International consultant on Protected Areas Business Planning


Location : Home Based with two missions in Albania ( 15 days ), ALBANIA
Application Deadline :24-Feb-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :60 days over one year period

Background

The Goverment of Albania (GoA) has recently approved a new law on protected areas and over the long-term, this should result in a significant improvement in the overall management effectiveness of the country’s system of protected areas, covering 460,060 ha of marine and terrestrial habitats.

The current funding baselines for the PA system, and the capacities to administer and improve PA revenue streams, are still well below the levels required to ensure that the protected area system can properly serve its function as an important tool to protect biodiversity. So, if the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and its agencies is to fulfil its protected area mandate, it will need to have the ability to: (i) secure sufficient, stable and long-term financial resources for protected areas; (ii) allocate these resources in a timely manner and appropriate form to cover the full costs of protected areas; and (iii) ensure that the protected areas are managed effectively and efficiently with respect to conservation and other complementary objectives.

This project seeks to assist the GoA in reducing existing funding gaps for the system of protected areas, improving the management of individual protected areas, improving cost-efficiencies in individual protected areas and building the financial management capacities of protected area nationwide by increasing the capacity of the central and local staff. Therefore, it focuses activities at two levels of support: (i) building the financial management capacities of the agency responsible for administering the system of protected areas; and (ii) demonstrating the efficacy of different financing strategies in a sub-set of individual protected areas.

One of the project components is focused on implementation of mechanisms to improve revenue streams on three National Parks: (i) Dajti National Park (DNP); (ii) Divjaka-Karavasta National Park (DKNP); and (iii) the Llogara-Karaburuni protected area complex (LKC).

Dajti National Park (DNP) is situated 26 km east of the capital, Tirana. The park, first declared in 1966 and later expanded in 2006, covers an area of 29,384 hectares. It includes Dajti  Mountain (1,613 m), along with Priska Mountain (1,353m) to the south and Brari Mountain (~1,200m) to the north. Oak forest is the predominant vegetation in the park at around 1000m, with beech and pine forest predominating on the higher rocky slopes. Broad-leaved forests are typically found in the northwest foothills of the park, while plane forest occurs along the Tirana River and Mediterranean scrub on the dry lower slopes. Some 940 vascular plants (at least 26 of which are considered threatened) – representing 29% of the Albanian flora – have been recorded in the park. The park is also home to a large number of fauna, including 44 mammals (62% of Albania’s species, of which 5 are endangered), 143 birds (43% of Albania’s species, of which 11 are endangered), 25 reptiles (67% of Albania’s species) 12 amphibians (80% of Albania’s species) and 229 insect species (of which 3 are endangered).

Divjake–Karavasta National Park (DKNP) is located along the west coast of Albania, some 90 km from the capital, Tirana. The park was proclaimed in 1966 and later listed as a Ramsar site in 1995. It covers a total area of 22,230 ha. The DKNP is bounded by Shkumbini River in the north, Divjaka hills in the east, Myzeqe canal and Semani River in the south, and abuts the Adriatic Sea in the west. The predominant vegetation of the park - Mediterranean Pine forest - is the last-remaining tract of undisturbed forest in the country. The Karavasta lagoon (4,200ha) harbors the only coastal breeding site of Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus), a globally threatened species. The park also hosts the highest concentration of wintering (~51,000 individuals) and nesting (~500 pairs) water birds in Albania.


Duties and Responsibilities

The general objective for this assignment is that, relying on the existing information on the biodiversity & natural resources and their conservation status, to review the respective socio - economic values and trends in the National Parks of Dajti and Divjaka-Karavasta, define and provide the financial strategy and business plan for the management of these areas.

There are two main objectives to lead drafting of the business plan & elaboration of the financial strategy (along with implementation of the management plan):

-          Provision of an overall economic picture on the characteristics of the area, allowing performing diagnostic analysis of the present situation, and

-          Weight basic elements of analysis which will determine the priority actions that enable the business management of this target area (costs and revenues analyses, financial gaps and alternative mechanisms to bridge them)  

The assignment will be accomplished in close partnership with the National Agency of Protected Areas and respective regional administration to ensure ongoing support and sustainability.

Task 1. Review of the existing baseline information of the National Park of Dajti and Divjaka-Karavasta (incl biodiversity, natural and socio-economic values, institutional and management setup, main threats to PA)

Some of the main enlightenments and issues of relevant reference to be considered are:

A)                Socioeconomic context

-          Reference be made to “Dajti National Park Baseline Assessment Report”- PSEDA-Iliria/ UNDP 2018, which reveals the main economic values and benefits of the National Park of Dajti, tackling main issues which support economic valuation of this park, as well as supplies  with descriptions, secondary data, primary data and survey data (collected from households and other economic operators, analysis of social implications, financial assessment, other economic activities.

-          Similarly, reference has to be made to Baseline assessment of the management structure and resource mapping of the Divjaka-Karavasta Protected Area – REC/UNDP, 2018, which supplies insight and data with relevance to legislation problems, collaboration of the park authorities with local and central government, relations with stakeholders, management difficulties, activities, prohibited activities, salaries and employment, training, marketing, finance and investments, including a SWOT analysis thereof.

-          Based on these baseline reports, the consultant will provide diagnosis of economic characteristics, analysed from an environmental standpoint, tackling conflicts with other sectors related to socio-economic development, recognizing the need for inter-institutional and cross-sectoral collaboration for effective management of targeted PAs

-          Cumulative economic activities- with focus on exploitation /impact on natural resources (Agricultural Economics and breeding, Silviculture economy, Economics of aquaculture

-          Craftsmanship, light industry – particularly their impacts on the environment (collection, pollution, development, etc.)

-          Tourist exploitation - the effects of positive and negative impacts in the area; present the preferred pathways, settlements and activities favoured by tourists.

-          Status and prospects of employment-the employment situation and its progress in this area.

In doing the above work the consultant will:

·         Review and utilise relevant documentation including scientific literature and existing information;

·         Undertake field visits to verify /update, verbal and/or written information and gather additional primary information.

·         Consult with the National Agency of Protected Areas and respective regional administrations (namely RAPA of Lushnja (Divjaka) and RAPA of Tirane (Dajti), as well as other relevant stakeholders to verify information.

B. Institutional and legal context

-          Legal frame and status of land use - systems of land ownership and rights to resources (use of the system of concessions for public properties), real ownership over resources, nature of mortgage of land and traditions,

-          Summary of urban planning documentation

-          Mapping of land ownership and right of use

-          Legislative and regulatory framework concerning the protection (within or adjacent to area)

-          Typology and classification (agricultural land, cultivation, meadow, grazing, timber surface, water surface, etc.)

C. Management plan / planning instruments

-          Planning and decision-making bodies 

-          Enforcement and control mechanisms

-         Urban planning regulations - the impact on local level, urban development in the vicinity and within the area, entities and local practices[i]

-         Local, regional and national level development projects, (in urban planning, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure);

-         Existing local general development plans of the municipalities (areas where there will be construction, which should be protected areas and areas with fragmented or limited use) and other development projects for other activities within the area or its vicinity (for agriculture - irrigation, drainage, forestry, tourism, infrastructure - distribution of water, energy supply etc.)

D. Main threats to the National Park development

Identify main potential obstacles to the development of the whole ecosystem of PA and adjacent buffer zones, focusing on:

-          Political /institutional context (engage in income-generating activities, implication of the territorial reform, land tenure

Socioeconomic context (The illegal and destructive practices, major touristic activities, engagement of the private sector.

Task 2. Prepare a Business Plan for the National Park of Dajti and Divjaka-Karavasta

The preparation of a Business Plan shall be carried out in close co-operation with the National Agency for Protected Areas and the respective Regional Administration of Protected Areas.

The Business Plan should cover and respond to different questions like listed below:

o   Human activities and resources exploitations/ use in the area (demographic changes, social setup and development, social services status, demands and values as claimed by the population,

o   Land use and local economies, cumulative economic activities, manufacturing activities, artefacts, SMEs, development activities;

o   Local Development and area planning instruments;

o   Assess the expected budget of the PA and the current approach to funding;

o   Assess whether the available resources are likely to be adequate for meeting conservation needs of the NP  (financial gap)

o   Financial sustainability plan, including the financing needs and exploring the feasibility of different revenue-generating mechanisms for bridging the gap (fees, charges for sustainable use, private sponsorship, public-private-partnerships, external donor

o   Provide inputs on infrastructure required for the park administration to undertake monitoring and design of the system in terms of data entry and report generation; estimation of financial needs for setting-up this system.

Task 3. Pilot training module with selected RAPA staff for capacity building,

Introducing of the BP approach and all activities expected thereof will obviously require better knowledge and knowhow in budgeting, strategic planning, financial management systems and cost-effective approaches to PA operations; all these at the moment are limited to all RAPAS personnel. As such the consultant will provide for the following

-          Elaborate a short and practical “Skills development and training program” to address professional short-courses, professional mentoring, inter-institutional exchange programs and part-time studies - for targeted personnel

-          Advice and introduce an extensive in-house training program on the financial policies and procedures for all financial and administrative staff in the RAPAs

-          Some short and small scaled training modules to deliver to target RAPAs in order to cover issue such as the financial planning capacities/ skills and financial systems, ways to harmonise and unify formats for financial planning and reporting for the protected area system, financial management capabilities, medium-term financial and business planning, etc. 

Expected Deliverables:

The key products to be delivered are as follows:

-          Detailed Assignment Work plan (within 1 month from start of the assignment)

-          Draft document and training conducted (8 months from start of the assignment)

-          Final BP document for both sites and training modules (at the end of the assignment term)

Payment for Services

The international consultant shall receive payment in three instalments as follows:

-          10% - upon delivery of the assignment work plan, design of consultations and meetings

-          60% - upon preparation and delivery of the draft document and trainings conducted

-          30 % – upon delivery of the final BP documents and training modules


Competencies

Corporate and Core 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.
  • Communication - Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.
  • Planning & Organizing – Develops clear goals in line with agreed strategies, identifies priorities, foresees risks and makes allowances accordingly.
  • Organizational Awareness - Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.
  • Teamwork - Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Accountability – Takes ownership of all responsibilities and delivers outputs in accordance with agreed time, cost and quality standards

Functional Competencies

  • Excellent inter-personal and teamwork skills, networking attitude;
  • Capacity to deliver as per deadlines;
  • Strong expertise in communication issues.
  • Familiarity with the International Conventions and EU Regulations
  • Ability to pick up new terminology and concepts easily
  • Ability and willingness to travel to the coastal and mountainous areas
  • Willing to work in a team with national and international expert. Demonstrated experience in drafting business plan
  • Good analytical skills and effective communication and training skills and competence in handling external relations at all levels
  • Ability to work in a team and to motivate other team members and counterparts


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualification

  • Advanced University degree in the fields of environmental economics, PA management or related fields

Work Experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience
  • Proven experience in developing/implementing similar projects in PAs in Albania - is a great advantage

Language Skills

  • Excellent English knowledge, including excellent report writing and presentation skills

EVALUATION OF APPLICANTS

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on Combined Scoring method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.

Applicants obtaining 49 points or more of the total technical points will be considered for financial evaluation.

Combined weighted scoring: Technical (70%); Financial (30%).

o   Educational background                                                                             10 points

o   Professional experience and experience in similar assignments                      35 points

o    Experience on Protected Areas in the Mediterranean (experience

 in  Albania is an asset)                                                                                    25 points

Application procedure

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application.
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability-please fill in the attached form...http://www.un.org.al/doc/PSU_%20Individual%20Contract_Letter%20to%20UNDP.docx
  • Latest personal CV, including past experience from similar projects or completed and signed UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SC) and Individual Contracts (IC) – Blank form Download here.
  • Financial Proposal in USD that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price and all other travel related costs (such as flight ticket, per diem, etc), supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template attached to the Letter of Confirmation of Interest template.  If an applicant 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 applicant must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. 
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport.

PLEASE NOTE THAT INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR FURTHER EVALUATION 

How to Submit the Application:

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Merge your CV or P11, Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded;
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement);
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;”
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above);
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

Due to a large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process

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 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.


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