Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology



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Purpose

The purposes of this contract are as follows:



  • Administrative/managerial, co-ordination, communication, and all types of reporting (including financial reporting) support to the Project Leader

Results to be achieved by the Consultant

The External Consultant (hereinafter – Subcontractor) is invited to develop and present the most appropriate tools and ways to deliver the support needed and to guarantee a smooth implementation of the project until the end of the project in the fall of 2015. The services are thus process-oriented as well as results-oriented, as described in the specific activites section below. All project results depend critically on the efficient and effective provision of services by the Subcontractor.

3. ASSUMPTIONS & RISKS

Assumptions underlying the project intervention

The project structure explicitly wants to achieve a wide dissemination of its results by involving a big number of observers from the administrative sector, covering all relevant technical sectors (spatial planning, agriculture, water management, nature conservation, energy planning, municipalities).

The participation of the association 'Alpenstadt des Jahres' is important to act as multiplier for the communication on Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) of municipalities.

It is assumed that all project partners will actively participate and deliver their inputs, and that pilot communities will co-operate with the project.

Risks

During implementation: Effective collaboration of different interest groups (RE, environment) and internal, transnational, trans-sectoral communication is needed to reconcile different points of view. If this is not forthcoming, it could delay or jeopardise project activities and results.

After project completion: External risks relate to political and economic pressures potentially overriding conservation concerns. Depending on the number, quality and scales of data available from the PP involved data gaps may occur which could impede tasks of WP4&5. The communication and cooperation channels developed during project implementation will have to be kept open to continue dealing with conflicts of interest.

4. SCOPE OF THE WORK

General

Within the scope of the above mentioned INTERREG IVB project “recharge.green - Reconciling Renewable Energy Production and Nature in the Alps” the Lead Partner (LP), the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, requires management support for all tasks of the overall transnational project administration, co-ordination and financial management.

Project description

The project was approved for financing under the Alpine Space Programme (European Territorial Cooperation 2007 – 2013).



Transnational problem to be addressed

Due to the great variety of ecosystems and land use patterns, the Alps are one of the most biodiverse regions in Europe. In order to realize a sustainable network of renewable energy (RE) sources within the macro-regional area of the Alps, it is essential to consider the needs of the alpine population, the energy export potentials, the ecological needs and the full social costs of production. The following key questions will be addressed:




  1. How large is the potential of the Alps to produce RE while respecting national, EU and international biodiversity and sustainability targets?

  2. What are the main risks and conflicts of interest concerning the production of RE?

  3. Assuming that the Alpine region produces energy for export to the entire macro-region, what are the consequences for biodiversity, various ecosystem services and land use patterns?

  4. How can social and environmental costs of renewable energy production be determined and monitored?


Project objective

The project´s core objective is to develop tools & an integrated strategy for renewable energy (RE) production, sustainable land use systems as well as the conservation of biodiversity & soil across the Alpine region. This strategy will support the implementation of EU policy instruments (Renewables Directive, Europe 2020, Habitat & Bird Directive, Biodiversity & Soil Thematic Strategies) & the Alpine Convention and will increase the resource efficiency with respect to water, energy, land use & biodiversity.



Project results

  • RE production carrying capacity for the Alpine region defined with perspective for the macro-region.

  • Effective analytical & planning tool developed to address links between RE production/consumption and conservation of biodiversity, soil, ecological functioning and provision of multiple ecosystem services (ESS).

  • Scenarios developed, with focus on ESS &biodiversity concerns: Trade-offs between RE production, biodiversity conservation & ecological connectivity; opportunities to turn them into co-benefits identified.

  • Investigation on ideas for a compensation scheme for ESS delivered by the Alps (at macro-region level)

  • Proposal for natural resource governance model, including integrated planning approach for sustainable RE production; stakeholders trained in its use. Well informed stakeholders (municipalities, RE producers, regions) who use new planning approach and are able to optimise RE production facilities (e.g. to integrate biodiversity aspects in SEAP & facilities management).

