International legal consultant
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Mozambique’s forest and wildlife resources are threatened by deforestation, forest degradation and forest fires, mainly caused by shifting cultivation, illegal logging, poaching, and uncontrolled firewood and charcoal production. As a means to address such challenges, the Government of Mozambique has expressed a significant level of commitment and ambition to promote sustainable forest management, reduce deforestation and increase forest cover, while contributing to biodiversity conservation. Mozambique’s Forest Investment Plan (MOZFIP), funded by the World Bank, provides a framework for channelling international support to the country’s commitment for forest sector reform and transformational change, through national-level activities to improve the enabling environment and on-the-ground investments in two targeted landscapes, Cabo Delgado and Zambézia provinces.
FAO leads the Technical and Strategic Support to the Implementation of the MOZFIP. The project focuses on five (5) components, namely: (i) Forestry sector 20-year vision, strategy and action plan developed in a transparent and participatory process, underpinned by a revised institutional and policy framework; (ii) Transparency, accountability, equity and overall sustainability of forest production is ensured through a revision of the forest concessions institutional framework; (iii) National forest sector planning and management are enhanced based on relevant and accurate information and data available through a Forest Information System; (iv) National Directorate of Forest (DINAF) staff and other stakeholders are empowered and have the knowledge, skills and capacity to manage the national forest endowment based on best forest management principles and; (v) Project Monitoring and dissemination of results.
FAO is the lead United Nations (UN) agency for agriculture, forestry, natural resources management and rural development. FAO has a long history of working for the development of the forest sector in Mozambique since 1979, supporting the country to implement important milestones, such as the development of the first national forest inventory in 1980.
Within the framework of the FAO-MozFIP project, different lines of activities were implemented in the second component of the project, focusing on redesigning the country’s forest concession regime. The initial assessment of the forest concession’s legal and institutional framework, as well as practices for implementing sustainable forest management, led to the formulation of a new proposal for forest production in the country, moving from the current model of forest concession and simple licenses, to sustainable forest production through the establishment of Forest Management Units (FMU). The proposed FMUs constitute a territorial space predominantly covered by forests under the management of different stakeholders, including communities, and which follows clear economic, social and ecological objectives specified by long-term forest management plans. To adapt the organization of the actors to the new forest management units, including current concessionaires, holders of simple licenses and the communities, an initial legal analysis led to a discussion for the establishment of new contractual arrangements, such as the Sustainable Forest Management License Agreement (SFMLA) which are based on the consensus principle among the three major stakeholders (Government, license holder and the community) who would also be signatories. It is imperative, therefore, that such proposals and new legal instruments continue to be evaluated and widely discussed with national and provincial stakeholders in an inclusive and transparent process in order to reach consensus on definitions of the responsibilities and rights contained therein, reflecting financial, economic, environmental and social objectives and conditions, through the commitment of users in the application of sustainable forest management practices in public productive forests.
The consultant will report directly to the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) of the FAO MOZFIP project and to the project’s Budget Holder (BH) and will work under the technical supervision of the Chief, Development Law Service (LEGN) and the guidance of the Lead Technical Officer (LTO) in close collaboration with the National Directorate of Forest (DINAF) and the Legal Office (GJ) of the Ministry of Land and Environment (MTA), as well as with the other members of FAO involved in the project in Mozambique and FAO Forestry Department.
The consultant will contribute to Activity 2.1.5 “Support design of a new forest concessions framework for Mozambique, including legal, policy (in coordination with policy revision), institutions, economic instruments, as well as mechanisms for coordination with other governmental projects and priorities, through a transparent and inclusive process, based on stakeholder consultations and privileging clarity and coherence.”, under Component 2, “Transparency, accountability, equity and overall sustainability of forest production is ensured through review and revision of forest concessions institutional framework”.
Tasks and responsibilities
The consultant will be responsible for the development of a new standard contract defining rights for utilization and obligations for management in public production forests. The consultant will also provide legal expert support to the contractual arrangements for piloting the Forest Management Unit (FMU) approach in the selected province, including legal advice on how to deal with existing or expiring licenses (forest concessions contracts and simples licenses) and the necessary requirements and orientations for contractual arrangements between signed parties.
In particular, the Consultant will have the following responsibilities:
• Prepare the technical basis and methodology for the review of existing contracts for forest concessions and simple licenses and to draft a new standard contract for forest production. The methodology includes the study and analysis of existing contracts (reports and evaluations on licence holders for forest management), analysis of the draft proposal for Sustainable Forest Management License Agreement (SFMLA), which should be considered as relevant options for juridical arrangements in the FMU. Furthermore, the procedure should also include investigative, analytical and consultative methods and tools to complete the tasks;
• Prepare the first draft of the new forest production contract to be adopted at national and provincial levels of government and submitted for discussion, comments and suggestions through consultation with the MTA bodies
• Provide legal justification in layman style, when necessary, to complex and technical provisions of the new contract to serve as supporting material for high-level decision-making.
• Prepare discussion documents for the national and provincial consultations on the main elements related to the proposed new contract.
• Coordinate and participate in public consultations in three regions and one at national level for discussion and consensus building with stakeholders on the proposed new contract for forest production. Consider holding virtual consultations as a first option in order to address response measures to the COVID-19 outbreak.
• Coordinate the process of incorporating and collating relevant and pertinent contributions from public consultations and submit a final version of the standard forest production contract.
• Establish direct coordination and collaboration with the project team formulating the new Forestry Law and related Regulation, as well as provision of guidance and support to the Forest Management Units (FMU) on the FMU contractual arrangement and preparation of necessary legal requirements, including:
• Develop recommendations for legal provisions to be included in the forest production contract (e.g. technical annexes, clauses) that address the inclusion of local communities as a signatory party and ensuing benefit sharing;
• Design the necessary legal process for migrating existing forest concession contracts and simple licenses to the new standard contract, including the elaboration of new contractual modalities (e.g. transitional contracts) to ensure parties are cognisant of the legal provisions during the transitional period.
• Provide guidance on additional legal instruments and provisions for establishing the FMU, such as criteria for monitoring compliance with the technical rules, as well as benefits for compliance and penalties for non-compliance.
• Liaise with the Development Law Service (FAO-LEGN) for support and guidance to ensure alignment of the proposed legal provisions of the new contract and the FMU legal arrangement taking into account good practice and in accordance with relevant international conventions and standards, when necessary. Submit every deliverable completed under this mandate to the Legal Officer, Development Law Service for comments and technical clearance, as requested.
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
• Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Law. specialisation in Forestry, Natural Resources Management, Natural Resources Policy and Regulation or related areas is an added advantage;
• Minimum 10 years of relevant experience in: development and management of contracts for production forests, legal assistance to actors in the forest sector, and matters of sustainable management of production forests and/or experience in leading with legal issues related to forest concessions;
• At least 5 years of experience in contracts regulating concessions for timber production.
• Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English (for PSA.SBS).
FAO Core Competencies
• Results Focus
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
• Knowledge of contractual arrangements for concessions in the Miombo woodlands or other types of dry forests would be an asset;
• Knowledge of Portuguese would be an asset.
Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency