Regional Consultancy To Prepare The Regional Plan On Aquaculture Management (Level B)

UN

Result of Service

The ultimate result of this assignment is to enable MED POL and the Working Group composed of representatives of the Contracting Parties to deliver, through technical support provision, the Regional Plan for Aquaculture Management as mandated by COP21 Decision IG.24/10 and COP 22 Decisions IG.25/1 and IG.25/19.

Work Location

Home-based

Expected duration

The contract will be for the period of two (2) months spread over fourteen (14) months.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. United Nation’s Environment Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This consultancy assignment is for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) - Programme for the Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean (MED POL), Athens, Greece.In 2017, during the MED POL Focal Points Meeting held in Rome, Italy, a “list of potential new/updated measures” was reviewed. A priority clustering of these measures under six potential categories was approved. These included wastewater, sludge, marine litter, agriculture, aquaculture and urban storm water. With regard to aquaculture, the MED POL Focal Points took note that aquaculture facilities have determinantal impacts on the Mediterranean marine environment as a result of the mariculture effluent which consists of organic matters and nutrients (originated from fertilizers, feeds, and metabolic processes) and chemicals (from therapeutants and antifouling paints). Accordingly, the Meeting recommended additional mandatory measures to be further considered in the framework of a new Regional Plan on Aquaculture Management.In 2019, the 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP21) adopted Decision IG.24/10 which endorsed the main elements and timeline for six new/updated Regional Plans including Aquaculture Management. It also mandated the Secretariat to establish “Working Groups” composed of countries’ designated experts to “develop” the six new/updated Regional Plans including on “Aquaculture.”To this aim, the Secretariat initiated during the 2020-2021 biennium the preparation process for developing the Regional Plan on Aquaculture Management. The Secretariat undertook an assessment of the aquaculture sector (UNEP/MED WG.509/39); providing an overview of the aquaculture sector in the Mediterranean; state of play of aquaculture facilities and current practices in the Mediterranean; impacts of significant aspects of the aquaculture sector in relation to practices common to onshore and offshore aquaculture; culture practices in onshore and offshore aquaculture; legal and institutional measures in place for regulating the onshore and offshore aquaculture; and currently applied Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) in Mediterranean aquaculture. The assessment includes an evaluation of current and potential level of implementation (or non-implementation) of proposed measures included in the main elements for the Regional Plan on Aquaculture Management including recommendations for additional complementary measures and proposals to improve BAT and BEP for onshore and offshore aquaculture. The assessment was reviewed by the Meeting of the MED POL Focal Points in 2021, which recommended its use for further elaborating the Regional Plan on Aquaculture Management in the Mediterranean. In 2021, the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties adopted Decision IG.25/1 (COP 22) on UNEP/MAP’s Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2027. The MTS Strategy stipulates in Outcome 1.2 the focus on measures dealing with land-based pollution including negotiating and adopting new/updated legally binding Regional Plans containing measures and timetables for their implementation in a number of sectors including “Aquaculture.” COP 22 also adopted Decision IG.25/19 which mandated MED POL in Activity 1.2.1 of its 2022-2023 Programme of Work to develop new regulatory measures in line with Article 15 of the LBS Protocol for priority sectors as provided for in the Decision IG.24/10, including “Aquaculture.”In line with the Decision IG.24/10 of COP 21 on the main elements of the six regional plans, and Decision IG.25/1 of COP 22 regarding the UNEP/MAP Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2027, as well as Decision IG.25/19 of COP 22 adopting the Programme of Work and Budget for 2022-2023 that mandated MED POL to develop new regulatory measures in line with Article 15 of the LBS Protocol for priority sectors identified in Decision IG.24/10, including “Aquaculture”, there is a need to recruit a regional consultant to provide technical inputs for preparation of the Regional Plan on Aquaculture Management in the Mediterranean including during its negotiation by the Designated Working Group Experts by the Contracting Parties.The Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the MED POL Programme Management Officer, under the guidance of the UNEP/MAP Deputy Coordinator and overall guidance UNEP/MAP Coordinator.The consultant is expected to perform the following tasks: 1. Prepare a detailed work plan for performance of the following tasks accompanied with a timetable for completion of each task over a time period of 14 months including a synopsis of work to be undertaken for each task and means for achieving the prescribed outputs of this consultancy. 2. Review document UNEP/MED WG.509/39 on the “Assessment of aquaculture practices in the Mediterranean and their impact on the marine environment” with the aim of providing substantive comments/inputs on the following aspects:a) Validation of compiled information regarding commonly applied onshore and offshore aquaculture practices in the Mediterranean in support of the proposed main elements for the Regional Plan.b) Validation of information provided on the regulatory framework of the Mediterranean Countries including:- Emission Limit Values (ELVs) for nutrients monitoring.- Adopting measures to ensure environmental impact assessment.- Stringent grant permitting for aquaculture installations.c) Critical review of the proposed measures related to pollutants and contaminants discharged from aquaculture facilities and recommended improvement measures aiming to minimize impacts from onshore aquaculture with a focus on:- Adoption of alternative efficient feeding practices.- Installation of settlement tanks and filters.- Optimization of discharge systems.- Adoption of circular economy practices, such as recirculating closed systems or establishing integrated multi-trophic aquaculture processes.- Planting blue catch crops.- Reuse/recycle of water for irrigation purposes- Reuse of fish farms waste for producing fertilizers.- Treatment of nutrients from effluents.d) Assessment of the information provided on existing BAT and BEP in the aquaculture sector, and validation of those that are applicable in the Mediterranean region.e) Identification of aspects related to climate change mitigation and adaptation to be considered in the development and formulation of measures of the Regional Plan.f) Identification of gender-related aspects and human right commitments that emanate from the proposed measures of the Regional Plan. This includes gendered-health impacts of exposure to chemicals, special measures for vulnerable groups, gender parity, etc.3. Prepare a “summary report” on the aforementioned aspects, with critical elements to be considered for preparation of the Regional Plan on Aquaculture Management.4. Further to receiving comments from UNEP/MAP-MED POL, relevant MAP components and other stakeholders, update the “summary report” with a focus on measures to be included in the First Draft of the Regional Plan.5. Prepare the “First Draft of the Regional Plan” in line with the structure outlined in the “Main Elements” document adopted by COP 21 in Decision IG.24/10. The Regional Plan to include legal, institutional and technical measures categorized under onshore and offshore aquaculture, associated with a preliminary timetable for implementation. Ensure that proposed measures are aligned with those included in the Updated Regional Plan of Marine Litter as aquaculture activities are responsible for the release of plastics in the marine environment. The Regional Plan to also address aspects related to monitoring, technical assistance, transfer of technology and capacity building, as well as reporting. Relevant annexes with technical data/standards to be proposed if necessary.6. Review the existing regulations by FAO and GFCM and other regional bodies with regards to aquaculture management with the view to recommend measures that streamline GES, and the vice versa, to maximize synergies for implementation of this Regional Plan.7. Provide technical support to MED POL during the First Meeting of the Working Group for Aquaculture Management planned to be held in September 2022 in terms of technical inputs to substantiate the scope of the proposed measures. Take note of all comments/inputs received from the Contracting Parties.8. Further to the documented inputs/comments provided by each Contracting Party during the 1st Working Group Meeting, prepare a tabulated list of these comments, categorized per subject and by Contracting Party, for further consideration and discussion with UNEP/MAP-MED POL and relevant MAP Components/stakeholders for as part of the preparation process of the Regional Plan.9. Further to the outcome of the consultation process with UNEP/MAP-MED POL, prepare the “Second Draft of the Regional Plan” by updating the first draft reflecting agreed comments and inputs provided by members of the Working Group and UNEP/MAP. 10. Provide technical support to MED POL during the Second Meeting of the Working Group for Aquaculture Management planned tentatively in January/February 2023 in terms of technical inputs with the aim of reaching consensus amongst the Contracting Parties with regards to the proposed measures and their timetable for implementation.11. Reflect the technical comments and feedback received during the Second Meeting of the Working Group and update the Regional Plan accordingly. The updated document constitutes the “Third Draft of the Regional Plan” which will be submitted for review of the Meeting of the MED POL Focal Points in January/February 2023.12. Provide technical support to the MED POL Focal Points Meeting to be held in May/June 2023 in terms of technical feedback where necessary.13. Update the Third Draft of the Regional Plan in line with received comments from MED POL Focal Points. This updated document constitutes the “Final Draft Regional Plan for Aquaculture Management in the Mediterranean” to be submitted for the approval of the Meeting of the MAP Focal Points in September 2023, and subsequently for adoption by COP 23 in December 2023. 14. Prepare short technical reports providing guidance information on specific technical aspects related to the legally binding measures with the aim to support the Contracting Parties to implement the Regional Plan.15. Prepare the final report for the consultancy assignment collating all above deliverables in annexes to a single document with cover page elaborating the contents of each annex.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: • Advanced university degree in biology, marine biology, marine sciences or related field is required;Experience: • A minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience in the aquaculture sector, with a focus on pollution issues related to nutrients, marine litter, and their impacts on the marine environment, is required;• Knowledge of the onshore and offshore aquaculture sectors in the Mediterranean, is required;Language: • Excellent writing skills in English are required; and• Knowledge of French is an asset.

Additional Information

• Knowledge of the UNEP/MAP–MED POL and of the relevant programmes of measures/ regional plans with related working experience is an asset;