  • Support of long-term implementation for EU-policies by regular round tables with stakeholders (with durability beyond lifetime of the project) at regional level

  • Demands of RE integrated in land use planning to achieve measurable & sustainable results

  • Increased capacity of national & regional policy makers /public authorities by providing a handbook on tailor-made implementation strategies, guidelines & instructions at regional & local level


Project activities (work packages)
Obligatory work packages (WPs) 1-3 include 1) project preparation, 2) project management and 3) information and publicity.and 4 further WPs.
WP3: Information and Publicity

  • Elaborate project CD (website, final booklet, flyer, newsletter), organise kick-off&final conference

  • Produce promotional video clips on sustainable use of wind, hydropower, forest biomass to be used in trainings (WP7) and to address the wider public

  • Develop a blog on RE, biodiversity, land use and soils for each pilot region (also for roundtables)

WP4: Analysis on conflicting priorities

  • Analyse current situation of RE in Alpine space & pilot regions incl. legal & policy frameworks

  • Analyse biodiversity & sustainability strategies/targets at all policy levels

  • Identify&analyse potentially conflicting energy, biodiversity & sustainable land use targets

  • Identify&analyse key stakeholders, institutions, processes, instruments, including avenues of cooperation .

  • Develop framework to evaluate the use of different sources of RE and define scenarios of RE energy mix over time

  • Define potential strengths, weaknesses, conflicts and tradeoffs

WP5: Economic and spatial dimension of RE production

  • Map RE potentials with key information on biodiversity and land use patterns using JECAMI software from ASP project ECONNECT

  • Intersect scenarios from RE plans with biodiversity and land use scenarios

  • Develop GIS based governance model and large-scale forest planning system for optimizing production of RE by reducing the environmental impacts

  • Valorise the functions of biodiversity and soils in terms of energy production by using the ecosystem services approach

  • Model the carrying capacity of the Alps for RE production, based on scenarios developed; in case of conflicting goals, develop solutions to overcome those.

WP6: Implementation in selected pilot regions

The approach to transfer and test the applicability of strategic results in pilot regions will be applied in Rheintal-Vorarlberg, Sajvinja, Triglav, Piemont, province of Bolzano.



  • Develop an evaluation methodology for energy plans of pilot regions (link to SEAP) and provide alternative strategies for these plans if needed

  • Test and implement methodologies from WP4+5

  • Produce sets of information for investors/stakeholders on biodiversity issues

  • Analyse the forest biomass market in Alpine region at macro level (supply and demand) and in detail in the pilot study areas (North-Eastern Italy and Western Slovenia)

Geographical area to be covered

Alpine region, see countries above. In addition, the increasing demand for RE is not only relevant for the Alps, but also for other mountainous regions. Existing, well-functioning links to the Carpathians and the Pyrenees will be an added value to the project and assure the knowledge transfer between different ET cooperation spaces. Therefore, experts from both mountain ranges will be invited to the Mid-Term-Conference, and at the end of the project a workshop will be organized in Budapest and Barcelona to reach the actors of these regions.



Target groups

recharge.green supports the implementation of EU policy instruments for sustainable land use with a specific focus on renewable energy and biodiversity, taking into account food production, land take, soil protection and nature conservation.


The main target groups are therefore key stakeholders who have decision competence in land use planning and/or have the strength to influence decision-makers:

  • Policy makers at national or regional level (ministries, authorised bodies) who are responsible for implementing EU policy instruments and/or develop policies and strategies for sustainable land use at national& regional levels (project involvement as partners/observers or as experts in workshops and training courses).

  • Decision makers at regional and local level (Regional Developing Agencies, Municipalities, Public Authorities) who are responsible for implementing national, regional and local policy instruments in their respective regions (project involvement as partners/observers, as responsible partner for pilot regions or as experts in workshops and training courses).

  • Stakeholders who are directly or indirectly affected by EU policy measures (enterprises in energy or food sectors) (project involvement as partners/observers or as experts in workshops and training courses).

  • NGOs, experts, consultants involved in sustainable land use planning (project involvement as observers or as experts in workshops and training courses).

Specific activities under the contract

The contractor will be responsible for the following tasks:




  1. Co-ordination of the transnational management team and communication with project partners (PP)

  1. Internal co-ordination of the management team (financial manager, communication manager, project/communication assistant, management staff for reporting).

  2. Introduction and support for administrative questions of the LP (advice on procedural aspects, gathering of information, etc.)

