Terms of Reference: Ecological Assessment in Jamaica

Consultant to carry out ecological assessments for the Resilient Islands Program in Jamaica


Update Oct. 24: Proposals will now be accepted until October 30, 2019.




Conduct ecological assessments within prioritized landscapes/municipalities in Jamaica. This work will include the collection and analyses of data on the spatial extent, health, condition, composition, and threats of habitats within the proposed project sites.

Expected fee

To be negotiated. All interested applicants to submit budget proposal in line with instructions below.




5 months

Estimated start date

November 15, 2019

Reporting to

Montserrat Acosta-Morel



Resilient Islands is a four-year initiative to protect islands against the impacts of climate change by promoting the use of coastal habitats to reduce risks, and by helping governments, partners and communities implement sustainable development plans that prioritize nature. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will work with communities and local and regional agencies to design innovative tools, train local leaders, and implement innovative demonstration projects with vulnerable coastal communities in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Jamaica.

Areas of intervention selected are Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica. The Community of Old Harbour Bay is a geographic area comprised of twenty-one (21) districts. The two largest and most established of which are Old Harbour Bay Proper and Blackwood Gardens. The area is bordered to the north by Old Harbour, south by Sea, east by Lloyd’s Pen and west by Port Esquivel. The predominant terrain of the community is flat. The climate is predominately dry but experiences periods of heavy rain fall.

Together with governments, communities, NGOs, and the private sector, the Conservancy and IFRC will develop a community resilience action plan including solutions to improve the community’s disaster management as well as increase investments in the protection of key ecosystems. These plans plan will be closely aligned with a portfolio of locally-tailored nature-based adaptation interventions that will be developed through the partnership. At project conclusion, it is expected that in coordination with two vulnerable communities per country, the project will implement a selection of ecosystem-based adaptation solutions in order to foster a sustainable, climate-adapted future.

The partnership has identified several in-depth analyses that will inform the assortment of ecosystem-based solutions that could be proposed under the portfolio of nature-based solutions and its subsequent implementation. Considering the project is focusing on coastal/marine habitats, the priority ecosystems include: mangroves, coral reefs, sandy beaches, meadows, seagrass beds, estuaries and coastal river floodplains. These habitats are important for spawning and nursery areas for fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, protein for local communities, recreation (tourism, snorkelling and diving), carbon sequestration, sedimentation trapping, and coastal protection. Ecological assessments on these habitats within the project areas have not been produced to better understand existing habitat condition, threats, association/dependence with the community, and potential restoration/conservation solutions.

The project will use remote sensing technology, unmanned aerial and surface vehicles, and field surveys to obtain more detailed information on the spatial extent and biophysical conditions of mangroves and reefs in the priority communities. However, this information needs to be compiled cohesively to develop an ecological assessment of the sites.

Purpose of contract:

To carry out a rapid assessment of the ecological conditions and potential impacts (anthropogenic and natural phenomena, including climate change) that affect natural habitats throughout the coastal portion Old Harbour Bay to develop new/identify ecological indicators and improved diagnostic tools to assess, predict, and manage future conditions.

Objectives and Scope of Work:


(1)   Objectives:

 The objectives of this Contract are:

  1. To collect primary and secondary baseline data on natural habitats within the project sites: spatial extent, health, condition, composition, threats, and potential indicators where applicable in coordination with TNC. This should include:
    • Historic/other data and local surveys, conduct a change detection of the spatial extent, health, condition, composition, and threats to the biological marine and coastal resources
    • Provision of maps by TNC
  2. Develop spatial action maps that should include recommendations on abatement of threats and potential restoration areas
    • Evaluate the feasibility of different habitat restoration techniques
  3. Develop thresholds for indicators that trigger evaluation and adaptation so systems can be managed for ecosystem resilience
    • Forecast future ecological health based on current management and evaluate alternative management options and their consequences (improve community interactions with surrounding ecosystems)

(2)   Activities to be carried out:

 Specifically, the Contractor must perform the following activities for each of the project sites:

  1. Develop and submit a work plan including the activities to be performed and This work plan will be used to coordinate activities in the field, as well as activities and consultations with other experts and the implementing partner, including workshops with the community.
  2. Field trips and/or focus group discussions to gather and update (if applicable) the necessary information on habitats.
  3. Identify, locate, and map the major threats, vulnerabilities and pressures to the ecosystem and biodiversity by anthropogenic and natural phenomena (including climate change). The causes, sources, effects and impacts as well as the actors related (if applicable).
  4. Develop the spatial action maps with recommendations for the protection, restoration, and conservation actions to increase the ecosystem services provided by the studied habitats, and abate threats, especially as they relate to climate change adaptation, coastal protection, disaster risk reduction, and livelihood
  5. Produce a draft and final technical report of the assessment incorporating listed items
  6. Facilitate a workshop in coordination with TNC for local experts to present the results of the ecological assessment and explore the possibilities of ecotourism, livelihood activities and or income generation form the natural environment (preserves, ecologically managed areas etc)

(3)   Deliverables and timelines:



Contractor’s detailed workplan with activities to be carried out and relevant timelines

November 20th, 2019

Preliminary report describing methodology carried out and the identification of major threats to the ecosystems.

December 20th 2020

Final report draft and workshop

February 10th 2020

Final report with workshop conclusions and recommendations submitted

March 10th 2020


(4)   Products delivery

 Final report including all supporting data in GIS format must be delivered electronically as stipulated below to: Montserrat Acosta-Morel – m.acosta-morel@tnc.org

(5)   Qualification or specialized knowledge

  • A team or contractor(s) should have
    • At least 5 years professional experience in working mangrove forests, seagrass, protected areas, planning and management, coastal management, coral reefs, preferably in the Caribbean
    • Sample report of similar project completed in the region
    • Resumes of each team member with at least three (3) references
    • Willing and able to spend sufficient time in the field as needed
    • Excellent speaking and writing skills in English; working knowledge of Spanish is desirable
    • TNC will only contract team or contractor(s) that are tax compliant according to the laws of the country

(6)   Call for Applications

Please send your CV, cover letter, financial proposal and sample of relevant work (in English or Spanish) to Montserrat Acosta-Morel at <m.acosta-morel@tnc.org> no later than October 30th 2019. In the email subject in application: refer to “Ecological Assessment for Resilient Islands”.