Offer
Qualified candidates should submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF file:
4. Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided (Annex II)
B.Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer
Technical Criteria – Maximum 70 points