Recruitment of a consultant to conduct a Training of a network of local birdwatchers and caretakers and developing a regional ecotourism strategy with a marketing component on key sites in West Africa

Application deadline: 
Wednesday, 10. July 2019 - 23:45

Training of a network of local birdwatchers and caretakers and developing a regional ecotourism strategy with a marketing component on key sites in West Africa (Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau) as part of the Alcyon Programme: Conservation of coastal seabirds and their key sites along the West African coast

Consultant Application deadline: Friday, 10th July 2019 – 23:45pm
Period: (August-September 2019)
Terms of Reference
The Coastal Seabird Project (CSP) aims to ensure that priority sites are well-managed with thriving populations of coastal waterbirds, especially terns and gulls. It aims to achieve this through ensuring that land use is compatible with the conservation management of priority sites, that loss of breeding habitat is stemmed, and that direct mortality and disturbance by human activities are minimised. Building on Alcyon I, the project aims to fill important knowledge gaps through a programme of applied ecosystem research and monitoring focused on breeding terns and gulls and their breeding and at-sea habitats.
The project also aims to build up knowledge on population dynamics, ecological interactions and conservation implications through a comprehensive monitoring programme with population assessments and trend analyses, as well as investigating the dynamic system of breeding islands and associated threats. It will further promote that public and populations appreciate values of coastal wetlands / birds, and are supportive of conservation actions through communication, awareness tools and site-based initiatives. 
In order to promote long-term sustainability, the project will ensure that there is enough research and monitoring capacity at national and site level, building capacity for managing seabird colonies and improve on surveillance and monitoring, but also work with local PA agencies in order to ensure that there will be regulations enforced and alternatives income-generating activities for targeted communities.
To achieve this, at the site level networks of local birdwatchers and caretakers will be established, capacitated and effectively contributing to conservation action, outreach, surveillance and research and monitoring, especially through the formation of Site Support Groups (SSGs) – a pioneering approach championed by BirdLife for Important Bird Area (IBA) conservation. This will include training local groups and guides and developing a regional ecotourism strategy with a marketing component, with ecotourism initiatives launched and implemented at priority sites. 
Scope of work 
The below scope of work provides further detail on the Services to be delivered by Consultant to BirdLife during the term of this consultancy. 
The main objectives of the study are 1) to train and establish local networks of birdwatchers and caretakers, capacitated to effectively contribute to conservation action, outreach, surveillance and research & monitoring of colonial breeding coastal seabirds on key sites in West Africa (Senegal and Guinea-Bissau) and to develop a regional ecotourism strategy with a marketing component, with ecotourism initiatives launched for the West African region. 
These Services are summarised as:
  • Establish, train and support Site Support Groups (SSGs) at key sites as local conduits for conservation actions and development;
  • Engage with ecotourism stakeholders through a regional strategic workshop to identify best practices / novel ecotourism approaches in the coastal zone and the value of coastal breeding seabirds;
  • Develop coastal zone birding tourism products, with a strong focus on key coastal wetland sites, with strong linkages to other regional ecotourism tourism products unique to West Africa;
  • Market a coastal zone ecotourism product to key audiences based on regional strategy through social (website, twitter, Facebook) & print media, and opportunities for international birding sector;
  • Identify and train local trainers who will in turn be able to train and mentor local guides in coastal zone bird identification, ecology and conservation to support ecotourism initiatives at sites;
  • Support project team to roll out trial ecotourism (infrastructure) initiatives at key sites through targeted small grants programme that creates incentives for local ecotourism developments around key sites.
During the course of the development of this work, the Consultant will work closely with BirdLife and its partners working on the project in particular the PA agencies, local universities through support to students and CSOs of Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
Expected results and deliverables
The results of this study contribute to the establishment of a network of local birdwatchers and caretakers in West Africa and the development of a regional strategic through the following: 
  • Regional coastal zone ecotourism strategy focused on the added value of coastal breeding seabirds is developed;
  • Database of key sites, tour operators, lodging venues, routes and linkages with other coastal zone tourism assets is produced for each country;
  • Profile of coastal ecotourism products raised through marketing & social media strategy and international fair;
  • Ecotourism tour guides and trainers on coastal zone birding are trained;
  • Ecotourism initiatives operated by and benefiting local partners are established at / around key sites in the three countries.
  • Functioning local structures at key sites committed to conservation are identified;
Consultant’s profile 
The study will be conducted by a regional consultant who will work in close coordination with PA agencies, SSG and CSOs of Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau and in close collaboration with the coastal seabird project team based in Dakar. The consultant must have the following profile:
  • University degree in ecology, environmental and/or relating subjects, with a specialization in ecotourism;
  • Significant work experience in the field: the consultant shall have successfully completed a study of a similar nature to that requested in this study within the last five (5) years;
  • Good analytical and writing skills with demonstrate excellent capacity in verbal and written communications in French, English and Portuguese.;
  • Good knowledge of the rural environment in Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Senegal;
  • Good knowledge of the challenges related to coastal zone ecotourism services in West Africa;
  • Good knowledge of West Africa and the coastal seabird conservation and protected areas management.
The working language is French, English and Portuguese. All reports should be produced in French or English.
Interested parties or consultants are invited to submit a proposal (not exceeding 4 pages, excluding CVs) including the following elements:
  • a concise proposal based on a clear understanding of the terms of reference, detailing the methodology to be used; 
  • a clear and logical approach that will produce a comprehensive, well-informed and in- depth report on potential alternative income-generation activities related to communities dealing with colonial breeding bird sites in West Africa;
  • background of the consultant and relevant experience in performing similar work, including links to any reports or other documents produced; 
  • a preliminary financial offer, including daily rates for consultancy services and proposed expenses, as well as the number of days required to carry out the work. 
Organizational Setting
The consultant shall be hired under the project “Coastal Seabirds Conservation Project”, a project funded by MAVA Foundation.
See the full terms of reference
Closing date: 10th July 2019.
Consultants meeting the specific requirements should email their tender to BirdLife International at