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.
Forests provide goods and services that are key assets for reducing vulnerability to the effects of climate change. However, the demand for agricultural products to meet rising food security needs of the African people as well as the rest of the population in developing world has continued to compromise efforts towards conservation and management of forests, and more specifically about provision of environmental services. The conversion of forests to agricultural and other land uses continues to generate substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere, and therefore affecting climate. In order to address the challenges associated with increased level of GHG emissions, the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) of UNFCCC held in Cancun recognized the contribution of forests to climate change as a cornerstone of the post-2012 climate change agenda. This was affirmed with the decision on the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). In this regard, the design of REDD+ was structured into three major phases, namely: Readiness phase; implementation phase and investment phase.
Since COP16, some African countries and other developing ones have received support from UN-REDD and other sources to undertake the readiness phase, and with a specific focus on developing strategies for an effective implementation of REDD+ projects in different forest types. The readiness phase is guided by the Warsaw Framework elements such as management of readiness, stakeholder participation, REDD+ strategy and reference levels setting, monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).
In order to develop REDD+ strategies and programmes, some pilot REDD+ projects have been implemented in some African countries and others across the developing world. This has resulted in the inclusion of policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the contribution of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in achieving REDD+ objectives.
The REDD+ implementation phase will consist of the following: building enough capacity in the institutions to undertake various REDD+ projects; developing appropriate data systems to capture real-time and up-to-date monitoring of forest cover and emission levels; formulating of national strategies on REDD+; developing actions plans and improving results-based payments. This is expected to strengthen development of appropriate adaptation and mitigation actions, including the improvement of forest management to reduce communities’ and ecosystems vulnerability and to mitigate GHGs. For instance, its projected that once REDD+ implementation and investment phase are in place and operational, about 13 to 50 billion giga-tons of carbon dioxide will be reduced by 2100.
The African Forest Forum has, several years back, undertaken some studies on different aspects of REDD+ mechanism in Africa including on the readiness phase in some African countries, role of REDD+ in climate change mitigation and adaptation, voluntary and compliant markets as well as sensitization of African forestry stakeholders on opportunities associated with REDD+, methodology to develop REDD+ projects, among other related areas. Based on these and other studies it is evident that some African countries are moving towards the implementation and investment phases of REDD+.
In this regard, sharing of the experiences on the implementation of REDD+ activities, and strengthening capacities of African forestry stakeholders to plan and undertake such activities still remains paramount in AFF’s activities, the aim being to capacitate stakeholders for successful delivery of the REDD+ implementation and investment phases. It is in this context that AFF continues to monitor the implementation of REDD+ in different African forest types.
1.2 Rationale and purpose of the work
The African Forest Forum in its annual work plan for the “African Forests, People and Climate Change” project, is recruiting one expert for Anglophone and Lusophone Africa to assess the level of implementation of REDD+ in various forest types (rain forest, mountains, mangroves, woodland and savanna, and parklands of the Sahel). The study is expected to generate knowledge on best practices, challenges and opportunities as well as capacity gaps in the implementation of REDD+ across different forest types and in the different phases of REDD+. Further, the development of stakeholders’ capacity to implement REDD+ activities is expected to enhance better understanding on integration of adaptation and mitigation options that address climate change challenges and opportunities in different African forest types and social systems.
Within the context of the selected forest types (rain forest, mangroves, woodland and savanna, parklands of the Sahel) where applicable, each expert will:
- Map out countries that are on readiness, implementation, and investment phases of REDD+;
- Analyse and document REDD+ strategies and implementation plans as well as implementation phases in selected sub region;
- Assess conditions and determinants for effective implementation of each of the REDD+ phase;
- Evaluate opportunities and challenges in implementing each REDD+ phase; and
- Analyse the level of funding raised for REDD+ activities in selected sub-region.
The experts will be expected to deliver the following at end of the consultancy period:
- (i) A report of at least 40-pages on the task;
- (ii) At least two journal articles to be published together with staff at Secretariat who will get involved in this work;
- (iii) Draft policy brief, and 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 good experience in forest policy and governance, as well as on climate change in forestry;
- 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;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
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.
The work is expected to take one-person month spread over a period of two calendar months.
- Applications must be received by the AFF Secretariat on or before 17th February 2020.
- Successful applicants will be informed by 21st February 2020.
- Consultancy activities must begin no later than March 2020;
- The selected consultant will attend and facilitate a methodologies harmonisation workshop that will be held in Kenya in March 2020.
6.0 How to apply
All applications must be submitted by e-mail with the subject line: “Consultancy No: 02-113 “Strengthening capacity among African forestry stakeholders for implementation of REDD+” to Dr. Marie Louise A. T. AVANA-TIENTCHEU and Dr. Vincent O. Oeba of the AFF Secretariat through the following e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and copied to Prof. Godwin Kowero (firstname.lastname@example.org) and email@example.com.
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