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National Consultant_Specialist To Undertake Activities Related To... Savannakhet

2021-05-30 05:42:08
National Consultant_Specialist to undertake activities related to... Savannakhet
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.

Monitoring Systems in place to measure changes in key ecological determinants of ecosystem health in dry dipterocarp forests

The project will establish baseline values for indicators of ecosystem health in Dry Dipterocarp Forests and establish systems / processes to measure changes in these indicators as well as to monitor the nature and severity of threats to the relevant ecological processes / components. With regard to forest ecosystem ability to sustain biodiversity, the project will establish baselines and monitor the following globally significant species within the project landscape: the Endangered Eld’s Deer (Panolia eldii); the Near Threatened Silvered Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus cristatus); the Endangered Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus); the Endangered Francois’ Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi); and the Critically Endangered Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis). With regard to the aforementioned species, the proposed project will not implement specific species conservation plans. Instead, the intent is to monitor their populations in order to measure the positive impacts on these species from expanded and strengthened protected areas, the designation of HCVFs, improved and sustainable forest management and land use planning, etc.

Monitoring of Siamese Crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis)
Crocodylus siamensis is one of the most threatened crocodilians in the world and is classed as Critically Endangered. Surveys primarily conducted over the last two decades confirm that extant populations persist, but these populations are severely diminished and fragmented. Commercial hunting for the skin trade and collection of live animals to stock crocodile farms, in the mid- and late-twentieth century respectively, are the principal causes for the ongoing declining trend in populations. Current threats include illegal collection of eggs, juveniles and adults, habitat loss, incidental capture with fishing gear, and the inherent vulnerability of remnant populations due to their small size.
In Laos, field surveys conducted between 2003 and 2008 suggested C. siamensis persistence in nine river systems in five provinces, but extant populations are now known from only seven river systems in four provinces. Surveys confirmed previous reports that many local populations are now extirpated. Extant populations are in the Xe Champhone, Xe Banghiang, Xe Bangfai and Xe Xangxoy river systems (Savannakhet Province).
A modification to standard crocodile search protocols is proposed for this consultancy, to allow for the specific estimation of detection probabilism for nests and other sign through the use of a double-observer approach is proposed. This approach (based on recommendations made by Lao Wildlife Conservation Association in 2018) will involve dividing the lakes being monitored into a series of segments and having two independent teams searching each segment approximately simultaneously. Some nests will be found by team one, some by team two and some will be found by team one and two, thereby allowing for the estimation of detection probability using a simple statistical formula. A double-observer approach is exactly analogous to a capture-recapture survey with two sampling occasions, with each team representing an independent occasion. This method has been used for Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Eygpt but the counts were based on observations of the animals themselves rather than nests.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under supervision of the UNDP Team Leader, NRM/CC/DRR Unit and the National Project Director of the SAFE Ecosystems Project, the consultant/Specialist Provider will be required to undertake the following duties:

1. Review monitoring protocols recommended within the “Biological Monitoring Strategy for Five Key Species in the Dry Dipterocarp Forest Ecosystems of Southern Lao PDR, Savannakhet Province”

