Job Opening

Posting Title: Regional Consultancy to Support MED POL Activities related to the Preparation of the Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: ATHENS
Posting Period: 19 May 2020 - 31 May 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-135966-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ultimate result of this assignment is to enable MEDPOL and the Working Group composed of representatives of the Contracting parties to deliver, through technical support provision, the mandate provided by COP21 Decision IG.24/10 for delivering the Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management

Work Location


Expected duration

The contract will be for the period of two (2) months spread over fifteen (15) months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. United Nation’s Environment Ecosystems 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 consultancy assignment is for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) - Programme for the Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean (MED POL), Athens, Greece.
During the MED POL Focal Points Meeting, held in Rome, Italy in May 2017, a review of a “list of potential new/updated measures” was undertaken, and a priority clustering of new measures under six potential categories was approved; one of which is “Sewage Sludge Management.” Having taken note of the fact that sewage sludge has determinantal impacts on the Mediterranean marine environment, and that sludge management faces serious gaps and shortcomings, the Contracting Parties recommended that additional mandatory measures should be further considered in the framework of a new Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management to be developed.
The 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention COP21 (Napoli, Italy, 2-5 December 2019) adopted Decision IG.24/10 which endorsed the main elements and timeline for development/update of six new Regional Plans related to urban wastewater treatment, sewage sludge, agriculture, aquaculture, storm water and marine litter management with the view to submitting to COP22 in 2021 three Regional Plans, namely, (1) urban wastewater treatment, (2) sewage sludge management and (3) marine litter management. Decision IG.24/10 also mandated the Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention to establish a Working Group with representatives designated by the Contracting Parties for the preparation of the Regional Plan for Urban Wastewater Treatment.
The Programme of Work (PoW) and Budget for the biennium 2020-2021, which was adopted in Decision IG.24/14, mandated MED POL in Activity to develop the Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management.

In line with the endorsed “Main Elements” elaborated for each of the Regional Plans included in the annex to Decision IG.24/10, there is a need to recruit an international consultant to provide technical inputs for the preparation of the Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management including during its negotiation by the Working Group as established by the Contracting Parties and the MED POL Focal Points Meetings.

The Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the MED POL Programme Management Officer, under the guidance of the UNEP/MAP Deputy Coordinator and overall guidance UNEP/MAP Coordinator.

The consultant is expected to perform the following tasks:
1. Prepare a detailed work plan for performance of the following tasks accompanied with a timetable for completion.
2. Deliver a concise structure for the Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management with well-developed specific annotations for Section IV (measures); Section V (timetable for implementation); and Sections VI and VII (monitoring and reporting as well as support measures), in addition to the technical annexes, as stipulated in, but not limited to, the attached document in Annex II to this ToR. In so doing, the consultant shall review “existing literature” attached in Annex I to the Terms of Reference and other related references with a special focus on existing sludge treatment processes (reduction processes and stabilization processes) in the Mediterranean region; implementation of nature-based solutions for sludge treatment and management; limit values of toxic substances as well as pathogenic microorganisms and microplastics pollution, where appropriate, in treated sludge for use as fertilizer and soil conditioner, as well as other potential uses; available standards on the national level for land-applications of sludge, particularly for agriculture/ fertilizers; and applications commonly utilized in the Mediterranean region for reuse of treated sludge r in the region.
3. Further to a consultation process with UNEP/MAP-MED POL regarding the proposed structure and the specific annotations, prepare the first draft of the detailed sections related to the technical measures, timetable for implementation and monitoring and reporting requirements of the Regional Plan as well as the annexes addressing technical specifications for the implementation of measures and common standards and/or emission limit values, taking into consideration the following aspects:
a) The technical elements of the proposed measures should address operational aspects of sewage sludge reuse and land applications, and limit values for concentrations of heavy metals.
b) The timetable for implementation should be proposed for the above-mentioned measures in line with the ability of the Contracting Parties for their implementation.
c) The technical annexes should provide guidance/ specifications/ standards/ methodologies for implementation of the above-mentioned measures with special focus on:
i. Sewage sludge use in agriculture with a focus on sewage sludge classes for land applications; promoting integrated sludge management schemes; reducing impacts of sludge quality on soil; planting, grazing and harvesting constraints; environmental protection, etc.; and
ii. Application of BAT and BEP in sewage sludge management that support (but not limited to) prevention of influx of toxic substances to the wastewater treatment plant; incorporating aspects related to climate change adaptation in sludge treatment systems; incorporating renewable energy solutions in the operational processes of sludge treatment; implementing energy efficiency measures; minimizing variations of produced sludge quality; reducing quantities of produced sludge, etc.
iii. Application of BEP regarding nature-based solutions for sludge treatment with special focus on Sludge Treatment Wetlands (STW) and other related best practices and “Waste-to-Energy Technologies (W-ET)” pertaining to sludge management.
4. Further to finalizing the above-mentioned detailed sections (i.e. under Sections IV, V, VI and VII), complete remaining inputs to the text of the entire Regional Plan as per the attached document in Annex II including associated technical annexes and prepare for submission to the First Working Group Meeting for review of the Regional Plan for Sewage Sludge Management.
5. Provide technical support to MED POL during the First Meeting of the Working Group for Sewage Sludge Management in terms of technical inputs with the aim of reaching conclusions with the Contracting Parties in order to finalize the technical specifications of the Regional Plan and the inputs to its annexes.
6. Assess in a general manner the cost of investment required for implementing the measures stipulated in the regional plan against an overall cost-benefit analysis to be undertaken by the Secretariat with a focus on technical justification for the feasibility of the measures proposed and investment costs for various sludge treatment and reuse technologies (including BAT and BEP).
7. Reflect the technical comments and feedback received during the First Meeting of the Working Group for submission to the MED POL Focal Points Meeting in May 2021.
8. Provide technical support during the Second Working Group Meeting and MED POL Focal Points Meeting and reflect its outcome to the final version of the Regional Plan technical elements.
9. Prepare the final report of deliverables for the consultancy with details on methodology for performance of tasks and activities to achieve the deliverables.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: • Excellent writing skills in English are required
Academic Qualifications: • Advanced university degree in environmental technologies, civil/environmental engineering or related fields is required
Experience: • A minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience providing consultancy services in the field of design and operation of urban wastewater treatment plants with a focus on sewage sludge management, is required;
• Knowledge of pollution control technologies pertaining to sewage sludge treatment processes, is required;
• Knowledge of nature-based solutions, both as natural and constructed systems, which utilize and enhance physical, chemical and microbiological sludge treatment processes, with a focus on land-based applications for sewage sludge treatment, is required;
• Knowledge of the UNEP/MAP–MED POL and of the relevant programmes of measures/ regional plans with related working experience is an asset;
Language: • Fluency in English is required
• Knowledge of French is an asset

No Fee


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