  3. Facilitation of the process of developing a common understanding of the project goals and activities to achieve the common goals jointly with all PP

  4. Elaboration of a customized project implementation handbook in co-operation with the LP, the work package leaders and relevant key experts

  5. Elaboration of a project work plan with time schedule, including milestones (benchmarks) to guarantee a results-oriented implementation of individual project activities, meetings and delivery of outputs of the recharge.green project

  6. Co-ordination between LP and the complete management team

  7. Internal co-ordination with PP via e-mail/internet messages and via telephone (administration and information hotline for the project)

  8. Coaching of and advice to team members and observers as needed




  1. Project reporting: Oversee the overall project progress and anticipate upcoming problems in order to provide proactive solutions

  1. Timely and high-quality reporting: Setting up and establishing reporting routines

  2. Introduction, set-up and establishment of a monitoring system for project outputs/results

  3. Through that system, keeping track of benchmarks and project outputs, including reaction to delays and problems

  4. Development and circulation of compact quarterly status-quo reports and strategic feedback to the PP

  5. Proactive communication on required inputs for reporting with partners as needed




  1. Project communication: Using project events as communication platform for key management issues

  1. Regular and proactive communication on project implementation and communication processes with LP and PPs to ensure smooth running of project

  2. Active input through moderation and agenda development

  3. Conceptual and organizational preparation and moderation of regular Project Steering Group (PSG) meetings and kick-off meetings, including preparation of documentation, minutes and monitoring of follow-up processes

  4. Presence at and moderation of regional and transnational project events at steering group level and plenary partner sessions

  5. Annual meeting with JTS together with LP (or report to LP)

  6. Development and co-ordination of meeting agenda with PP



  1. Adaptive management: Ensure smooth and transparent project implementation, with transparent communication of current problems and needs for adaptation of project activities and outputs if needed




  1. Adaptive management as needed: preparation of project changes (written procedures) with all PP, delivery of final documents to the LP for submission to the programme bodies

  2. Provide active inputs to solve conflicts through mediation or the co-ordination of bilateral agreements

  3. Provide expertise on formal requirements in case of necessary project changes in compliance with EU programme requirements




  1. Transnational financial management




  1. Regular monitoring and controlling of Certificates of Expenditure and financial reporting of the LP and the PP

  2. Compiling of overall transnational financial report (based on PP reports)

  3. Monitoring of budget flow according to spending forecast of the Application Form (AF)

  4. Communication and preparation of budgetary changes with all involved parties

  5. Preparation of documentation for budget shifts for the LP and the programme bodies

  6. Optimizing project spending in order to achieve the spending forecast

The Consultant must also observe the latest Communication and Visibility Manual for EU External Actions concerning acknowledgement of EU financing of the project (see http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/visibility/index_en.htm.


Overall project management

  • Responsible body

Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

  • Management structure

The project will be led substantively by the Contracting Authority. As it is a multi-country project, multiple project partners (18) are engaged in different aspects of implementation. The Consultant must refer decisions to the Contracting Authority, but will have to consult with all partners on a regular basis. The project consortium consists of the LP and some PP from the ETC AS project ECONNECT and of new PP from relevant renewable energy producing sector or important research and administration branches in that field. The partners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Agric. Inst. of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Agricultural Research Council - Forest Monitoring and Mgt Research Unit, Trento, Italy

  • Bayerische Elektrizitätswerke GmbH, Gersthofen, Germany

  • CIPRA, Eching, Germany

  • Department of Forest Management Planning, Slovenia Forest Service, Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Dev. Agency Savinja, Zalec, Slovenia

  • Dipartimento all'urbanistica, ambiente ed energia, Bolzano, Italy

  • Environment Agency Austria – EAA, Vienna, Austria

  • EURAC Institute for Renewable Energy, Bolzano, Italy

  • Federal Research Station Agroscope, Ettenhausen, Switzerland

  • International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM), Laxenburg, Austria

  • LAMORO Local Dev. Agency, Asti, Italy

  • Parco Naturale Alpe Marittime, Valdieri, Italy

  • Triglav National Park, Bled, Slovenia

  • Université de Savoie, EDYTEM, Pole Montagne, Le Bourget du Lac Cedex, France

  • University of Innsbruck, Institute of Geography, Austria

  • University of Ljubljana, Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Slovenia

  • University of Trento, Forest Ecology and Ecological Planning Department, Trento, Italy

The selection of PP has been done by considering the establishment and expansion of various forms of partnership (cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional) heading for a stronger system of multilevel governance and entailing varied interactions and relationships between and across levels of government. This approach is considered crucial for promoting the exchange of knowledge and good practices, empowering actors and administration to perform the services needed for sustainable renewable energy production and consumption. The cross-sectoral approach chosen enhances the possibilities for networking and mutual learning between partners from the same country, as well as between Member States, at all levels of governance.

In addition to the project partners, there are also Observers (in alphabetical order):




  • Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Health, presidency of the Platform Ecological Network of the Alpine Convention

  • Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention

  • Regional governm. office of the Land Lower Austria, Department of Rural Development

  • Regional governm. Office of the Land Salzburg, Department of Agriculture, Forestry, Water Management and Energy

  • Regional governm. Office of the Land Salzburg, Department of Spatial Planning

5. LOGISTICS AND TIMING

Location

The Consultant´s home base will constitute the principal location from which the Consultant shall carry out the work. The Team Leader (Lead Parter) is based in Vienna, Austria. Travel throughout the Alpine region (all participating countries), and possible to other countries, will be required during the implementation of the Contract (for meetings with project partners).

Commencement date & Period of implementation

The intended commencement date is 2 October 2012 and the period of implementation of the contract will be 32 months from this date. The time frame for the sub-contract to be concluded will go up to June 2015 (official project end) plus about 3 months (up to September 2015) after the project closure for reporting.

6. REQUIREMENTS

Personnel

Key experts



All experts who have a crucial role in implementing the contract are referred to as key experts. The profiles of the key experts for this contract are as follows:

Project Co-ordinator

Key expert 1: Project Co-ordinator

Qualifications and skills

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent, preferably with specialization in environmental natural sciences, environmental planning, economics, social sciences, management, administration or related field, preferably with professional exposure to natural resource management, renewable energy, and biodiversity conservation issues.

  • Certification in Programme/Project Management is an added advantage.

General professional experience

  • Minimum of 10 years of general professional experience, of which 5 should be at a managerial level

  • Minimum 5 years´ experience in international project management (with multi-country global or regional projects) based on Results-Based Programme Development and Management principles, using project management tools and innovative methods as appropriate

  • Adept at building strategic partnerships (effective networking with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances)

  • Client Orientation: Contributing to positive outcomes for the client (creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationships, demonstrating an understanding of client’s perspective, soliciting feedback on service provision and quality, creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication)

  • Experience with the organisation and implementation of training sessions and workshops at different administrative levels

  • Language Requirements: Fluency in English and German with excellent verbal and written skills. Knowledge of other Alpine region languages a definitive asset.

Specific professional experience

  • At least 10 years´ experience in implementation and management of nature conservation/ environmental projects at transnational, regional and local levels (Natura 2000, water management etc.)

  • Familiarity with EU project management and financial procedures and rules is key

  • A good understanding and knowledge of the subject-matter (renewable energy and environment, nature conservation, landscape ecology, and other related topics) with a specific focus on the Alpine environment)

  • Comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current EU and Alpine Space Programme guidelines and utilizes these regularly in work assignments

  • Experiencing working with government authorities (national, regional) and national and regional civil society organization(s) or network(s), and international organizations, with a particular focus on the Alpine region (e.g. Alpine Convention).

  • Extensive experience in relevant fields of policy development and European Territorial Cooperation (ETC)

  • A thorough understanding of political processes related to environment decision making and land use planning in the Alpine region.

Key expert 2: Communications Manager

Qualifications and skills

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent, preferably with specialization in communications, journalism or a related social science discipline

General professional experience

  • Good understanding of communications and outreach at the international/regional level

  • Experience in advocacy/advancing a policy-oriented agenda: Analysis and creation of messages and strategies, proven ability to position issues effectively, both orally and in writing; ability to communicate sensitively, effectively and creatively across different constituencies

  • Demonstrated ability to build and nurture strong relations with the media (national and international)

  • Proven ability to develop and implement effective communications strategies

  • Outstanding writing and editing skills, with proven ability to meet tight deadlines

  • Developing tools and mechanisms for information sharing

  • Proven networking skills

  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments

  • Multimedia skills (social media, audiovisual) an advantage

  • Language Requirements: Fluency in English and German with excellent verbal and written skills. Knowledge of other Alpine region languages a definitive asset.

Specific professional experience

  • An understanding of and familiarity with the current EU and Alpine Space, as well as other project-relevant communication platforms, particularly on energy and environment

  • Knowledge of environmental issues, particularly in the Alpine Space, a definitive asset
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