Consultant to undertake Analysis of Ecosystem Services Values and a Costs and Benefits Analysis of Production Systems within the Dry Dipterocarp Forest Landscape (Lao Nationality only)

Location : Home-Based & 5 districts in Savannakhet, LAO PDR
Application Deadline :25-Oct-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :October 2019 - December 2019
Expected Duration of Assignment :50 working days


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.

Increased and More Strategic Funding for Sustainable Forest Management

The project will undertake a suite of activities to increase the funding amounts and sources for sustainable forest management in Savannakhet Province, and to ensure that the allocation / use of such funds is targeted towards the highest priority and cost-effective actions.  Project activities on SFM financing will encompass strategies for all forest areas in the province, including Protection and Conservation forests as well as Production Forests and village forests in unclassified lands.

A key project activity will be to undertake an analysis of ecosystem services values in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest landscape and a related costs and benefits analysis of different production systems and SFM practices as they relate to economic productivity, ecosystem functioning and livelihoods. Financing for a range of management activities and interventions in the landscape mainly depend on central government allocations and donor funding for the foreseeable future; valuation and cost/benefit analyses can build the case for such funding allocations by showing how given levels of investment may generate substantial economic benefits that otherwise are not sustained by market dynamics. The following ecosystem services in the DDF landscape have been identified as likely candidates for valuation during the project:

  • NTFPs: These are known to have a high value for both household use and for income generation in the DDF landscape, including various species of mushrooms, frogs, and insects, as well as wild vegetables, rattan, bamboo shoots, khisi resin, fuelwood/charcoal, fish, etc.
  • Rice Cultivation and Livestock Raising: The principal economic activities for most residents in the project area are rice cultivation and livestock raising, and the project will assess the ways in which ecosystem services sustain these activities, as well as trade-offs that may exist between these activities and forest maintenance in terms of impacts on ecosystem services.
  • Ecotourism: Assessing the value of ecotourism will bolster the case for investing in management of protected areas and offer concrete arguments for the value of biodiversity.
  • Carbon Sequestration: Although the DDF landscape holds relatively low amounts of above ground carbon compared to other forest types, below ground carbon may be significant and amenable to inclusion in REDD+ carbon strategies in the future. In addition, reforestation activities may offer additional carbon sequestration potential.
  • Watershed Services: Water supplies for household consumption, water supplies for irrigation, livestock and wildlife, services related to erosion control and flood management, and hydroelectric potential are all important ecosystem services in the DDF landscape.

Critical inputs for analysis and valuation of ecosystem services will need to include the extent of various land cover types (linked to ecosystem stocks, particularly of various provisioning services) and spatial relationships between them (linked to ecosystem service flows, as in the case of watershed services or core protected zones serving as reservoirs for animals hunted elsewhere). Therefore, the project will utilize mapping and modelling tools to complete this activity.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under supervision of the UNDP Technical Specialist and the SAFE Ecosystems Project National Project Director supported by the Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager, the National Independent Consultant/Expert will be required to undertake the following duties:

  1. Convene stakeholder workshop to agree on scope of ecosystem service valuation
    1. which ecosystem services
    2. geographical scope
    3. land-use scenarios
    4. ecosystem service mapping package to use (e.g. InVEST, TESSA, etc.)
  2. Arrange training in use of selected ecosystem service mapping/valuation package for DOF, PAFO and 5 DAFOs
  3. Assess existing mapping resources for applicability to valuation and CBA, and identify data gaps for application of selected ecosystem service mapping package (DFRM GIS staff)
    1. MONRE mapping and land use planning products
    2. ADB SNRMPEP mapping tools
    3. JICA-supported forest cover mapping
  4. Address data gaps, if any
    1. examine valuation databases for applicable studies for benefit transfer methods
    2. execute site-based fieldwork within the 5 target districts to construct additional ecosystem service value parameters
  5. Data collection on ecosystem services valuation and analysis from the 5 target districts
  6. Enter data into ecosystem service mapping package and configure model(s) to generate valuation of ecosystem services under baseline (business as usual) scenario
  7. Use ecosystem service mapping package to perform sensitivity analysis with respect to different land use configurations, to identify impact of habitat conversion on ecosystem service values.
  8. Estimate and compare per hectare Net Present Value of Net Revenue derived from different land uses
  9. Prepare communication materials targeted to specific audiences
    1. Communities
    2. Makers and implementers of policy (DONRE, PONRE, MONRE)
    3. Donors
    4. Materials to include: visual representation of data (maps), particularly for communities and local government, with summary valuation tables; technical reports, particularly for donors and high-level policy makers; illustrated case study accessible to lay audience, for wider stakeholder dissemination and non-technical policy-maker engagement

Expected Results and Deliverables

Output 1: An Inception Report including a methodology and workplan to be developed within one week after signing of the contract.

