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Colombia: Consultant for PES Environmental Investments

Medellín (Spain)

  • Organization: GGGI - Global Green Growth Institute
  • Location: Medellín (Spain)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
  • Closing Date: 2022-01-10

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Colombia: Consultant for PES Environmental Investments


GGGI together with the Government of Colombia (GoC) have been working to promote green growth and investment policies, through strategic alliances with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development-MADS, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the National Planning Department, among others.

In this new phase of collaboration with government entities at the national and subnational level, GGGI with the support from the Kingdom of Norway expands its Colombia Program, according to the transition towards a greener growth, socially inclusive and that will allow Colombia to develop its medium-term Agenda. For five years of support (2017-2022) it is expected to impact the capacity to incorporate green growth objectives into development planning and investments within priority sectors and regions, which are considered critical for Colombia's future green growth, particularly in areas that are highly susceptible to further degradation of natural resources and loss of natural forests.

The Green Growth Program in Colombia developed by GGGI with support from Norway was divided into two phases: Phase I, from 2017 to 2019, and Phase II in the years 2020-2022. Phase II has been designed to increase investments in green growth in prioritized regions and sectors, in addition to supporting the GoC to reduce current deforestation trends. Program outcomes are aligned with the Colombia’s Government Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the GGGI Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and the National Planning Framework (CPF) 2016-2020, as well as the strategic objectives of the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).

There are several underlying principles that support the program Phase II basics. The main principle is that GGGI will continue to build on existing efforts to promote green growth, such as the implementation of the Green Growth Policy (with an emphasis on the forest economy) along with other relevant policies aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2022, such as reducing the deforestation rate and increasing areas under conservation and sustainable management systems. Second, there is a greater focus on delivering results at the subnational level, to increase deforestation reduction outcomes in targeted jurisdictions and to increase the number of hectares and investments under a sustainable and restorative production systems approach.

For the development of the Phase II subnational strategy, GGGI identified and selected 5 jurisdictions: the departments of Antioquia, Guaviare, Meta, Nariño, and the Southern Amazon jurisdiction. These were prioritized based on the following criteria: 1) Institutional performance, 2) Fiscal performance, 3) Multidimensional poverty index, 4) Deforestation rates, 5) Areas with illicit crops, 6) Conflict index, 7) Institutional development, 8) Enabling environment for green growth, and 9) Doing business for capital cities. Working at the subnational level is imperative to achieve the real positive impacts of a greener development model, meaning, low in deforestation and high in environmental and social benefits. Integrating green growth and climate-friendly policies at the subnational level into sector planning and investment at the local level is crucial to achieving long-term green growth goals.

GGGI Colombia seeks to incorporate green growth from a multi-level approach. In that sense, GGGI provides technical support and strengthens local capacity to incorporate green growth into planning and investment processes.

Thus, during Phase I, GGGI carried out a subnational support on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). In this context, the following framework constitutes the basis of GGGI's approach to PES.

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MinAmbiente) and the National Planning Department (DNP) developed the legal and regulatory framework for payments for environmental services (PES). This was materialized through CONPES document 3886 of 2017, Decree-Law 870 of 2017 and Decree 1007 of 2018, and whose management strategy was endorsed in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2022. The NDP 2018-2022 defined the reinforcement of the National PES Program and technical assistance processes to strengthen territorial capacity and create portfolios of PES projects.

Consequently, document 3886 of the 2017 CONPES "Policy Lines and National Program of Payment for Environmental Services for Peace Building" established the policy guidelines to implement PES schemes that promote investments for the maintenance and generation of ecosystem services in strategic areas by public institutions, private sector, and civil society. To fulfill the objectives of the document, the following action plan was determined: (i) defining technical elements, operational aspects, and research objectives; (ii) establishing coordinated mechanisms among institutions that improve the PES implementation; (iii) articulating financial sources and economic instruments for sustainability; (iv) expanding and standardizing the PES policy framework.  

Likewise, the sustainability pact of the National Development Plan 2018-2022 defined as an objective to generate incentives for conservation such as PES, considering they represent innovative mechanisms that recognize the conservation efforts of local communities and motivate public and private actors to "produce by conserving and conserve by producing" keeping natural capital and the development of opportunities for its sustainable use.

In line with national policies, GGGI is supporting the DNP and MinAmbiente in the implementation of the National Program for Payment for Environmental Services and has focused its assistance on some departments at the subnational level. In Antioquia, GGGI has been supporting the strengthening of the department's PES strategy, working closely with the Secretary of Environment and Sustainability of the Antioquia’s Government, in the definition and implementation of a strategy to promote green businesses in the properties of the families benefiting from the Antioquia’s PES scheme, which is operated by Masbosques.

