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Consultant for Developing a WWF Regional Cocoa Strategy
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Central Africa seeks a Consultant for development of its Regional Cocoa Strategy (2021-2025).
Countries of the Congo Basin, with the world's second largest tropical rainforest, are largely dependent economically on natural resources including agriculture. For all these countries, their largest export earners are the extractive industries. However, in all these countries, agriculture remains the main source of employment and livelihoods for rural populations. Most farmers practice traditional agriculture mixing food crop agriculture (cassava, plantains, yams, peanuts, maize, millet, rice) for subsistence and local market and cash crops (sugarcane, banana, peanuts, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, rubber, oil palm) for income. Smallholders dominate production, under this system, there are tremendous gaps between actual and potential yields. Commodities vary across countries, regions and climatic zones. With the falling prices of extractive resources, these countries are all now looking to agriculture as a potential lever for economic development.
Cocoa is an important international commodity and the different countries have established special programs to revitalize and expand the sector. Cameroon for instance launched its National Plan to re-vitalize the cocoa and coffee value chains by 2020 while Gabon instituted the Programme Jeunes Entrepreneurs Café/Cacao (JECCA) and the Republic of Congo in collaboration with OLAM-CIB launched the National Cocoa Development Plan (PND-Cacao). Despite these different initiatives to revitalize the cocoa sector in all these countries, only Cameroon is amongst the world's top producing countries occupying respectively the third and fifth positions at continental and global levels behind Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria with an estimated average annual production of 200,000 metric tons.
With still a high forest cover, it is feared that if the countries of the region continue on the same development pathway with the objective of increasing production of agricultural commodities like cocoa, palm oil, rubber and coupled with investments in other areas like infrastructure, mining, and logging, may increase the region's deforestation rate. The region's deforestation rate currently stands at about 0.16 per cent over the period 1990 – 2000 and 0.76 per cent 2000 – 2005 corresponding to a loss of approximately 43,000 km2 over the 1990–2005 period. Despite having a huge potential for expanding cultivation and increasing yields for cocoa, the production and productivity of cocoa from the countries of the Congo Basin are quite poor except for Cameroon with an estimated average yield of 300 kg per hectare against 800 – 1 000 kg per hectare for Indonesia, and 2-3 ton/ha in Vietnam. The Government of Cameroon in its effort to revitalize the cocoa sector envisages increasing production by 2020 to 600,000 tons annually. The total surface of planted cocoa area by 2014 in Cameroon is estimated at about 670 000 hectares. The question is how would Cameroon attain this target without extensive new forest clearings and this is even further made complex with the ongoing socio-political crisis in the Southwest Region, one of Cameroon's major cocoa producing area.
Unlike palm oil, soy, timber or beef that for many years attracted widespread condemnation for their environmental and social impacts especially related to deforestation, cocoa has
received much less attention. However, this trend seems to be fast changing as civil society actors are now increasingly putting their focus on cocoa and according to the World Bank, this interest is spurred by the “increasing sensitivity toward deforestation driven by cocoa, combined with an awareness of productivity and livelihood limitations of smallholder farming”. This fact can be attested in reports by civil society organizations on the role of the chocolate manufacturing industry in accelerating deforestation in countries like Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.
There is an unprecedented opportunity for Congo basin countries to reverse a global trend and create a virtuous circle for environmental protection, economic development and social progress. They should avoid taking the same pathway for cocoa development taken by countries such as Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia who, being the world's largest cocoa producers, have seen a large expanse of forestland disappeared. In Bonn in 2017 during the UNFCCC COP 23, the world's top producing chocolate companies made a global commitment to curb further conversion of any forestland for cocoa production. This commitment was captured in the Cocoa and Forest Initiative framework (CFI) for Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, a discussion led by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) under the support of the Cambridge Sustainability Leadership Program (CSLP), the Prince of Charles Foundation and the World Bank. At the same time, many large companies have published their own commitments, and are developing programs to implement.
