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Technical Advisor consultant

to implement the Sustainable Financing Plan for the Conservation of the Gola Forest Landscape in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Application deadline
Wednesday, 29 June 2022 (COB EAT)

Based in Liberia but covering both Sierra Leone and Liberia

1 year fixed term consultancy

The Gola Forest Landscape “Support Programme for the Preservation of Forest Ecosystems in West Africa Project” (Gola PAPFor project), funded by the European Commission (2019/412 421), is implemented by BirdLife International (BirdLife) partnership involving the BirdLife Secretariat in Africa, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL), the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL), and the Gola Rainforest Conservation LG (GRC-LG). The project aims to effectively conserve the forest ecosystems of the globally important Gola Forest Landscape. A key component of the Gola PAPFor Project is the development of a recently completed sustainable financing plan for the conservation of the landscape. The sustainable financing plan involves three main workstreams: i) Institutional Partnerships, ii) Green Landscape Economy and iii) Adaptive collaboration framework. The position holder will have a central role to play in advancing the work on each of those workstreams, but more specifically in the areas described under the “main responsibilities” section of the present Terms of Reference.

The implementation of the first year of the plan is the next step to undertake in the process of establishing the foundation for the sustainable financing mechanisms identified and translated into a plan for the Gola Forest Landscape. BirdLife International, as lead partner on the Gola PAPFor project, is therefore issuing this call for applications from experts to lead the implementation of the first year of the sustainable financing of the Gola Forest Landscape. Implementing the plan would involve working with the project partners, relevant government ministries, community leaders, donors, and relevant private sector actors.

Overall mission:

The Technical Advisor consultant will lead the implementation of the sustainable financing plan for the Gola Forest Landscape, which aims to establish sustainable funding mechanisms for the conservation of the Gola Forest Landscape. The Technical Advisor will oversee and provide technical guidance to the different stakeholders as necessary, as well as ensure monitoring and quality control for the implementation of the plan.

Main responsibilities:

  • Support the project implementation partners and lead on implementation of key activities detailed in the Sustainable Financing plan.
  • Develop workplans, monitor progress, provide quality assurance to outputs, and ensure targets are met.
  • Bring technical expertise to ensure best practices are used and shared to establish strong foundations for the long-term financing of forest conservation work in the Gola Forest Landscape.
  • Provide technical advice in preparing Terms of Reference for activities to be conducted by consultants and support during the selection process.
  • Provide technical support in coordinating the work of consultants and/or sub-contractors working towards the establishment of sustainable financing to the Gola Forest Landscape, ensuring timely and quality delivery of expected outputs.
  • Facilitate and promote synergy among various activities by different stakeholders and ensure integration of the project outputs into those efforts.
  • Lead on delivery of the activities in the areas of the three workstreams described in the sustainable financing plan.
  • Provide capacity building support to the partners and other relevant stakeholders, as necessary to enable them to implement the plan beyond the timeframe of the Gola PAPFor project.
  • Produce policy briefs and technical reports to inform decision-making processes, advocacy, and knowledge management for the Gola Forest Landscape.

Specific tasks related to the three workstreams described in the Sustainable Financing Plan:

Workstream 1: Institutional Partnerships  

  • Capitalize Conservation Trust Funds:
    • Strengthen coordination between National Protected Area Authority – Conservation Trust Fund (NPAA-CTF) and Liberia Conservation Fund (LCF) on possibilities to ringfence funds generated by country specific mechanisms (e.g., through REDD+) for the Gola Forest Landscape. 
    • Strengthen coordination by creating exchange platforms or task forces that promote a regular exchange to help avoid duplication of efforts, obtain endorsements that will be potentially required for fundraising and promote other synergies with project partners and the International Eco Fund (IEF).
  • Promote implementation of REDD+ in Liberia
    • Engage in institutional outreach and prepare quarterly status update report on ongoing developments on the national strategy for REDD+ in Liberia.
    • Lay the groundwork for partnerships by estimating costs for implementation and identify financial institutions (e.g., banks) capable and willing to provide bridge financing to cover for the upfront costs until the first sales of credits.

