Community forest consultant in Quang Nam Province (RECOFTC)


TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR EXPERT CONSULTANT

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Position: Community forest consultant in Quang Nam Province
Project name: USAID Sustainable Forest Management
Sub-Activity Code:

1.2.7.2 - Develop and implement a forest protection and management plan for communities who are contracted with forest management boards

Duration: From April to July 2023
Total level of effort: 53 person-days
Location: Nam Giang, Dong Giang and Hiep Duc districts, Quang Nam province
Application deadline: 17:00 PM on 31/03/2023
A.   RECOFTC ORGANIZATION AND VALUES

At RECOFTC, we believe in a future where people live equitably and sustainably in and beside healthy, resilient forests. We take a long-term, landscape-based and inclusive approach to supporting local communities to secure their land and resource rights, stop deforestation, find alternative livelihoods and foster gender equity. We are the only non-profit organization of our kind in Asia and the Pacific. We have more than 30 years of experience working with people and forests, and have built trusting relationships with partners at all levels. Our influence and partnerships extend from multilateral institutions to governments, private sector and local communities. Our innovations, knowledge and initiatives enable countries to foster good forest governance, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

At RECOFTC, our core values are the foundation of our culture and guide all our work. In addition to job specific skills and experience, the applicant should possess the following characteristics, attitudes and skills:

  • Embrace innovation
  • Adapt to, and learn from, challenges
  • Collaborate with partners and stakeholders
  • Nurture commitment, responsibility and ownership
  • Prioritize sustainability
  • Cultivate participation, social inclusion and gender equity

B. PROJECT BACKGROUND

The USAID Sustainable Forest Management Project (the Project) will work with the Government of Vietnam (GVN) to reduce carbon emissions associated with deforestation, the degradation of natural forests, and poor plantation management. The Project will implement a “Green Prosperity” approach that strengthens local communities’ ability to protect their natural resource base and reduce emissions while building a strong foundation for sustainable livelihoods and equitable economic growth.

The Project will work in seven provinces (Lao Cai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Tri, Quang Nam) and focus on five objectives:

  1. Improve and expand community forest management
  2. Increase conservation-friendly enterprises in forest-dependent communities
  3. Increase functionality of law enforcement system for forest crimes
  4. Improve production forest management practices
  5. Mobilize domestic resources for forest management and protection

The Project will be implemented during the period 2020-2025 by DAI in collaboration with RECOFTC and Preferred by Nature as partners, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) as the counterpart and the Management Board of Forestry Projects (MBFP) as project owner.

C. DESCRIPTION OF CONSULTANCY SERVICE

1.    Background

In recent years, the active participation of communities living near forests in forest protection management has been increasingly recognized as an important factor in effectively maintaining forest resources. The community has been involved in forest management and protection in various forms. There are four main types of participation including i) traditional community forests, ii) community-based forest management, iii) group of households managing forest land, and iv) individual households, all of which own individual forest land, but collaborate in forest protection management.

The SFM Project focuses on two forms of community forestry to promote local participation in forest management. The first modality is community forest management (CFM), in which the village communities manage their allocated forests. The second modality is community-based forest management (CBFM) in which villages protect and enjoy benefits from forests under forest protection contracts with the state forest owners such as protection/special use forest management boards. This form also includes village communities collectively managing and protecting forests allocated to households.

In order to strengthen institutions and the capacity of the community to manage, protect and develop their contracted forest resources, the development and implementation of forest management and protection plans, finalization of conventions on forest management and protection with consensus of all parties are essential. Through this process, the community will effectively perform the role of forest protection and management from the grassroots level, exploit the potential of eco-tourism associated with the culture of ethnic minorities, non-timber forest products, etc. contributing to economic development and stabilizing the community's life. In this context, the Project is recruiting one (01) qualified and experienced consultant to support the communities in developing the forest management and protection plan in 2023 and village conventions on forest protection in Quang Nam.

This activity is expected to contribute directly to the following indicators: Indicator 2- Number of institutions with improved capacity to address sustainable landscape issues; Indicator 3 - Number of laws, policies, conventions, or standards addressing sustainable landscapes formally proposed, adopted, or implemented; and Indicator 8- Number of hectares under improved natural resource management, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

2.    Objective of the consultancy

To build capacities for communities through the development of forest management and protection plans and village conventions on forest management and protection conventions to promote the model of community-based forest management in selected villages of Quang Nam province.

