1.0 Introduction

The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. 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 eradicate poverty, promote gender equality, and economic and social development.

AFF is implementing since 2011 a project entitled “African Forests, People and Climate Change”.  The third phase of this project is guided by the following four specific objectives, which are to: (i) strengthen capacity of African forestry stakeholders in adopting best practices that integrate both adaptation and mitigation options in response to the impacts of climate change and variability to biophysical and social systems in different landscapes; (ii)  enhance national forest governance by strengthening the capacity of African stakeholders to respond to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiatives related to forestry; (iii) promote entrepreneurship opportunities and technologically efficient means for value addition in African forestry, including those related to climate change, that enhance livelihoods, national incomes and employment; and (iv) strengthen AFF’s institutional capacity in generating and sharing of relevant forest and tree-based knowledge and information for improved decision making.  Through these objectives, the project is expected to contribute to AFF’s Programmatic Areas of approach, namely: contribution of forests and trees to environmental health; policies and governance; forests and trees in economic development and poverty eradication; capacity building and skills development; and information management and impact assessment. In addition, these project objectives are expected to enhance the role of African forestry and its contribution to adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change in various landscapes; and in ways that will improve livelihoods, sustain biodiversity and the quality of the environment. This is in addition to strengthening the capacity of Africa’s forests to adapt to climate change and to contribute to mitigation efforts.

1.1 Background

Good forest governance is very important because it brings both formal and informal institutions to acquire and exercise authority in the management of the forestry resources to sustain and improve the welfare and quality of life for those whose livelihoods depend on the forestry sector. However, good forest governance is often associated with transparency, participation and accountability in order to achieve positive social, environmental and economic outcomes in the most efficient and effective way. Conversely, weak forest governance is often blamed for poor development outcomes such as poverty and unsustainable levels of natural resource harvesting and use, associated to illegal logging and corruption, lack of professional ethos, intimidating bureaucracy, and other red-tape issues that constrain proper development and sustainable use of forest and tree resources in different forest types.

The challenges associated with poor forest governance have attracted global attention that requires concerted efforts at local, regional and global levels. For example, increased of illegal logging and unsustainable use of forest and tree resources has resulted into increased deforestation and forest degradation, negatively impacting livelihoods and the climate through increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This has raised serious concerns on how to address this challenge through institutionalizing various forest instruments that are legally and non-legally binding in order to curb deforestation whose rate continues to increase in some countries. Among these instruments is the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF) that aims at strengthening sustainable forest management through implementation of United Nations Forest Instrument; improving forest governance frameworks and fostering international cooperation; enhancing coherence, cooperation and synergies with other forest-related agreements, processes and initiatives, among others.

Also, forest issues are discussed globally at various forums including the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO), Conference of Parties (COPs) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meetings, The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), among others. In these forums key resolutions and agreements are reached, some of which require mainstreaming into national policies, strategies, plans and activities to facilitate strengthening sustainable use of forest and tree resources. For instance, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement has various clauses focusing on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of reducing GHG emissions while fostering sustainable development and simultaneously promoting adaptation to the impacts of climate change and variability.

In the context of the foregoing, the African Forest Forum continues to participate in these global discourses, as well as to generate information and knowledge on climate change issues, as they relate to forestry, with one of its aims being to support actors in the forestry sector to formulate appropriate forest policies, programmes, plans and activities that hold potential  to strengthen sustainable forest management in a changing climate change.

1.2 Rationale and purpose of the work

The African Forest Forum, in its annual work plan on the “African Forests, People and Climate Change” project, is recruiting five (5) experts, two for West Africa and one each for Central, Eastern and Southern Africa to undertake in-depth studies that could provide information to enhance national forest governance to respond to the Paris Agreement (PA)  and related global climate change policies and initiatives. The studies are also expected to generate knowledge that could enable African forestry stakeholders to have better understanding and coordination on their national forestry sectors in the context of the International Arrangements on Forests (IAF) and relevant sustainable development goals.

1.3 Specific tasks

Within the individual country context and the selected forest types (rain forest, mangroves, woodland and savanna, parklands of the Sahel), the expert will undertake the following:

(i) On response to Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiatives

  • Identify areas of overlap and synergy in the national forestry sector and other relevant global and regional climate change related policies and initiatives;
  • Identify knowledge gaps and skills among African forestry stakeholders in mainstreaming of global and regional climate change policies and initiatives into national forestry policies, plans and activities, and their coordination;
  • Examine capacity gaps on reporting forest-based plans and activities that relate to SDGs and NDCs at national, regional and international level; and
  •  Evaluate the levels of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of forest-based mitigation, adaptation and finance in the NDCs and how this MRV is mainstreamed in the forest based national programmes and plans.

(ii) On national forest sector contribution to NDCs:

  • Identify gaps in the development of national forest sector contributions to NDCs;
  • Evaluate the level of integration of forest-based adaptation and mitigation activities and initiatives in NDCs;
  • Evaluate of role of REDD+ in the national forestry sector contribution to NDCs;
  • Evaluate representation of LULUCF in NDCs and how it could be improved; and
  • Distil key lessons learned in the development and implementation of the 1st forest based NDCs in Africa;

1.3 Deliverables

Each expert will be expected to deliver the following at end of the consultancy period:

  • A report of least 40-pages on the task;
  • At least two journal articles to be published together with staff at Secretariat who will get involved in this work;
  • Draft a policy brief and a fact sheet to be finalised together with the staff at Secretariat who will get involved in this work.

2.0 Minimum qualifications and skills

The interested applicant should meet the following minimum qualifications and skills:

  • Be a research scientist with proven knowledge and experience in forestry research in Africa;
  • Be knowledgeable on current and emerging issues in forestry, and more specifically climate change;
  • Have experience in forest policy, climate change and forest governance issues;
  • Have good scientific writing skills and have at least written a book chapter and published peer reviewed journal papers;
  • Have a master’s degree in any of the following areas: forestry, natural resources management, environmental issues, climate change, or any related area;
  •  A PhD will be an added advantage; and
  •  Have an excellent written and oral communication skills in English for Anglophone Africa and French for francophone Africa.

3.0 Application requirements

The applicant shall submit the following:

  • Cover letter stating how the above qualifications and experience requirements are met;
  •  A brief proposal/concept note containing:
    • key results area and corresponding specific activities;
    • draft work plan (clear deliverables plotted against work-weeks for each key results); and
  • Curriculum vitae.

4.0 Duration

The work is expected to take a 1.5-person month spread over a period of three calendar months.

5.0 Deadlines

  • Applications must be received by the AFF Secretariat before 18th February 2019.
  • Successful applicants will be informed by 25th March 2019.
  • Consultancy activities must begin no later than 04th March 2019 and all selected consultants will attend a methodologies harmonisation workshop that will be held in Nairobi from 04th to 08th March 2019.

6.0 How to apply

All applications must be submitted by e-mail with the subject line: “Consultancy No: 02-211 “Enhancement of national forest governance to respond to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiatives to Dr.  Marie Louise A. T. AVANA-TIENTCHEU and Dr. Vincent O. Oeba of the AFF Secretariat through the following e-mail addresses: m.avana@cgiar.org and v.oeba@cgiar.org and copied to Prof. Godwin Kowero (g.kowero@cgiar.org ) and to exec.sec@afforum.org