Consultant Needed for a Full Economic Assessment

Terms of Reference

Scoping study on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity in Southeast Asia

1. Background

The South East Asian countries harbor one of the richest biodiversity regions on the planet, featuring seven of the world’s 25 recognized hotspots, home to 27,000 endemic species. Most of them are found in a wide range of nationally protected areas. To support the protection and conservation of these areas and their inhabiting species, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) was established in 2005 by the ten ASEAN Member States (AMS). It has the mandate to coordinate and develop policies, capacity building, as well as information and knowledge management on conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity among the AMS. In this context, also the nexus between biodiversity and climate change – intrinsically linked- is becoming increasingly important. However, up to date, adequate policies, instruments and capacities to address the sustainable use of biodiversity and the effects and causes of climate change are neither in place in the ASEAN nor in the AMS. This is partly due to the fact that ACB has not yet sufficient capacities to support the AMS effectively in the elaboration and implementation of regional and national strategies and policies that appropriately address the interface between biodiversity on the one side, and sustainable development and climate change on the other side.

In view of this, since September 2010 the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), through the Biodiversity and Climate Change Project (BCCP), supports the institutionalization of ACB’s core program on biodiversity and its interface with climate change contributing to an ASEAN-wide strategy. The project goal is: The service offer of the ACB in the area of biodiversity and its importance for sustainable development and climate change is strengthened and increasingly oriented towards regional policy and strategy development, hence contributing to the ASEAN integration. In implementing its program, BCCP’s multilevel approach including organizational, process and strategy development as well as training and capacity development to promote improved conservation, management, and financing of different ecosystem types in the AMS.

One main component of the program is to support ACB and AMS in the development and implementation of policies and strategies for valuing ecosystems and biodiversity in the context of ecosystem services and its integration into sustainable development planning.

In the last few decades the issue of economic valuation and conservation financing, particularly for protected areas, has become very important with increasing destruction and degradation of important ecosystems and associated negative impacts to the environment and local people who depends on them. This is often a result from traditional management regimes that focus on short-term benefits from large-scale extraction of commercial products while ignoring or undervaluing intangible or ‘unmarketed’ ecosystem services (e.g. watershed regulation function or carbon sequestration) and local livelihood values. Additionally, the traditional methods of protected area management that focus on control and law enforcement to restrict the use of lands and resources have been proven to be ineffective as they are costly and difficult to implement.

Within this context there have been efforts in the last few years to develop a suite of tools to better value (costs and benefits of) biodiversity and ecosystems and integrate it into decision-making process and development of policy and instruments that will provide incentives and encourage producers, consumers and investors to support biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. In this regard, an international study on “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (TEEB) has recently been concluded. This study was concerned with synthesizing the methods, insights and lessons learned from recent advances in the application of economic methods and tools for nature conservation, and communicating these approaches and applications to various key target groups.

2. Objectives

The study aims to:

  • provide up-dated information and data about TEEB and other best practices in the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity in South East Asia,
  • identify key critical ecosystems and ecosystems services in South East Asia,
  • identify sites for full economic studies and scenarios development (case studies), and
  • prepare a report and presentation about TEEB and the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity in South East Asia for CBD COP11.

3. Activities

The study involves the following activities:

1. Obtain reports and additional information on economic valuation studies for specific ecosystems in Southeast Asia and other best practices on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity from primary and secondary sources. Potential sources include:

  • AMS reports to ACB (reported through regional workshops including other documents and information in ACB BISS)
  • existing and on-going studies, initiatives, databases, project reports and websites
  • interviews with key stakeholders, including among others:
  • ACB National Focal Points
  • governmental agencies in AMS
  • international and inter-governmental agencies such as ASEAN Secretariat, CTI Secretariat, HoB Secretariat, FAO, CIFOR, ICRAF, and IUCN
  • non-governmental agencies such as WWF, CI, TNC, and FFI
  • researchers and universities
  • donor communities, such as World Bank and ADB.

2. Collate and synthesize gathered information; identify any further analysis if required.

3. Based on collated and synthesized information:

  • prepare a review of economic valuation studies for specific ecosystems in Southeast Asia and other best practices and lessons learned, including documentation on gaps and constraints in financing biodiversity and ecosystem conservation
  • identify key critical ecosystems and ecosystems services in South East Asia and synthesize and analyze available economic values from previous studies
  • identify sites for case studies (full economic studies, scenarios development).

4. Prepare a report of the outcomes and presentation materials for CBD COP11.

In conducting the study, particularly in step 2-4, the consultant will work together with another consultant or ACB-BCCP staff that will be appointed by ACB-BCCP.

4. Specified Service and Deliverables

All outputs from the consultancy will be in English initially and remain the property of ACB-BCCP, including drafts and related materials. Products will be publicly released by ACB-BCCP and will state the names of the consultants as subject to negotiation and agreement. The milestones include:

4.1 An inception meeting with ACB-BCCP to discuss the approach on day 1.

4.2 A presentation to the ACB-BCCP of an (Inception Report) that will serve as an opportunity for ACB-BCCP staff to review the work and provide comment and suggestions prior to final submission The presentation will include:

4.2.1 An annotated list of economic valuation studies on specific ecosystems from previous works in the region (2-3 paragraph annotation including reference citation).

4.2.2 Review and analysis of economic valuation studies and other best practices and lessons learned:

  • Review of economic values from previous studies
  • Profile of key critical ecosystems and ecosystems services in South East Asia
  • Documentation on gaps and constraints in financing biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

4.2.3 Identified sites for case studies (full economic studies, scenarios development) including review of concepts and strategies for full economic studies and scenarios development for selected sites (case studies).

4.2.4 A comprehensive final report will be supplied at the completion of the contract, including a paper and presentation materials for CBD COP 11, incorporating and addressing the comments and suggestions given by ACB-BCCP staff.

5. Timeline

The whole study will be conducted within a period of 61 days starting with an inception meeting at the start of the contract on 1 July 2012. During that period, the consultant will undertake several tasks/activities that will be done within of maximum 47 days, such as follow:

6. Place/s of Assignment

The consultant will be required to be in in Los Baños, Laguna, The Philippines (ACB-BCCP Office) during the preparation and finalization of the study. In-between the consultant may be required to travel to AMS and selected sites that will be determined and agreed between the consultant and ACB/BCCP during the preparation of the study.

7. Qualifications and Experiences

  • Minimum Master’s degree in Environmental Studies, Economics, Science, Development Policy, or a closely related field
  • Experiences in the use of tools related to cost benefit analysis and natural resource accounting and valuation would be an asset
  • Experiences in conducting consultancy works
  • Extended experience in development assistance frameworks and policy development
  • Multidisciplinary professional experience preferred
  • Excellent skills working with database and office applications (MS Excel, Word and PowerPoint)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, ability to communicate ideas effectively and write quickly and clearly under pressure
  • Fluency in other languages of the ASEAN region is an asset

8. Applications

The consultant should submit (1) a letter of intent of not more than two pages, detailing how his/her qualifications and experience make him/her suitable for the study; (2) a comprehensive curriculum vitae.

Applicants should indicate “Valuation Expert” on the Letter of Intent and email to the BCCP Project at ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity at the following email address:

Deadline for submission of completed application is on 15 June, 2012. Applications entered after this date will not be considered. Applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt; later, the selected applicant will be given due notice.

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