Consultant: Blue Economy Study

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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Result of Service

This consultancy will result in an introductory study on the potential of blue economy in order to reinforce the protection of marine ecosystems while promoting sustainable livelihoods for the coastal population of the Southwestern Haiti.

Work Location



Expected duration

The Study will have a duration of 4 months, starting on September 1, 2020 and ending on December 30, 2020. The schedule of deliverables will be based on the deliverables provided by the national consultant, as follows:

Inception Report - September 2020
Powerpoint presentation on preliminary findings and recommendations - November 2020, following the review mission of the national consultant
Draft report to Project Manager - November 2020
Draft report shared with the wider group of stakeholders - November 2020
Final Report - December, 2020

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Purpose:
The objective of the consultancy is to produce an introductory study on the potential of blue economy in order to reinforce the protection of marine ecosystems while promoting sustainable livelihoods for the coastal population of the Southwestern Haiti. This study will be conducted by a national consultant, supported by an international expert designated by UNEP, as part of the Macaya Grand Sud-Phase II project deliverables (Programme of Work 2018-2021).

The Macaya Grand Sud – Phase II project was initiated in January 2019 and will be ending in June 2021. The overall objective of the project is to assist the Haitian authorities and local communities to adapt practical ecosystem management approaches in two Protected Areas (PAs), Macaya and Port Salut- Abacou, in the Southern region of Haiti, to decrease degradation, promote sustainability and well-being of local populations. This will contribute to maintaining healthier terrestrial and marine ecosystem services and promote sustainable livelihoods that decrease overall levels of poverty and food insecurity.

This project proposes to intervene in two interrelated outcome areas to achieve its objective. Both outcome areas will be implemented with the cross-cutting objective of strengthening of governance processes, and participatory planning processes with local communities. The outcomes include:
 Protected Areas Management
 Sustainable Livelihoods

Southwestern Haiti is composed of fragile ecosystems and biodiversity, vulnerable to human stressors and devastated by frequent and extreme climate events. Local populations continue to rely on unsustainable extraction of natural resources to subsist, eroding their natural environment and livelihoods.

The main problem this project seeks to address is: The lack of economic opportunities in the Macaya and Port Salut-Abacou PAs, and their buffer zones, cause communities to carry out unsustainable practices for subsistence, which in turn are eroding ecosystems, natural resources and diminishing economic options, in a vicious cycle.

The preferred solution is to assist local communities and the Haitian authorities to adapt practical ecosystem management approaches in Macaya and Port Salut-Abacou PAs, to restore ecosystems and enhance their value, while contributing to sustainable economic and social well-being of local populations. This will contribute to maintaining healthier ecosystem services and promote sustainable livelihoods. The approach undertaken to achieve this will promote ecosystem restoration and regeneration in Protected Areas, investments in the green and blue economy, effective waste management initiatives, and the cross-cutting support of governance of the PAs. Well governed and effectively managed protected areas are a proven method for safeguarding both habitats and populations of species and for delivering important ecosystem services
The Grand Sud region located in the midst of a potentially productive territory represents an ecological unit that culminates at more than 2300 meters where the Macaya peak stands in the last virgin forest of the country. Sandy beaches, extensive mangrove areas, coral reefs, seagrass beds, 17-century forts, and traditional fishing villages feature the beauty and the ecological potential of the Southern coast of Haiti.

By and large the natural ecosystems of Southern Haiti are destroyed due to people’s desperation. There is structural poverty that is reinforced by ongoing climate events, and growing depletion of natural resources (e.g. fish, crops). Poverty has pushed people to deplete natural resources such as mangroves, fish stocks, and various species of animals, and contributed to extreme deforestation. The lack of alternative livelihoods or vocational employment in the South has restricted people’s ability to support themselves. As a result, natural resources are often the only source of revenue for many. Even when environmental awareness programmes are delivered, their success is countered by the fact that people need to survive, and often opt for unsustainable practices to subsist. Agriculture, livestock, fisheries, agriculture and charcoal production are the mainstays of the economy in the South. In the previous phase of Macaya Grand Sud, UN Environment was successful in completing a Green Economy to Study to identify the value chains that can provide both economic opportunities and support the fragile ecosystems in the South.

