Job Opening

Posting Title: Project Development Consultant
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: KINGSTON
Posting Period: 04 October 2021 - 14 November 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-165456-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The objective of the Consultancy is to carry out a situational analysis and pre-feasibility study for the design and implementation of a nature-based solution (integrated wastewater management) at the Asada La Victoria de Rio Blanco, Limon, as part of the activities to be undertaken under Costa Rica’s national activities under Component 3 of the GEF CReW+ Project. This includes the identification of two or three suitable nature-based solutions options for treatment and reuse, and recommendations for implementation.

Work Location


Expected duration

Two (2) months

Duties and Responsibilities

Organisational Setting:

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations systems designated entity for addressingenvironmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of global consensus onenvironmental issues by keeping the environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governmentsand the international community for action.

UNEP and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are currently implementing the Global Environment facility-funded CReW+ Project An integrated approach to water and wastewater management in the Wider Caribbean Region using innovative solutions and sustainable financing mechanisms in 18 countries in the Wider Caribbean. The GEF CReW+ Project aims to implement innovative technical small-scale solutions in the Wider Caribbean Region using an integrated water and wastewater management approach. The project is co-executed by the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention and the German agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GmbH) on behalf of UNEP and the IDB, respectively, along with the Organisation of American States (OAS).

Through the UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat, the Project Coordinating Group is seeking a Consultant to support the overall implementation of the GEF CReW+ Project by preparing specific national-level activities in Costa Rica (CReW+ national package) under Component 3, which entails the “provision of innovative small-scale, local, rural, peri-urban and community-based solutions for IWWM”. The objective is to showcase the implementation of de-centralized wastewater management systems, with potential benefits including reuse for various economic activities. The specific intervention involves providing a sustainable wastewater management solution to the Asada La Victoria de Rio Blanco, Limon. The project will be coordinated by the Environment and Energy Ministry (Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía - MINAE) and its Water Directorate (Dirección de Agua), and the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados) with the active involvement of the Asada and local stakeholders in the proposed management solutions. The existing layout, with total of 35 dwelling units (projected to reach 55 DU in the next 20 years), spreads along a long linear corridor (900-1,000 m), thus involving investments in collection and transportation of sewage effluent for final treatment. The CReW+ intervention should consider non-conventional nature-based solutions (i.e., constructed wetlands, etc.), reduce collection and treatment costs, guarantee effectiveness and long-term sustainability, and generate local environmental and socio-economic benefits.

The Implementation of Component 3 is expected to benefit the project location in the following ways:
• Improve wastewater management, and reduce treatment costs
• Improve water quality of receiving water bodies (surface and sub-surface)
• Reuse treated effluents or bi-products from residual solids for small-scale agriculture, local landscaping or other uses.

This consultancy is intended to produce a pre-feasibility assessment of nature-based solutions at Asada Rio Blanco and a recommendation of the best possible solutions, in order to continue with the development of a final feasibility study, the engineering designs and project implementation, all of which have been budgeted under Component 3 of Costa Rica’s CReW+ national package.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The proposed activities under this initial assignment for component 3 are:

1. Conduct a stakeholder analysis. Identify key roles and modalities for the engagement of key stakeholders. Stakeholders include: Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the Water Directorate (Direccion de Aguas); the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud); the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos
y Alcantarillados); the Asada Rio Blanco; and local residents (currently 36 dwelling units, with a population of approximately 180 people). Develop a Stakeholder maps/matrix with key roles, responsibilities and specific attributes.
2. Review institutional frameworks and normative instruments to regulate wastewater effluents and discharges in Costa Rica, including: Guidelines and regulations under MINAE, such as the Wastewater Management Policy (Política de Saneamiento de Aguas Residuales) and the Potable Water and Community Management Policy for Service Providers (Politica de Agua Potable y Gestion Comunitaria del Agua para Prestadores) among others; the Ministry of Health; the Delegated Systems (Sistemas delegados - ASADAS); Integrated Development Associations (Asociaciones de Desarrollo Integral -- ADIs); the Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy (Ministerio de PLanificacion y Politica Económica - MIDEPLAN); and the Wastewater Control Regulation (Reglamento del Canon Ambiental por Vertidos), among others.
3. Develop a situational analysis of Asada Rio Blanco, including a review of existing diagnosis of the Asada Rio Blanco (i.e. Study developed by TEC) and update of population and water demand/sanitation data, including a review of projected data (to 2030).
4. Review existing collective wastewater solutions proposed in the past (preferably in Costa Rica and in similar conditions to the Asada Rio Blanco), including: the TEC’s study; solutions developed and implemented by the Central American Association for the Economy, Health and the Environment (ACEPESA), such as the treatment systems in Zapote San Mateo and the Cooperativa Lagos Arancibia; and others. Summarize the effectiveness of such solutions in achieving sanitation goals, discharge standards and C-B results.
5. Analyze and select two (2) or three (3) collective nature-based solutions (i.e., Constructed wetlands, etc.) that best suit the Asada Rio Blanco, including a brief pre-feasibility analysis taking into account technical, socio-economic and management aspects. The system should be sized to meet the 2030 population growth projections.
6. Identify the most strategic, cost-effective and risk-informed nature-based intervention for Asada Rio Blanco, with key recommendations related to local capacity building and sustainability (operation and management, and financial sustainability overtime) and potential for reuse of treated effluents for agriculture, landscaping or other activities.

The consultant will report directly to the UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat and will work in close coordination with the regional project management team and the GEF Operational Focal Point at MINAE. Payment will be remitted subject to the approval of deliverables by UNEP.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Master’s degree in environmental planning, engineering (water and sanitation), environmental engineering, water resource management/policy, or equivalent.
Experience: * A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in Latin America and the Caribbean in the water/sanitation and the environmental sustainability fields.
* Specific work experience in wastewater management systems, including decentralized and nature-based solutions, andgood knowledge on wastewater reuse, technological innovations and sustainable management of treatment systemsand reuse will be an asset.
Language: English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, proficiency in oral and written English and Spanish is required, as reports are accepted in Spanish.

No Fee


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