Background: The USAID Papua New Guinea (PNG) Biodiversity Program is a five-year conservation program based in Port Moresby but working in the Madang Province region from the coastal area extending to the Bismarck Forest Corridor, and in Yapno, Uruwa and Som (YUS) Conservation Area in Morobe Province. The program will strengthen the management of environmental resources in PNG to promote conservation of the country’s exceptional biodiversity and enhance the resilience of its people. The biodiversity program will reduce significant threats to priority biodiversity hotspots in PNG by supporting communities to manage their customary lands and waters, working at both national and local levels to develop the capacities needed to provide communities with the legal, technical, and financial resources required to achieve the sustainable management of their natural resources.
The Biodiversity Conservation Program seeks an Endangered Species/Biodiversity Focal Interests Assessment Consultant to conduct an assessment across the project area and to identify key biodiversity focal interests across the area. The successful consultant will integrate assessment findings into a report identifying key focal species and related habitats across the project area. The consultant will work with the program team to integrate findings with recommended approaches and actions to be implemented under USAID’s Biodiversity Program in a way that is opportunistic in taking advantages of entry points, leverages and blends with already planned components of the biodiversity program, and optimizes allocation of resources within the PNG context. The Endangered Species/Biodiversity Focal Interests Assessment Consultant must be aware of USAID’s global biodiversity policy (https://www.usaid.gov/biodiversity/policy). The consultant should also be familiar with the context of biodiversity conservation in places like Papua New Guinea, and especially with respect to PNG land tenure issues, social/clan structures and environmental governance in PNG. The assessment will be the pilot study to determine methodology of future surveys on potential keystone indicator species, challenges with keystone indicator species mapping and tracking. The consultant will present information that informs the program’s determination of indicator species for management success from plant, reptile/amphibian, bird, mammal, aquatic and insect species. Some examples might be the different species of tree kangaroos, the New Guinea harpy eagle or the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing (butterfly). Because of the short time for this assessment only a small fraction of the endemic species of Papua New Guinea will be assessed for this study and the consultant and program team will interact once the consultant is on board to agree on a final approach including screening criteria and species selection process and criteria. The process will include at least one trip to Papua New Guinea to interact with program partners and PNG government, supported by extensive desk research and pre-trip preparation.
- Conduct a literature review on the existing biodiversity of PNG and email and skype communication with program implementing partners and stakeholders including the Government of PNG, local community groups and other NGOs.
- Review Biodiversity Program work plan as well as other reports and assessments such as those from IUCN and other international NGOs, organizations, and donors;
- Meet with USAID PNG Biodiversity partners (The tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Nature Conservancy) to assess their projects, methodologies and tools, that could best be integrated into the overall program structure;
- Develop methodology and survey as needed for Endangered Species/Biodiversity Focal Interests Assessment for the Biodiversity Program areas specifically for the missing data from the original review – the assessment should focus on the following as it pertains to biodiversity improvement:
- Current physical and social environment conducive to sustainable land and resource use in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
- Community and civil society engagement
- Develop a written plan for managing qualitative and quantitative data collection across program areas
- Write draft and final report explaining opportunities for project actions;
- Present findings at the biodiversity program start-up workshop February 17-21, 2019.
Literature review on existing endangered species/biodiversity focal interests in Papua New Guinea with a focus on the biodiversity programs target geographies
Methodology and tools development for endangered species/biodiversity focal interests assessment
Work plan schedule for conducting assessment
Draft endangered species/biodiversity focal interests assessment report including recommend policy and species specific endangered species/biodiversity focal interests indicators
Present initial findings at program start-up workshop
Required Minimum Education: MA/MS in relevant field of study such as biological sciences or other natural science related to biodiversity protection
Required Experience: At least 10+ years of experience in biological sciences or other natural science related to biodiversity protection or related field
Knowledge and Skills:
- Experience working directly with endangered species biomes and research related to conservation biology for endangered species environments;
- At least 7 years experience working on endangered species/biodiversity focal interests;
- An understanding of the context of the unique physical and socio-political environment within PNG and significant recent experience in PNG or the Asia Pacific region;
- Experience assessing the success of development projects in terms of biodiversity protection and conservation biology;
- Experience in developing gender-sensitive indicators relative to biodiversity conservation;
- Understanding of USAID’s monitoring and evaluation approaches;
- Knowledge of USAID (or other donors) and other global strategies for economic development;
- Experience working on biodiversity programs a plus;
- Excellent conceptual, oral and written communication skills in English;
- Proven ability to work under pressure and to meet management deadlines;
- Ability and comfort working with program partners to evolve realistic expectations and timelines.
Estimated Period of Performance: Immediate
Estimated LoE: 28 days
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Applicants must submit their CV and Cover Letter, including “PNG and Endangered Species/Biodiversity Assessment” in the subject line to email@example.com