In terms of the blue economy, in Haiti the full potential and valuation of marine ecosystem services is not known. A global trend report produced by the OECD (2016) projects that the ocean economy is likely to grow faster than overall rates of economic growth in coming decades .In Haiti, most of the interventions around the blue economy have concentrated on strengthening the fisheries sector.

UN Environment has assisted the blue economy approach in previous programmes funded by the Norwegian government and GEF. The initial investments in the blue economy sector have thus been made by UN Environment in terms of capacity building, research, trainings and pilots. A following stage is required, however, to upscale these, and to apply knowledge gleaned for there to be a significant impact both on people’s livelihoods and in the protection of marine ecosystems.

At present, the business-as-usual scenario is that fishermen are facing depletion of fish stock and need to venture out further at sea, posing risks to their safety. Some of the current fishing measures in deeper seas pose risk to coral reef health and current fish colonies.

In the Port Salut-Abacou PA fish stocks have reduced by an alarming degree. Artisanal fishermen continue to fish in order to meet their livelihoods, however most fish being fished are juveniles, and large fish are nowhere to be seen. Current fishing practices are also harmful to reef health and to corals, which are already almost destroyed by high levels of sedimentation.

Conversely, there are is high potential for blue economy activities in the MPA. These include opportunities for aquaculture and mari-culture to provide alternatives to fishermen that currently fish in proposed no-take zones in the MPA, the large potential for tourism activities in the beaches of Port Salut, the mangroves of St Jean as well as diving sites and recreation areas. Furthermore, adopting a sustainable fisheries approach which works with fishermen to improve their fishing techniques and which links to knowledge exchange on the importance of regeneration of fish stocks is critical to protect marine ecosystems and kick-start their recovery of degraded marine areas.

The findings of the consultancy will be based on the following:
• A desk review of relevant background documentation;
• Interviews with government officials, UNEP team members and UNEP implementing partners, beneficiaries and other stakeholders;
• Field visits;
• Other data collection tools, if needed, to be decided at the inception phase.

The methodology shall be further detailed by the national consultant in the inception report. The national consultant will submit his/her preliminary findings to the international expert designated by UNEP, for feedback and recommendations. Any comments and/or recommendations from the international expert shall be shared with the Project Manager.

The consultancy report must follow the structure and contents listed below:

• A summary for decision makers

This summary shall state the recommendations of the report in lay language and avoid technical terms. It should include a vision of blue economy development for the region, priorities and main challenges, recommendations based on macro-economic policies and suggestions for further studies, programmes and projects which will be necessary in the future.

• Introduction and purpose of the study

This section will contain a brief introduction on the concept of “blue economy” and its relevance for Haiti.

• Sector profile

This section will provide a brief but comprehensive overview of the macroeconomic profile of the country including:

- Basic macroeconomic data (GDP, income, employment, investment and if available previsions for the coming year);
- Brief description of the oceans related sector (competitiveness, utilization of resources and environmental impact, average income for fishermen and workers from other ocean related sectors);
- Brief description of the economic development policies for the ocean related sectors (fisheries, tourism etc.), including access to credit and to financial resources, investment in research and development as well as programs implemented by institutions and international donors;
- The impacts of the actual ocean related practices on the resources of the marine ecosystems, including stock depletion, environmental degradation etc.
- The impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems, both already observed and anticipated (acidification, sea-level rise, higher level temperatures and changes in ocean currents).
- The initiatives put forward by other UN or other agencies and institutions such as universities and development banks in the South, with some success stories and lessons learned.

• Review of sector challenges and opportunities

This section will provide a review of the benefits, limitations and challenges of the existing blue economy sectors in the country (such as fisheries and tourism) and opportunities from complementary models and sectors offering relevant growth potential (such as aquaculture, energy, transportation…). The consultant will identify relevant opportunities for further development of existing sectors, and introduction of high potential blue economy models and sectors based on a national, regional and global review of trends and development in the blue economy sector. Based on information available, including field-level collection of data by the consultant, the consultant will present new development opportunities, discuss potential against local context including specific strengths and weaknesses, and briefly discuss the feasibility of further development including review of characteristics on the demand side (population, per capita consumption, volume of demand and transaction costs, geopolitical factors etc.) and supply side (seasonality, level of productivity, access to andcost of resources, technical capacities, infrastructure, access to finance etc.).

• Objectives and indicators

The Haiti strategic development plan contains as an objective that Haiti becomes an emerging nation before 2030. The blue economy sector, considering its importance in terms of employment and food security is indispensable to achieving that goal. This section will identify the main indicators that need to be measured to track the progress made and to assess if such progress is inclusive and sustainable. This section will also identify missing data and will make some recommendations to fill the gaps.

• Recommendations

a) Policy and regulatory frameworks

First, the study will produce an inventory of the policy and regulatory frameworks affecting the oceans related sectors. The study shall also present an overview of the policies and regulations related to adjacent sectors (water resources, agriculture,) that can affect the ocean resources or provide some alternative livelihoods to the fishermen. In a second phase, the study will evaluate how these policies and regulations can be revised to provide a more sustainable use of ocean resources. This shall encompass not only the policies and regulations but all obstacles and challenges to their implementation, including governance, insecurity, inadequate human, institutional and technical capacity, inadequate planning, sector organization etc. As an example, the recommendations can assess how to use the governance of marine protected areas to promote conservation and share sustainable marine resources and target access to credit, value chains, supportive financial mechanisms, including innovative mechanisms such as coastal wetland carbon projects, etc.

b) Investment Plan

This section of the report will address the actual state of investments in the blue economy sectors and the needs to increase such investments, by providing answers to the following questions:
c) How can public or private investments contribute to the economic growth of the sector, to its development and diversification, to food self-sufficiency, to employment and job creation, to reducing poverty while promoting social equity and the restauration of the ecosystems?
d) What reconfiguration of the actual policies and investments, including financial products, insurance, grants etc.? What investments would be needed to increase social and economic gains resulting from the protection and efficient use of this natural capital and to stimulate further investments?
e) What currently available financing options and investable opportunities could be trigerred to foster sustainable blue economy and their applicability to the Haitian context .
f) The concept of self-help is vitally important to the community development process: What is the potential for community mobilization and engagement and how can local communities invest their own resources in blue economy opportunities?
g) What results can be anticipated from an investment in the blue economy sectors with regards to GNP, job creation, poverty reduction, and investments in natural capital?

• Conclusion

Objectives, output expectations and performance indicators

- Outputs/specific tasks

1. Review the diagnostic of the current situation regarding ocean related livelihoods in the southern region of Haiti realized by the national consultant and offer some suggestions and advice;
2. Review the analysis of the opportunities and feasibility (benefits, limitations and challenges) of existing and emerging blue economy sectors for Haiti realized by the national consultant, based on a comparative analysis of other Caribbean countries and internationally;
3. Review the objectives and indicators determined by the national consultant and provide some advice and recommendations;
4. Review the existing policies and regulatory framework impacting the blue economy sectors in Haiti documented by the national consultant, and provide some recommendations based on successes achieved in other Caribean countries, on internationally.
5. Review the investment plan with implementation schedule proposed by the national consultant and provide some advice and recommendations.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: - Hold an advanced degree (Master or PhD) with expertise in the area of marine biology, marine natural resources management, economics, environmental science or related fields, or a mix of one degree in those fields, additional relevant professional trainings and courses are an asset.
Experience: - Have at least 10 years of proven experience in marine natural resources planning and management, in the fishery resources management and/or in the economic development of ocean resources;
- Demonstrated track record of production of relevant publications and technical documents on marine ecosystems, fishery resources management, and related fields (papers, project proposals, guidelines, manuals, planning documents, etc.).

Language: Candidate should be fluent in English and French

Competency: • Ability to provide top quality policy advice services on environmental issues;
• In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.
• Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing in English and French;
• Skill in facilitating meetings effectively and efficiently.
• Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills.