The purpose of consultancy is to provide technical support to the Freetown City Council (FCC) for the implementation of the #FreetownTheTreeTown campaign, one of the winners of the 2021 Global Mayor's Challenge. The project provides monetary incentives for local communities to plant trees, establishing a tree-trading market that funds additional reforestation. Using geospatial tagging for each new tree, the initiative creates tree tokens in the hopes of developing a new market focused on the reforestation of the city. This initiative offers a unique opportunity to use market forces to drive climate action at the community level.
UNDP is looking to select a Green Infrastructure Technical Advisor consultant to support the core team of the #FreetownTheTreeTown campaign and the Freetown City Council (FCC) in the development of a financial, operating and funding model to operationalize the financial strategy of the project and align with its finance capabilities and functional structure. The Consultant will also elaborate the governance and risk management structures, defining the capital requirement and the carbon credit system that will provide revenue flows to the project, as well as organizing the “pilot fishing” (investor sounding) activities to attract investors and test the market interest in the project.
The UN Secretary-General established the UN SDG Action Campaign to inspire people and organizations from all backgrounds and every part of the world to take actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, while holding decision-makers to account for progress society-wide. The UN SDG Action Campaign is hosted and supported by UNDP and is based in Bonn (Germany) with a lean team that marshals rapid support for new initiatives as opportunities arise and provides partners with on-demand strategic creative services that inspire SDG action with an engaged community of activists and concerned individuals.
The UN SDG Action Campaign is working closely with cities and local governments to showcase how they are actively contributing to implement Agenda 2030, accelerating transformative action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for all, and everywhere. The UN SDG Action Campaign, together with the office of UNDP in the Sierra Leone are supporting the Freetown City Council to implement the #FreetownTheTreeTown Campaign, one of the winners of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge.
Freetown, Sierra Leone, is among the world’s rainiest cities. They have also experienced rapid tree loss in recent years, estimated at some 555 hectares – or 500,000-plus trees – annually since 2011. The national government oversees the legal framework governing urban greening and land use, limiting Freetown’s options for curbing tree loss, and requiring reforestation. Heavy rains, coupled with this deforestation, have resulted in devastating landslides, including an event in 2017 which claimed nearly 1,000 lives.1 #FreetownTheTreetown is an initiative to reforest the city and surrounding areas to reverse tree loss and reduce disaster risks. The overall goal is to increase canopy cover by 50% from 2018 levels by the end of 2022.
In the first two years since its launch in January 2020, 560,000 trees have been planted, digitally tracked and ‘tokenised’, with 578 hectares of urban land in and around Freetown restored. The project is targeting the following objectives:
To improve the equitable distribution of trees and green space, as 35% of areas targeted for new trees or vegetation are informal settlements that currently have low coverage.
Planting by roadsides, schools and in residential areas (totaling almost 165 hectares to date) aims to reduce heat stress and improve air quality.
Planting in Freetown’s water catchment and greenbelt (104 hectares) aims to improve water security.
Planting in the upper water catchment and on high slopes around Freetown (280 hectares) aims to reduce the risk of flash flooding and landslides.
Mangrove reforestation (32 hectares) aims to reduce coastal erosion and flooding.
As well as planting new trees, #FreetownTheTreetown is helping to discourage environmentally harmful practices, such as sand mining, and to reduce deforestation and mangrove destruction in targeted areas. The full ecosystem services from the trees planted during the initial three-year campaign will come later, around 2030, once they are more established. There has already been a discernible reduction in flooding and landslide risk because of planting in the upper catchment areas. The campaign has also directly or indirectly created over 1,000 green jobs along the value chain, from workers in tree nurseries to community growers – of whom 80% are youths and 48% are women.
Duties and Responsibilities
2. Scope of Work, Responsibilities, and Description of the Proposed Analytical Work
The Consultant will undertake home-based work to support the city of Freetown with the following activities:
Elaboration of an updated green infrastructure implementation and investment plan to reach one million tree planting and growing target.
Elaboration of Verified Carbon Standards (VERA) project implementation plan for carbon credit registration and support the carbon credit verification process for at least 200,000 trees – including ensuring the creation of a baseline tree cover map for Freetown and the Western Area.