Although the PES Antioquia program has generated important results: the department has acquired between 2012-2019 a total of 25,580 ha and protected about 44.351 ha between 2017-2019, unfortunately, today it has an obstacle for the program operation and continuity, due to the lack of financial resources, especially because the program currently operates only with public resources; from the Antioquia’s Government there is a specific allocation through Ordinance 049 of 2017, allocating at least 20% as fixed annual resources for the implementation of the program, under the operation of the Masbosques Corporation, with the BanCO2 methodology; the Municipalities contribute about 1% of their current income for PES and the Environmental Corporations also contribute resources to implement in the municipalities of their corresponding jurisdictions. For this reason, it is essential to link the private sector and public service providers, in this case, water and sewerage, from the concept of environmental investments.

Thus, GGGI will accompany the water and sewerage company EPM and the Water Fund of Medellin and the Aburrá Valley-Cuenca Verde to find financial sources to ensure the sustainability of the PES scheme that Cuenca Verde implements, which operates under the Ecocuencas project and in partnership with the Masbosques Corporation.

The Cuenca Verde Corporation is responsible for promoting water governance and water security through the protection and improvement of the supplying watersheds of Medellín and the Aburrá Valley, specifically in the Riogrande II and La Fe watersheds, through actions to improve the water quality of the supplying sources, the information system and applied research, and the monitoring and tracking of the environmental return of the implemented actions.

In this way, GGGI expects to support EPM and Cuenca Verde to achieve the PES financial sustainability they currently execute, through the increase in water tariffs to implement environmental investments under the framework of Resolution 907 of 2019 of the Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation Regulatory Commission (CRA). It is expected that this exercise will also serve as input for the Antioquia’s Government and the Antioquia PSA they are carrying out.

EPM and Cuenca Verde have been developing the following studies:

    • Studies with The Nature Conservancy for the creation of the Cuenca Verde water fund.
    • Conservation agreements through Cuenca Verde
    • Monitoring of water resource quality and flow rates
    • Hydrosedimentological model Hydrosed
    • PES Pilot through Cuenca Verde
    • Alliances with environmental authorities and other actors for the implementation of water conservation and care initiatives.


    • Project: PES Environmental Investments – Resolution CRA 907-2019
    • Duty Station: Medellín
    • Contract Duration: Six months
    • Consultant Level: 3
    • Total Fees: Up to 12,000 USD (depending on candidate's credentials)



Support EPM in the development of studies that allow to evaluate scenarios to continue with the implementation of Resolution CRA 907-2019, as a strategy to implement environmental investments in the supplying watersheds of the Aburrá Valley’s interconnected aqueduct system.




(1) Work plan

The consultant should develop a comprehensive work plan and detailed methodological approach, including the schedule and methodological framework for developing the studies to evaluate scenarios for further implementation of Resolution CRA 907 of 2019.

(2) Information diagnosis and pre-feasibility project’s report

Elaborate a diagnosis, considering the technical, economic, institutional aspects of EPM that allows the development of the project to include in the water tariffs the implementation of environmental investments.

This diagnosis should include, among others:

        • Compilation and analysis of available information, quality, hydrological, land use and available water resource. The criteria and guidelines established in the working document for the implementation of Resolution 907 of 2019 issued by the CRA must be considered.
        • Compilation of information about the cost of water purification, operation of raw water pumping and other measures necessary for the operation of the aqueduct that can be the basis for calculating the avoided costs that could be generated by environmental investments.
        • Evaluation of land use and water resource trends in the supplying watersheds and their possible impacts on hydrological services.
        • Validation with EPM and Cuenca Verde
            • Workshop to explain the information needed to develop the economic analysis.
            • Working sessions to understand the operation of the aqueduct and the tariff regime.
            • Sessions to validate results with the company

(3) Cost-benefit analysis of environmental investment options

The analysis is developed to establish the most cost-effective environmental investment(s) that allows the protection of the aqueduct supply watershed. The following options will be evaluated:

          i. Purchase and properties isolation

          ii. Restoration

          iii. Protection of watersheds and water supply areas

          iv. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)

The analysis of these options should include the implementation of water resource monitoring actions to obtain adequate information on the hydrological and quality conditions of the supplying sources and to follow up on the implementation effectiveness of environmental investments.

The analysis will consider the results of the hydrosedimentological model, Hydrosed, which EPM has, as well as the results and information of the actions that Cuenca Verde has implemented in the supplying watersheds.

This analysis should include the benefits, the long-term positive impact as well as cultural changes in the populations living in the watersheds that promote the care of water resource.

The analysis should consider land use and water resource trends in the watershed, how these may affect water regulation and water quality services in the watershed, and which investments and where they would contribute most to avoiding future negative impacts on water availability.

A prioritization of properties or sites for the implementation of actions and their inclusion in the tariff should be proposed jointly with EPM and Cuenca Verde.

(4) Cost analysis of the selected environmental investment(s)

Define, for the selected environmental investment(s), the administrative, operational and investment costs considering the methodology presented in CRA’s Resolution 907 of 2019. It is important to ensure that the cost analysis includes all activities necessary for water quality and regulatory services.

       4.1   Projection of the cost-benefit over time (10 years) of the selected investment(s), according to the definition of prioritized properties or sites, trends in land use and water resource use and the needs for maintenance and/or restoration of hydrological services in each supplying watershed.

(5) Document with the definition of objectives and goals for the maintenance and/or restoration of the hydrological services of the supplying watersheds and a schedule to advance in their fulfillment. As well as structuring impact indicators to monitor environmental investments.

(6) Analysis of scenarios for incorporation into water tariffs

Determine several scenarios of incorporation in the tariff, to model which would be the most feasible to implement and of greater benefit. The tariff modeling will be carried out by EPM.

(7) Accompanying report to decision makers

Document with the summary of meetings/workshops with the EPM board to present the environmental investment project and ensure its implementation.

(8) Final report. A final report that overviews the activities developed during the consultancy.






Description of deliverables

Target completion

Amount (% of total fee)

Payment Nº 1

Work plan

Detailed work plan document

Detailed work plan with activities, dates, and methodology.


Within 1 weeks after signing the contract.



Payment Nº 2

Diagnosis and pre-feasibility study of the project

Information diagnosis document and pre-feasibility report of the project

It should include the diagnostic analysis of secondary and primary information and the analysis of technical, economic, and institutional conditions.

Within 6 weeks after signing the contract.


Payment Nº 3

Selection of environmental investment(s)

Cost-benefit analysis of environmental investment options

A document that accounts for the analysis of the environmental investments impact according to the different intervention scenarios, to establish the most profitable environmental investment.

Within 12 weeks after signing the contract.


Payment Nº 4

Environmental investment design

Cost analysis of the selected environmental investment

A document with the analysis of the administrative, operational and investment costs that ensure the regulation and water quality services.

Within 16 weeks after signing the contract.


Payment Nº 5

Tariff increase scenarios

Definition of objectives and goals for the maintenance and/or restoration, and indicators for monitoring environmental investments.

Scenarios analysis for the incorporation of water tariff increases


A document with the definition of objectives and goals for the maintenance and/or restoration, as well as monitoring indicators.

Additionally, analysis of the impact on the tariff due to the increase in administrative costs and increase in operating and investment costs, presenting different scenarios and establishing the most viable scenario to implement.

Within 20 weeks after signing the contract.


Payment Nº6


Management for decision makers


Final Report

Accompanying report to decision-makers and final report

A report that overviews meetings/workshops with decision makers within EPM to present the environmental investment project and ensure its implementation.

A final report and an executive presentation that contains a summary of the products obtained.

Within 24 weeks after signing the contract.


* No additional travel expenses will be recognized for the execution of the consultancy



    • The methodology to develop the products should be proposed by the consultant and validated together with the team of GGGI Col, EPM and Cuenca Verde.
    • It is essential to have prior information about hydrological modeling, which is expected to be provided by EPM, Cuenca Verde or another regional actor that has this information, considering i) establish the baseline and trend of hydrological services, ii) identify the hydrological service to keep, improve or recover.
    • The products of the consultancy should be socialized with the relevant actors defined in products 1 and 2 for their validation and collective construction through work meetings. A workshop at the end of the consultancy is essential to socialize the results. This is key, given that this exercise should be considered as an instrument of the sector with a long-term purpose.
    • The city of Medellín is the place where this consultancy will be executed. No field work is required. The consultancy will be developed with available secondary information and information provided by EPM and Cuenca Verde. 
    • The Consultant shall submit a final report which should cover the results of all previous products developed by the Consultant. The report should also provide recommendations for further activities to ensure the long-term sustainable development of the project.
    • All technical papers, reports and other relevant documents prepared from the beginning to the end of the consultancy will be attached to the Final Report, including the minutes of meetings, workshops, and attendance lists. 
    • All reports or results must be written in Spanish, except the work plan and final report which must be submitted in English and in accordance with GGGI format requirements. They should be submitted in electronic copy along with complete sets of raw data, research materials and meeting notes.
    • The Consultant shall submit the report in electronic versions readable by a Microsoft Office application. The Consultant shall use diagrams, tables, graphs, charts, infographics, etc. at the time of submitting the reports and presentations of the consultancy products.
    • The consultant may be asked to prepare power point presentations for the presentation and validation of the consultancy products.
    • The final report must be approved by GGGI, in collaboration with EPM and Cuenca Verde. The Consultant shall review the comments and proposed necessary revisions. Within 14 days of receipt of comments or proposed revisions by GGGI, the Consultant shall prepare and submit final versions of the report.
    • A Steering Committee will be formed by EPM, Cuenca Verde, Minambiente, the Secretary of Environment and Sustainability of the Antioquia’s Government and GGGI, which will meet monthly (or when deemed necessary) to evaluate progress and ensure institutional articulation to effectively deliver the products of the consultancy.
    • The progress of the consultancy work will be supervised by the regional associate in Antioquia, under the considerations of the GGGI environmental economics associate, and will be monitored mainly through periodic review meetings, whose precise schedule will be determined based on planning with the two GGGI associates. At these review meetings, the team will cover topics such as: an overview of the Plan's phases and activities, detailed information about targets and milestones, actual achievements against the initially established schedule, and any other relevant progress detail. 
    • Must be permitted to work in Colombia.
    • (REQUIRED) Postgraduate degree in Environmental Economics / Environmental Management / Sustainable Development from other relevant fields.
    • At least 6 years of work experience in environmental areas, economic valuation, or sustainable development.
    • (REQUIRED) Minimum of 4 years of relevant work experience in economic valuation (cost benefit analysis, demand and DAP studies, scenario modelling and cost analysis).
    • Excellent Spanish skills are essential. Good command of English is desirable.
    • Knowledge in hydrological and water quality data analysis.
    • It is desirable to have experience working with companies related to water resource.
    • Knowledge of CRA’s Resolution 907 of 2019.
    • Knowledge of payments for environmental services (PES) and financial instruments for conservation incentives.
    • Exceptional analytical and quantitative skills; synthesis capacity, presentation and communication skills; strategic thinking skills.
    • Excellent writing and report preparation skills.



GGGI as an institution abides by its project-level Sustainability and Safeguards Rules (SSR) for all projects aligned with international standards for Environmental and Social Safeguards. The SSR is aligned with commonly recognized international standards for Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS), i.e. the WB Performance Standard, that ensure project level safeguarding of communities and people impacted by GGGI activities. GGGI has integrated project level Environmental and Social Safeguards into its Project Cycle Management (PCM) with mandatory Preliminary Gender and Social Assessments and ESS Screening of all projects to identify and manage risks.

In addition, GGGI’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Strategy 2021-2025 provides a framework toward achieving the principle of “Leaving No One Behind” in the transformation towards green growth, guiding GGGI's approaches to the mainstreaming of gender equality and poverty reduction in GGGI Colombia´s Program. This also includes the implementation of the GGGI Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction Policy Markers on all projects. GGGI’s Corporate Results Framework requires gender disaggregated indicators for participation in GGGI Capacity Building events.

GGGI’s Child Protection Rules and GGGI Rules on Sexual Exploitation ensure safeguarding of children impacted by GGGI activities or in contact with GGGI contracted personnel, with GGGI taking a zero-tolerance approach to child exploitation. GGGI is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. GGGI’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. All procedures mentioned above are accompanied by guidelines and capacity building efforts. GGGI also provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, embracing diversity in all its forms, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. GGGI promotes equal opportunities for all including persons with disabilities.

All GGGI´s policies are available for open consultation under the following link:  



GGGI is committed to apply transparency and accountability in its decisions and actions, and to practice integrity in all aspects of its operations. GGGI's anti-corruption policy establishes zero tolerance for corruption and fraudulent, coercive, and collusive practices in GGGI's operations. The whistleblowing policy is available at the following link

In addition, all GGGI's policies are available for open consultation under the following link:



Date to close is Korean Standard Time (KST). Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered Application. Cover Letter, and CV must be sent in English. A consortium, or a firm may not be engaged for the individual consultant assignment.  

GGGI evaluates applications based on eligibility requirements, relevance of academic study, work experience and the level of interest and motivation to contribute to GGGI's goals. If your application is successful, you will be asked to participate in a competency-based interview.


Values Logo

Child protection – GGGI is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. GGGI’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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