Caspian Hyrcanian Forest Project GEFSEC PROJECT ID: 4470; GEF AGENCY ID: PIMS 4078; AWARD ID:

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1 CONSULTANT TOR FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP & GREEN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN CHFP PILOT SITES ( Forest Business consultant ) Brief Description: The project will conserve biodiversity in key landscapes within the Caspian broadleaf deciduous forest ecoregion. The ecoregion is recognized for its high levels of endemism; it is also an important storehouse of threatened species. It will do this by strengthening the national and local policy framework governing land use in the Caspian forests (which cover an area of approximately 1.8 million hectares), enhancing the rights and roles of the local communities in their management and demonstrating ways and means of improving management (including land use planning, zoning, compliance monitoring and enforcement). The project will trigger a paradigm shift from sector-focused management to multiple use management, to reduce the conjunction pressures arising from different land uses. It will put in place the necessary policy and regulatory mechanisms needed to mainstream biodiversity conservation considerations into land use plans and build the capacities of key institutions to implement the reformed planning and management approach. The project is thus consistent with GEF Strategic Objective 2 of GEF 5: Mainstream biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into production landscapes, seascapes and sectors and in particular Outcome 2.1: Increase in sustainably managed landscapes and seascapes that integrate biodiversity conservation. The successful implementation of this project will set the foundations for replication of the approach in other important forest ecosystems across the country. The project will be responsible for achieving the following project objective: To put in place a collaborative governance system and know-how for managing a mosaic of land uses in the Caspian Hyrcanian forest that provides habitat integrity and helps maintain landscape level ecosystem functions and resilience. The proposed project is designed to lift the barriers to establishment of a landscape approach to the management of biodiversity. The project comprises three complementary Outcomes, which will be cost-shared by the GEF and co-financing: Outcome 1. An enabling policy and regulatory framework Outcome 2. Institutional and staff capacity strengthening for multiple-use forest management Outcome 3. Community piloting of integrated forest management The project has intensively engaged in promoting community forestry and multi-purpose forestry schemes in 4 pilot sites: 1. Farirud and Zilakirud basins in Roudbar and Siyahkal counties; Gilan province. 2. Dohezar and Sehezar basins in Tonekabon county, Mazandaran province. 3. Baliran in Amol county, Mazandaran province. 4. Chehelchay basin in Minoudasht county, Golestan province. 1 P a g e

2 Scope of Work This consultancy will be practically taking lead in modelling, initiation and development of small and medium scale community forest enterprises in focal communities of CHFP pilot sites for the local communities who are involved in community forestry and multi-purpose forestry activities. The CHFP s mandate is to advocate and mainstream concepts of Community forestry and multipurpose forestry in which the social development interventions in the pilot sites should either be based on sustainable, multi-purpose use of forests by the communities or based on the concept of reduction of the pressures of current business practices on forest while stabilizing the communities in their rural settlements and avoiding migration to the cities. The CHFP, through its Local Community Mobilization, Socio-economic, Training and Capacity development, Community Forestry and Ecotourism consultant teams has been actively involved in mobilization and capacity building of target communities in its pilot sites. But these capacity building schemes are expected to result in generation of livelihood opportunities for the communities in the framework of multi-purpose and community forestry objectives. This is based on the hypothesis that to expect sustainability in any physical social development intervention, they should be transferred and translated to an appropriate and sustainable economic intervention. This consultancy is one of the first experiences of its type in Iran as it is trying to connect social development interventions to business and market-based interventions in a way that sustainability, justice, fairness and environmental-friendly criteria are considered. The EBC consultant will play a key role in connecting achievements of those consulting teams to the real demands of the market and support creation and development of forest-friendly and sustainable businesses in a way that these businesses can be a supporting asset to conservation and management of Hyrcanian forests. Although the EBC consultant will carry on some modelling and desk study work, but s/he is expected to allocate most of his time in the field, to develop livelihood opportunities and connect them to the markets sustainably. As well, though it is expected to develop an integrated regional scope under this consultancy, but due to diverse socio-economic contexts of 4 pilot sites of the project (located in 3 Northern provinces of Iran), we expect pilot-suited business development models. The entire process will be conducted in a highly participatory manner, involving all relevant stakeholders including particularly the local communities, private sector, FRWO, MOJA, CHTO, the Cooperatives affairs sector, and any other entity involved in business and entrepreneurship. With a very close collaboration with Local Community Mobilization, Socio-economic, Training and Capacity development, Community Forestry and Ecotourism consultant teams, it will be conducted with supervision and support of the National Project Manager (NPM) and his deputy, the International Project Advisor (IPA) and the Senior National Advisor (SNA). The developed businesses are expected to: Be self-driven and market-based with the least intervention by the project, the government or the consultant Be formed under the umbrella of community forestry or multi-purpose forestry schemes to enhance sustainability of forests Be replicable and extendable Be in favor of equity, fairness and justice concepts Preferably take households as the core (household as an economic unit) rather than sole gender-driven 2 P a g e

