ToR: Local biodiversity expert related to conducting the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos”

ToR: Local biodiversity expert related to conducting the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos”


Position: Local biodiversity expert related to conducting the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos”

Project: Enhancing climate resilience in the Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos”

Project number: 8360-00/2019

Donor: Austrian Development Cooperation

Reporting to: EcoContact, Project Manager

Post type: Individual service contract

Estimated implementation period of assignment: March – September 2020

Working languages: English, Romanian/ Russian

Organizational Context

The project “Enhancing climate resilience in the Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos” supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation, aims to support national and local authorities in implementing the Law on the establishment of the Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos” no.132 of 13.07.2018 that entered into force on 24.08.2018. Within the project, the assistance will be provided to central authorities and particularly to local actors from 10 mayoralties with the purpose to enhance climate resilience; support the implementation of pilot measures on adaptation to climate change,  which will be identified in the course of the project; and to learn how to contribute to the preservation of the ecosystem. The project will be implemented in the Lower Prut area, which is located in the Southern part of the Republic of Moldova and includes the Prut River and naturally flooded lakes. A wetland that stretches along the Prut River covers a mosaic of water ecosystems, meadows, and forests. The territory (more than 14,771 ha) is part of the Cahul district and the communities of Brînza, Cîşliţa-Prut, Colibaşi, Crihana Veche, Giurgiuleşti, Manta, Slobozia Mare, Vadul lui Isac and Văleni.

The intended Impact of the project is: The Natural Protected Area Biosphere reserve “Prutul de Jos” is managed sustainably taking into account climate change impacts and delivers ecosystem services for local communities.

The project’s expected outcome is: Climate resilience of the Natural Protected Area Biosphere reserve “Prutul de Jos” is enhanced and communities and local authorities have increased their capacities for climate change adaptation.

Expected Outputs of the project:

Output 1: Climate change risks identified, recommendations elaborated and priority adaptation measures implemented in a participatory manner within the Biosphere reserve “Prutul de Jos” area;

Output 2: The information and awareness about the value of the protected area and its ecosystem services as well as climate change impacts are increased;

Output 3: Capacities of local and national level actors (women and men) on climate resilience and effective management of the Natural Protected Area Biosphere reserve “Prutul de Jos” are strengthened;

Output 4: The institutional and regulatory framework for integrated management of the Biosphere reserve “Prutul de Jos” and the Sub-Basin Frumoasa-Crihana River is strengthened in a participatory manner.

The objective and tasks of the assignment:

The Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos” was established by law in 2018. It is located in the South-Western part of Moldova, along the lower course of the Prut River  The Lower Prut Lakes were officially recognized in 2000 as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, and the protected area is the first one in Moldova which has gained international UNESCO status in 2018. Two-thirds of the area are occupied by Lake Beleu, a wetland area that extends along the Prut River, covering a mosaic of water, meadow and forest ecosystems.

Protecting areas rich in biodiversity is the most common and most important strategy for biodiversity conservation, water resource management and for the prevention of land degradation. The Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos” was established to represent and protect specific natural features, species, and communities. However, as temperature, precipitation, and incidences of wildfires change, species are moving, plant and animal communities are being reassembled, and unique landscapes are altered or are facing the risk of extinction.

A Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) will be organized in the first phase of project implementation to prioritize project interventions in the area as well as to mainstream the identified measures into local development policies. An international expert will be hired to lead a team of local experts and elaborated a climate vulnerability assessment. A team of five persons will be contracted for elaboration of the CVA. The local biodiversity expert will work closely with hydrology, DRR and climate change, social inclusion and gender issues experts and directly report to the team leader.

The team will work on elaboration the methodologies available for such assessment (cf. IUCN and similar organizations) and tailoring to the local needs and available data. The methodological approach with the outline of the report will be developed as the first step of the assessment. Since this will be a first-time experience for protected areas in the Republic of Moldova, a round of discussion with national-level authorities is foreseen, once the methodology is developed, in order to validate its applicability for the Biosphere Reserve and other similar areas in the future.

