WeForest Desa’a Forest and Landscape Restoration Project
Consultancy – Evaluation of livelihoods strategy and untapped opportunities
1. The Forest
The Desa’a forest reserve was once the largest and oldest rift-valley remnant dry Afromontane forest (154,071 ha) in the area and directly provides essential ecosystem services to more than half a million people. It hosts two very different ecosystems: The Eastern Tigray highlands and the arid Afar lowlands with very distinct vegetation and climate. The reserve is part of the East Africa biodiversity hotspot, home to many threatened and endangered tree species including the Dragon Tree (Dracena ombet), Erica arborea, and Dobera glabra.
Desa’a Forest crosses two regions in Ethiopia: Tigray (highlands – 80% of Desa’a) and Afar (lowlands – 20% of Desa’a). In Tigray region, where the population is mostly sedentary, subsistence farming and livestock are predominant. Afar region is characterised by pastoralist and agro-pastoralist populations who depend on subsistence livestock and husbandry (goat, sheep and camel) as well as paid labour in salt mines.
2. The Problem
74% of the forest has already disappeared and the remaining 26% are already severely degraded. With a history marked by successive wars, occupations, land redistribution and changes in land use from animal husbandry to agriculture, the main drivers of forest degradation and deforestation are directly linked to local population growth, land scarcity, ineffective long-term land use planning and weak governance. This has lead to unplanned agricultural expansion, unsustainable grazing practices and the extraction of biomass for firewood and charcoal for traditional stoves, beyond th forest’s capacity for renewal. In order of importance, the main cereal crops on the Tigray side are wheat, maize, barley, faba bean, field pea and lentil; the main vegetable crops are tomato, green peper, salad and potato.
Over half a million people live within and around Desa’a, 86% of which depend on forest products for subsistance. As resources are depleting, poverty rates and food insecurity are growing. The immediate consequence of this degradation for local communities is erosion of topsoil and the significant reduction of agricultural yields for these smallholder farmers. An alarming long-term impact on local cloud formation and rainfall will be an increase in the frequency of droughts and food insecurity. Droughts have already become more frequent, and local youth, many of which are landless, are forced to migrate.
3. Our project
Working at landscape level, we engage with the poorest, most vulnerable community members that are most likely to resort to forest resources in times of need, in areas presenting high potential for restoration. We are planning to work in 11 kebeles in Tigray region and 4 kebeles in Afar region.
Our intervention started in Tigray region in 2018 after comprehensive resource inventories and socio-economic assessments. For Afar region, assessments and plans have not yet been developed. Aiming to improve the sustainable use of forest ressources, our intervention, beyond forest restoration, also focuses on:
- Livelihoods diversification and food security through the promotion of alternative, forest-friendly activities such as beekeeping, poultry and small ruminants (sheep) and agroforestry. With a focus on the sustainability and impact, all activities are implemented alongside entrepreneurship and skills trainings ;
- Cleaner cooking through energy-efficient cookstoves;
- Improved governance through the development of a Forest Management Plan and strengthened law enforcement through support to forest guards and local by-laws;
- Improved large and small water infrastructure.
You can get full detail of the TOR from the link below
Terms and conditions
Report to: WeForest Livelihoods Programme Manager
Timeframe: Final deliverable by 31st March 2021. However, we are willing to renegotiate the timeframe to suit the availability of the right candidate. Furthermore, depending on the recommendations provided by the consultant, further part-time involvement in the project may be considered.
Profile of the consultant(s)
We are looking for business-minded individual(s) with strong analytical skills and the ability to formulate realistic, sustainable interventions with clear benefits to poor people and to forests:
- Consultants may apply individually or as a team.
- Proposals in English from both international and national consultants will be considered.
- An excellent knowledge of Ethiopia and particularly Tigray region is essential.
- Proven experience in community-based natural resource management and forest-friendly livelihoods in Ethiopia.
- Proven experience in supporting similar interventions with a strong focus on sustainability, scale and impact.
- Proven experience of developing business plans for value chains that benefit poor people and forests.
- Proven experience of developing and negotiating partnerships.
- Excellent knowledge of markets, market systems development, commodities and livelihoods that benefit both people and forests.
- Excellent analytical skills with an ability to think strategically and creatively with high attention to detail and ability to develop realistic plans and recommendations.
- Excellent understanding of issues related to poverty, vulnerability and natural resources
- Excellent participatory facilitation skills.
- Fluent in English (written and spoken). Knowledge of Tigrinian or Amharic is highly desirable.
How to Apply
Interested candidates (teams or individuals) are requested to prepare:
- A technical proposal presenting a clear understanding of the scope, challenges, questions and opportunities of the consultancy, and proposing a methodology and workplan including the number of working days, timeframe and deliverables (maximum 4 pages)
- At least one example of previous work that is relevant to this consultancy (report, business plan, cost-benefit analysis, tools…)
- A curriculum vitae (maximum 4 pages)
- A detailed financial proposal with all costs including daily rate, travel and logistics
- At least 2 references of previous clients
Proposals must be submitted by email to [email protected] until15th November 2020. Only shortlisted proposals will be contacted for an interview.
Due to the anticipated high number of applicants, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. We thank you in advance for your interest. WeForest is an equal opportunity employer, we celebrate diversity and do not discriminate.