Job Opening

Posting Title: Climate Change Specialist - Mangroves, Seagrass and Coral Reefs
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 03 October 2018 - 16 October 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-United Nations Environment Programme-104412-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

A length of ~40 pages is suggested for the finished document. Digital vulnerability maps should accompany the report. It is highly recommended that appropriate schematic presentations are used to represent process flows or linkages between important and related elements. In terms of audience, the Guidelines are intended for government authorities, NGOs, project management teams, researchers and students. For government authorities, the Guidelines should assist them to identify the need for CCVAs and how they can undertake it, as well as to support government oversight of CCVA initiatives implemented by other institutions. This is in recognition of the fact that the region is highly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change and thus a harmonized tool necessary to support climate change related assessments across the region. The WIOSAP Project is being implemented in partnership with WIO-C members and the Consultant will need to consult with some of the members i.e. Bird-Life International, WIOMSA, WWF, WCS and CORDIO among others.

Work Location


Expected duration

This work will run for 60 man days covering a period of 3 calendar months until January 2019.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UNEP's Ecosystem Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This position is located at UNEP, Nairobi duty station, under the supervision of the WIOSAP Programme Manager and Head of Nairobi Convention Secretariat.

1. Background of the Consultancy
The Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention have received funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to implement a Programme entitled ‘Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Western Indian Ocean from land-based sources and activities’ (WIOSAP). The Project is intended ‘to reduce impacts from land-based sources and activities and sustainably manage critical coastal and marine ecosystems through the implementation of the agreed WIO-SAP priorities with the support of partnerships at national and regional levels’. The WIOSAP Project is largely based on the WIO-LaB Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the protection of the WIO Region from land-based sources and activities that was developed as part of the UNEP-GEF WIO-LaB Programme that was implemented in the WIO Region in the period 2004 – 2010. The WIOSAP Project is thus a response to a request made by the Contracting Parties to the Nairobi Convention and it presents an opportunity to the governments in the region and their conservation partners to jointly implement strategies of protecting the coastal and marine ecosystems from land-based sources and activities to provide essential goods and services on sustainable basis.

The Project is being implemented and executed through a ‘Partnerships Approach’ with the Nairobi Convention Secretariat being the Executing Agency. The participating countries include Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia and South Africa.

The Project has four main components:
Component A: Sustainable management of critical habitats focuses on the protection, restoration and management of critical coastal habitats and ecosystems recognizing the enormous value of healthy critical coastal and marine habitats for the future well-being of people in the WIO region.
Component B: Improved water quality focuses on the need for the WIO Region’s water quality to attain international standards by the year 2035.
Component C: Sustainable management of river flows aims at promoting wise management of river basins in the region through implementation of a suite of activities aimed at building the capacity for environmental flows assessment and application in river basins of the region.
Component D: Governance and regional collaboration focuses on strengthening governance and awareness in the WIO region with a view to facilitating sustainable management of critical coastal ecosystems and habitats.

2. WIOSAP Mode of Implementation
Covering the four Components, demonstration projects financed through a competitive Call for Proposals scheme will be implemented with the objective of reducing stress from land-based sources and activities in the WIO. It is anticipated that the sum of the learning derived from these projects will be significantly enhanced if the projects within each component share standardized approaches to their design and implementation, to subsequent analyses and to the reporting of results. To facilitate this a set of resources are being made available to project implementation teams and one of these resources will be the WIO Guidelines on Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment aimed at providing a common toolkit to support vulnerability assessment to climate change impacts for critical ecosystems (coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass beds).

3. Scope of Work
Under the supervision of the Project Manager WIOSAP Project, the Consultant will develop practical and concise WIO Guidelines on Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) on Mangroves, Seagrass and Coral Reefs for direct application by the beneficiaries of the WIOSAP Call for Proposals (and other CCVA practitioners).

While it is recognized that several excellent documents providing advice and guidelines for CCVA have been developed in recent years, and although many approaches and tools for CCVA are fairly universal in their potential application, the particular relevance, utility or practicality of one versus another is determined by the specific local context. For example, countries of the WIO differ in the availability of data or in terms of access to the capacity required for CCVA. Governance influence on climate change vulnerability, and vulnerability assessments, also varies across the WIO. The objective of preparing spatially adaptive WIO specific guidelines on CCVA is therefore to help users in the region to focus on what is most likely to work for them, to assist them to better match the vast array of available tools and approaches to their particular situation. The Consultant will therefore integrate into the Guidelines the WIO’s experience of (and/or potentially make spatially explicit recommendations for) the various approaches and tools that together comprise CCVA to provide that specific assistance. The insertions of WIO experience or recommendations will likely vary in detail, depending on each case. Where useful examples from the WIO are not available the Consultant may draw on experience from elsewhere.

Although the consultant is free to develop their own preferred structure to the document, an indicative scope of coverage is proposed as follows:
1. Understanding the Basics:
a. What is climate change vulnerability?
b. IPCC components and framework for ecological vulnerability (IPCC, AR5):
i. Exposure;
ii. Sensitivity;
iii. Adaptive Capacity.
c. Social-ecological systems vulnerability;
d. Approaches to assessing vulnerability (e.g. outcome/end-point, contextual/starting-point).

2. Indicators of Vulnerability:
a. Climate (e.g. temperature, rainfall pattern/amount, SST, wind environment, storm surge, acidification, evapotranspiration);
b. Coastal geomorphology & topography (e.g. sea-level rise, erosion);
c. Coastal ecology (e.g. species & ecosystem change (mangroves, seagrass, corals, vertebrates));
d. Coastal fisheries (e.g. migration of fishers, changes in yields, prices, access to fishing grounds);
e. Coastal agriculture (e.g. crop yields, pests & disease, market price);
f. Socio-economic (e.g. micro-economics (household demographic, livelihood diversity, relative weights of occupations), structural/macro-economics (education, public health & nutrition, infrastructure, reliance on tourism, internal migration);
g. Governance & institutional effects on climate change vulnerability (e.g. economic & natural resource management, policy analyses, participation/inclusion/gender aspects).

3. Getting started with a CCVA:
a. Clarity of purpose & boundaries;
b. Justification, budget & authority for a CCVA;
c. Choice of CCVA approach & methods;
d. The importance of scale & resolution (i.e. spatial, temporal, capturing difference, diversity & dynamics);
e. The necessity of good statistical practice;
f. Putting a team together (e.g. skills composition, responsibilities, leadership & coordination);
g. Preliminary steps (e.g. checklists, identifying knowledge brokers, a communication strategy).
h. How it has been in done in the WIO Region

4. CCVA Methods:
a. Information & data (e.g. desk studies, workshop events, key informant interviews, household surveys, resource use surveys, PRA or similar methods, climate data down-scaling);
b. Analytical methods (e.g. sensitivity matrices, qualitative ranking, mapping, projections, aggregated indices, institutional analysis, decision/probability trees, Delphi method, agricultural/water/coastal zone/climate simulations and information & decision support systems, multi-criteria analysis);
c. Integrating results across disciplines.
d. How it has been in done in the WIO Region

5. Communicating the Vulnerability Assessment Outputs:
a. Reports, vulnerability indices, mapping/GIS, profiles (graphics/text/maps;
b. Communicating risk.

6. Application of the tool in the conducting of the vulnerability of WIO mangroves to climate change by focusing on the four main countries i.e. Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya.

Qualifications/special skills

Advanced university degree (a master’s degree or equivalent) in natural resource management, social sciences, natural resource economics or related disciplines.

2. Experience
i. A minimum of 5-years of professional experience in undertaking vulnerability assessments;
ii. Experience in working with different stakeholders at both strategic and technical levels and demonstrated quality and timely delivery;
iii. Working knowledge of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region and experience of working with the Governments of the WIO region would be preferred;
iv. Familiarity with/appreciable understanding of the work of the UNEP-Nairobi Convention Programme of work:
v. Demonstrated competency in high level and excellent scientific/technical writing;
vi. Ability to work within very short timelines and with minimum supervision.

Excellent command of written and spoken English. Knowledge of Portuguese or French is an advantage.

No Fee


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