3.    Expected output and deliverables

  • Six (06) forest management and protection plans (FM&P plans) of five (05) communities and one (01) jointly prepared for two communities in cooperation with the Hiep Thuan cooperative certified by the Commune People's Committees including A0-sized maps/patrol routes of each community and cooperative, with relevant village meeting minutes.
  • Five (05) forest management and protection conventions (FM&PCs) of five (05) communities with relevant village meeting minutes, endorsed by the Commune People's Committee (CPC) for the submission to the District People's Committee for approval
  • One consultancy report

4.  Location

05 communities and two communities’ joint management & protection of forests with the Agricultural Cooperative, as below:

  • Four (4) FM&P plans and four (4) FM&PCs for village communities in Dong Giang district: Aroong village, A xo village, Cutchrun village, Ma Cooih commune; Pa Nai village, Ta Lu commune;
  • One (1) FM&P plan and one (1) FM&PC for village community in Nam Giang district: Ben Giang village, Ca Dy commune.
  • One (1) joint FM&P for Tan Thuan and Thuan An villages in cooperation with Hiep Thuan Agricultural Cooperative, Hiep Thuan commune, Hiep Duc district.

5.      Tasks

Consultants are required to conduct the tasks but not limited to the followings:

5.1. Prepare the work plan for the consultancy assignment

  • Develop a work plan and the outlines for forest management and protection plan based on review of relevant documents.
  • Lead technical consultation with Provincial Project Management Unit (PPMU), Protection Forest Management Board (PFMB), CPCs in order to finalize work plan and the contents of the forest management and protection plan.

5.2. Develop forest protection and management plans

  • Conduct assessments and consultations to develop the forest management and protection plans for the selected communities, covering but not limited to the following contents:
    • Forest patrol and protection activities (including patrol route map, record of violations, record during and after the patrol, patrol report, etc.)
    • Forest fire prevention and fighting activities;
    • Management and exploitation of timber and non-timber forest products;
    • Benefit sharing in forest protection activities;
    • Organizational structure for management and protection of the community forests;
    • Village conventions on forest management and protection, experience and indigenous knowledge related to forest protection;
    • Coordination mechanisms among communities, the local authorities, PFBMs and the cooperative
    • Communities’ needs on capacity building (financial, technical, institutional management); 
    • Mechanism for coordination, monitoring, evaluation and reporting;
  • Provide technical supports for village management board to conduct meetings with the communities to reach consensus on the contents of the forest management and protection plans, and support core groups in finalizing these plans. The consultant shall ensure integration of gender and social inclusion issues into the community's forest management and protection plan.
  • Conduct meetings to facilitate the certification process with the CPCs on the forest management and protection plan.

5.3. Support in the development and finalization of the village conventions on forest management and protection conventions for five (05) target communities in Dong Giang and Nam Giang districts for submission to competent authorities for approval (Letter 1492/TCLN-KL, 20 Sep 2022 onguidelines for community forest management of the VFBC project)

  • Prepare draft village conventions based on discussions with core groups about the contents of the conventions;
  • Conduct consultation meetings with the communities for improvements and finalization of village conventions on protection and management.
  • Conduct consultation meetings at commune level to facilitate the adoption of the forest protection and management conventions, for the submission to District People's Committees for approval.

6.    Anticipated duration and deliverables

The total LOE for this consultancy is 53 person-days, from April to July 2023 as followings:

#

Activities

Level of effort

Deliverables

Due date of deliverables

Means of deliverable verification

  Total level of effort

53

     

1

Develop and agree on working plans with the stakeholders (Project Management Unit, Protection Forest Management Board, Commune People's Committees)

07

Work plan of the consultant 10/4 – 21/4/2023 Accepted by the Project

2

Support the community in the development of forest protection and management plans and village conventions.

23

Draft six (6) forest protection and management plans including minutes of meetings with villages and CPCs 24/4 – 07/7/2023 N/A

3

Support in the development, supplement and finalization of forest protection and management plans and village conventions.

14

Draft five (5) forest protection and management conventions including minutes of meetings with villages and CPCs 24/4 – 07/7/2023 N/A

4

Addressing comments for finalization of the final deliverables

06

Final forest protection and development plans Final conventions on forest and management, endorsed by CPCs Minutes of acceptance 12-21/7/2023 Accepted by the Project (PPMU)

5

Prepare consultancy report

03

Consultancy report describing methodology, process, key results, observations and recommendations (in Vietnamese) summary report in English 24-31/7/2023 Accepted by the Project

7.    Required qualifications and experiences

In order to carry out the task, the consultant must meet the following requirements:

  • Vietnamese national, priority is given to local candidates;
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher, majoring in forest protection and management or related fields;
  • Having at least 10 years of experience in the field of forestry; especially with projects/programs in community forest management.
  • Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of community forest management and forestry laws/policies; having experience in working with the communities;
  • Sound experience in forest management and protection, particularly support communities in development and implementation of community protection patrolling, community forest management plans;
  • Having good teamwork skills.
  • Having experience in writing reports in Vietnamese; ability to speak English is an advantage.

8.    How to apply

Interested individuals are requested to submit their CV and a cover letter indicating why they are suitable for this consultancy along with the expected fee or daily rate and current contact details of three references, to: vietnam@recoftc.org. Please quote the consultancy title in the subject line of the email. Only shortlisted individuals will be notified.

For any further information you may need about the consultancy, please contact vietnam@recoftc.org.

To learn more about RECOFTC, please visit our website www.recoftc.org

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