WWF as the world's largest conservation organization is now starting to develop an interest in this commodity, given its current global conservation strategy drove by the practices goals and drivers, such market, food, forest, finance and governance practices, in particular related to the Congo basin region (Central Africa). Up to now, there is only very limited experience in WWF field projects, such as in Ecuador, and very recently Ghana. On the market side, activities up to now are also limited, as it was never prioritized in the strategy of WWF's Market Transformation Initiative (MTI). The current activities are supply risk analysis studies for some major companies (e.g. Mars), Trillion Trees (WWF UK) and the recent engagement of WWF Belgium in the national Cocoa commitment or development the “Integrated Agribusiness- Conservation Model” aiming engagement of cocoa smallholder farmer in ethical and deforestation free cocoa supply chain in the Congo basin.
The potential for agricultural development in the Congo Basin is significant. The region is among the areas with the greatest potential in the world for both expanding cultivation and increasing existing yields while preserving forests and other valuable ecosystems; market forces, driven by both internal (domestic and regional markets) and external drivers (growing international demand for food and energy) suggest that agriculture will, in the medium and long term, expand. Government and investors want to develop this potential. It cannot be stopped. Thus, there must be spatial planning at national level, land use planning at the jurisdictional or landscape level, and support and incentives at the local level. HCV-HCSA Assessments are needed to guide land use planning and decision-making. No-go areas need to be identified and sustainably managed and monitored.
For WWF, cocoa in the Congo Basin regions offers an opportunity to leverage its development in a manner that makes it in the frame of SDGs, enhances the livelihood of the local communities that depend on it and minimizing its footprint on the environment and biodiversity. WWF believes that when agricultural operations including cocoa production are
sustainably managed, they can preserve and restore critical habitats, help protect watersheds, and improve soil health and water quality. Unsustainable cocoa production, such as full sun practices with complete clearing of forestlands may on the contrary have serious impacts on people and the environment. Agriculture's deep connections to the world economy, human societies and biodiversity make it one of the most important frontiers for conservation around the globe.
As thus, WWF seeks to Consultant to define a regional strategy (2021-2025) that not only reconcile this urgent need to transform the agricultural and especially cocoa sector and potentially respond to international market signals but also ensure the preservation of the Region's forest capital.
The overall objective of the consultant is to develop a WWF regional cocoa strategy which ensure that development of cocoa by growers in the countries of the Congo Basin does not undermine the natural capital of these countries while contributing to economic development and social inclusion.
The objectives of the consultancy are to develop a regional cacao strategy including:
âÂ¢ identifying the main players and power centres in the cacao sector in Congo Basin;
âÂ¢ ways how to empower smallholder famers to be key active actors in responsible and sustainable cocoa production in the Congo basin (including TRIDOM landscape) and ways to link cocoa farmers to market systems for deforestation free cocoa supply chains;
âÂ¢ Mainstreaming the “Integrated Agribusiness-Conservation Model” for deforestation- free cocoa production with at least 3 formal suggested agreements between smallholder cocoa cooperatives and private sector (buyer companies) through landscape linked to sustainable market systems and complying with sustainability criteria with traceability system in place;
âÂ¢ rolling-out of a roadmap on Deforestation Free/green Cocoa and social inclusion in the TRIDOM landscape (Congo Basin) enabling behavioural change and leading to gender equality in cocoa market system with women having voice in decision-making, and equal access to productive resources (land, credit, information and extension services, etc.).
âÂ¢ identifying the role for certification schemes related environmental concerns and market's opportunities for smallholder farmers in cocoa sector and ensure alignment of WWF regional strategy with the cocoa strategies from the large brands;
âÂ¢ Theories of change clearly showing WWF's value-add and highlighting the
opportunities for WWF to engage globally and regionally, and potential roles.
âÂ¢ Result chains to clarify the way the Strategies will be implemented
âÂ¢ A monitoring plan including indicators.
The consultant will deliver the following products during the project:
âÂ¢ Current state analysis: A robust current state analysis (supported by a SWOT analytical matrix) of the cocoa sector in Congo basin with focus on TRIDOM landscape
(Cameroon, Gabon and Republic of Congo). The current state analysis needs to include a value chain analysis in the landscape, relevance of certification schemes, assessing current or potential economic value, as well as likelihood to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
âÂ¢ Drivers, trends and scenarios: The consultancy will identify what is driving development of cocoa sector in this landscape, the main actors, current trends and likely scenarios. There is need to stratify the region into areas which are suited for cocoa and those which are not or only marginally suitable
âÂ¢ Problem statement: A clear problem statement for TRIDOM landscape using HCV- HCSA approach for any proposed land use change with the aim to enable WWF action. The problem statement must capture the impact of cocoa sector on natural ecosystems and on livelihoods of smallholder farming and communities. It must highlight the public goods the forest provides such as ecosystem services, cultural values, community needs (those living in landscape), and biodiversity.
