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Terms of reference for the preparation of a document on the evaluation of forestry resources with a view to reserving the deforestation trend in west africa

1. Background

The west african inter-tropical biomes are characterized by the formation of eco-climatic dense and partly deciduous forests (coastal area) varying from the guinean, sudanese and sahel savannas to the steppe formations in remote desert areas. Within the ecowas region, this asset of forestry resources and woodlands is estimated at 72 million ha, i.e. 15% of the total area of the fifteen (15) ecowas member states. For sure, it constitutes the main supply source of wood energy, services, timber and export for a population estimated at approximately 234 million inhabitants. These forestry resources also provide to this population non woody forestry products that contribute to the enhancement of food security, human nutrition and health due the fact that, according to who reports, 80% of rural dwellers make use of medicinal plants for their first aid basic health. However, these practices of abusive or even illegal exploitation of woody and non-woody forest products, coupled with the adverse effects of mobile agricultural systems, in particular the slash-and-burn farming, abusive clearing, recurrent bushfires and growing urbanization, result in the accelerated dilapidation of forestry resources that is characterized by intensive deforestation and fragmentation of forestry ecosystems. In fact, the scale of deforestation within the ecowas region is estimated at an approximate loss of 1 200 000 ha per annum, i.e. at a current rate of 2%. This explains the current situation of degradation that should absolutely be reversed with a view to ensuring sustainable provision of the needs of the populations living in the area while protecting the resources for the future generations.

2. Goal and justification of the study

the aim of the study is to link the satisfaction of the growing socio-economic needs in woody and non-woody forestry products of a highly growing population with the preservation of regular functioning and resilience of forestry ecosystems. The objective is to ensure a viable ecological environment for the present generations based on sustainable management principles of forestry resources and environmental control involving all relevant actors of the member states.

Moreover, the major challenges that forestry decision-makers and planners in the ecowas region are faced with are knowledge enhancement on forestry resources based on specific directives on good forestry inventory and development practices targeted at understanding wood availability in relation to concerns about diminishing woody and non-woody forestry products of technological value found in both local and export markets. The study aims at putting in place reliable evaluation approaches on forestry resources for their sustainable management and promotion of good governance in the sector. These new evaluation approaches on forestry should be able to provide reliable and valuable information to public decision-makers in the ecowas member states and thus facilitate the provision of support to the processes of international negotiations and agreements on forestry and ensure conscious and proactive participation of the civil society in the promotion of environmental control in management of forestry resources.

3. Specific objectives of the study

eventually, the specific objectives of the implementation in the ecowas sub-region of these forestry resources evaluation mechanisms will be:
- to take stock of the good practices regarding forestry inventory and development in the tropical biomes of dry forests and wooded savannah of the sudanese and sahel areas of the ecowas member states;
- to take stock of the good practices regarding forestry inventory and development in the tropical biomes of humid and dense forests and the guinean savannah in the ecowas member states;
- to propose good practices of evaluation of forestry resources that would enable a better understanding of the status of forests, their plant composition (plant diversity) and their state of degradation;
- to propose good practices in evaluation of forestry resources that would enable to better bring out the productive and protective functions of forestry resources based on the eco-climatic zones;
- to propose good practices in evaluation of forestry resources that would enable to better estimate the socio-economic functions of forestry resources while putting emphasis on their contribution to national and local economies in the ecowas member states based on the eco-climatic zones;

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- and lastly to bring out clearly the legal, political and institutional framework relating to the management of forestry resources in the ecowas region.

4. Expected outcome of the study

the consultants shall prepare a reliable evaluation document on forest resources (forestry inventory and development methods in accordance with the valorization objectives of the resources: wood for energy, timber, service, exportation and industrial processing, ecotourism, food security, herbal medicine, etc.) According to eco-climatic zones for better planning and sustainable management to ensure good governance regarding management of forestry resources. The document shall be submitted in triplicates in addition to a soft copy sent to the ecowas department of environment and water resources as a microsoft word format attachment.

5. Organization of the study and consultant profiles

the study shall be carried out by a team of two consultants (one anglophone and one francophone) who are forestry engineers and ecowas citizens. The consultants are recommended to visit the fao sub-regional representation in west africa, cilss, in particular preda and oibt, the technical departments of some member states in charge of forestry inventory and development, professional logging organisations and some ngos concerned with issues of management of forestry resources especially the fight against illegal logging. The consultants should give priority to a participatory approach by involving all actors and partners involved in the evaluation of forestry resources at regional level. A validation meeting will be organized to review the expectations and develop the necessary collaborations.

6. Duration of study
the study shall be executed within fifty-five (55) days.

7. Remuneration
the remuneration rate is us$ 400 per day.

8. Submission of candidatures
qualified candidates should submit their applications along with detailed curriculum vitae (cv) including telephone numbers, e-mail and contact addresses, as well as copies of credentials to the following address:

The president
ECOWAS Commission
Attention: director of human resources
101 yakubu gowon crescent,
P.M.B 401, Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
fax: +234 (9) 314 7646 – 234 (9) 314 3005
e-mail: mamasaihou@yahoo.com or snjie@ecowas.int

Interested candidates may also visit the ecowas website
the deadline for the submission of candidatures is friday, 20th march 2009 at exactly 17h00.

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