3 Location and duration: The consultancy is field-based with some home-based desk studies and requires a great amount of travelling between project pilot sites and Tehran. The National Consultant will provide support to the project during a period of 12 months with the possibility of extension. Tasks of the consultant 1. Roadmap development and team building (5%) a. Prepare an action plan and a road map to illustrate how the consultant will pursue business model developments in each pilot sites b. Establishing and supervising a business development team as well as coordinating a business taskforce by a combination of CHFP s consultants to undertake the mandates or this consultancy 2. Modelling and conceptual framework (20%) a. Perform situational analysis of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in project s pilot sites: main actors and training, accelerators and incubation programs needed or available; b. Data analysis - using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework; and analytical tools such as (but not limited too) SWOT analysis, as well as key informant interviews, series of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and other Participatory Rural Assessment methods. (A detailed framework for the required analyses report will be discussed and agreed with the consultant) c. Provide an assessment of various models of social entrepreneurship to build a model for project pilot sites d. Conduct a brief assessment of immediate and markets (and their demands) related to the productions in the pilot sites e. In a participatory way, develop a rural-business development model and program including production and marketing strategies for project s pilot sites under the scheme of community forestry f. Identification of bottlenecks to successful business development and the development of strategies how to handle them 3. Networking and Market development (30%) a. Locate and/or propose potential business deals by exploring potential partnerships in the marketplace and developing new market opportunities for community products b. Design strategy to launch a multi-stakeholder business network specifically and enforce options for connecting the private sector to the local communities initiatives and products 3 P a g e

4 c. Create and maintain strong connections with relevant governmental sectors involved in business development such as Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperatives sector, trade chambers, Labor affairs sector, welfare organizations, etc d. Establish and coordinate Hyrcanian Forest s Green business champions, among private sector e. Identify and support establishment of new markets for the rural products 4. Entrepreneurship and business development (35%) a. Support communities in developing business plans and (if only necessary) liaise with authorities to support initiate business practices b. Facilitate and support local communities and contribute in development of marketable and forest-friendly products c. Facilitate establishment of community-based business groups d. Support communities in pricing, quality production and other relevant marketing aspects of their products e. Support existing cooperatives and community based livelihood initiatives in enhancement and improvement of their profitability and integration to the multi-use forestry concept 5. Capacity building, Communication and other tasks (10%) a. Feasibility study and propose options and mechanisms for creation and promotion of a Hyrcanian brand for rural products b. Coordinate projects entrepreneurship internal taskforce c. Pursue options for mainstreaming an environmental friendly business development hub (or a network of hubs in each province) for Hyrcanian region d. In collaboration with the Capacity development consultant team, provide on-site trainings to the communities to promote their business capacities. e. Contribute in generation of communication messages and advocating for green business development f. Track status of new business efforts through establishment of a Business Development data base and/or other reports as appropriate Deliverables A feasibility study document that details: o Potential business opportunities for the project pilot sites o Outlines of viable business model options, including implementation strategies for each different business and livelihood groups of local communities are shaped and active (production, design, marketing teams) A regional action strategy as well as local-suited business models including but not limited to; o Timeline and budget outline for the implementation of the regional action strategy / Regional Design Incubator. This incubator will support the emerging community-based 4 P a g e

5 businesses to grow through a strong social development process and move towards a series of serious and sustainable businesses and enterprises. o A communication campaign plan for the promotion of the regional action strategy / Regional Design Incubator. o The actors and institutions operating in or delivering services to the area; the accessibility of markets for goods and services; the accessibility of vocational training, financial services, and business services providers; o The development processes in the area (review local development plans and identify planned or potential sources of public/private sector investment; other processes that can affect the markets); o The policies and practices relating to employment, enterprise development, access to land etc., that influence development processes and affect livelihood opportunities in the area, as well as existing land and environmental management policies and practices and their potential threats. At least 2 regional and 3 site-based consultation workshops for business development and private sector engagement At least 3 general training sessions as well as 5 small scale training events in each pilot landscape on aspects of business development The Hyrcanian Forest s green fans (private sector) At least 2 new models of group/chain businesses and 5 examples of individual businesses are established and running in each pilot sites (please pay attention that each model can involve several livelihood groups) o Where necessary, establishment of business clusters among 4 pilot sites. Institutional Arrangements The contract for the National EB Consultant will be issued by FRWO (NPD) as the Implementing Agency; The authority to directly supervise the National Consultant lies with the Implementing Agency (NPM/NPD); The National Consultant will directly report to, seeking approval/acceptance of outputs from the Implementing Agency (NPM/NPD) with a copy to IPA and SNA; All reports provided by the National Consultant should be in compliance with requirements of UNDP/GEF formats and standards; Qualifications Advance university degree (PhD or Masters degree) in business development and entrepreneurship; or in the case of other majors: having 10 years of continuous experience in marketing and business development Proven practical and successful experience in sales, marketing and business development Good understanding of social development interventions and environmental considerations Proven ability in working with national and international consultant teams; Excellent analytical and report-writing skills. 5 P a g e

6 Proven experience of good understanding and strong connection to Iranian and International provisioned markets Experience of working in the Caspian Area is an asset; Experience of working in either of below fields is a great asset: o Medicinal herbs production and processing o Handicrafts o Ecotourism o Local food and beverage o Production of Ornamental plants o Production and processing of Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Excellent command of written and spoken English is a must. How to apply: Interested candidates should send their CVs along with the motivation letter and an initial proposal (including a road map and budget requirement to conduct the consultancy) to the project address at: 6 P a g e

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