2. Develop methodology based upon these recommended monitoring protocols

3. Implement Siamese Crocodile monitoring surveys in Kout Kouang and Kout Koke lakes of Savannakhet Province

4. Prepare and present a report on the results of the Siamese Crocodile monitoring surveys based on the following:
• Kout Kouang and Kout Koke are 3 and 1 km in length and 0,6 km is width respectively and each lake can be divided in 50m segments. Each segment must be surveyed by two teams.
• Teams should survey each either simultaneously (i.e. starting from opposite ends) or within a few days of each other. This is to ensure closure between sampling periods (i.e. the distribution and presence of signs should not change in the intervening period).
• Teams should consist of four-six observers, walking in a line parallel to one another, extending from the banks on either side of the lake. Team members should be separated from one another by several meters (depending on the width of the lake, and vegetation).
• Observers should move slowly and quietly, looking carefully for any crocodiles or crocodile signs as they move along the length of the lake.
• Potential disturbance to crocodiles and particularly to crocodile nests should be minimized in as far as possible.
• All animals and animal sign should be photographed if possible.
• For crocodile nests:
o Record coordinates using a GPS unit.
o Record the GPS waypoint number.
o Record distance of nest from water (cm).
o Record nest construction material (leaves, grass, soil etc.)
o Record nest dimensions (Height, Width, in cm)
o Record if female or eggs are present in notes.
• For crocodile observations:
o Record coordinates using a GPS unit.
o Record the GPS waypoint number.
o Record estimated distance to the crocodile (m).
o Record estimated total length (m) and head length (cm) of the crocodile.
o Record crocodile behavior (swimming, basking in the sun, feeding, etc.).
• For crocodile scat:
o Record coordinates using a GPS unit.
o Record the GPS waypoint number.
o Record diameter of the scat at the widest point using the callipers if available.
o Collect any crocodile scat found during the survey and place in a plastic Ziploc bag.
o If scat is moist it should be removed as soon a s possible and air-dried before storing.
o A label should be written in permanent marker, recording the following: date, location, and identification number. The label should always stay with the scat.
• For crocodile tracks, slides and trails:
o Record coordinates using a GPS unit.
o Record the GPS waypoint number.
o Only tacks made by rear-foot of crocodiles should be recorded. Measure (in cm) from the base of the heel to the tip of the longest toe using a 30 cm ruler.
o Slides entering and exiting the open water can be recorded.
o Obvious tunnels through the vegetation can also be recorded.
o Trails should not be recorded due to the difficulty of determining whether they are actually crocodile trails, and also where they start and end.
• Teams must not queue each or reveal any information to each other regarding what they detected during their survey. This is to avoid teams knowing what they are looking for (which will artificially alter detection probabilities).

Please find more detail outputs on the TOR

Competencies

• Proven 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
• Good 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

• The National Consultant must hold at least a Master’s degree related to Conservation Biology, Biodiversity Survey Methods, herpetology, GIS, natural resource management or relevant fields. A candidate with a Bachelor’s Degree in the above fields with 10 years’ experience in leu of a higher degree may be considered.
• The National Consultant must have at least 7 years working experience in Conservation Biology, Biodiversity Survey Methods, herpetology, GIS, natural resource management or relevant fields.
• Previous experience with crocodile surveys is highly desirable.
• Previous experience surveying Siamese crocodiles is highly desirable.
• Proven high level of knowledge and experience of Biodiversity Survey methods and GIS.
• Proven experience working with Lao PDR government counterparts and local communities is an advantage

Payment Terms:

40% upon submission of Output 1 a methodology and workplan within one week after contract signing

60% upon submission of Output 2 the final Survey Analysis Report within two months after contract signing

GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTS:

https://www.la.undp.org/content/lao_pdr/en/home/procurement.html

Recommended Presentation of Offer

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualification:
• Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in Annex III
• Personal CV or P11 Form, indicating all experience from similar projects as well as personal information including age.
• Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided, as per template provided in Annex III

OFFEROR’S LETTER Price proposal could be quoted in LAK or US Dollar.

Incomplete proposals may not be considered.

INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLY

Instructions for on-line submissions

Step 1: Please prepare all required documents electronically;

Step 2: Combine all documents in ONE SINGLE FILE (preferably in PDF, but Word format can be also accepted) and upload it to the UNDP Jobs links

Step 3: After that you will receive an auto reply from the UNDP jobs if your offer is received successfully.

Relevant Documents for Individual Contract

IC contract template & IC General Terms and Conditions _ Annex II

Female candidates and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit our website under the link below

https://www.la.undp.org/content/lao_pdr/en/home/jobs.html

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PROPRIETARY INTERESTS:

The Individual Consultant shall not either during the term or after termination of the assignment, disclose any proprietary or confidential information related to the consultancy service without prior written consent. Proprietary interests on all materials and documents prepared by the consultants under the assignment shall become and remain properties of UNDP
Savannakhet Laos
National Consultant_Specialist to undertake activities related to... Savannakhet United Nations Development Programme Savannakhet
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