âÂ¢Vision: A clear and compelling vision statement that creates a positive narrative about the need to improve cocoa value chain to enable conservation and resilient landscapes, while improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and communities. In clear, what is financial and environmental opportunity cost of cocoa in the Congo basin region.
âÂ¢Theory of Change: A robust narrative for the Theory of Change that captures interventions and leverage points to resolve the issues identified in the problem statement. The Theory of Change should identify the specific leverage point(s) for WWF to focus on. So, we must be very selective about our interventions, investing only on those that yield the highest return on our investment and that will bring WWF closer to the aspired outcomes of the Food Practice. The theory of change must identify partners and stakeholders with whom WWF needs to collaborate and engage to deliver the aspired goals of the strategy.
âÂ¢ Results chains: Results Chains that show how the Theory of Change will be put into action, highlighting the leverage points for WWF action. This should include: a) impacts, b) outcomes, c) outputs, d) activities/inputs. The Theory of Change should organize the pathways for change, express all assumptions along the pathways, indicate the specific outcomes that WWF will deliver, and define the KPIs for final outcomes as well as for WWF outcomes.
âÂ¢ Budget: an estimated budget to implement the strategy and to deliver key objectives.
âÂ¢ Monitoring Plan: a monitoring plan with clear indicators for the selected objectives.
All products must be developed in close consultation with the relevant WWF offices in Congo basin, the Food Practice team in Africa, the Food Practice Core Team and Leadership Team, and other relevant WWF Practices (Markets, Forests, Freshwater and Wildlife).
An in-person workshops need to be planned by the consultant for review of the draft strategy and costs should be submitted as part of the proposal.
All products should be submitted in Word documents (English with summary in French), accompanied by an annotated slide deck (PowerPoint).
The consultancy will be a three (03) months (or 90 days) assignment.
The consultancy may be carried out by an individual, a small team, or an organization. Desired qualifications include:
âÂ¢ At least 10 years' experience working in agriculture value chains in Africa with specific
expertise in cocoa sector.
âÂ¢ Expertise in systems thinking, results chains development, initiative development.
âÂ¢ Technical expertise preferred: environmental or natural resources management, agri- economy, Rural Development. Good knowledge of and experience in HCV-HCSA Approach especially in relation to forested landscapes.
âÂ¢ Strong facilitation skills and experience in deforestation-free agriculture supply chains
and restoration of degraded lands.
âÂ¢ Proactive problem-solving and good communication skills (Writing and Oral).
âÂ¢ Strong research, and analytical skills, as well as attention to detail.
âÂ¢ Ability to work productively on both independent research assignments and as part of a team.
âÂ¢ Familiar with Congo basin ecological context.
âÂ¢ Ability to ensure effective record keeping and communication on Africa's food priorities within the WWF global network.
âÂ¢ Previous experience with WWF initiative development process preferred.
âÂ¢ Fluency in multiple languages preferred (English and French required).
The consultant will report to Jaap Van Der Waarde (TRIDOM Deputy Landscape Leader). Technical guidance will be provided by Ludovic MIARO III (Regional Food System & Green Growth Program Lead) and members of TRIDOM Food Technical Groups. Members of Africa Food Team and the WWF Food Practice Core and Leadership Teams may be called upon to support the consultant on specific matters, only as needed. The consultant will also have regular communications with regional and international Food Practice Scientists and Leaders.
Please send your proposal, including budget, project deliverables (how you understand them and how you would deliver them), and timelines to email@example.com with cc to Fideline Mboringong (FMboringong@wwfcam.org) and with subject line “Developing WWF Regional Cocoa Strategy” . Include CV with details of relevant experience and achievements and at least three references.
For further information, or in case there are questions, please contact Ludovic MIARO III (LMiaro@wwfcam.org).
Deadline for applications is 15th July 2020.