1.0 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 well-being 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 a project entitled “Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa”. The project seeks 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 address poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa. One of the key project objectives is to enhance the capacity of key stakeholders to sustainably manage the forest resource base in ways that enhance the supply of ecosystem goods and services, including through Sustainable Land Management (SLM) approaches, interventions to contain loss of forest cover, wise and efficient use of forest resources and sustainable management of forests.

1.1 Background

Africa is characterized by a very rich diversity of natural ecosystem resources, including soils, vegetation, water and genetic resources that constitute the region’s main natural capital and the foundation for sustainable development. These ecosystems are valuable sources of food, water, wood, fibers and industrial products, and essential ecosystem services and functions. However, in the pursuit for development to meet demands of a growing population Africa’s forest resources are threatened. Increasingly, development negatively impacts on the forest landscape and the capacity of forest ecosystems to supply goods and services. The two key challenges facing Africa’s forests are deforestation and forest degradation; and they directly impact on forest cover. , Often, it is the poorest in rural and urban communities that are most dependent on forests, therefore deforestation and forest degradation increases their vulnerability, and hampers efforts to improve their livelihoods.

To reverse the current trends in deforestation and forest degradation in Africa, strategies need to be designed and implemented that address extra sectoral drivers that negatively impact forestry (agriculture, energy policies, urban expansion, mining, land policies, etc). It is very important that an acceptable balance between economic development and environmental conservation at all levels is achieved that ensures the survival of forests and by extension their capacity to supply of forest ecosystem goods and services to enhance the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. This can be attained through sustainable land management (SLM) approaches and practices that can integrate key sectors related to forestry.

Land use planning is the preoccupation of many African governments that aims to harmonise national and local goals for the long term. To this end, African governments have also developed strategies, plans, policies to address the loss of forest ecosystem services and of biodiversity albeit the results have not been sustained. This calls for a concerted approach to the management of forest and tree resources through viable land management systems that explicitly incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem services, conservation needs and integrate environmental and socio-economic considerations at the landscape level. A deep understanding of the existing land management approaches and practices; and their capacity to protect forest lands is critical to inform best SLM practice for sustainable management of forests.

1.2 Rationale

For its plan of work for 2019-2020, AFF plans to conduct studies to identify and promote opportunities for protecting and sustainably managing the African forest resource base in order to enhance the supply of ecosystem goods and services. The task will involve collecting, analysing and disseminating information on the sustainable land management approaches and practices applied in different forest types (moist/rain forests, mangroves, woodlands, parklands), assessing their sustainability, potential to protect forest lands and institutional arrangement in that regard. For this, AFF is recruiting 4 experts to undertake the studies in four African sub-regions namely Eastern, Southern, Central and Western Africa.

 2.0 Purpose of the Work

Undertake studies on land management approaches and practices, in different forest types to inform the adoption of land use systems that, through appropriate management practices, enable land users to maximise the economic, social and ecological benefits from the land while protecting forests.

Specific tasks

  • Identify and document land management approaches and practices, including policies guiding them, applied in different forest type areas;
  • Assess the sustainability of or promising land management approaches and practices identified under no. 1 above;
  • Evaluate the potential of the identified land management approaches and practices under no. 2 above, in terms of their compatibility with (a) the development and (b) protection of forests and (c) development and protection of trees outside forests;
  • Assess the extent to which forest stakeholders are incorporating the identified SLM approaches and practices in their forest plans and activities;
  • Assess gender roles in protecting forest lands and adoption of appropriate sustainable land management (SLM) approaches and practices in selected different forest types;
  • Identify institutional, policy, legal mechanisms and other aspects that can be employed to enhance protection of forest lands in the study areas; and
  • Prepare relevant knowledge products from the findings.

2.1 Expected deliverables

  • A report of about 40 pages on the task, excluding references;
  • At least one journal article to be published together with staff at Secretariat who will get involved in this work;
  • A policy brief, and a fact sheet to be finalised in collaboration with relevant staff at the AFF Secretariat.

3.0 Minimum qualifications and skills

  • Have at least a master’s degree in natural resources management, forestry, environmental management or any related area; a PhD will be an added advantage;
  • Be a regional expert with broad knowledge and at least five years’ experience in forestry and natural resources management in Africa;
  • Have good writing skills and have at least written a book chapter and published peer reviewed journal papers; and
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English or French.

4.0 Duration of assignment

The tasks in this ToRs are for two person‐months of workload, commencing on 27 January 2020 and spread over a period of four months. The consultant shall work from their location but be in close consultation with relevant staff at the AFF Secretariat while keeping to agreed delivery schedule.

5.0 How to apply

Please email, quoting the title and number of this consultancy on the subject line and attach a proposal containing:

  • Cover letter stating how you meet the above qualifications and experience requirements;
  • Key results area, corresponding specific activities and methodology for executing them;
  • A data matrix listing information needs plotted against data sources;
  • A draft work plan (clear deliverables plotted against work weeks for each key result);
  • A tentative table of contents with corresponding number of pages; and
  • An updated CV.

Please apply, with the subject line: CONSULTANCY SERVICES NO 01-1.1.1 AFF –SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES IN DIFFERENT FOREST TYPES IN AFRICAand indicating for which region you are applying for, to Dr Doris Mutta at d.mutta@cgiar.org and Dr Henri-Noël Bouda at h.bouda@cgiar.org, with a copy to exec.sec@afforum.org

Application deadline is 22 December 2019.Only successful applicants will be contacted.

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