The appointment of a service provider to evaluate the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative’s (ABI) Invasive Alien Clearing Project implemented by the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, as part of a case study for other ABI projects and to contribute to the ABI Re-visioning process.

  1. Background

 The ABI Alien Clearing Project is a landscape-wide collaborative project that has been coordinated by Flower Valley Conservation Trust since 2013. The purpose of the project is to source and implement funding for the clearing of alien invasive species across nine different land user groups in the Agulhas area for the restoration of fynbos. The project has had different approaches applied to execute the work. It started as a land-user incentive model mostly driven by the land owners until 2016. The primary funder is the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs (DFFE), and with fiscal changes the funding implementation changed into what is more akin to the DFFE Working for Water model from 2017.

With the new re-visioning of ABI, a process currently underway between the ABI Partners, the evaluation of the alien clearing project is necessary. It is the largest ABI project in terms of number of people involved and partners collaborating together across the landscape.

2. Purpose of the evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation is to gather the learnings from this project to modify and adapt the model in order to have greater impact in the next 10-year ABI strategy to deal with the alien invasion crisis.

3. Project Objectives

ABI’s aim is to provide a platform for organisations in the Agulhas plain to work collectively towards resolving key conservation concerns. It aims to ensure that natural resources are used sustainably, and threats are addressed holistically. Since 2003 ABI has provided the framework to enable partnerships and collective management of natural resources in the area. ABI holds that the partnership approach that is inclusive of environmental, social and economic aspects is a feasible one for the conservation landscape in the Overberg. Currently the ABI partners are engaged in a collective re-visioning process for the next 10 years.

 

The aim of the ABI alien clearing project is to apply for and co-ordinate funding to different land user groups towards alien clearing treatments to meet the objectives of ABI. In keeping with the ABI goals the assumption is that working through partnerships will secure greater funding sources and added value for the treatment of alien invasive species, and is a preferred and sustainable model to retain gains made for conservation.

4. Work Requirements

 The scope will include a full evaluation on the work completed within the Alien Clearing project between 2013-2020. Evaluation will include the review of the project impact and performance and recommendations for future such programmes are required.

The following roles must be included in the evaluation:

  1. The Department of Environmental Affairs
  2. The Flower Valley Conservation Trust
  3. The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative
  4. The nine land user groups
  5. The landowners
  6. The alien clearing teams
  7. The workers in the teams
  8. Funders of the project

Key questions that need to be answered through the evaluation are:

  1. How does the design of the project relate to other projects with similar objectives within a regional and international context?
  2. What has been the social and environmental impact of the ABI Alien Clearing Project within the Agulhas region?
  3. What are the key successes and success factors of the project?
  4. What are the shortcomings of the project?
  5. What are recommendations for a future model and institutional arrangements?
  6. Did the partnerships leverage greater impact in collaboration compared to similar initiatives?
  7. What should the role of the ABI partnership be?
  8. What are the external factors that have changed during the project that could enable new or restrict future opportunities?

5. Qualifications for the position.

Broad knowledge base and experience working with alien clearing projects, government, conservation extension, and collaborative landscape management. Must have at least 5 years’ experience with setting-up or working with models for landscape wide projects, such as Biosphere’s, communities of practice or land-user incentive projects.

The service provider must be able to speak and write fluent English, and provide for language requirements for Afrikaans and isiXhosa speakers. Must be able to engage meaningfully with different people from all cultures and backgrounds involved in the project.

Proven ability in report writing, conduct evaluations and measure the impact of projects.

Must be independent from the activities of the project so that an objective perspective can be captured.

Project needs to start on the 1st of August and be completed by the 31st of October 2021.

Flower Valley Conservation Trust

Natural Resource Management: Alien Clearing

When invasive alien plants are removed from our fynbos biome, our river courses, wetlands and other natural landscapes, then nature can provide her bounty uninterrupted.  

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6. Deliverables 

Documents that will be provided to the successful consultant as part of the briefing:

  1. Bids and proposals submitted on the project over time.
  2. Data on the areas cleared, investments made, contact lists for the different role players, and reports produced during the project life cycle.
  3. All planning documentation and previous reviews related to the project.

Phase 1: August 2021

Briefing of the project with project working group and consultant.

Defining the method to assess the project impact and review.

Planning of engagements and data collection.

A register of each person that was part of the evaluation.

Minutes of all meetings that took place.

Phase 2: September 2021

The drafting of the information into a report that covers the scope of work.

Review of the report with the ABI working group.

Finalization of the report.

Phase 3: October 2021

Presentation of the report to the ABI collective.

Presentation and report to be delivered along with minutes, data, and attendance registers to the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, which will inform ABI’s  new 10-year strategy.

7. Submission 

To apply please submit a short proposal (maximum 3 pages) on how you would go about the project if successful, together with your CV (including 2-3 references) and a BBBEE certificate / affidavit by 17h00 on Tuesday 13 July 2021 to faye@flowervalley.co.za

Interviews will be conducted during the course of July with the service provider appointed to start the 1 August 2021.

The appointment for the terms of reference will take into consideration broad based black economic empowerment.