Sri Lanka nationals: Environmental Policy and Law Expert

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

, , LK


The Project “Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation and Sustenance of Ecosystems Services in Environmentally Sensitive Areas” is a GEF funded project, implemented by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MMDE) and supported by UNDP. The Project would contribute to safeguarding globally significant biodiversity on production lands of high interest for conservation. This project will greatly strengthen the country’s ability to safeguard biodiversity inside and outside protected areas in special Environmentally Sensitive areas, through a new land use governance framework. Project activities will provide a vehicle for safeguarding globally significant biodiversity on multiple-use lands of high conservation values.

The primary objective of this project is “To operationalize Environment Sensitive Areas (ESA) as a mechanism for mainstreaming biodiversity management into development in areas of high conservation significance“.

In order to achieve this objective, the project plans on achieving two major outcomes:

Outcome 1: National Enabling Framework strengthened to designate and manage Environmentally Sensitive areas (ESA);

Outcome 2: Biodiversity-friendly ESA management for long term integrity and resilience ensured at two sites in the Kala Oya Region.

Under the outcome 1 above, the Project proposes to improve national and sub-national capacities for inter-sectoral governance of ESAs to effectively conserve biodiversity. In order to achieve this, it will first facilitate the emplacement of an appropriate policy and legislative mechanisms to guide the identification, declaration, management and monitoring of ESAs that strongly integrates biodiversity conservation concerns.

Sri Lanka has developed, several cross sectoral policies for biodiversity conservation in line with the Constitutional directives. The country’s Constitution (1978), notes that ” the State shall protect, preserve and improve the environment for the benefit of the community”. Sri Lanka’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) has accorded high priority to protecting bioregions that are considered high priority for conservation. One of the important activity highlighted is to identify the biodiversity hotspots in the country outside protected areas and bring these under a relevant protected area category. Also, the National Physical Plan has, additionally identified a number of areas as environmentally sensitive areas.

UNDP seeks a national expert, who is knowledgeable and having experience in the sector to work with the International Expert under the overall guidance of the Bio Diversity Secretariat in Sri Lanka and Project Management Unit of the ESA project.

Scope and Objectives:

The consultancy is to review existing policies, strategies, actions and related institutional arrangements that are relevant to biodiversity conservation or environmental sensitive area management and assist developing a National Policy and Strategy for Conservation and Sustainable Management of ESAs and to develop a National ESA Scale up Plan.

The Policy will be developed under the National Environmental Act (NEA), and will also reference other relevant legislation and will complement existing policies and strategies – including climate change related and other environment related policies &strategies (forestry, wildlife conservation). The expert will support the assessment of existing policies and legal framework from all relevant sectors. As far as possible, ESA designation and management will be promoted as a unifying concept for possible use by different sectors (to cover areas that are relevant for biodiversity conservation as well as other ecological services such as soil and water conservation etc.). The policy and strategy will also clarify that the ESAs can be formed based on their importance and irrespective of their small sizes, if necessary.

This consultancy is a joint exercise of two experts, international and local. The two Experts will ensure that the policy and strategy is based on lessons from around the world and that there is a strong focus on conserving biodiversity of global importance. This assignment will build on the outcome of the new land use governance framework introduced in the Kala Oya region. The policy and the strategy will also outline steps for land use planning framework based on similar experiences and best practices from within Sri Lanka and globally. The Policy and Strategy will complement the updated NBSAP.

The two experts based on international experiences and Sri Lankan experiences, will recommend strategies to ensure that policy and strategies can be implemented effectively. This strategy development will be led by the Biodiversity Secretariat with inputs from experts. Its development will be guided by the inter-sectoral National ESA Committee. It will be developed in full consultation with national level stakeholders from different sectors (including representatives from local governments, NGOs and others) and the National Experts Committee on Biodiversity Conservation. The Policy will be reviewed and endorsed by the National ESA Steering Committee. It is expected that the process of the development of this Strategy will also strengthen cooperation and coordination among sectors. This policy will outline the institutional mechanisms for identifying, gazetting, management and monitoring of ESAs. Nationally relevant definition of ESAs will be developed, as well as the criteria for declaring ESAs.

This analysis is expected to clarify the roles, responsibilities and rights of different national and sub-national authorities and actors such as government agencies, local governments, communities, NGOs and the private sector. Roles of national level institutions in ESA identification and management at national and sub-national levels to promote landscape level management of biodiversity outside protected areas will be clarified – especially for cases when such ESAs fall within multiple Provinces and or Divisions. It will define ESA categorization typology for the country including different levels of protection and management prescriptions applicable to different categories of land use and establish clear monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.

Duties and Responsibilities


  1. Review existing policies, regulations and action plans relevant to biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the country;
  2. Analysis the gaps of the existing policies, regulations and action plans relevant to biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the country and identification of relevant existing ordinances to be amended if required;
  3. Analyze the strategies and propose actions that were developed to address the key issues;
  4. Assess how comprehensively those corresponding policies and laws cover the scope and scale of ESAs of high conservation significance;
  5. Assess how effectively those corresponding initiatives are being implemented from the perspectives of institutional mandates, processes and procedures and existing capacities to promote inter sectoral partnership and coordination to identify and manage such areas;
  6. Assist the International Consultant to identify any critical gaps and weaknesses in the current strategic approach that may need to be filled/strengthened in order to implement the actions effectively; 
  7. Support International Consultant to assess the feasibility of newly establishing policy and a strategy to introduce new measures where gaps exist for identification, those actions currently missing from the existing frame work and initiatives;
  8. Verify findings with relevant sectoral institutions and partners;
  9. Present findings and recommendations to and gather feedback from those stakeholders; and
  10. Prepare final findings and recommendations;
  11. Support identifying potential sites for nation-wide ESA replication based on both the National Policy and Strategy and also on the online integrated biodiversity assessment tool developed under the Project;
  12. Support development of an action plan for replication with a categorization typology with the guidance of the National ESA Steering Committee and inputs from Biodiversity Experts Committee.

Expected Outputs

The following results are expected from the work of the consultant:

  1. A work plan for this assignment, including methodology, indicative outline of each deliverable and a delivery schedule;
  2. Report on gap analysis of the existing policies, regulations and identifying strategic approach that may need to be strengthened in order to implement ESA s effectively;
  3. National Policy and Strategy for ESA identification, declaration and management and identify the statements for declaration;
  4. National ESA scale up plan for the country based on the above Policy and Strategy.

Consultant Profile

  • Good knowledge on biodiversity, environmental policy, rural development, Social Ecology or related fields;
  • Capacity to work with multiple stakeholders across a wide range of disciplines;
  • Demonstrated leadership, facilitation and coordination skills, ability to manage technical team and long term strategic partnership;
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written) and partnership building skills with multi-dimension partners, with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize relevant collected data and findings for the preparation of case studies and progress reports;
  • people skill for conflict resolution and negotiation;
  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with the staff of government institutions and private sector;
  • Ability to seek and apply knowledge, information and best practices from multiple sectors;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Excellent coordination skills and result oriented collaboration with colleagues;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Good team player who has ability to maintain good relationships.
Required Skills and Experience


  • The prospective consultant should have Masters Degree or equivalent in the areas of environmental policy & law, policy development, environment, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management or related field.


  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in the development and review of policies, strategies and action plans on mainstreaming biodiversity;
  • Good analytical and problem solving skills and related ability for adaptive management;
  • Familiarity with the ESA concept and practice will be an advantage;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment, to effectively work closely with legal experts and other stakeholders to motivate its members and other project counterparts to effectively work towards achieving the expected outcomes;
  • Good communication skills and competence in handling project’s external relations at all levels.

Languages/ Other:

  • Excellent written and spoken knowledge of English;
  • Fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil is an additional requirement.

How to Apply

The application should contain:

  • Updated CV to include qualifications/competencies and relevant past experience in similar projects and contact details of 2 professional referees who can certify your competencies, professionalism, quality of writing, presentation and overall suitability to this TOR;
  • Please duly fill the below financial proposal and attach to the last page of the CV along with all other required documentation above.

Financial Proposal

All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee: LKR


All Inclusive Daily Fee: LKR

Amount in words: Rs.

Note: Payments will be based on invoices on achievement of agreed milestones i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and certification by UNDP. The applicant must factor in all possible costs in his/her “All Inclusive Lump Sum Fee” financial proposal including his/her consultancy and professional fee, honorarium, any additional HR cost, field travel and accommodation, communication cost such as telephone/internet usage, printing cost, ad-hoc costs, stationery costs, and any other foreseeable costs in this exercise. No costs other than what has been indicated in the financial proposal will be paid or reimbursed to the consultant.

For an Individual Contractor who is of 62 years of age or older, and on an assignment requiring travel, be it for the purpose of arriving at the duty station or as an integral duty required under the TOR, a full medical examination and statement of fitness to work must be provided.  However, this is not a requirement for individuals on RLA contracts. 

Payment of Services

The vendor shall receive payments in instalments from UNDP as follows:

  • Upon submission of the work plan for this assignment, including methodology, indicative outline of each deliverable and a delivery schedule; (10%)
  • Upon submission of a report on gap analysis of the existing policies, regulations and strategic approach that may need to be strengthened in order to implement ESAs effectively;(30%)
  • Upon submission of the draft Policy and Strategy for ESA identification, declaration and management and identifying the statements for declaration;(40%)
  • Upon submission of National ESA scale up plan for the country based on the above Policy and Strategy.(20%)