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Terms of references for the review of the 10-year transboundary strategic plan

Background

The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) is a mechanism for strategic, transboundary, collaborative management of the Greater Virunga landscape also referred to as the Central Albertine Rift. This landscape is one of the most species-rich landscapes containing contiguous protected areas and more vertebrates than any other single set of contiguous protected areas in Africa.

In 2006, a 10-Year Transboundary Strategic plan for the Greater Virunga was developed and approved through a participatory process by the three protected areas authorities of Rwanda, Uganda and DRC. The planning process also involved consultations with all the relevant conservation partners in the region.

The 10-year strategic plan for the Greater Virunga with the mission “The Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier PA network together with the surrounding Landscape conserved sustainably” was officially launched in 2007 in Kampala. An Executive Secretariat was set up in Kigali to coordinate the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

In the framework of implementing the 10-year Transboundary Strategic Plan of the landscape, the three protected areas authorities (PAAs) i.e. Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), with the support of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) secured a four-year funding from the Netherlands government towards the end of the 2007. This funding was meant to support “the Protected Area Authorities to implement transboundary collaboration and conservation revenue sharing processes in the Virunga-Bwindi Ecosystems”. At the same time funding was received through the CARE and IGCP partnership under the Enterprise, Environment and Equity in the Virunga Landscape of the Great Lakes region (EEEGL) programme from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to specifically support the transboundary collaboration activities across the GVL. Subsequently, additional funding was received from the US Department of State as well as WWF-Sweden to assist in developing and implementing of a communication strategy. More recently the Royal Norwegian Government through their embassy in Kampala has also provided funds to support the implementation of the Strategic plan.

One unique attribute of the ten-year transboundary strategic plan (TSP) is that it is meant to be implemented by all stakeholders involved in conservation in the region and not just the PAAs. This includes organisations like IGCP, CARE, WCS, WWF, Gorilla organization, Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Institute for Tropical Forest the Conservation and the numerous community based organization in the region among others.

The TSP is in its seventh year of implementation. Numerous achievements have been made by the various stakeholders. At the same time the context on which the development of the Strategic plan was based has evolved over time and some of the assumptions and conditions changed. Similarly the internal and external factors have been constantly changing at national as well as regional level. For this reason, it is necessary to take stock of the situation and determine whether the Transboundary Strategic Plan is still relevant in its present form or needs re-direction.

The review of the Greater Virunga transboundary strategic plan aims to come up with an effective tool leading to a landscape conservation and sustainable development missions through the existing transboundary mechanisms of this landscape.

This review shall highlight how the transboundary strategic plan has been effective in both achieving and tracking the conservation and sustainable development mission within the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration. The review will also focus on understanding the rationale for the collaboration and reviewing the coordination mechanisms within the landscape and proposing ways (if necessary) to improve these mechanisms.

GVTC is therefore looking for a consultancy firm with relevant experience to undertake a review of the TSP implementation, determine whether the key issues in 2006 are still relevant, whether the are emerging issues that need to be considered by the stakeholders and whether the strategies in the plan are still relevant or not and modify if, and as necessary.

Major tasks and expected outputs:

An objective review and assessment of the implementation of the 10-year strategic plan. This will require undertaking multi-stakeholder consultations to gather information related to the implementation of the TSP.

Working with a selected small team of stakeholders to develop a revised TSP for the period 2013 – 2022.

Assess the enabling environment for the transboundary cooperation (regional partnership mechanism, institutional mechanisms, sustainable funding, and regional facilitation for implementation) and make proposals on a way forward.
Develop a five year implementation plan with SMART indicators

The firm is expected to present the draft report to the GVTC and key stakeholders and facilitate a participatory feedback session(s) prior to finalization of the report.

Deliverables

- The consultancy firm shall provide the followings:

- A detailed report on the 10 year strategic plan implementation over the last six years in both French and English (electronic and 5 copies each printed)

- Five hard copies each in French and English of a new Transboundary Strategic Plan and a ready to print electronic version of the same in both languages.

- A five year detailed implementation plan

- Skills and experience required

The consultancy firm should have a combination of qualifications and experience required to undertake the set of tasks listed above such as project assessment and strategic planning including M&E capacity. Other skills and experience such as natural resource management, programme management and community development in the great lakes region would be an added advantage.

Fluency in English is a requirement. Knowledge of French is an added advantage.

Duration

The consultancy should be completed in 60 working days.

Reporting

The firm will report to the Executive Secretary GVTC but work closely with the Technical Advisor and all staff of GVTC.

Application

Interested consultants/firms should send their full proposals (technical, financial, and CVs to the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, Building ADRA, Nyarutarama opposite Ministry of Youth and ICT, P.O. Box 6626, Kigali, Rwanda. Telephone: +250 252 580 429 Email: tmusabe@greatervirunga.org or pruhumuliza@greatervirunga.org.

Closing date December 07, 2012