This consultation is published by Plan Bleu, Regional Activity Center of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), established in the form of a French association in Marseille, France. The MAP is one of the main components of the Regional Seas Program of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). It has a legal instrument: the Barcelona Convention and relies on six regional activity centers (“RACs”) responsible in particular for promoting the implementation of the various protocols attached to the convention. Plan Bleu is one of these six centers mandated by the twenty-one countries Parties to the Barcelona Convention and the European Union (Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention). Plan Bleu acts as an observatory of the environment and sustainable development in the Mediterranean, and conducts thematic, systemic and prospective analyzes to enlighten decision-makers of the region on the environmental risks and the challenges of sustainable development. Plan Bleu cooperates with the United Nations Environment Programme Ecosystems Division to prepare an ambitious programme of ecosystem restoration in the Mediterranean Basin, with a focus on regional cooperation to protect and restore forests. The assignment described in these terms of reference focuses on the preparation phase of this regional programme – the Mediterranean Forest Initiative.
The general objective of this assignment is to further develop a Concept Note and Implementation Plan for an ambitious Mediterranean Forest Initiative.
The specific objectives are:
- to provide an analysis of risks and opportunities for forest protection and restoration in the Mediterranean Basin, based on existing materials and literature;
- based on a preliminary concept note (Annex A) to further define objectives, expected outcomes and outputs, including proposed feasibility studies and assessments, to be aligned with relevant UNEP strategies, programmes and projects;
- to propose partnerships and institutional arrangements for the Initiative, including knowledge/communication partnerships and field implementation options (potentially including UNREDD);
- to identify Mediterranean Basin « champions » for the initiative;
- to develop a detailed budget and timeframe for Stage 3 (development of detailed feasibility studies), which will lead to resource mobilization for Stage 4 (see below);
- to identify potential donors for Phases 3 and 4;
- to prepare and deliver a workshop and a briefing to present the results of the activities above.
3. Description of activities
The assignment will include the following tasks:
Task 1: At the beginning of the assignment, the consultant will provide a methodological note, detailing
- the resources planned to be deployed for this assignment,
- the different steps of the assignment and the methodological approach planned to be followed,
- a first overview of bibliography and references that will be used for the assignment,
- a draft table of contents of the concept note and implementation plan, and
- the time schedule for this assignment.
This note will be presented and discussed during a kick-off meeting with Plan Bleu and potentially a representative from UNEP Ecosystems Division. Following the kick-off meeting, the consultant will adjust the note as needed.
Task 2: Building on the draft concept note included in Annex A, the consultant will develop a preliminary version of a Concept Note and Implementation Plan for the Mediterranean Forest Initiative. The concept note will include the following elements:
- an analysis of risks and opportunities for forest protection and restoration in the Mediterranean Basin, based on existing materials and literature;
- a further definition of the objectives, expected outcomes and outputs, including proposed feasibility studies and assessments, to be aligned with relevant UNEP strategies, programmes and projects;
- proposed partnerships and institutional arrangements for the Initiative, including knowledge/communication partnerships and field implementation options (potentially including UNREDD);
- the identification of potential Mediterranean Basin « champions » for the initiative;
- a detailed budget and timeframe for the development of detailed feasibility studies, which will lead to resource mobilization (stages 3 and 4 in Annex A); and
- an identification of potential donors for Phases 3 and 4.
Task 3: Based on a first set of comments provided by Plan Bleu and potentially UNEP Ecosystems Division on the preliminary Concept Note and Implementation Plan, and based on further desk work by the Consultant, the Consultant will fully develop the Concept Note and Implementation Plan. The Consultant will also elaborate a slideshow that presents the main elements of the Concept Note and Implementation Plan.
Task 4: The Consultant will prepare and deliver a Workshop on the Concept Note and Implementation Plan, with participation of UNEP/MAP, Nature for Climate and Disasters and Conflicts Branch Heads, UNREDD and Plan Bleu (online/hybrid at UNEP/MAP);
Task 5: The Consultant will prepare and deliver a Briefing on the Mediterranean Forest Initiative to UNEP leadership (Ecosystems Division, Regional Offices, Executive Office) (online);
Task 6: Building on results from the Workshop and Briefing (Tasks 4 and 5 above), the Consultant will update and complete the Concept Note and Implementation Plan and the slideshow.
4. Schedule of tasks and deliverables
The mission is planned to start on 1 October 2022 and end on 20 December 2022. The assignment will include the following steps, and the expected number of working days is as follows:
|#||Tasks and deliverables||Approximate number of working days||Delivery Date (2022)|
|1||Methodological note for conducting this assignment prepared, Kick-off meeting prepared and conducted and Methodological note updated||1||early October|
|2||Preliminary draft of Concept Note for the Mediterranean Forest Initiative, building on the elements in Annex A, and including an implementation plan, budget and recommendations for UN and other partnerships||18||24 October|
|3||Fully developed Concept Note for the Mediterranean Forest Initiative, building on the elements in Annex A, and including an implementation plan, budget and recommendations for UN and other partnerships); and slideshow presenting main results prepared||10||20 November|
|4||Workshop on Concept Note and proposed next steps prepared and delivered with participation of UNEP/MAP, Nature for Climate and Disasters and Conflicts Branch Heads, UNREDD and Plan Bleu (online/hybrid at UNEP/MAP)||3||early December (tbc)|
|5||Briefing on the Mediterranean Forest Initiative prepared and delivered to UNEP leadership (Ecosystems Division, Regional Offices, Executive Office) (online)||2||early December (tbc), after workshop|
|6||Final concept note and implementation plan and final version of slideshow presenting main results||2||20 December|
|TOTAL number of estimated working days||36 days|
All deliverables mentioned in the table above have to be transmitted to Plan Bleu in English. The deliverables have to be formally approved by Plan Bleu. No payments will be made without prior approval of the linked deliverables.
The consultant will provide all source data used in the study, for example data in excel format, or cartographic material in shapefiles format with the attribute tables if maps are designed.
The UN Environment Programme and Plan Bleu will cooperate to monitor the progress of this assignment. The consultant will work under the supervision of a Plan Bleu programme officer and he/she will also work in collaboration with Plan Bleu’s Head of the Environment and Sustainable Development Observatory to ensure a smooth integration of source data used for the assignment in Plan Bleu’s database. Especially if the consultant intends to use cartographic material under this assignment, he/she will advise Plan Bleu of this intention and exchange with Plan Bleu to comply with international standards for geospatial data and metadata (for e.g OGC and ISO), United Nations boundaries and required disclaimers are used. The consultant will regularly exchange with Plan Bleu team members as required.
5. Selection criteria
Plan Bleu is seeking an experienced lead consultant with technical expertise on forest, including their relevance to Mediterranean Basin ecosystems, economies and climate resilience, in line with the UNEP/MAP Medium Term Strategy.
Plan Bleu invites individual consultants, associations of consultants, and consulting firms to apply for this assignment. Qualified candidates unite the following competences and criteria:
- University diploma of at least Master’s level or equivalent in a relevant field
- Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in the field of sustainable development, with good knowledge of ecosystems and in particular forests
- Minimum of 5 years of working experience in and specific knowledge of environmental issues in the Mediterranean
- A solid experience in working with international donors and other international development, environment and climate finance organizations
- A strong experience in elaborating large programme proposals
- Excellent analytical, synthesis and writing skills
- Good knowledge of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework
- Good knowledge of climate resilience and climate finance issues
- Knowledge of the Mediterranean Basin and stakeholders related to sustainable development
- Good knowledge of the structure and key success factors of large programme/project proposals
- An excellent command of English is a must. Working knowledge of other Mediterranean-rim languages is a plus.
6. Selection of the Consultant
The selection of the consultant will be based on the evaluation of the consultant’s technical proposal (experience and competences, as well as proposed methodology to implement the assignment) with a weighting factor of 75%, and the consultant’s financial proposal with a weighting factor of 25%. The financial offer must include all applicable taxes (such as but not limited to VAT), and any other costs that the consultant may incur for the carrying out of the assignment.
Applicants should submit references of their previous work on similar topics as well as relevant documents by email to the address listed below if not indicated by an active web link. In addition, candidates must demonstrate their legal capacity to sign contracts and issue invoices according to the legislation of their country. To this end, they must also include in their offer the following documents:
For consulting firms:
- KBIS extract less than 3 months old for a French company
- Document justifying the registration as a company in their country, with the tax number indicated (for companies situated outside of France)
- Full Bank Identity Statement (BIC, IBAN or BBAN) issued by the bank.
For individual consultants:
- Certificate of registration in the Directory of Companies and Establishments
- Document certifying the right to exercise this profession (registration certificate, for example) according to the legislation of the consultant’s country with the tax number (for consultants situated out of France).
- Full Bank Identity Statement (RIB) (BIC, IBAN or BBAN) provided by the bank.
The final selection of the candidate may require an interview via videoconference.
7. Contractual, financial and practical conditions
Acceptance of the assignment implies acceptance of the conditions and schedule detailed in these terms of reference, including the following payment calendar:
- 65 % of the total amount after acceptance by Plan Bleu of the deliverables pertaining to tasks 1 and 2 indicated above; and
- 35 % of the total amount after acceptance by Plan Bleu of all deliverables pertaining to this assignment, as listed above.
A duly issued invoice will be required for scheduled payments. The payment deadline for invoices will be as follows: bank transfer 15 days after the invoice date. The tax legislation in force on the date of acceptance of the offer will be applied.
8. To respond to this call for applications
Plan Bleu invites consulting firms, associations/consortiums of consultants and individual consultants interested in this mission to indicate their motivation by sending a response to this call for applications including: a letter of expression of interest, the CV(s) of the expert(s), as well as a detailed financial and technical offer in response to these terms of reference.
Applications have to be submitted at the latest on 25 September 2022 on www.planbleu.org and via e-mail to [firstname.lastname@example.org] and [email@example.com]. For more information, please contact Mr. Arnaud Terrisse [firstname.lastname@example.org].