Climate change is now recognized as a major threat to achieving the poverty reduction aspirations of many African countries as well as the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Climate change is affecting rainfall patterns, water availability, sea levels, increasing droughts and bushfire frequency, increasingly impacting on human health, agriculture productivity and biodiversity. In this way climate change will adversely affect livelihoods of many people, incomes of nations and the environment people live in. While forests are affected by climate change, they also play a key role in adaptation to climate change, for example, by increasing the resilience of rural communities. Forests support species to adapt to changing climate patterns and sudden climate events by providing refuge and migration corridors. Also, they indirectly support economies to adapt to climate change by reducing the costs of climate-related negative impacts. Forest ecosystems also provide goods and services during extreme events (droughts and floods) and are key assets for reducing vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Even better known is the role forests have in climate change mitigation. An estimated 17.4% of global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are derived from the forest sector from deforestation and forest degradation. Forests also have considerable potential to sequester carbon. This can be achieved through afforestation, reforestation, forest restoration and changes to forest management practices, as well as substitution of forest products for fossil fuels or products requiring fossil fuels in their production. This has been fully appreciated by the ongoing global climate change negotiations. And this is what the African Forest Forum (AFF) aims to understand better and enhance. As the major independent but widely recognized advisory body in Africa, the AFF is equipped with a considerable convening power and policy impact in many of the countries.
The contribution of forests to climate change has been recognized as a cornerstone of the post-2012 climate change agenda with the decision on the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in COP-16 in Cancun. REDD+ includes policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and recognizes the contribution of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in achieving REDD+ objectives.
Developing appropriate adaptation and mitigation actions include the improvement of forest management to reduce vulnerability and to mitigate GHG through REDD+.
The overall goal of the AFF’s “African forests, people and climate change project” is to create capacities of stakeholders to strengthen the role of Africa’s forests and trees to adapt to climate change and mitigate its adverse effects in various landscapes in ways that will enhance livelihoods, sustain biodiversity and improve the quality of the environment. This will be achieved through programmatic and institutional strengthening of the AFF in ways that foster an independent and objective analysis of related issues, promote advocacy and offer advice on all relevant policy and technical issues in forests and climate change.
Three specific objectives have been formulated for these working areas, and are to:
The emphasis of the project is on the development of the forest/climate change nexus in semi-arid areas (Sahel belt), the woodlands of West, East and Southern Africa and moist forests in Central and West Africa. As an overall strategy, the three working areas of policy and advocacy, capacity building and skills development and learning and knowledge management are closely interlinked. Transversal themes, in particular the topic of gender, are integrated throughout the three working areas. AFF has a specific gender policy to favor the participation of women, youth, and disadvantaged groups and individuals both within its structure and in the project implementation.
The work is to be carried out over a period of two-person months during the period July to September 2012 for each expert as follows:
Interested candidates are requested to submit an expression of interest, stating which of the five eco-regions they are applying for, their relevant experience and capacity to undertake the study and proposing a methodology to carry out the task.
All submissions, including the curriculum vitae of the person who will carry out the work should be made electronically to: