eSwatini nationals: Consultant to Review and Update of the State of Environment Report

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Mbabane, Swaziland
Position Type: 
Consultancy
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
SiSwati

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A State of the Environment Report (SOER) is a report card on the condition, status and future of the environment and natural resources. It provides an evaluation of the status of our natural environment. SOER have traditionally been used to highlight the condition of the biophysical environment.  Recent SOER have also included analysis of trends or changes in the environment, analysis of the causes of these changes, assessment and interpretation of the implications and impacts of these trends, and assessment of the actual and potential societal response to environmental problems. The SOER has also come to identify the key driving forces that influence environmental change, and policies that influence environmental trends.

Under Section 29 of the Eswatini Environment Management Act 2002, the Eswatini Environment Authority is responsible for the production of the SOER as part of the National Integrated Environmental Management process. The SOER will not only assess trends and conditions of the Environment but will also analyse and integrate the assessment of key driving forces and policies that cause or influence the environmental trends that are identified. Within the context of Eswatini the SOER will incorporate a review of policies put in place within the Eswatini Environment Action Plan (EEAP) and its subordinate plans including national reports prepared for UN agencies, eg the Convention on Biological Diversity National Report.

The State of Environment Report will identify a range of funding requirements, and through the publication of a SOER, the Government of Eswatini will be better placed to justify support funding from environmental donors and funds.  A Lead Consultant with a team of Consultants is required to formulate the second State of Environment Report for the Kingdom of Eswatini which will involve a comprehensive evaluation of the status and trends of key environmental indicators. This will also entail the development of a concise set of responses that will guide the country towards meeting its environmental targets and the relevant SDGs.

 

 

Characteristics of the SOER

The three fundamentals characteristics of the SOER are:

  1. To present and analyse environmental information that can be used to assist planning and management
  2. To identify changes in environmental conditions over time and space
  3. To highlight linkages between biophysical and socio-economic factors within the context of sustainable development
  4. To ensure gender mainstreaming in the assessment and analysis.

Information sources

The key areas where information for SOE is required include:

  • Human population density, growth rate, death rate, etc.
  • The relationship between poverty, natural resources management and socio-economic development.
  • The impact of general human activities on the environment.
  •  Major industrial activities in the country and their impact on natural resources.
  • The use of natural resources and associated problems relating to the use of these resources.
  • Cultural setting, traditions, values and heritage in relation to the environment.
  • Cross cutting issues including gender and HIV/AIDS. 

The objectives of the SOER for Eswatini are:

  • To improve upon knowledge on the State of environment and the changes over time, in order to better assess the impacts of past actions and contribute to the development and harmonisation of environmental and other related policies;
  • To provide an update of the first SOER to ensure that the most recent knowledge on the state of its environment is captured and analysed;
  • To provide a baseline that can contribute towards integrating environmental considerations in decision making;
  • To identify and gather relevant information on the environment through stakeholder participation and consultation (workshops, focus groups, interviews);
  • To identify useful and relevant environmental quality indicators to assess environmental trends;
  • To fulfil national and international environmental reporting obligations;
  • To provide sectoral reports, ie reports for the water sector, the energy sector, the land user sector;
  • To identify funding requirements and shortfalls for interventions targeting environmental systems;

The Consultant will provide services aimed towards the preparation and compilation of the second State of Environment Report for Eswatini. The work of the Consultant should be conducted in a consultative manner with major groups including Government Departments, parastatal organisations, related Non-Governmental Organisations, private sector, and public sector.

This will involve activities including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Compile an inventory of the available environmental data and information, the sources, and how it is stored in the country.
  2. Identify information gaps and recommend how gaps can be addressed
  3. Research and obtain information on the current environmental conditions within the country.
  4. Identify and describe the key driving forces influencing the environment.
  5. Analyse and document information on the state and trends of the environment.
  6. Provide information on the human and natural causes of changes in the environment.
  7. Consult with relevant experts to provide information on the implications and impacts of the changes on human health, the economy and ecosystems.
  8. Describe the monitoring, enforcement and other measures which have been and are being taken to address the causes of the adverse effects and to improve environmental quality.
  9. Suggest alternative scenarios in regard to sustainability given the actual and potential societal response to environmental problems.
  10. The preparation of five key sectoral/thematic SOE reports that presents information that sectoral actors can act upon and integrate into their work plans and activities.
  11. Provide indicative funds and funding sources for critical interventions identified during the SOER assessment, e.g. interventions identified for water management
  12. Describe the links between gender and the environment.  

