FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR REDD+ IN THE SOUTH WEST REGION, CAMEROON | WWF

FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR REDD+ IN THE SOUTH WEST REGION, CAMEROON

Posted on 09 March 2017

                                                      TERMS OF REFERENCE
FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR REDD+ IN THE SOUTH WEST REGION, CAMEROON
  1. Background
The Government of Cameroon has been actively involved in the global effort to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and to promote conservation, sustainable management of forests and  the enhancement of forest carbon sinks (REDD+) since 2005. Cameroon’s RPP was approved in February 2013 by the participants’ committee of the FCPF. As per the RPP, the government has decided to adopt the REDD+ mechanism as a development tool which will permit the country to attain the objectives set in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper and INDC. In this connection, potential projects should respond to the following criteria (see page 61 of R-PP):
  • Contributing to an actual reduction of deforestation and forest degradation, thus responding to the determined causes of deforestation and forest degradation ;
  • Contributing to local development ;
  • The testing of carbon accounting tools at the sites ;
  • Testing the functionality of the national registry and certification system of REDD+ activities;
  • The generation of various co-benefits (responding to concerns about the implementation of SESA: social, environmental and even governance);
  • Technical (experience in REDD+ projects and initiatives) and financial capacity (co-financing capacity) of project promoters.
In recent years, the Coastal Forests Program area of WWF has been the subject of controversial attributions of lands for the development of large scale agricultural plantations and the most notable is the attribution of land to Herakles Farms for the development of a palm oil plantation. This and coupled with the unprecedented rush for land by local communities for the establishment of agricultural fields will increasingly mount pressure on forests which will lead to negative impacts on the forest cover and quality as well as the rich biodiversity of the landscape. Moreover, proper forest management in many areas is lacking and it is expected that carbon stocks could be greatly increased by proper forest management activities. Given this context, REDD+ seems highly feasible, but still needs verification.
WWF recently completed a REDD+ prefeasibility study in the SWR and prepared two PINs that have already received government approval. The PINs outline two distinct but complementary approaches to REDD+ within the moist mono-modal rainforest agro-ecological zone of the Southwest Region, identified as holding the most promise for WWF interventions. These two approaches correspond to Cameroon’s approach to REDD+ implementation, with the South West Region as the Optimal Action Zone (Zone Optimale d’Action -ZOA) and the council level as the Optimal Implementation Zone (Zone Optimale de Mise en Oeuvre - ZOMO). The Mundemba, Toko, Nguti and Bangem councils are the cluster of councils under consideration in the latter approach.
WWF seeks the services of a team of consultants or an institution to conduct a full feasibility study in the SWR to support the REDD+ project development.
  1. Gaol and Objectives
The goal of this assignment is to support the development of a pilot REDD+ project in the South West Region with council(s) as the Optimal Implementation Zone. 
The objectives of the study are as follows:
  • Conduct a full REDD+ feasibility study
  • Develop a pilot REDD+ project proposal
 
