Wildlife Conservation Society
Position Type: Consultancy
Reports To: Park Director
Date: Q1 2023
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, longterm commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.
WCS Congo – Program
Overview Over the past 30 years, WCS Congo has been the Republic of the Congo (RoC) Government’s principle conservation partner, assisting the Ministry of Forest Economy (MEF) in managing wildlife and its habitat in several of the country’s National Parks, reserves, and protected area buffer zones. Within these sites WCS is developing and implementing actions for effective wildlife protection; community based natural resource management; ecological monitoring; scientific research; and environmental education. The program is the largest in WCS’s global portfolio and reports to the Regional Program for Central Africa and Gulf of Guinea. WCS Congo’s current portfolio of programs includes the management of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (NNNP) through a Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Congo, wildlife management projects in the substantial buffer zones of the Park, co-management of Lac Tele Community Reserve, a national program to support reform of marine conservation and resource management, and a substantial policy support program to the central government in Brazzaville.
The Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park covers more than 4,000 square kilometers of intact lowland rainforest in northern Congo. The forest is part of the larger Sangha Trinational UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is a stronghold for important populations of large mammals, including forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees. The Park also contains forest clearings that offer a window into the lives of shy forest wildlife, creating fantastic opportunities for tourism development and conservation science. Created Page 2 of 3 in 1993, the NNNP and its buffer zone have benefited from 30 years of collaborative management between the Congolese Government and WCS to emerge as one of the most successful protected areas for the conservation of wildlife in Central Africa.
A key strategic priority for the Park is the development of wildlife-based tourism. Largely due the remote location of the Park, tourism activity has historically been low. However, in recent years a concerted effort has been made to engage with the private sector and attract investment that will create tourism opportunities in and around the Park. It is hoped that the Park’s first tourism concessions will be agreed in 2023 and that significant tourism operations will start in 2024. A high priority for WCS during negotiations with the private sector is that mechanisms to share the benefits of future tourism activity with local communities must be integrated into tourism agreements and operations. While there are no human settlements within the Park, the five surrounding forestry concessions are home to approximately 25,000 people.
Scope of Work
This main objective of this consultancy will be to develop a Tourism Revenue Distribution Strategy that will guide future interventions by the Park Management Unit in its engagement with local communities and tourism operators on the subject of tourism revenue that has been shared with the Park’s communities.
The strategy should include:
- A review of any relevant RoC laws and government policies pertaining to benefit sharing.
- A review of any existing tourism revenue sharing schemes, and non-tourism commercial revenue benefit sharing schemes, currently active in RoC.
- A review of existing tourism revenue distribution practices in NNNP, including consideration of existing Park and community policies, and the governance standards and proper functioning of bodies currently involved in tourism revenue distribution.
- An analysis of the impact that existing tourism distribution policies and practices have had to date.
- A review, and recommendations, concerning the respective roles of the Park, the community, and the Park’s tourism operators pertaining to revenue distribution.
- The presentation of multiple alternative mechanisms by which tourism revenue could be distributed between and among the Park’s communities.
- Consideration should be given as to how each mechanism would integrate with existing Park objectives, particularly its community development strategies and activities.
- Each mechanism should be examined for its potential to create impact (maximizing the positive and minimizing the negative) for local communities, the Park, and the Park’s tourism operators.
- Suggestions for principles that will govern how future tourism revenue should be used by the Park’s stakeholders.
- Proposals for the reform of existing, or the creation of new, governing bodies that will manage tourism revenue shared with the community. A draft of new Articles of Association should be created.
In addition to the requisite remote work required for research and write up (approximately one month of remote work is anticipated), a field trip to RoC and NNNP will be required. This field trip will last a minimum of two weeks, during which time consultative meetings will need to be held with key stakeholders. These will include meetings with key members of the Park Management Unit, WCS staff in Brazzaville, local Page 3 of 3 community leaders and civil society organizations in northern Congo, and potentially with representatives from tourism operators operating in RoC.
- NNNP Tourism Revenue Distribution Strategy.
- Draft Articles of Association for a new governance structure that will be responsible for the distribution of NNNP tourism revenue.
- Experience in the wildlife conservation or tourism sectors in Africa. Experience in Central Africa or particularly the Republic of the Congo will be an advantage.
- Experience of producing strategic documents for protected areas, with an emphasis on sustainable financing and community engagement.
- Experience developing and implementing consultation plans and facilitating one-on-one interviews, small group sessions, and workshops with a wide variety of stakeholders (NGO, community, private sector, government) and with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Excellent communication skills in French are required; professional competency of English would be beneficial
Proposals should include the following elements:
- Technical proposal (including a proposed methodology);
- Financial proposal in United States Dollars (including daily fee rates, per diem and international transportation – WCS will cover in-country transportation and accommodation expenses).
Evaluation of offers
Offers will be evaluated by a selection committee composed of representatives of WCS Congo. The technical evaluation of the bids will be based on their compliance with the terms of reference and the following criteria: understanding and interpretation of the ToR, methodology, and the consultants’ qualifications. Each compliant proposal will be assigned a technical score. Proposals that do not address critical aspects of the ToR, or do not achieve a minimum technical score, will be rejected at this stage.
Tenders that are technically valid will be subject to a financial analysis to determine the best offer.
How to apply
Please submit your proposals to [email protected], and copy [email protected], by 17:00 (UTC +1) on 07 January 2023. Please indicate “Tourism Revenue Distribution Strategy” in the subject line of the e-mail.
Closing date: 7 Jan 2023