Methodology to be adopted by Consultant

The state of environment is to be examined for a selection of environmental themes namely:

THEME 1: LAND - incorporating land use and land use change, soil erosion and land degradation, forests and woodlands

THEME 2: WATER - covering water quantity and water quality

THEME 3: ATMOSPHERE - including air quality, climate and climate change, natural disasters, stratospheric ozone

THEME 4: BIODIVERSITY - covering change of biodiversity and ecosystems, protection, biosafety & conservation

THEME 5: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT - including urbanisation, urban management, energy, waste management, health;

Each theme and subdivision of theme is to be described, assessed and analysed following the DPSIR approach (Driving Force, Pressure, State, Impact, and Response). The DPSIR framework has been widely adopted as a basic tool in the development of strategies for Integrated Environmental Assessment:

D – Drivers of observed environmental change;

P – Pressure on the Resources (manmade, natural & others);

S – Current Status of the environmental Parameters – shall be assessed based on data and observation;

I – Impact created due to pressure on Responses – (human health, degradation of natural resources such as water, air, forests, economic and ecological losses);

R – Response taken by the state and other stakeholders to protect, manage and conserve environmental resources through policies, plan, law & regulations, interventions etc;

Deliverables:

The consultant will be expected to deliver the following outputs:

  • Inception Report
  • Draft SOE Report
  • Draft SOE Thematic Reports (5)
  • National Validation Workshop Report.
  • Final SOE Report and Thematic Reports

The Consultant shall produce a final SOE Report incorporating stakeholder comments from the validation workshop within 4 months from the date of signature of the contract for the assignment. The report shall be submitted in one (1) electronic format in MS Word as well as five (5) hard copies in full colour.  Templates for the Inception Report, the SOER and its thematic reports will be provided by EEA.

Reporting:

The successful Team of Consultants will work with the EEA and report to the Acting Executive Director for the Eswatini Environment Authority. The Team is encouraged to maintain a dialogue with the EEA to report on progress and address emerging challenges during the undertaking of the work, on monthly basis.

 

 

 

  • A good working knowledge of international best practices in environment, agriculture, biodiversity management, climate change & sustainable development issues;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to effectively coordinate a large, multidisciplinary team of experts and consultants;
  • Analytical skills, communications abilities, and teamwork abilities;
  • Ability to perform under a heavy workload and tight deadlines.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and prioritize multiple tasks;
  • Demonstrable experience and knowledge of the environmental issues of Eswatini and/or the region.
  • Proven ability to work independently and meet set deadlines;

 

 

 

Qualification:

Team Leader - Environmental Analyst

  • Post Graduate Degree in a relevant discipline (such as environment, agriculture, natural resource management, rural development etc.).

Experience:

  • At least 15 years’ experience in the environmental sector having undertaken a variety of environmental reporting assignments including national reports, and design, environmental planning and management, and/or supervision of rural development
  • At least 8 years’ experience leading multidisciplinary teams and coordinating with stakeholders in the public and private sectors
  • Excellent analytical, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, ability to bring alternative thinking to an organisation (refer to specific achievements in this regard).

Language Requirement:

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and SiSwati.

General professional experience of the experts to be used:

A detailed assignment of the staff in relation to the submitted work plan is also needed. The Lead consultant is also expected to detail the individual time inputs of each staff member.

  • S/he shall have at least a master’s degree in his/her area of expertise.
  • S/he shall have at least 10 years of experience in his/her area of expertise.
  • Extensive experience in the use of GIS technology and data analysis (GIS mapping expert), report writing assignments, general development experience.
  • At least 8 years’ experience working with multidisciplinary teams and coordinating with stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

Additional Information:

How to apply

Only applications with a demonstrated understating of the context and a clear technical proposal will be invited to the next stage.  Consultants intending to apply should prepare a package that include the following: