National Consultant: Development of Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture Guidelines


Location : Vientiane, LAO PDR
Application Deadline :15-Jun-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
23-Jul-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :July to November 2018
Expected Duration of Assignment :80 working days

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.


Background

The SAFE Ecosystems Project

The UNDP-GEF Sustainable Forest and Land Management in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest Ecosystems of Southern Lao PDR Project (SAFE Ecosystems Project) aims to support the government of Lao PDR to facilitate a transformative shift towards sustainable land and forest management in the forested landscape of Savannakhet Province. This sustainable management will help to secure critical wildlife habitats, conserve biodiversity and maintain a continuous flow of multiple services such as the provision of quality water and flood prevention. The project will be implemented over a period of six-years from May 2016 to May 2022 by the Department of Forestry (DOF) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The Dry Dipterocarp Forest (DDF) ecosystems located in Savannakhet Province are recognized for being globally important as habitat for a number of globally significant and threatened species, and nationally important for their provision of numerous ecosystem services that benefit the people of Lao PDR. In recent decades, DDF ecosystems and the species within them have come under increasing threat from large-scale conversion of forest, degradation of forest ecosystem services, and species loss.

Recognizing their global and national importance, the Government of Lao PDR (GoL) has prioritized the conservation and sustainable management of the Dry Dipterocarp Forests landscape of Savannakhet province. As a measure of the GoL’s commitment to the DDF landscape, it has selected this area to be the site of the newest National Protected Area in the country, and as a demonstration site for testing the implementation of new national policies and processes related to Strategic Environmental Assessment, Integrated Spatial Planning, and High Conservation Value Forests. The GoL has also identified this landscape as suitable for the development and implementation of innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable forest management and protected area management, as well as community participation in protected areas management, ecotourism programs, and livelihoods programs linked to conservation outcomes through formal Conservation Agreement mechanisms.

This SAFE Ecosystems Project will seek to strengthen land and resource use planning capacities and procedures, and the policies and regulations that govern them, while simultaneously expanding and strengthening the management of resources on the ground by government agencies, local communities and private sector actors. Furthermore, the project is developing innovative financing mechanisms and programs (including ecotourism and livelihoods programs) that can ensure the sustainability of improved land use and resource management approaches.

Expertise is required for the development of a set of Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture Guidelines for Savannakhet Province, which will provide tools and recommendations to forestry and agricultural sector stakeholders on how to adopt sustainable practices that reduce negative environmental impacts within plantations but also on downstream or adjacent areas. This process will involve various stakeholders in the forestry and agriculture sectors and with the key local agencies (PAFO/DAFO, PONRE/DONRE) to identify sustainable practices for plantation design and production. The guidelines will not be official policy nor will they be legally enforceable; instead they are meant to provide guidance, raise awareness, and promote dialogue between production sector stakeholders and resource managers, in order to facilitate a landscape-level approach to the management of environmental drivers in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest landscape

For this assignment, the Sustainable Forest and Land Management in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest Ecosystems of Southern Lao PDR project is seeking a national consultant/expert to work in close consultation with the UNDP Lao PDR Country Office and relevant agencies of the Government of Lao PDR (DAFOs, PAFO of Savannakhet and DOF). The Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture expert is also expected to work closely with and support the Land Use Planning Specialist who is tasked with assessing the existing process of land use management framework, coordination between regulatory authorities regarding land use management and land allocation in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest Ecosystems of Southern Lao PDR.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under supervision of the UNDP Head of Natural Resources Management and Climate Change Unit and the SAFE Ecosystems Project - National Project Director, the consultant will be required to undertake the following duties:

  • Establish existing status and legal and policy frameworks and guidelines on Sustainable planation forest/agriculture in Lao PDR and Savannakhet
  • Stakeholder analysis and assessment of various stakeholders relevant to the Sustainable planation forest/agriculture sector
  • Consult with “Leadership Companies” in the forestry and agriculture sectors and key local agencies (PONRE/DONRE, PAFO/DAFO) among other identified stakeholders to identify sustainable practices for plantation design and production
  • Develop a set of Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture Guidelines for Savannakhet Province incorporating international standards as appropriate, including tools and recommendations to forestry and agricultural sector stakeholders on adopting sustainable practices
  • Conduct final forum discussing the drafted guidelines with relevant stakeholders to raise awareness, receive feedback and promote dialogue between production sector stakeholders and resource managers on Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture
  • Prepare a briefing note summarizing key messages from the main report – guidelines, tools and recommendations 
  • Perform other tasks that relevant to this consultancy services as required by the project management and UNDP. 

    Expected Results and Deliverables

    Output 1: A methodology and work-plan to be developed one week after signing of the contract. The methodology and work-plan should provide proposed activities and timeframe to complete the tasks and achieve outputs.

    Output 2: An preliminary analysis report detailing:

    (i)                   Thorough desk review of the context of Sustainable planation forest/agriculture in Lao PDR and Savannakhet including the status of legal and policy frameworks

    (ii)                 Analysis of existing guidelines produced by development partners and “leadership companies” on Sustainable planation forest/agriculture in Lao PDR and Savannakhet

    (iii)                Stakeholder analysis of various stakeholders relevant to the Sustainable planation forestry/agriculture sector in Lao PDR and Savannakhet;

    (iv)                Detailed activity plan and specific methodology to achieve output 3 and 4 

    Output 3: Field work and submission of Field Report Findings:

    (i)                   Field mission to Savannakhet province and 5 target districts (Phalanxay, Phin, Songkhone, Thapanthong, Xonnabouly)

    (ii)                 Stakeholder consultation meetings with companies in the forestry and agriculture sectors and with the key local agencies (PAFO/DAFO and other relevant government agencies) and other stakeholders identified in the inception phase to discuss existing practices and identify sustainable practices for plantation design and production;

    Output 4: Briefing Note and Final Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture Guidelines

    (i)                   Facilitate final forum discussing and validating the drafted guidelines with relevant stakeholders to raise awareness, receive feedback and promote dialogue between production sector stakeholders and resource managers on Sustainable Plantation Forestry and Agriculture

    (ii)                 Produce the final guidelines detailing:

    ·         An analysis map of the various forestry and agricultural sector operating within Savannakhet Province and how they are able to operate and coordinate their activities

    ·         Proposed set of standards for Savannakhet Province based on national and international standards 

    ·         Practical tools and recommendations to forestry and agricultural sector stakeholders adopting sustainable practices;

    Produce a 4-page briefing note that summarizes the guidelines, tools and recommendations on plantation forestry that will be disseminated for awareness raising


Competencies

·         Expert knowledge and experience of large scale plantations (forests and agriculture)

·         Experience working with Lao PDR government counterparts and local communities

·         Excellent communication and consultation skills to liaise with a range of stakeholders including district and provincial authorities, local communities, private sector actors, etc. and ability and experience to conduct training

·         Ability to lead and work with team and to achieve quality outputs under tight timelines

·         Excellent working knowledge of written and spoken English and Lao

·         Ability and willingness to travel within Lao PDR.

·         Knowledge of UNDP and the UN system is an advantage.


Required Skills and Experience

A.       Academic Qualifications:

·         Holds a PhD or Masters degree related to forestry, agriculture, natural resource management or relevant fields

B.       Years of experience:

·         At least 10 years working experience on plantation forestry and/or plantation agriculture, natural resource management or relevant fields



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