National Consultant for supporting safeguards activities in Ghana
Application deadline in 6 hours: Friday 3 Feb 2023 at 23:59 UTCOpen application form
Result of Service Safeguards processes strengthened in Ghana with the development of the second summary of information, requirements to comply with ART/TREES and LEAF, technical advice to strengthen the implementation of policies and actions and other.
Work Location Home Based
Expected duration Six months
Duties and Responsibilities UNEP and UN-REDD programme The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading lobal environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment". 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. UN Environment's Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
UNEP is a key partner in the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), which builds on the combined convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and UN Environment Programme.
The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally led REDD+ processes to curb deforestation and forest degradation, which accounts for approximately 17 per cent of carbon emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. It is now clear that stabilizing global average temperature rise within two degrees Celsius will be practically impossible to achieve without reducing emissions from the forest sector (above added as part of standard introduction).
REDD+ in Ghana Ghana is a country in the West African forest biome with a current rate of deforestation of 2%. Forest resources face pressures from mining, agricultural encroachment, wildfires and poaching. Ghana’s economic growth and achievements have come at a significant cost to its forests. Having lost over 60% of its forest cover from 1950 to the turn of the last century (2.7 million hectares) and considering the current deforestation rate of approximately 2% per year (135,000 ha/year), the future of Ghana’s forests is an issue of major concern. From 2001 to 2021, Ghana lost 1.41Mha of vegetation cover, equivalent to a 20% decrease in vegetation cover since 2000, and 739Mt of CO2 eq emissions. Since 2008, significant learning, debate, and actions towards REDD+ have happened in Ghana and numerous partners from civil society, private sector, government, communities and traditional leaders have contributed to its evolution and efforts towards realization of its goals.
Ghana started REDD+ process in 2008 when it was listed as part of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) REDD+ Readiness Programme. The submission of a Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN) and subsequent approval of Ghana’s REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) in 2010 enabled the country to secure funding from the FCPF to support implementation of readiness activities starting in 2012. Ghana subsequently developed and launched its 20-year ‘Ghana REDD+ Strategy’ in 2016. The country has significantly advanced in implementing its REDD+ strategy, which was developed and adopted in 2017, just after the Paris Agreement was concluded. Ghana has currently two REDD+ investment programmes under implementation, with distinctive regional and ecozone approaches: The Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Project (GSLERP).
Ghana has been also engaging in REDD+ performance finance. In June 2019, the country signed two ERPAs with the World Bank as a Trustee for the Carbon Fund (Tranches A & B). In April 2020, the World Bank declared all conditions of effectiveness to the ERPAs to have been fulfilled and thus USD 1.3 million as Upfront Advance Payment was released in September 2020 to support Program implementation. The Benefit Sharing Plan, which gives guidance on the sharing of Carbon Benefits that would be generated under the GCFRP, has been finalized and disclosed. The country submitted its First Monitoring Report to the Carbon Fund in 2021 with results for the second half of 2019 and an initial transaction with the Carbon Fund is expected to be carried out in 2022. Ghana has reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation quite significantly against the 2005-2014 reference level. Preliminary calculations indicate that Ghana may have significantly reduced emissions also against a TREES-compliant reference level.
Supported by UN-REDD, with FAO and UNEP in the lead, the country submitted in 2021 a proposal to the LEAF Coalition and successfully completed an initial technical screening process led by a panel of technical experts. It was selected as one of the forerunners to engage with the LEAF Coalition. A Letter of Intent was negotiated and signed with Emergent – the LEAF financial representative – during the Glasgow climate conference in November 2021. Ghana has also submitted a TREES concept note and has designated a jurisdictional area for the LEAF engagement. Other partners already engaged with FC and UNDP are interested in developing large scale mitigation programmes in the eco zones designated in the national REDD+ Strategy.
Safeguards in the context of the UNFCCC and REDD+ Ghana submitted its first summary of information to the UNFCCC describing the country’s overall approach to safeguards implementation. A sub-working group on safeguards is tasked to ensure that proposed REDD+ interventions to be implemented do no harm both socially and environmentally. Ghana’s national approach encompasses the Cancun, World Bank, UNDP (as GCF AE), national and other safeguards requirements. At the national level efforts are being undertaken to strengthen capacity: Ghana’s REDD+ safeguards architecture has been decentralized to the district level and trainings have taken place to train safeguard regional and district level focal points. These safeguard focal points include the Forestry Commission’s Assistant Regional Managers, Assistant District Managers, and Assistant National Park Managers who have been trained on the national safeguards approach, safeguards data collection and monitoring and social and environmental compliance. A Safeguards Information System (SIS) web platform has been developed - www.reddsis.fcghana.org. There is work on-going to define Principles, Criteria and Indicators (PCIs) and these indicators will feed into the SIS. Ghana envisages to continue improving its SIS over time as new information comes in from different areas.
Duties and responsibilities The objective of this consultancy is to provide technical backstopping to strengthen safeguards processes in Ghana, particularly focused on safeguards activities needed for implementing TREES and advancing with LEAF process. Under the supervision of the UN-REDD Programme Officer, the consultant based in Accra Ghana will work directly with the designated REDD+ safeguards focal points and the National REDD+ Secretariat based in the Forestry Commission of Ghana (FC) with frequent physical presence at the FC offices.
More specifically, he/she will perform the following tasks: - Develop inputs and follow up on the requirements to comply with ART/TREES and LEAF safeguards requirements, including inputs for the safeguards section of the TREES Registration Document, the TREES Monitoring Report and the Plan for Conformance with TREES safeguards outcome indicators, - Elaborate Ghana’s second summary of safeguards information, in collaboration with key country stakeholders and information providers, including data gathering, editing and continued follow up with information providers, - Provide legal advice to strengthen the implementation of policies and actions defined for addressing and respecting REDD+ safeguards in Ghana, based on the national approach to safeguards, - Provide guidelines, follow up and support the implementation of the Feedback Grievance and Redress Mechanism, including legal advice to address complaints or grievances received associated to REDD+ implementation in the country. - Define benefit sharing arrangements or inform updates for these arrangements for future ER payments associated to an agreement with LEAF, building on the advances and experiences to date related to the benefit sharing plan for ER payments under the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, - Plan the development of capacity building efforts in Ghana related to the Feedback Grievance and Redress Mechanism, Benefit Sharing arrangements and other safeguards/related topics, in close coordination with the country focal points, - Monitor and evaluate activities, including provision of safeguards inputs for population of ER monitoring report, based on processes defined by the Forestry Commission of Ghana. - Identify actions and recommendations for strengthening the application of safeguards at the national, subnational and local level. - Identify opportunities for strengthening of safeguards reporting through the country’s SIS
Qualifications/special skills Academic Qualifications: - A bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, law with focus on environment, natural resources management, environmental engineering or related field, is required.
- A minimum of 2 years of progressively responsible working experience with first level degree in forestry, forest policy, forest or natural resources management, climate change, ecosystem management, REDD+ or related fields is required. - Prior working experience with an international organization is an advantage, - Understanding of laws and national policies associated to forestry sector and human rights is desirable, - Experience in understanding social issues associated to forest and natural resources management is desirable, - Experience working across diverse institutions and fostering productive stakeholder partnerships and REDD+ stakeholders in Ghana is desirable.
Skills: - Knowledge of dispute resolution and grievance redress mechanisms, - Knowledge of report writing and editing, - Basic computer skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, - Good communication, adaptability and time management skills are an asset.
Languages English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in spoken and written English is required. Knowledge of any other official UN languages would be an asset. Knowledge of Twi is desirable.
No Fee THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.