Support MedProgramme TDA Component

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Athens, Greece
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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Result of Service

The ultimate result of services is to provide the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention with a data-based evidence through Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis problems and recommendations for their consideration to ensure necessary monitoring and pollution reduction and prevention, as well as ecosystem protection restoration measures in the context of SDG and related GEF policies.

Work Location



Expected duration

Expected duration of the contract is 12 months from the time of signing of the consulting agreement.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. United Nation’s Environment Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This consultancy assignment is for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) - Programme for the Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean (MED POL), Athens, Greece.
Over the past 20 years, the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has provided significant assistance aimed at supporting key reforms and investments in the Mediterranean region. Over this period, the United Nations Environment Programme/ Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) implemented projects worth over USD 21 million which were financed by GEF International Waters (IW). These projects provided support to the Mediterranean countries for identification of priority actions; elaboration and implementation of Strategic Action Programmes (SAP); as well as development of tools and mechanisms to address climate variability.
In 1997, the first GEF-financed Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) was undertaken for the Mediterranean. It provided a detailed analysis of the status of environmental problems in the Mediterranean, as well as their root causes. The 1997 TDA was the basis for developing the Strategic Action Programme for land-based pollution (SAP-MED) covering the period up to 2025. The SAP-MED was adopted in 1998 by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention.
In 2005, the second GEF-financed Mediterranean TDA was undertaken. The report identified and analysed major environmental concerns and their respective causes in the Mediterranean Sea, including declines in biodiversity, seawater quality, human health risks and degradation of coastal ecosystems. Findings of the 2005 TDA were later confirmed by other studies and assessments of marine and coastal environment undertaken by UNEP/MAP after 2005.
On 26 October 2016, the GEF Council approved the Mediterranean Sea Programme (MedProgramme): Enhancing Environmental Security (GEF ID 9607) with its seven child projects. Child Project 1.1 titled: “Reducing Pollution from Harmful Chemicals and Wastes in Mediterranean Hotspots and Measuring Progress to Impacts” is led by UNEP/MAP-MED POL. Component 2 of Child Project 1.1 includes updating the 2005 Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA); assessing progress with the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean in relation to the project’s contribution to the overall environmental and socio-economic improvements; identifying 20 locations for offshore monitoring stations; and promoting data sharing policy for the Mediterranean.
Further to GEF Council’s approval, the baseline situation in the Mediterranean was analysed. Taking into consideration the 2005 TDA and recent Mediterranean assessments, situation analysis highlighted the need for the updated TDA to be data driven and to rely on a DPSIR (drivers, pressures, state, impact, response) set of indicators. The starting point in identifying the set of indicators to be used in the TDA updated process was a stocktaking analysis of all the indicators used in the MAP-Barcelona Convention system which will be linked to the relevant SDGs, as set out in the Project document of Child Project 1.1. An important and innovative aspect of the TDA update process is related to foresight and prospective analysis as well as socio economic aspects which would allow for building a clear vision on the future development of the Mediterranean Sea area and its coastal region, and related transboundary impacts against SDG 14 and other relevant SDGs. Another aspect of the TDA update process is related to the ongoing work on the MED 2023 Quality Status Report for which a roadmap for its delivery has been developed. Every effort will be made to maximise synergies, complementarities and effectiveness to both assessment processes.
The TDA update is planned to be carried out through a consultative and collaborative process involving all the Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties, utilizing its governance frameworks in addition to project supported consultation mechanisms and meetings. To this aim, a Steering Committee led by the UNEP/MAP Secretariat will be established and supported by a multidisciplinary TDA team of experts nominated by the Contracting Parties and MAP Partners comprising marine scientists and experts addressing specific transboundary issues related to status of and impacts on marine and coastal environment, related pressures and drivers, economists, legal and policy experts. It will involve the participation of MAP components with a primary role of MED POL Programme, Plan Bleu and SPA/RAC.
With the view to providing technical guidance to the entire process of TDA development and update; ensuring a coordinated and integrated assessment approach, there is a need for a regional Consultant/Team leader to support the Secretariat and MAP components for undertaking and delivering all related tasks of Child Project 1.1. of the MedProgramme as outlined in these Terms of Reference.

The Consultant will work under the overall guidance of the UNEP/MAP Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator, and the direct supervision of the UNEP/MAP MED POL Programme Management Officer.

The consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:
1. Prepare a detailed work plan for achievement of the tasks of the consultancy over a 12-month period.
2. Undertake a review of existing sources of data and information as well as available assessment products for preparation of the TDA in line with its contents table included in Annex N of Project Document for Child Project 1.1, reproduced and attached to this ToR.
3. Define information knowledge gap and develop a corresponding action plan for collecting necessary data and information for development of the TDA.
4. Propose and draft an annotated outline for all chapters of the TDA in line with the TDA Table of Contents attached to this ToR for the consideration and approval of the TDA Steering Committee.
5. Based on the outcome of task 3, identify and propose the necessary thematic expertise to be mobilized at national and regional levels, as appropriate; and prepare their corresponding terms of references for carrying out collection of information and undertaking related supplementary and specific thematic assessments. To this aim, the following, but not limited to, areas can be considered:
i. Pollution for land and sea-based pollution (including airborne depositions);
ii. Marine litter and microplastics;
iii. Marine Biodiversity including in relation to impacts of land and sea-borne pollution on marine biodiversity, as well as non-indigenous species;
iv. Fisheries with regard to the declining trend of fish stocks and exploitation of living resources.
v. Acidification.
vi. Any other thematic areas for consideration of the Secretariat, as appropriate.
6. Prepare a foresight paper defining potential linkages and synergies of the TDA with ongoing regional assessments by UNEP/MAP, as well as other relevant assessment products.
7. Develop a reporting mechanism, in the framework of the MedProgramme knowledge management component, with the aim of using results of the TDA and other MedProgramme Child Projects to measure progress of the entire MedProgramme.
8. Prepare a concept note accompanied with proposals for a strategy and governance mechanism to support implementation of an offshore monitoring strategy. Propose terms of reference for a specific thematic assignment to be undertaken in collaboration with the countries and other relevant regional organisations, as appropriate.
9. Follow-up with InfoRAC on their work progress for developing a data sharing policy. Develop a foresight paper in line with the Knowledge Management Component 3 under Child Project 1.1 of the MedProgramme, as well as terms of reference for a specific thematic assignment to support this process.
10. Provide technical guidance to oversee all TDA consultants and experts on the following aspects of their work:
i. Preparation of integrated workplans with timetable for achievement of deliverables further to their terms of reference;
ii. Monitoring and follow-up of performance of their tasks and review of their deliverables;
iii. Technical evaluation of performance of work for preparation of the TDA.
11. Support the set-up of the “Steering Committee” to oversee and guide the TDA preparation process by proposing:
i. Draft ToRs on tasks and composition of the TDA Steering Committee.
ii. Work plan for the Steering Committee for the biennium 2020-2021 including timetable of planned meetings;
iii. Organisational aspects related to steering committee meetings including preparation of working and information documents.
12. Undertake regular consultations with Plan Bleu and SPA RAC for preparation of the TDA. Supervise technical performance of tasks and deliverables by Plan Bleu in line with the signed PCA.
13. Provide technical inputs for preparation of quarterly progress reports to be submitted to supervisors on status of deliverables including those delivered by Plan Bleu in the framework of PCA and the specific thematic consultancies.
14. In collaboration with MAP components, prepare cooperation modalities and exchanges of best practices for strengthening Science-Policy Interfaces (SPI) with the aim to facilitate information exchange between scientists and policy makers on priority topics in the framework of Child Project 1.1, Component 2.
15. Further to information gathered and reports provided by the consultants and experts, prepare first drafts of chapters of the TDA.
16. Upon conclusion of contract period, prepare a handover note explaining status of achievements of each of the above tasks and related deliverables.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in environmental sciences, biology, marine sciences, or equivalent is required
- At least seven years of working experience in assessing state and/or impacts and/or pressure related aspects of marine environment is required.
- Relevant working experience in the Mediterranean countries is an asset.
- Working experience with GEF funded projects on International Waters addressing TDA and SAP elaboration is an asset.
- Fluency and excellent writing skills in English are required;
- Working Knowledge of French is required.
Expertise in the project area:
- Knowledge of Regional Seas work on SDGs with a focus on SDG 14 and related assessment, and of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive is an asset.
- Knowledge of the UNEP/MAP and IMAP is an asset.

Additional Information

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel-related activities (including travel from the place of residence to Athens and return to the place of the residence) are placed on hold. Once restrictions are lifted, a new contract will be issued with the required mission/s for fulfilment of the deliverables of this contract. The consultant will be expected to undertake the travel missions in line with the requirements of the new contract. It is noted that the working days related to travel missions have been incorporated into the total number of working days of this contract; hence, also included in contract fees (excluding travel fees such as airfare, terminal expenses and daily sustenance allowance (DSA)).