Consultant - IAS Legislation and Policies Review
Suva (Fiji )
Brief project description: Invasive alien species (IAS) are the greatest threat to biodiversity in the Pacific Islands. Numerous IAS have been introduced to Fiji, with significant impacts on natural landscapes and biodiversity, as well as impacting human health, economics, trade, sustainability, quality of life, etc. Preventing the establishment of additional IAS, preventing the further spread of already established IAS and improved management of existing pests are all key elements which need to be further addressed. Protecting Fiji through improved pre-border, border, and post-border systems for the prevention of IAS establishment is necessary. Additionally, improving similar biosecurity protections within Fiji at various levels including divisions, islands and island groups is also important. Reducing threats from IAS arrival and establishment as well as spread are all key elements to be addressed by this project. As a key part of the project, a four-island group in the northern division will be the focus for developing specific internal biosecurity and IAS management activities, which can then be (as needed) used as a model for improving biosecurity and management activities in other areas within the country.
The introduction of Giant Invasive Iguana – GII (Iguana iguana) – to this four-island area within Fiji represents the first established population of this species in the Pacific and is a potential bridgehead to some of the world’s most isolated island ecosystems. GII have already caused harm throughout the Caribbean where they are spreading fast and have significant detrimental effects, including on native biodiversity, agriculture and tourism. Management and possibly eradication of this species from its current established range in Fiji is a high priority to prevent the types of impacts seen in the Caribbean from occurring within the Pacific region. Although there are several national and local-level initiatives to address IAS in Fiji, these efforts, lack adequate capacity and an overall comprehensive strategy to ensure a systematic and effective protection of biodiversity-rich and important areas. An effective, systematic and comprehensive eradication effort against GII, before populations grow beyond the point where they can be controlled is currently lacking and urgently needed.
The Building Capacities to Address Invasive Alien Species to Enhance the Chances of Long-term Survival of Terrestrial Endemic and Threatened Species on Taveuni Island, Surrounding Islets and Throughout Fiji project is a 5-year initiative executed in Fiji by the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF). It aims to improve the chances of the long-term survival of terrestrial endemic and threatened species on Taveuni Island, the surrounding islets and throughout Fiji by building national and local capacity to reduce the risk of new IAS establishment and to improve the management of existing IAS. Improving IAS prevent and management in Fiji will require a suite of preventative measures that will be introduced by this project, including: (i) Strengthened IAS policy, institutions and coordination at the national level to reduce the risk of IAS entering Fiji, including a comprehensive multi-sectorial coordination mechanism to ensure the best possible use of resources and capacities for prevention, management, eradication, awareness and engagement, restoration, and capacity building; (ii) Improved IAS prevention and surveillance operations at the island level on Taveuni, Qamea, Matagi and Laucala to reduce potential for pest species to enter and establish within the four-island group and move between these islands; (iii) Implementation of a comprehensive eradication plan for GII based on detailed survey work and public outreach on Taveuni and an increase in removal effort of GII on the islands of Qamea, Matagi, and Laucala (and other islands, such as Taveuni if they are found to be established); and (iv) Strengthened knowledge management and awareness raising that targets the general public, tour operations and visitors, so as to safeguard the nation from IAS.
Duties and Responsibilities
Component 1 of the project is focused on strengthening IAS policy, institutions, and coordination at the nationallevel to reduce the risk of IAS entering Fiji. In this regard, the IAS project needs a review of IAS related legislationand policies in Fiji.In addition, an independent review of the 2008 Biosecurity Act is required. This is likely to addvalue to Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) which is planning a new strategic development plan and conducting aninternal review of the 2008 Biosecurity Act. Findings from this consultancy will also inform the finalization ofNationalInvasiveAlienSpeciesFrameworkandStrategicActionPlan(NISFSAP).
Scope of Work
Key responsibilities include:
- Identify short comings and opportunities of IAS related legislation and policies
- Identify and recommend opportunities to incorporate IAS into current Biosecurity Act
- Identify and assess grey areas amongst Border control agency mandates, legislation and inter agency agreements. Make recommendations regarding specific actions which will improve coordination/ cooperation amongst border control agencies and other organizations
- Identify and assess grey areas between/amongst national government ministries and departments which have direct/indirect role in IAS management and other organizations which support IAS eradication and management & control
- Identify and recommend capacity building opportunities for IAS management
- Facilitate 3 awareness raising sessions with stakeholders in western division, Taveuni & Qamea and internally within Biosecurity Authority of Fiji
It is critically important for the Consultant to carry out these tasks while keeping Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF), and UNDP fully involved but at the same time taking a technical (and sometimes managerial) lead.
- The following competencies are required:
- Demonstrates integrity and commitment to UN principles and values and ethical standards;
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- Ability to work well as part of a multi- cultural team and displays gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Ability for team working;
- Self- management, emotional intelligence, and conflict management;
- Analytical and strategic thinking/results orientation;
- Experience in participating and following the project cycle, creative capacity solving problems.
- Computer literacy (e.g., Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point) is a prerequisite.
- Ability to engage various partners and stakeholders and builds strong relationships with clients and other stakeholders;
- Demonstrates strong commitment and patience to deal with competing deadlines, demands, and interests.
Required Skills and Experience
- At least a Degree in Law and/or Environmental Law
- Previous experience in conducting reviews of environmental policies and legislation in Fiji is essential
- Previous experience undertaking consultancies for projects and/or development agencies
- Demonstrates networks amongst Government Ministries, NGOs, Statutory organisations, and other relevant stakeholders in Fiji
- Strong understanding of conservation and environmental legislation and developments in Fiji
- Experience in producing technical reports, and meeting deadlines;
- At least 5 year of relevant work experience
- Fluency of English language is required (verbal and written).
- Understanding of local language is advantageous.
- Fluency in local language and English is essential