Elaboration for the structure application of Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards for better carbon pricing.
Elaboration of green infrastructure cost benefit analysis and natural capital assessment with a focus on mangrove restoration and blue carbon development.
Ensure and support the establishment of a Project Investment Committee to ensure oversight of green infrastructure investment decisions.
Facilitate investor targeting, outreach, and reporting - both local and global.
Support Freetown partner and public reporting against green infrastructure ecosystem-based adaptation goals articulated in the Climate Action Plan and to other urban greening declarations to which the city is a party (e.g., C40 Urban Nature Accelerator).
Timeline and Deliverables
The following timeline is proposed for activities and deliverables.
Duration (working days)
Completion Date (tentative)
Payment Schedule (tentative)
1.Support the project start-up activities, including the process for selecting the members of the Investment Committee
2.Development of updated green infrastructure implementation and investment plan to achieve one million tree planting and growing target.
Green Infrastructure Implementation Plan (10 pages)
15 March 2023
15 March 2023
3. Complete the carbon market entry registration and verification process based on VERA Verified Carbon Standards.
4. Build and submit a Program Implementation Document (PID) and a verification spreadsheet and GIS related images based on the target of 100,000 trees planted in the watershed
Report including outputs (25 pages).
30 April 2023
30 April 2023
5. Design and conduct of natural capital assessment based on cost benefit analysis, with a focus on blue carbon investment (mangrove restoration) for targeted investment in ecological infrastructure to meet stated goals in the Freetown Climate Action Plan.
Deliverable: Report including outputs (20 pages)
30 June 2023
30 June 2023
6. Finalize the Investor targeting, outreach, and reporting - both local and global
Deliverable: Final report
15 February – 15 August 2023
Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards and acts in accordance with the Standards of Conduct for international civil servants.
Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Knowledge about the UNDP programs would be an advantage.
Proven strong analytical abilities.
Ability to work under pressure with several tasks and various deadlines.
Ability to actively generate creative, practical approaches and solutions to overcome challenging situations.
Excellent writing, presentation/public speaking skills.
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree will be an asset, with preference of studies in international development, economics, environmental planning, agronomy.
In lieu of a bachelor’s degree, proven experience in green and ecological infrastructure sector in Freetown.
A minimum of 10 years of relevant on project management.
A minimum of 3 years´ demonstrated experience on projects similar to the #FreetownTheTreeTown campaign and or implementation of urban community-based reforestation.
A minimum of 5 years of demonstrated experience in working with local governments in Sierra Leone.
A minimum of 3 years’ experience on urban ecological planning and investment projects.
A minimum of 3 years’ experience on natural capital management process with a circular economy focus.
A minimum of 3 years’ experience developing urban greening and infrastructure strategies.
A minimum of one year experience working on carbon credit market and verification processes.
Excellent organizational skills and ability to work effectively in teams, delivering through and with others.
Self-management, including conflict management/negotiating skills.
Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):
A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offeror considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references; and
Technical proposal (no more than 3 pages) with the Offeror´s approach on how to produce the deliverables, methodology and timeline proposed for this assignment.
Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below. Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.
Technical evaluation (70 points)
Criteria A – Desk Review of candidates´ qualifications and experience (30 Points)
Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience on project management related to green infrastructure. Weight = 15 points;
Minimum of 5 years’ work experience with local governments in Sierra Leone. Weight = 10 points;
Minimum of 3 years´ demonstrated experience on projects similar to the #FreetownTheTreeTown campaign and or implementation of urban community-based reforestation. Weight = 5 points;
Criteria B – Technical proposal (40 Points)
Only the technical proposals of candidates obtaining a minimum of 25 points in Phase 1 (Criteria A) will be assessed on Criteria B.
The top 3 candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points from Criteria A plus B) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered shortlisted for the financial evaluation.
Financial evaluation (30 points)
Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.
The financial proposal should specify an all-inclusive fee per deliverable.
The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; cost of travel from the home base to the duty station and vice versa, where required; living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.
The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: p = y (µ/z), where
p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
z = price of the proposal being evaluated.
Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.
The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of the Project Supervisor, Freetown Global Mayors Challenge and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.