Consultant on Forest Certification


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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: I.            Background Under the Objective 4 (Improve production forest management practices), there are three main tasks as follows:
  1. Increase Production of Sustainable Timber by Small-Scale Foresters
  2. Increase Demand from Processors for Certified Timber
  3. Develop Market Linkages Between Timber Producers and Industry

The growing international and local furniture market has created a high demand for timber and wood chips, while an insufficient domestic supply drives indiscriminate importation of timber from abroad. Sustainable plantation management can improve yields of existing plantation lands, contribute to increasing domestic availability of wood products, and indirectly decreasing the demand for illegal wood products.

Improving management practices of acacia plantations can lead to increased carbon sequestration compared to business as usual. Improvement of management practices for plantations and eligible for forest certification needs to include environmental and social consideration. Certified timber products command a market premium, and there is a current shortfall of certified wood products available in Vietnam. However, smallholders, which make up the majority of acacia farmers in Vietnam, face significant barriers for certification as many farmers have limited technical capacity in implementation of forest certification.

This Scope of Work (SOW) is to recruit the short-term consultant position of Forest Certification Consultant to provide training and support to farmer groups and plantation owners in the implementation of SFM practices and forest certification, in the provinces of Quang Tri and Quang Nam. This activity is under work plan of fiscal year 2022 and would directly contribute to three main indicators: ID1 – Number of people trained; ID2 – Number of institutions improved capacity; and ID8 – Number of forest areas (hectare) under improved plantation management (in 11 indicators of the Project).

II.         Purpose of the consulting work The purpose of the consulting work is to implement a range of work relating to sustainable forest management and forest certification, from establishing farmer groups, providing training on SFM and forest certification and facilitating plantation owners/partners/farmer groups/cooperatives in forest management and certification processes. III.            Expected outputs/results
  • At least 10 introduction workshops on group certification are held (10 WS for Quang Nam);
  • At least 20 farmer groups are established/re-enforced (10 groups for Quang Tri; 10 for Quang Nam);
  • At least 460 trainees (230 for Quang Tri and 230 for Quang Nam; with minimum 35% of females) are trained in group management/structure;
  • At least 6 ToT trainers are trained (3 for Quang Tri, 3 for Quang Nam)
  • The competency of forest owners/farmer groups/cooperatives is improved (assessment before and after training).
IV.            Location The consultant will be home-based and implement the field tasks in Quang Tri and Quang Nam provinces V.            Tasks In close collaboration with the Certification, Forestry and Silviculture Specialists, the wider Project team, local partners and forest owners/farmer groups/cooperatives, the consultant will implement the following tasks, but not limited to, which include:
  1. Collect and analyze secondary data which include (1) workplan of the Project fiscal year 2022[1], and (2) report on capacity building (CB) needs assessment for forest owners/farmer groups and cooperatives[2]; select most relevant/priority training topics for CB on group management and forest certification for forest owners/farmer groups who are willing to achieve or maintain forest certification;
  2. Prepare a detailed plan, agenda, methodology to conducting introduction workshop, establishment of farmer groups/cooperatives, CB activities; discuss and reach consensus on plan and agenda with the Project’s technical staff, PPMU and local partners and forest owners/farmer groups and cooperatives before rolling out implementation;
  3. Prepare/adapt training material for introduction workshops, establishment/ re-enforcement/ group structure/ management and CB in forest certification for forest owners/farmer groups/cooperatives;
  4. Organize/conduct introduction workshops to introduce concept, benefit, responsibility regarding forest certification to forest owners/farmers and related parties in Quang Nam as preparation for establishment of farmer groups/cooperatives;
  5. Provide training of trainers to technical staff and include them as assisting trainers, in the capacity building of forest owners/farmers/cooperatives. This will strengthen the Project impact, as the technical staff will thereby be able to continue providing training activities to farmers beyond the lifetime of the Project.
  6. Provide training and facilitate farmers/forest owners/partners to establish/re-enforce farmer groups/cooperatives ;
  7. Coach, monitor and facilitate forest owners/farmer groups/cooperatives in completing the group structure and make groups operational;
  8. Assist forest owners/farmer groups/cooperatives in preparation and documentation for certification;
  9. Facilitate dialogue between forest owners/farmer groups/cooperatives and local processors.
  10. Prepare the report on result of the assignment.
  11. Implement other tasks as required by the assigned supervisor of the Project;

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