Wetland Ecologist


Location : Kampala with travels, UGANDA
Application Deadline :18-Sep-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Oct-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :50 days spread over four months
Expected Duration of Assignment :50 days spread over four months

Background

In Uganda, wetlands provide many important functions including supporting the agriculture sector, particularly in the context of food and security. Wetlands serve as a source of water for irrigation, watering livestock and other agricultural related activities. Over 80% of the people living adjacent to wetland areas in Uganda directly use wetland resources for their household food security needs. In addition to supporting food and water security, wetlands support income generation and employment. Of a total population of 34 million Ugandans, it is estimated that wetlands provide about 320,000 workers with direct employment and provide subsistence employment for over 2.4 million.

Wetlands have been used for agriculture for thousands of years. They provide a range of valuable ecosystem services, such as the provision of food and clean water, the retention of and recycling of nutrients. However, the value of these services is sometimes underestimated. In some areas, the drainage and reclamation of wetlands for agriculture has been widespread, but there is increasing recognition of the critical interdependencies between agriculture and healthy wetlands.

However, wetland health and resilience has of recent been compromised by poor agricultural practices in the adjacent catchments. For example, in Kabale District, in the southwestern region, 58% of wetlands have been drained for farming and other activities. Communities are searching for land in the wetlands because soils in the catchments are becoming increasingly infertile due to temperature increases and other climatic changes. As a result, the wetland ecosystems have lost their capacity to retain nutrients and store and filter water. This impacts water supply to surrounding communities, which are dependent on water from wells constructed near wetlands. In addition, the ability of these wetlands to adapt to climate change are also compromised, reducing their ability to retain silt, control floods, store and filter water, and maintain the microclimate.

Considering the rate at which wetlands are disappearing, the government of Uganda initiated the process of restoring wetlands and associated catchments with a major focus on promoting climate resilient agricultural interventions in wetland catchments, starting with the most affected areas of Eastern and South-Western Uganda. (Districts in the East include; Kaliro, Namutumba, Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku, Butaleja, Tororo, Mbale, Bukedea and Ngora while those in the south western include; Kabale, Kisoro, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Rubirizi, Shema and Mitooma).

In order to contribute to addressing the above challenges, there is need to undertake a rapid assessment to generate baseline data on wetland health for all the wetlands in the above 20 districts. The information will guide project implementation, ongoing monitoring and evaluation efforts but also the planned impact evaluation of the project. The assignment will involve physical visits to the wetlands and collecting georeferenced ecological data on the wetlands using mobile-based data collection technology such as Open Data Kit (ODK).

In order to undertake this activity, UNDP Uganda in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) wishes to contract a Wetland Ecologist to undertake this assignment. These Terms of Reference provide a general outline of the tasks. On the basis of this, the individual consultant will be expected to present a proposal on how he/she would approach the assignment.

The consultant will work under the overall technical guidance of the Director Environment Affairs and report to the Team leader, Climate Change Response and Disaster Risk Resilience at UNDP Uganda, for all contractual obligations. For delivery of the assignment, the consultant will work closely with the Principal Wetlands Officer and the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist including undertaking joint field visits to the 20 target districts.


Duties and Responsibilities

The following tasks shall be accomplished:

  • Review existing data on wetland in the 20 districts targeted by the project;
  • Conduct field visits (with support and guidance of respective District Natural Resources and Wetlands Management Department staff) to all the wetlands in 20 target districts and obtain georeferenced data on indicators of wetland health (flora, fauna, hydrology, soils) using RAMSAR guidelines on wetland rapid assessment. Data should be collected from wetlands targeted for restoration and those that are not targeted;
  • Capture high resolution photographs/short video clips on all the indicators of wetland health (flora, fauna, hydrology, soils) for each site. The photography should cover both intact and degraded parts of the wetlands;
  • Conduct an organisational capacity assement to establish existing capacity and gaps to conduct wetland rapid assesments;
  • Design and deliver a tailor-made training for project implementation staff to adress identified capacity gaps in wetland rapid assesments.


Competencies

  • Strong expertise and knowledge in wetland ecology;
  • Familiarity in application of GIS for Natural Resource Management;
  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of National Institutions;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with analytical capacity and ability to synthesize relevant data and information;
  • Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration with colleagues;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.


Required Skills and Experience

Education Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree or above in Environment and Natural Resource, Wetland Ecology, Aquatic Biology, Botany/Zoology or any other related field.

Experience:

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in Natural Resources Management preferably of aquatic resources.
  • Experience conducting wetland assessments is essential.
  • Prior experience in development of GIS based ecological maps, national level GIS maps/ data base for related field will be an added advantage;
  • Familiarity in working with National Level Agencies for similar assignments;
  • Knowledge of the Uganda country context and government systems essential.

Language requirement:

  • Language: English is essential.

Duration of assignment, Duty station and expected travels:

The duration of the assignment is 50 days spread over four months while the duty station is Kampala. The consultant is also expected to travel to all the above mentioned 20 districts.

Key deliverables and schedules:

The following are the key deliverables of the assignment;

  • Inception report within five (5) working days after contract signature;
  • Draft report within 40 working days after acceptance of the inception report. The consultant shall make a presentation of the draft report at a validation workshop to be held a venue in Kampala to be confirmed by MWE;
  • Final report within five (5) working days after the validation workshop;
  • A soft copy of the high-resolution photographs and short video clips mentioned above;
  • An organisational capacity assessment report;
  • Training report.

Management and supervison of assignment:

Responsibilities of the Consultant:

The consultant will have overall responsibility for the work and operation of the evaluation. The consultant is responsible and accountable for the production of the key deliverables of the assignment including the following:

  • Conducting fieldwork to generate primary data and information;
  • Writing and compilation of inception, draft and final reports as needed;
  • Presentation of the draft report to stakeholders.

Responsibilities of MWE:

  • Introducing the consultant to key stakeholders;
  • Providing the required documents and data including GIS data;
  • Supervision of the consultant;
  • Quality assurance for the deliverables mentioned above;
  • Organising the inception workshop and the validation workshop.

Submission of Application:

The candidate is required to submit an electronic application directly uploaded on the UNDP jobs website with all the requirements as listed here below. Annexes and further information may be downloaded on http://procurement-notices.undp.org no.49500.

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document to this website - http://jobs.undp.org no. 80907.

  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP (Annex II);
  • Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

Technical proposal:

  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment;
  • A methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment;
  • Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided (Annex II);
  • Annexes 1 and II - may be downloaded from the UNDP Procurement Notices Website -http://procurement-notices.undp.org/ For further clarifications, please contact; janet.anyango@undp.org; moses.lutwama@undp.org;

Interested applicants should submit applications through uploading of all their required documentation in one single pdf document on this website only.

 

 


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