  1. The methodology and workplan should provide proposed activities, timeframe, as well as key informants and institutions or organizations to be consulted in order to complete the tasks and achieve outputs based on the activities listed within the above Scope of Work above.

Output 2: Submission of a First Report based on Activities 1-5 of the Scope of Work detailing the following:

  1. The initial stakeholder workshop to agree on scope of ecosystem service valuation.
  2. Training in use of selected ecosystem service mapping/valuation package.
  3. Assess existing mapping resources for applicability to valuation and CBA.
  4. Gap analysis of ecosystem services data.
  5. Field mission to the 5 target districts (Phalanxay, Phin, Songkhone, Thapanthong, Xonnabouly) and data collection.

Output 3: Submission of a Second Report based on Activities 6-8 of the Scope of Work detailing the following:

  1. Data entry into ecosystem service mapping package
  2. Analysis with respect to different land use configurations.
  3. Perform calculations of revenues and costs for different land uses.

Output 4:  Facilitation of a Final Workshop and submission of the Final Report based on Activity 9 of the Scope of Work, as well as detailing all findings and make recommendations on ecosystem services valuation and analysis:

  1. Preparation of communication materials targeted to specific audiences to present results of ecosystems valuation and analysis.
  2. Facilitate a final workshop in Savannakhet discussing and validating the valuation and analysis of ecosystem services resulting from the mapping and modelling tools.
  3. Based upon feed-back and comments from key stakeholders at the final workshop, produce the Final Report detailing all findings and inputs with recommendations.
  4. Additionally, produce an accompanying 4-page briefing note that summarizes the Final Report and Recommendations that will be disseminated for awareness raising. 


Functional competencies:

  • Demonstrable experience working with ecosystem service mapping packages (e.g. InVEST, TESSA, or similar).
  • Demonstrable experience working with Government counterparts is highly desirable.
  • Proven, in-depth knowledge and understanding of Ecosystem Services valuation and analysis across landscapes.
  • Proven ability to analyze complex issues, draw relevant conclusions and produce comprehensive technical reports.

Corporate Competencies:

  • 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 teams and to achieve quality outputs under tight timelines.
  • Excellent report writing skills (in English); excellent command of Lao language.
  • Knowledge of UNDP and the UN system is an advantage.

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum of 5 years (Master Degree), or 7 years (Bachelor Degree) working experience in areas related to Economics, Environmental Economics, Ecosystem Services, GIS, or other relevant studies.

Requirements for submission of proposals:

All interested and qualified International Independent Consultants should apply on-line using the following links:

  1. UNDP Lao PDR Country Office website at   or 
  2. UNDP Jobs at

In order to make submission please read the attached relevant documents which are also available on our web-site here

  1. TOR (Annex I)
  2. Individual Contract & General Terms and Conditions (Annex II);

Documents to be included when submitting the proposals:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:


(i)          Explaining why you are the most suitable for the work;

(ii)         Providing a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work including the work schedule for the delivery of outputs/deliverable;

(iii)        CV of education and work experience, including past experience in similar projects and contact references of at least 3 references for whom you have rendered preferably the similar services;


      2. Financial proposal:

  1. Detailed financial proposal: Lump sum offer with clear cost breakdown against each deliverable.

Note: The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon monthly outputs, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR.  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, per diems, and number of anticipated working days). All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. UNDP accept travel costs not exceeding of an economy class air ticket.

Instructions for on-line submissions:

  1. Step 1:  Please prepare all required documents electronically;
  2. Step 2: Combine all documents in ONE SINGLE FILE (preferably in PDF however Word format can be also accepted) and upload to the UNDP Jobs using the links above;
  3. Step 3: After that you will receive an auto reply from the UNDP jobs if your offer is received successfully.

Incomplete proposals or proposals received after the deadline will be rejected.



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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