  1. Key activities
The feasibility report should include:

3.1 Evaluation of the land uses and the geo-physical and ecological of the target area
  • Assess the topography, climate and vegetation types of the target area and different land uses types. The assessment should provide historical field data on forest cover across the target area, based on existing documents and maps
3.2 Define the scope of the REDD+ project
  • Identify potential wildlife corridors linking protected areas, Kurop and Bakossi National Park and the Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Define exact project intervention and accounting areas and boundaries, including project stakeholders, and maximizing coverage of mutually agreed wildlife corridors
  • Define temporal scope of the projects
3.3 Baseline establishment through detailed assessment of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation
  1. Remote sensing analysis on the historical deforestation and forest degradation supported by ground truthing. The analysis should include at least three dates and span at least 10 years.
  2. Detailed socio-economic study on the current and future agents and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and assess the proximate and underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation
  3. Projection of future deforestation and degradation based on  detailed land use map at start of the project, analysis of the agents and drivers of deforestation and degradation of the project site.
  4. Identify and document key ecosystem values, including biodiversity and other non-carbon benefits including social benefits
3.4 Estimation of the reforestation and afforestation potential
  1. Examine government policies and plans related to forest cover (e.g. forest policy, plantation plans (forest and agriculture e.g., palms) and national plantation strategy, and council/community forestry strategy, Forest Management Units (FMUs), the fate of forest reserves,…), to understand the issue of additionality, and discuss with government officials the identification of areas where reforestation and afforestation have the most potential.
  2. Describe the elements of additionality within the context of the proposed REDD+ project
3.5 Estimation of forest carbon stocks
  1. Estimate the current amount of carbon stock and increment rates based on inventory data of different forest types and land uses, research data and/or national-level inventories and/or applicable IPCC default values or data from relevant scientific studies elsewhere with similar vegetation cover to the target area. The estimation could also be done through the measurement of the DBH of trees in transects and the use of allometric equations.
  2. Compare current carbon stock and existing annual increment with potential carbon stock and annual increment rates that are possible for well managed forests.
  3. Collate current information on carbon density in the target area and proposed project scope (biomass estimates, allometric equations, etc) for different types of forest and land uses.
  4. Clearly indicate and map the carbon reservoirs to be considered for the project
  5. Identify potential leakages and mitigation options
3.6 Develop strategies to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation
  • Identify and conduct capacity assessment for project implementation partners
  • Based on the drivers study, prepare a detail design of project activities and develop sustainable business models to address agricultural drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, including cocoa (and other) plantations located in the corridors
  • Carry out market studies relevant for the business model implementation
  • Develop a land use planning concept to be carried out in cooperation with councils
  • Assessment of social and environmental impact (non-carbon benefits) of the proposed project activities and outline a FPIC strategy according to national guidelines for REDD+ 
  • Oversee implementation of the FPIC strategy with CSOs of the SWR
  • Develop strategies to address environmental and social safeguards
3.7 Reference levels for National forest Monitoring system  (NFMS) and MRV
  • Depending on the requirement of the project’s donor institution and the NFMS and MRV requirements, develop a preliminary reference scenario and corresponding NFMS and MRV concept and work plan
  • Clarify relationship to national REDD+ process and nesting in national REDD+ framework and strategy
  • Estimate expected emissions reduction by taking into account leakage and performance risks
  • Clarify the usage and ownership rights of carbon over the project site
3.8 Legal feasibility
  • Assessment of legal risk and compliance with national REDD+ policies and strategies
  • Assess land tenure risks and strategies to overcome these
  • Propose mechanism for sharing carbon and non-carbon benefits and a plan for operationalizing the mechanism proposed.
  • Draft legal agreement on carbon rights and benefits sharing
3.9 Institutional arrangements
  • Define collaboration platform and procedures for key project stakeholders, including project implementation partners, government entities, and investors
  • Suggest possible roles of local civil society organizations (CSOs) in supporting REDD+.  
  • Consult with project donor /investors and gain funding commitment / emissions reduction purchase agreement (ERPA)
  • Assess and identify technical capacity needs and outline capacity building needs for effective implementation
  • Receive confirmation of stakeholder engagement in project through written agreements with key stakeholders, including communities, CSOs, government and private sector actors
3.10 Conflict management
  • Analysis of the potential conflicts linked to the REDD+ project and propose conflict management mechanisms
3.11 Risk assessment
  • Analysis of major risks for each component, i.e. carbon accounting, institutional, political and legal risks and develop risk mitigation strategies
3.12 Implementation planning
  • Develop a detail project implementation and work plans
  • Define roles and responsibilities for project implementation
  • Carry out economic and financial assessments and assess investment needs for project implementation. Include opportunity costs, implementation costs, transaction costs and benefits (economic, financial, and valorized co-benefits.
  • Develop financial model for the project, including detailed project budget, start-up investment required, and costs and returns for project partners
  • Prepare a business plan using parameters that have undergone sensitivity analysis
3.13 Proposal Development
  • Develop a funding proposal for a mutually agreed donor with the Mundemba, Nguti, Toko and Bangem councils as the Optimal Implementation Zone
  • Identify other REDD+ initiatives within and outside the project boundary, identify areas of complementarity and possible partnerships
 
  1. Methodology
The consultant is expected to propose a phase-based methodology appropriate for the assignment. The foreseen phases are literature review, field work, and data analysis and reporting. During these three phases, the consultant should work in close collaboration with the local communities, the Council executive and staff of relevant sectorial ministries (MINEPAT, MINADER,…) and institutions (IRAD,…) at the local and national levels. The WWF and the Technical Secretariat of REDD+ (ST REDD+) will ensure the operational follow-up of activities at both technical and administrative levels.

4.1 Literature review
The consultant is expected to identify and consult relevant documents related to the project, including, but not limited to the following:
  • Council development plans of Toko, Mundemba, Bangem & Nguti;
  • Approved PIN REDD+: A micro-jurisdictional project through investments in agricultural productivity at the council level
  • MRV Action plan;
  • Manuel for procedure and implementation of REDD+ activities in Cameroon;
  •  Guidelines for the conduct of FPIC within the context of REDD+ in Cameroon;
  • National communication plan of REDD+ process;
  • National strategy for consultation of stakeholders;
  • Strategic document for growth and employment, DSCE;
  • Cameroon INDC – Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
  • The R-PP of Cameroon;
  • Emission Reductions Program Idea Note (ER-PIN)  of Cameroon
  • Sophia Carodenuto & Eduard Merger, 2015. Preliminary REDD+ Feasibility in Southwest Cameroon, WWF Cameroon, 80p.
4.2 Field work
The consultant should propose a methodology, highlighting and justifying all technical elements and procedures needed to conduct a feasibility study, and elaborate the proposal by referring to the above mentioned tasks. S/he expected to consult relevant stakeholders through meetings, in order to discuss the hypotheses and preliminary results with them, and triangulate information. The discussion with the relevant stakeholders should be done in a transparent and repetitive manner to bring out the advantages, risks and uncertainty and generate e a shared understanding of the feasibility of the project and to conveniently manage the expectations of the stakeholders.

4.3 Data analysis and Reporting
The consultant should mention and justify in his/her offer the different standards and analysis tools to be used to measure certain parameters of the project such as: Carbon/biodiversity inventories; estimated emission reduction, additionality; leakage,…. For each standard and tool, briefly describe the options, stating theirs pros and cons;
  1. Deliverables
The deliverables of the assignment are as follows:
  • Inception report with a plan of action with a detailed framework of activities, methodologies to be applied, schedule,…
  • A report covering key activities 3.1-3.5, and providing details of methodologies used.
  • A report for each of key activities 3.6-3.13, and providing details of methodologies used.
  • An FPIC strategy according to guidelines for REDD+  and an implementation report
  • A micro-jurisdictional REDD+ feasibility study report with the Mundemba, Nguti, Toko and Bangem councils as the Optimal Implementation Zone.
 
The feasibility report may follow the Katoomba Incubator template[1], or preferably the format prescribed by the National REDD+ Technical Secretariat (ST REDD+).  The data and information presented in the reports should be appropriately disaggregated. All reports are expected to be in English and suitable for an international audience. Texts should be in MS Word, tables in Excel and images in JPEG format.
WWF Cameroon will set up a technical committee to validate the deliverables following a calendar to be agreed with the consultant.  
  1. Duration and Time Frame
The timeframe for the assignment is six calendar months, effective from the date of signature of contract. All deliverables are expected within the 6-month timeframe.
  1.  Profile of Consultant(s)
The lead consultant is expected to demonstrate competence and experience in the domains of climate change and designing REDD+ and rural development projects. S/he is expected to mobilize a multidisciplinary team of experts for the assignment with qualification and experience as indicated in the table below:
Expert Qualification and experience
Chief of mission - Expert on sustainable management of natural resources
  • Minimum of Master level in NRM, forestry or related field
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in NRM and/or forestry
  • A solid experience in project development, especially carbon projects
  • Good mastery of REDD+ process
  • Experience in conducting REDD+ feasibility study
  • Experience in assessment of biomass and carbon stock estimation.
  • Experience in the elaboration of reference scenario & MVR systems and analysis of agents and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Evidence of having carried out a similar assignment and
  • Good knowledge of carbon credit certification standards
  • Good knowledge of social and environmental safeguard applicable to REDD+.
  • Experience in conflicts management or resolution and risk management 
  • Maturity, cultural sensitivity, tactfulness, diplomacy, inter-personal skills and ability to work well under pressure in a demanding environment.
  • Fluent in English and French (both spoken and written)
Knowledge of the local languages, socio-cultural setup and the target area in general is an advantage
Agronomist
  • Masters in Agronomy or related field
  • At least 7 years of working experience in the rural sector
  • A solid experience in analysis agricultural (crop – palms and cocoa agrofoerstry and livestock) systems
  • Experience in land use change analysis
  • A strong skill in conducting socio-economic analysis in rural area
  • A strong experience in project/programme evaluation
  • Experience in stakeholder analysis and in analysing complex situation
  • Good experience in developing project
  • Good knowledge of REDD+ process
  • Experience in carrying economic and financial analysis of projects;
  • Experience in conflicts management or resolution and risk management 
  • Fluent in English and French (both spoken and written)
  • Knowledge of the local languages, socio-cultural setup and the target area in general is an advantage
GIS and Geomatics (Remote sensing, GIS, cartography,…) and statistics.
  • Master Degree in GIS, geography , geomatic or related sciences
  • A minimum of 5 years of working experience
  • A good mastery of GIS software
  • Good expertise in mapping and satellite images analysis
  • Ability to create visually appealing maps which make complex data easier to understand
  • Good understanding of REDD+ process
  • Fluency in English and French
 
Team members may not be required fulltime, but must be available for the assignment proper and during feedback workshops. Any deviation in the methodology, scope, personnel or budget from that accepted in the consultant’s contract must be pre-approved in writing by WWF-Cameroon before such change takes effect. The lead consultant contracted for the assignment is ultimately responsible for the deliverables and their quality.
 
  1. Offer of services
To apply, please send technical and financial bid to Tenders-camcfp@wwfcam.org in ONE EMAIL ONLY the following:
  • Comments demonstrating understanding of the Terms of Reference and suggestions for improvement, if any;
  • A clear statement describing why the consultant is a suitable candidate;
  • Outputs of at least two similar assignments;
  • Brief (1-page maximum) curriculum vitae of team members, highlighting experiences relevant for this assignment;
  • A clear methodology/procedure for implementing the assignment;
  • A work plan that provides a breakdown and a logical sequencing of activities, including timeframe;
  • A detailed budget (consultancy fees, travel costs, subsistence allowances, activity costs, etc.), including rates (hourly and/or man days) and time spent by each team member on each assignment.
 
For the email subject line, please use Special call for tender – REDD+feasibility study

The deadline for the reception of bids is 31 March 2017.

The highest or lowest cost bidder may not necessarily be awarded this contract. Overall cost and best value for the budget will be strongly considered. WWF is under no obligation to issue a contract as a result of the call for tenders.
 
Key contact person/reporting
The consultant reports to the Program Manager, WWF Cameroon, Coastal Forests Program – Limbe. The WWF CFP is responsible for the conduct, logistics and facilitation required for the implementation of this consultancy.
 

 

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