Status Assessment and Proposed Management Regime for Mare Aux Cochons Ramsar Site
The GOS-UNDP-GEF Programme Coordination Unit in Seychelles is implementing an Adaptation Fund project Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in Seychelles (EBA project).
The project seeks to reduce the vulnerability of the Seychelles to climate change, focusing on two key issues of water scarcity and flooding. The project will reduce these vulnerabilities by spearheading ecosystem-based adaptation as climate change risk management—restoring ecosystem functionality, and enhancing ecosystem resilience and sustaining watershed and coastal processes in order to secure critical water provisioning and flood attenuation ecosystem services from watersheds and coastal areas.
The project will be implemented in four river catchments on Mahe and will seek to improve catchment function by rehabilitation of native forest by managing and reducing introduced trees alongside a series of measures to improve river function.
This proposed project will implement an EbA approach to enhance ecosystems’ resilience in water catchment areas of Mahé and Praslin in order to maximize the supply of water resources, and reduce climate change induced water scarcity. A new approach will be introduced by the project – better utilizing and sustaining the natural ecosystem functions to enhance water quantity and quality, and to re-orient the water supply planning to include the catchment areas above the water intake sites. Watersheds will be evaluated on their water provisioning potential and a range of rehabilitation and other ecosystem enhancing interventions will be implemented at sites that show the highest potential for water provision. This will include rehabilitation of upland wetlands and forests to enhance water-soil infiltration and water storage capacities.
Ecosystem based adaptation involves the management and rehabilitation of ecosystems through selected measures intended to increase the resilience to climate change, which includes increased biological measures (forest and wetland rehabilitation) to filter and trap runoff and sediments, increase rainfall infiltration and reduce forest fire risks within the catchment areas, re-vegetation and protection of shorelines from storm and human damages, enhanced flood control management of tidal wetlands to improve hydro-ecological processes, renovated and increased water detention structures to reduce runoff rates and enhance water balance, and enhanced awareness, policy and institutional development for both watershed and coastal stewardship of ecosystems.
Mare aux Cochons Ramsar Site
The site lies within the Morne Seychellois National Park, an area of outstanding endemism and rare ecological communities. The park’s most critical ecological community is the mist forest at higher altitudes. However, critical communities include a number of other important habitats including intermediate altitude forest, riverine forest, open water pools, marshes and rivers, and all of these are priorities for conservation. The Ramsar site is a high-altitude wetland, which is an extremely rare vegetation type. It has one critically endangered species, at least seven that are vulnerable, and seven species that are classed as lower risk – near threatened. All are endemic. The main threat to the wetland site is invasive plant species, but introduced animal taxa may also have a negative effect. The original ecological communities of this wetland are not recorded.
Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties of the consultant will be:
- Undertake a rapid literature assessment of the Mare aux Cochons Ramsar site, identifying key biodiversity interest, values of the site and threats (including succession to dry land);
- Undertake a brief field survey to follow up on the above, particularly to address data gaps;
- Identify management options for the wetland that may enhance water storage capacity and biodiversity;
- Consult with local stakeholders to identify management constraints or opportunities;
- Provide recommendations for management options, particularly for the rehabilitation of the Mare-aux-Cochons Ramsar site;
- Provide recommendations for a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan to measure the success of management interventions to be applied;
- Make any recommendations deemed necessary for additional scientific studies that should inform the management of the site.
- Ability to build strong relationships with national consultants and stakeholders, to focus on impact and results for the client, to respond positively to critical feedback, and a consensus-oriented approach to work;
- Highly developed inter-personal, negotiation and teamwork skills, and a networking aptitude;
- Fully computer literate;
- Excellent English writing and communication skills;
- Ability to work in complex, multi-stake-holder project environments;
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
- Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
Required Skills and Experience
- Minimum, a postgraduate degree in Ecology or a related subject.
- At least 10 years’ experience in wetlands management, preferably internationally;
- Specific experience in the designation, management and/or assessment of Ramsar sites;
- Specific expertise in the context of Small Island Development States (SIDS) is desirable; regional (Western Indian Ocean) and national (Seychelles) experience is an advantage;
- Ability to conduct research and analysis, with strong synthesis skills.
- Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.
- Interested offerors are strongly advised to read the Individual Consultant (IC) Procurement Notice, which can be viewed at http://www.mu.undp.org/content/mauritius_and_seychelles/en/home/operations/procurement/ for more detail about the terms of references, general terms and conditions of IC, and templates to be included when submitting offer;
- Interested offerors above the age of 62: UNDP regulations require, at their own cost, to undergo a full medical examination including x-rays. Medical evaluation documentation does not need to be submitted with the other requested documents listed above, but will be requested should the candidate be chosen;
- Interested offerors are required to submit an application via the UNDP jobsite system.
Please note that the UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application documents per offeror, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file. Your on-line application submission will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such case, please resubmit the application.