(ToR) for VNP General Management Plan

International Gorilla Conservation Programme

The International Gorilla Conservation Programme is a unique coalition of international conservation organizations joining forces with national and local partners to ensure the long-term survival of the now critically-endangered mountain gorillas.

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TOR FOR VNP GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN

INTRODUCTION

Established in 1925 as part of the then Albert National Park, the Volcanoes National Park (VNP) is the oldest national park in Africa. The park is situated in the North of Rwanda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda and covers medium and high altitudes towards the south of the Virunga Volcanoes chain.

The park covers an area of approximately 160 kmat the heart of the Albertine Rift which stretches across Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. This region harbors an extraordinary biological diversity with a large number of endemic species of fauna and flora. The Virunga Massif Forest block itself, of which VNP is a part, it is the subject of a unique transboundary collaboration between the authorities of the three national parks that protect the Massif, which include VNP, the Virunga National Park (Mikeno Sector ) in DRC, and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, which together make up a transboundary protected area complex covering almost 450 km2.

VNP is world famous as the home of globally important population of endangered Mountain Gorilla, as well as numerous of other plant and animal species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift region. In recognition of the Park’s importance, VNP was added to the international network of Biosphere reserve under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme in 1983.

In 2011, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) with technical and financial support from the GEF/UNDP Protected Areas Biodiversity (PAB) Project commissioned the current Park’s General Management Plan (2011 – 2021). This plan was built on the previous plans and has significantly contributed to the effective conservation of the VNP and its biodiversity and natural heritage.

While recognizing great conservation effort invested and good progress achieved in terms of addressing threats to the park and its biodiversity, a number of other threats have risen. In addition, the socio-economical and management context have changed.

It is against this context that RDB in collaboration with the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) and other conservation partners is looking forward to hire a consultant or firm to develop a new 10-year GMP (2022 – 2032) that builds from the success, challenges, opportunities, and new trends.

2. OVERALL OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTANCY: 

To prepare the General Management Plan (GMP) for Volcanoes National Park through a review  the previous ones by focusing on identified gaps , achievements, challenges opportunities, and innovations raised through stakeholders’ consultation process as well as current global trends and best practices in effective protected area governance and management.

3. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES  

(a) Document progress, achievements, challenges, gaps, and opportunities from the implementation of the current GMP, through an extensive and comprehensive literature review  and ii) a comprehensive multistakeholder engagement process
(b) Develop a new GMP for VNP based on the outputs above and globally recognized best practices and approaches in protected area planning management; and country-specific strategic directions.

4. SCOPE OF THE WORK 

This assignment will focus on the following key areas

i. Update the current park zonation plan based on the current trends i.e. planned park expansion and buffer zones, areas of human influence, transition areas between the park buffer zone and the City of Musanze, areas of ecological importance, etc.
ii.Documenting achievements, progress, gaps challenges, innovations, and developing the new GMP must be based on the following key park management programs:

a. Ecological management and monitoring programme
b. Tourism management and development programme
c. Community partnership Programme
d. Park operations programme
e. Wildlife health surveillance and monitoring
f. Transboundary Collaboration initiatives/programmes

Literature review should focus on:

i. Park’s official documents, project reports, raw data, and statistics
ii. Conservation and community development partners ‘documents including projects reports, studies and assessment reports, and data
iii.Different research publications from research and academic institutions on key themes: ecology, population surveys, gorilla behavior, socio-economy, tourism management, etc.

Stakeholder consultation and engagement should aim to capture the views and perspectives of the following stakeholders and partners and different levels:

I. Protected Area Authority (Levels: RDB headquarter, VNP management, and park staff)
ii.Public institutions : ( RDB , RAB, MoE , REMA , CoEB/UR
iii. Local community (Levels: community members through their own representation and CBOs and CSOs)
iv. Local government (Levels: District, Sector, Cell)
v. NGOs (Levels: Local, regional, and international ( GVTC , IGCP , DFGFI , Gorilla Doctors, AWF, SACOLA , SINGITA , etc. 
vi.Private sector
vii.Conservation experts
viii. Others-Known individual researchers on the park

5. KEY DELIVERABLES  

a. Inception report

Following inception meeting(s) with the key conservation stakeholders, an inception report will be prepared and submitted to the steering committee. It should include the following:

  • Comprehensive methodological approach for revising the GMP detailing among other things tools for community and other stakeholder consultations.
  • Proposed table of contents for the revised management plans; and
  • Finalized work plan and timetable

b.Revised draft GMP for feedback meetings with stakeholders

c. Final, 10-year GMP (2022-2032) in the English language 

d. Three years action plan  ( Summary  ) 

e. Simplified extract of the GMP in Kinyarwanda version (max10-15 pages) for the local community.

6.CONSULTANCY TIMELINE

The final report shall be validated by the client and potential strategic partners and submitted within 3 months from the date of signature of the contract by both parties and according to the following steps:

a.Contract start-up and Inception Report – within two weeks of contract signing.
b.Review and submission of draft GMP – within 2 months of contract signing.
c. Validation workshop – within one month of acceptance of draft GMP by RDB.
d. Final report – within one month of completion of validation workshop.

7. PROFILE OF THE CONSULTANT/FIRM   

We are looking for a senior consultant, consultancy team, or a firm with a documented proof of the requirements collectively:

a.Registered entity in the Republic of Rwanda,
b. At least a masters’ degree in Conservation Management, Biodiversity/Forestry/Natural Resource Management, Tourism Management, Environmental Management, Development Studies, or any other related fields.
c.Not less than10 years of progressively responsible professional experience in protected area planning, strategic planning, policy development or conservation.
d. A sound knowledge of Environment and Protected Area Management, Governance, and related issues in Rwanda, including buffer zones management, Land-use planning, Human-Wildlife, etc.
e.Good analytical skills and excellent communication and reporting skills with ability to express ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively, both orally and in writing 
f.Demonstrated experience in using GIS tools
g.Have full knowledge and command of English and Kinyarwanda, with use of French being an advantage. 
h.Don’t we need also aspect of financial inclusion here? Just thinking

8. DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The consultancy work will be completed within 70 days starting on February 10th, 2022, and maybe extended by mutual written agreement.

9. HOW TO APPLY

The prospective consultant(s) shall present a detailed CV highlighting suitability for the assignment along with a technical proposal (not to exceed six pages, exclusive of CV as appendix) that will include the understanding of the assignment, a detailed methodology that includes type of data, methods for data collection, data/information collation and analysis and timeline (availability), level of effort and qualifications.

In addition, the application should include a financial proposal covering the full costs of professional fees, fieldwork, and other expenses. Note that the costs for a national stakeholders’ workshop will be directly covered by RDB/IGCP  and should not be included in the financial proposals. Financial proposals should be presented in RWF and should be tax inclusive.

Interested applicant(s) with relevant practical skills and experience are invited to submit their application with a letter of expression to the following email address: procurement@igcp.org with a copy to jsinamenye@igcp.org.

The deadline for submitting applications is January  31st, 2022, at 3:00 pm Central Africa time.

 

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