Natural Resource Monitoring Expert

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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Kiribati is a nation comprised of 33 atolls (21 inhabited) spread across a vast Pacific Ocean territory. The people of rural Kiribati are largely reliant upon a limited land base and coastal zone fisheries for both nutrition and livelihood.

As the population grows and climate change advances, the security of island resources will be challenged. Already, the ecosystem integrity upon which islanders depend for climate change resilience is being eroded. This is evinced by many factors including deteriorating quality of near-shore fisheries, degraded lagoon health, and reduced freshwater quality. The primary reason for this is that current management regimes for both atoll and lagoon resources are defined by open resource access. There is very little active management, research, and/or regulation to make certain use of lagoon resources is maintained within sustainable limits. The nation has very little experience with the design and implementation of community-based management regimes to incentivize improved and more innovative management techniques. There are few tools in place to support better management of lagoon resources in light of expanding economic use and demand for these resources. This situation challenges resource management both within the lagoon and on the atoll. Climate change will certainly exacerbate an already very high level of vulnerability.

The project objective is to build the adaptive capacity of vulnerable Kiribati communities to ensure food security under conditions of climate change.

To address these challenges and reach the project’s objective, the LDCF investment will support the realization of two components and related activities. Both components will be closely aligned so that national and site-based activities are designed to build synergies, increase awareness, and generate much more informed and strategic use of natural resources, so that ecosystem integrity is able to continue to function as the foundation of food security needs.

Under Component One, the project will assist Kiribati to address urgent institutional capacity building needs primarily on the national level. This will include helping to set in place an improved regulatory environment, strengthened institutional planning and policy frameworks, and generation of data required to support informed decision-making.

Under Component Two, the project will assist Kiribati to address climate change vulnerabilities by implementing and demonstrating community-based adaptation measures.

The project will work on a select number of atolls to set in place models for land and lagoon resources management that is predicated upon informed planning and management processes. The general awareness of rural communities regarding fisheries management and climate change impacts will be increased. Community-based monitoring systems will be established. This will be used to inform decision-making, serve as early warning system for climate change impacts, and be linked to island-wide vulnerability assessments.

Specific to this project, the target audience for this assignment are government agencies responsible for resource management and socio-economic aspects of food security issues at the pilot islands (Nonouti, Abemama, Maiana, South Tarawa).

The consultancy work will have to take into consideration gradually evolving policies, management plans and guides by the Government of Kiribati (GoK) and other parties and projects operating in a similar context as the Food Security Project-LDCF-Kiribati.

The work might be constrained by limited logistical facilities and support infrastructure available.  

Duties and Responsibilities

The International Natural Resource Monitoring Expert will be required to work with the Kiribati LDCF Project Management Unit and key stakeholders identified to support this work. He/She will be expected to travel to Kiribati at least twice within the contract period.

In his or her capacity, the consultant will be expected to conduct the identified tasks under the following Outcome and Output:

Outcome 1.1 Institutional capacity developed to reduce vulnerability to climate change induced food shortages

Output 1.1: National Program for informed decision making

  1. Engage with relevant government agencies and local stakeholders through planning workshops and meeting etc to identify information need for national adaptation decision makings at national level. Through this work, 1) describe the precise AMAT elements and functionality including institutional responsibilities and 2) describe how AMAT can be applied to inform national policy and planning

  2. Identify and prioritize monitoring and information requirements, including indicators related to maintaining and enhancing ecosystem integrity

  3. Assess systems required to extend meteorological and hydrological observations by the National Meteorological Services. This is because the AMAT is expected to inform and be informed by enhanced MET early warning systems

  4. Assess existing monitoring activities and capacities on national and islands levels and identity mechanisms to standardize them to feed into the AMAT. Recommendations should be discussed with involved stakeholders to be able to standard each monitoring tool.

  5. Recommend best approaches to generating required data and information including MET system, improved fisheries monitoring, vulnerability, food security, health and information reporting mechanism by Island Councils, community members, extension officers and other local stakeholders

  6. Describe and prioritize monitoring and capacity building programs to be developed and trialed during project implementation

Reporting and Coordination

The consultant will be expected to report and coordinate work with the following key parties:

1.            GoK implementing agency (Environment and Conservation Division)

2.            Departments of Fisheries, Agriculture, Culture Tourism and Commerce who will to work with the local communities at the pilot islands to collect data;

3.            PMU/Project Coordinator on behalf of the National Project Director


All on the ground logistics will be coordinated by the Project Management Unit (PMU).

All reports on deliverables will be submitted to UNDP through the endorsement of the PMU (using the project management structure).



  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources;
  • Strong IT skills;
  • Demonstrates capacity to assess environmental technical reports ;
  • Documented understanding of global climate change matters with impact on island ecosystems particularly small island coastal fisheries;
  • English language skill is a must;
Required Skills and Experience

Minimum educational qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in the area of marine science/affairs, natural resource management or planning, environmental science/ or affairs, climate change;

Minimum experiences

  • 10 years’ experience in research, data collection designing and mainstreaming for informed decision making;

  • Experience in designing monitoring programs for natural resource management, socio-economic, food security, climate change vulnerability, ecosystem-base management;

  • Experience in natural resource management planning with multiple stakeholders in the South Pacific region;

  • Has worked with government, ngos and communities in developing monitoring plans that would be useful in the context a national level AMAT;

  • Experience in support and development of monitoring assessment tools;