1. Introduction

The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio-economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment. The purpose of AFF is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote gender equality and economic and social development.

AFF has secured funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to implement the project entitled “Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa”. The overall goal of the project is “to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that provide inputs into policy and decision-making options and capacity building, for improved forest management that better addresses poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa”. One of the key project objectives is to identify and promote opportunities for protecting and sustainably managing the forest resource base of the continent as well as the supply of its ecosystems’ goods and services.

2. Background

Forest management requires the execution of silvicultural practices in a forest while at the same time taking into account economic, social, ecological and cultural aspects. For this to happen, a plan is a prerequisite. This therefore makes planning an important component of sustainable forest management (SFM); for example, such plans   help the resource owners to identify what can be done to enhance and protect the values of forests, maximize on existing and emerging investment opportunities for optimal returns and supply of essential ecosystem services. The planning process has to be inclusive; for example, to allow various   stakeholders to participate in the development of the plans and also in forest management. In this regard the plans should clarify the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders. In the context of inclusivity, gender consideration in planning and in forest management is critical because men and women play different but complimentary roles in forest management, harvesting and use of forest resources. Excluding women, for example, will deny the planning process as well as forest management considerable skills and knowledge possessed by this group.

Good forest plans can only be developed when reliable, timely and adequate information is available to guide the planning process. Such plans can then facilitate proper management of forests when supporting resources are available, thus making it possible to achieve socio-economic and environmental policies and objectives.

However, scientific literature and other writings paint of a picture that the continent lacks this type of information for planning its forest activities, in addition to other constraints associated with managing the forests sustainably. Information on assessment of Africa’s forests, stand dynamics, and capacity to meet increasing demands of growing populations on a sustainable basis is largely lacking. As forests continue to play increasingly critical roles to the welfare of people and survival of animals and plants, as well as to the protection of the environment, the development of good plans to guide sustainable supply of ecosystem goods and services is inevitable.  However, some   African forests lack good management plans to guide their development, exploitation as well as their conservation.  The implication is that different types of forests in African countries are not managed sustainably. It is within this context that AFF is undertaking an assessment of the forest planning process and forest management because these are key in facilitating ways to increase the supply of ecosystem goods and services originating from the various forest types in Africa.

3. Rationale and purpose of the work

For its plan of work for 2021, AFF plans to undertake country studies aiming at assessing the adequacy of forest planning and forest management in different forest types. For this, AFF is recruiting four national experts to undertake the studies, one each in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique.F

4. Purpose of the Work

To evaluate ways of improving forest planning and forest management in selected countries in Southern Africa with the aim to enhance the supply of forest ecosystem goods and services.

Specific tasks

4.1 Undertake data collection on different forest types in the selected country using approved data collection tools covering the following result areas:

a. Evaluate the planning processes found in forest types in the selected countries,

b. Evaluate the adequacy of the plans (annual, short, long term, tree and stand level, etc.), in terms of:

  • accuracy/reliability and adequacy of information used,
  • tools /techniques/models used for planning and for moving the forest to a desired future structure
  • adequacy of knowledge and skills for their development
  • sensitivity to gender considerations
  • inclusiveness of related sectors
  • constraints in planning and ways to contain them;

c. Evaluate the extent of compliance to plans by implementing institutions, constraints experienced and how to overcome them;

d. Evaluate the state of management of the forest types in the selected countries, including constraints experienced and measures to improve various operations that characterise forest management; and

e. Based on the study results, develop training module or guidelines that can support capacity building in forest planning and forest management.

4.2       Planning for meetings with selected institutions, Key Informants, Focus Group Discussions with community groups and actors in different forest sites

4.3       Undertake data entry and analysis

4.4       Prepare a country report on field activities undertaken

5. Deliverables

The experts will be expected to deliver the following outputs:

  • (i) Two reports of about 20-30 pages each on: (i) forest planning and (ii) forest management
  • (ii) A copy of data sheets and data entry file

 6. Guidance for writing the report

A synthesized report of data collection not more than 5 pages. The field report should at the minimum contain, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Title page
  2. Acronyms/Abbreviations
  3. Table of contents
  4. Executive summary: A self-contained summary.
  5. Introduction: Description of the objectives, terms of reference and methodology
  6. Main body of report
  7. Conclusions: A concise statement on each task covered
  8. References
  9. Annexes

The report should be evidence-based and should include as much as possible quantitative supporting material in form of tables, figures, maps and photographs. Extensive supporting material should be presented as annexes.

7. Minimum qualifications and skills

  • Have at least a master’s degree in forestry or natural resource management, with experience in forest planning and forest management; a PhD will be an advantage.
  • have at least five years’ working experience in sustainable forest planning and forest management;
  • Have written at least a book chapter, and or published peer reviewed journal papers on forest planning and forest management; and
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English

8. Duration of assignment

The work is expected to take two (2) weeks spread over a period of one (1) calendar month, commencing on 9 April 2021. Experts shall work from their locations but be in close consultation with relevant staff at the AFF Secretariat while keeping to an agreed delivery schedule.

9. Deadlines

  • Applications must be received by the AFF Secretariat on or before 1st April 2021.
  • Successful applicants will be informed by 5th April 2021.
  • Consultancy activities must begin no later than 9th April 2021

10. How to apply

Please email your application to AFF, quoting the title and number of this consultancy on the subject line, and attaching:

  • Cover letter stating how you meet the above qualifications and experience requirements;
  • An updated CV.

Please apply, with the subject line: “Consultancy: AFF – Assessment of forest planning and management in different forest types in selected African countries” and indicating for which country you are applying for to Dr. Doris Mutta at d.mutta@cgiar.org and Dr. Mercy Ojoyi at M.ojoyi@cgiar.org, with a copy to exec.sec@afforum.org. Only successful applicants will be contacted.