The goal of the GEF/UNDP Project "Expansion and Improved Management Effectiveness of Achara Region's Protected Areas" is to “establish a regional PA estate that can effectively ensure the conservation and sustainably use of the globally important Colchic Temperate Rain Forests of the Lesser Caucasus Mountain Range in South West Georgia”.
The project will support the government to bring about the functional operation of the recently gazetted Machakhela National Park which will form the last link in a chain of 4 protected areas established to conserve the Colchic forests of the region (i.e. Kintrishi, Mtirala and Machakhela in Georgia and Jamili in Turkey).
The project objective is “To enhance the management effectiveness, biogeographic coverage, and connectivity of Protected Areas to conserve forest ecosystems in the Achara Region”.
In order to achieve the project objective, the project’s intervention has been organized into two outcomes, each with a number of expected outputs:
Outcome 1: Enhancement of PA Management Effectiveness in the Achara Region
- Output 1.1: Enforcement and surveillance system strengthened in Kintrishi (Covered by SPPA KfW project) Protected Areas and Mtirala NP
- Output 1.2: Reduced threats at source by constructive involvement of local communities in planning and co-management arrangements within the governance framework of 2 newly established community-based organizations
- Output 1.3: Future financial needs of the Kintrishi (Covered by SPPA KfW project) and Mtirala PAs addressed by developing mechanisms to generate finances on the scale needed to address emerging long term pressures on biodiversity
Outcome 2: PA System Expansion to increase functional connectivity of PAs in the West Lesser Caucasus
- Output 2.1: Functional establishment of a new IUCN Category II PA of 8,733 ha in the Machakhela Valley
- Output 2.2: Public-Civil Society-Community PA Planning and Management Governance Board established and provided with a legal basis to manage the proposed Machakhela National Park
- Output 2.3 Established operational capacity at Machakhela National Park.
Specific context of the assignment:
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the conservation of high value biodiversity and the natural and agro-ecological ecosystems in Colchic forests of Ajara that allow the survival of this biodiversity in the long term. In this context the Machakhela NP is only a component of the steps required and is intended to provide part of an ecological corridor including Kintrishi PAs, Mtirala NP, Machakhela NP and areas around and between these protected areas. The later areas are significant both in terms of being physical connections between designated protected areas (important for animal migration and population mixing etc.) but also because they contain also habitats and features of high biodiversity value (particularly riverine habitats) which are not well represented in the PAs.
In addition, due to various social pressures and on-ground realities the borders of the Machakhela NP have been significantly reduced which has exacerbated the above issue. Thus, numerous areas of high biodiversity value which are key components of the overall Colchic forest ecosystems that it is intended to conserve, lie in areas outside the Machakhela NP in either Ajara Forestry Agency territory or in areas utilized by local populations for income generating and subsistence use.
In this context, the project seeks to identify the most pragmatic and sustainable options for improving the protection of key biodiversity components and ecological functions outside of the NP and in areas with some level of economic / extractive use (i.e. areas used by local populations or under forestry agency control).
Duties and Responsibilities
The objective of consultancy is to support the project in reviewing and rank the various management options and approaches that could be applied in the Support Zone of the Machakhela NP that would enhance the conservation and functional integrity of Colchic forests in the long term.
The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the PM (organizational supervision) and CTA (technical supervision) and work closely with other consultants and contractors of the project.
Key tasks of the Consultant:
In the context of the above the consultant will be required to undertake the following key tasks:
Task 1: Support zone biodiversity and threats/management priorities:
- Review, list and map (based on existing data prepared by the project) the key biodiversity values in the support zone territory of the Machakhela NP (including importance of support zone to flora and fauna within the NP – i.e. rare species, key habitats, mammal ranges, access to water, etc);
- Identify the main threats to these biodiversity values;
- Identify management activities that could address these threats in the mid to long term without negatively impacting forest management or local sustainable livelihoods;
- Describe the existing measures that already address in some way these activities (Forest Agency Forestry plans, Municipal Special planning, Ajara tourism plans, traditional local practices/norms, etc.).
Task 2: Options for applying appropriate actions to conserve biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods in the Support zone of Machakhela NP:
- Review the existing, and planned in near future, legal (de jure) options in Georgia for applying identified management actions in the Support Zone (develop a table to describe legal management category such as “protected Landscape, BR, etc., the ownership, management actions that could be pursued under this category, the pros and cons of applying the legal category in the Machakhela situation, etc);
- Review international and national experience of de facto options for achieving the identified management actions and detail the possible application in Machakhela situation. i.e. achieving the management through existing laws, institutions, traditional practices, etc ( through increased cooperation, coordination and commitment of all parties via a “conservation committee” or some such structure).
Task 3: Analysis of the various best options for achieving the identified management needs in the Machakhela NP support zone and recommendations:
- Based on previous reviews and assessment identify and justify the selection of the top 3 best options;
- Present these options to key stakeholders and other experts in the field and based on this consultation make a selection of the most feasible and supported option;
- Identify the most important steps and timeframe required to implement the selected option and detail specific recommendations to the project and other stakeholders on how to put it into practice.
Expected key Outputs and indicative timing:
- Report Support zone biodiversity and threats/management priorities – by the end of 1st month of the assignment;
- Options for applying appropriate actions to conserve biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods in the Support zone of Machakhela NP – by the end of 2nd month of the assignment;
- Analysis of the various best options for achieving the identified management needs in the Machakhela NP support zone and recommendations– by the end of 3rd month of the assignment.
Consultancy duration and inputs
The consultancy should be undertaken during 3 months starting from June 2017 and total level of effort for the consultancy is maximum 30 days including 7 days on site (Achara, Batumi project office, Machakhela valley)
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.
- Strong analytical skills;
- Strong computer skills;
- Good interpersonal, facilitation and training skills; Excellent written communication and drafting, presentation and reporting skills;
- Ability to communicate effectively complex, technical information to both technical and general audiences;
- Skills in negotiating effectively in sensitive situations;
- Skills in achieving results through persuading, influencing and working with others;
- Skills in facilitating meetings effectively and efficiently and to resolve conflicts as they arise.
- Ability to effectively coordinate and interact with a wide range on national, regional and local actors;
- Ability to work effectively with counterpart staff at all levels and with all groups involved in the project.
Required Skills and Experience
Education and skills:
- At least bachelor’s degree in protected areas management, natural resource management, rural development, environmental management or related fields (minimum qualification requirement: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent - 15 points, higher - additional 5 points).
- At least 5 years of demonstrated working experience in technical issues relevant to the project (i.e. PA design, establishment and management, governance, support zone development, community co-management, etc.) (minimum qualification requirement: 5 years – 20 points, more than 5 – additional 5 points);
- Prior experience in the use of local level participatory approaches to natural resource management and community development, particularly in the context of PA Support zone development (5 points).
- Prior knowledge and experience of the political, social and environmental factors and issues related to PA management in Georgia is an advantage.
- Preferably experience working within the context of international donor projects. Work with UNDP will be an asset;
- Working experience with the project national stakeholder institutions and agencies is desired.
- A good working knowledge of Georgian and English is a requirement.
Offerors will be evaluated against a combination of technical and financial criteria. Technical criteria consist of a desk review and an interview. Offerors passing 70% threshold of maximum obtainable scores 50 points as a result of the desk review, i.e. obtaining minimum 35 points, will be short listed and invited for an interview. Those offerors passing 70% threshold of maximum obtainable scores i.e. obtaining minimum 49 points as a result of the technical evaluation (desk review and interview) will be shortlisted and requested to provide financial proposal.
The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum. 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.
The payment of a lump sum will be made in 3 instalments:
- 30%- upon submission and clearance by PM and EE Team leader of the:Report Support zone biodiversity and threats/management priorities - end of 1st month;
- 40% - upon submission and clearance by PM and EE Team leader of the: Options for applying appropriate actions to conserve biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods in the Support zone of Machakhela NP – the end of 2nd month;
- 30% - upon submission and clearance by PM and EE Team leader of the: Analysis of the various best options for achieving the identified management needs in the Machakhela NP support zone and recommendations– 3rd month.