Workstream 2: Green Landscape Economy

  • Contribute to the development of green Supply Chain for Cocoa
    • Coordinate work with existing initiatives/efforts (internal and external to the BirdLife partnership) addressing the cocoa value chain in both countries to ensure synergy of efforts.
    • Help create niche market access by strengthening sustainable practices via work with farmers on the ground to improve the farming practices and increase the output and quality of forest-friendly cocoa (in complement to what is already being done).
  • Establish and strengthen green lending in Sierra Leone
    • Strengthen monitoring of Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLAs) by reporting on their performance around the Gola Rainforest National Park and the potential for other communities to start up VSLAs where demand is present.
    • Lay the groundwork for a Citizen Conservation Teams (CCT) model in Sierra Leone, similar to the one developed in Liberia, by engaging with landscape stakeholders to explore the possibility of setting up a CCT model or similar.

Workstream 3: Adaptive Collaboration Framework

  • Building an enabling environment for sustainable financing and exploration of new mechanisms
    • Convene a Sustainable Financing Task Force for the Gola Forest Landscape by: i) defining its scope (agree on specific goals, potential structure, scope of activities and possible members e.g. project partners, key stakeholders, and experts); and ii) Laying the groundwork for it (by preparing summaries and presentations on its governance, scope, operations, potential commitments, and member profile descriptions).
    • Explore and meet enabling conditions for new mechanisms by laying the groundwork to enable additional financing mechanisms: i) reach out to the World Bank to enquire about potential funding for infrastructure (e.g. Roads, particularly for Gola Liberia) along with the requirements to be met; and ii) explore possible collaboration for ecotourism with existing initiatives in Sierra Leone (e.g. Tacugama).

Deliverables: The consultant is expected to:

  • Prepare a detailed workplan to be mutually agreed with the Gola PAPFor Project Management.
  • Share monthly reports with a summary of the progress in the implementation of the action plan, covering all three workstreams and against the indicators in the established monitoring and evaluation table.
  • Convene quarterly sessions with the Gola PAPFor project Management to report on the main progress, challenges and adaptive management measures undertaken.

Working relationships:

Internal: work with the BirdLife partners involved in the implementation of the PAPFor project (BirdLife, RSPB, CSSL, SCNL and GRC-LG). The position holder will report to the Gola PAPFor Project Supervisor but will work very closely with the Project Manager, the RSPB Head of Sustainable Financing & Conservation Enterprise and the RSPB Head of the Greater Gola Landscape and team, the Executive Directors and the project Coordinators of CSSL, SCNL and GRC-LG and update them regularly on progress.

External: engage with other key stakeholders for the implementation of the sustainable financing plan for the Gola Forest Landscape in both Sierra Leone and Liberia, including but not limited to the NPAA-CTF, LCF, IEF, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), etc.

Required Qualifications:

  • Relevant educational qualifications, Master’s Degree preferred, in finance, economics, business or environment/natural resources management.
  • Minimum 5 years working experience in business, finance or sustainability, experience working with various stakeholders (government, corporate, NGOs) is preferred.

Required skills and competencies:

  • Knowledge and experience in sustainable financing mechanisms in conservation in developing countries, preferably in West Africa.
  • Strong experience in the following would be preferred: capitalizing Conservation Trust funds, carbon finance, green supply chain development.
  • A good understanding of how environmental concerns relate to business risks and opportunities.
  • General knowledge of the finance sector levers for change as they relate to sustainability.
  • Ability to analyse Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) issues and to effectively communicate these to financial institution partners.
  • Proven experience in handling multiple priorities at a time and ability to operate and deliver quality work under tight deadlines.
  • Excellent written and oral English communication skills and proficiency. Knowledge of other local languages/dialects in the two countries would be an asset.
  • Good attention to detail and excellent organizational skills.
  • The candidate should be able to work independently and proactively – with minimum supervision and guidance from supervisors.
  • Friendly and personable with an ability to manoeuvre in a dynamic work environment.

These ToRs cover the main tasks and conveys the essence of the type of tasks that are anticipated for the role. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary according to organizational needs.

Location: Based in Liberia but covering both Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Contract duration: The contract is for one year, with the opportunity to extend dependent on performance and the availability of funding.

How to apply: Interested candidates are requested to send by e-mail a CV and a cover letter, indicating finance quote to [email protected] by 29th June 2022 (COB EAT).  Please indicate “Technical Advisor consultant for the Gola PAPFor Sustainable Financing Plan” in the subject line of the e-mail.