The main objectives of the Local biodiversity expert on CVA are as follows:

  • Planning, designing and presenting the survey method for biodiversity assessment of species and habitats within the Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos” in the context of climate change;
  • To provide data about a species from the area (referring flora and fauna) that would be georeferenced where possible;
  • Analyze, interpret, review and present (in word or excel) all data collected, problems and/or issues raised that can affect the data interpretation;
  • Identify main ecosystem services from the Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos”, analyse the possible impact (both positive and negative) of climate change and identify different scenarios of human influence based on the level of usage of ecosystem goods.
  • Participate in project team meetings and support the international expert in its misisions in the territory.
  • Work closely with team leader and designated team toward elaboration of the biodiversity component within methodology for CVA on the current level of the climate resilience that will highlight biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, different type of vulnerabilities upon local communities in the “Biosphere Reserve Prutul de Jos”. Proposed methodology should be in line with the provision of Environmental, Gender and Social Impact Manual of the Austrian development Cooperation[1].
  • Together with team leader and designated team present to the national (Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment; Environmental Agency, Agency “Apele Moldovei) and local level (Administration of the reserve, representatives from Local Public Authorities) stakeholders the biodiversity component related to the methodological approach and tools to be applied within CVA process, and integrate their recommendations into the final methodology;

For conducting the CVA process, a group of experts will be selected, consisting of an international expert (team leader) and local experts on biodiversity, hydrology, DRR and climate change, social inclusion and gender issues. The task of the International expert will be leading a team of selected national experts, that will be contracted by EcoContact. The team leader will provide methodological guidance and overall support to the expert team. Based on the data that will be collected and the recommendations of the CVA, vulnerability maps will be elaborated by contracted company / expert.

Management arrangements

The local biodiversity expert will be part of the assignment implementing lead by the international expert. All deliverables that are indicated in these ToR will be developed jointly by the team. He/she will be working in close cooperation with EcoContact’s project manager and experts. All deliverables submitted should be coordinated with the representative of Austrian Development Agency (ADA) responsible for supervision of the current project.

Deliverable and timeline for the implementation of the assignment

Deliverable Due time


and % of contract to be paid

Inception report which will include biodiversity component within the Methodological approach for conducting CVA analysis and outline for the CVA report for the Biosphere Reserve “Prutul de Jos” ” (in English language). May, 2020



Report following the first mission to Moldova, of the team leader, present the biodiversity component within the methodological approach which will include key findings on climate vulnerability assessment and recommendations for integrated resilience (in English language).. June, 2020



Draft the biodiversity component within the CVA report for the Biosphere Reserve “Prutul de Jos”. The report will be a common document of the team. (in English language). July, 2020



Final CVA report for the Biosphere Reserve “Prutul de Jos” in English (and Romanian upon necessity), approved by the financing authority (ADA) and presented to relevant stakeholders (including MARDE). The report will be a common document of the team. September, 2020




  • Minimum M.Sc. in biology, ecology, aquatic ecosystems or relevant fields of expertise to support biodiversity surveys;
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience / assignments related to protected area management, forest management, wildlife conservation, conservation biology, land use planning, environmental management and planning and/or similar fields.
  • Demonstrated experience in the elaboration of the analytical reports;
  • Knowledge of the project area: The Biosphere Reserve „Prutul de Jos” ia mandatory for this assignment;
  • Strong understanding of climate change, risk, vulnerability and resilience;
  • Experience of implementing similar assignments at the local, regional or national level, is mandatory.
  • Ability to analyze, plan, communicate effectively orally and in writing, solve problems, adapt to different cultural, economic, political and social environments;
  • Experience in working in multi-national teams;
  • Working knowledge of Romanian or / and Russian language;
  • Proven written and oral communication skills in English will be a strong advantage;

How to apply:

Bidders must submit the following documents in English:

  1. The CV of the expert: The CV of the expert should reflect the relevant experience in the area of assignment, and at least three references of the previous documents elaborated.
  2. Financial offer for the implementation of the assignment including travel costs.
  3. Proposed work plan for the assignment, that confirms availability and approach for the implementation of assignment.

Please send the documents with the indication of the Position of Local Biodiversity expert,  in the subject line before 30 April, 2020 to the email address of All bidders will receive the confirmation of the registration via email message.

For detailed information, please contact Catalina Arghir, Project Manager, +373 22 996162

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted