UNESCO job opportunity: individual consultant to develop an integrated coral reef monitoring manual for MPA in Vietnam

Duty Station: Bangkok

Duration of contract: From 7 to 11 months

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time): 23-SEP-2022

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1. Background and Rationale

The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean. The Ocean Decade calls for Decade Actions from diverse stakeholders.

The UNESCO/IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) is the regional body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) for the Western Pacific and its adjacent areas. Its mission is to advance ocean knowledge in order to assist Member States in the conservation and sustainable development of ocean, seas and marine resources. Meanwhile, The Sub-Commission WESTPAC also assists the IOC to coordinate regional engagement in the UN Ocean Decade.

The Vietnam MPA network has been formed since 2010, following the Prime Minister Decree. Till present  a total of 12 MPAs have been established, with most of them focused on coral reefs habitats. Coral reef monitoring has been conducted in a number of MPAs in Vietnam, using indicators of ReefCheck and Line Intercept Transect (LIT) methods. Periodical data were provided to ReefCheck International database and used for periodical reports on coral reef status by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). Monitoring data was also used to evaluate management effectiveness in some MPAs such as Nha Trang Bay, Cu lao Cham or National Parks (Con Dao, Phú Quoc). 

Given the fact that monitoring programs in the past mainly focused on ecological indicators, MPA authorities have no data and information to assess the MPA management effectiveness in supporting fisheries recruitment and tourist services. In addition, emerging issues such as ocean acidification, plastic and microplastic, have been generating negative impacts on coral reef, but have not been considered in any monitoring programs. Furthermore, recent monitoring seems not to be sufficient to record coral bleaching which occurred frequently and remain unpredicted. 

2. Key Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for the Asia and Pacific, and the direct supervision of the Head of the WESTPAC Office, the incumbent shall carry out desktop studies, field work, stakeholder consultation, and develop partnerships with relevant institutions, including:

a. Review monitoring techniques which were applied for coral reefs in the Western Pacific, and more specifically in Vietnam, including their socio-economic aspects;

b. Conduct site visits in at least 2 selected MPAs, analyze status in using coral reef resources for fisheries and tourism as well as monitoring requirements, identify appropriate methods for monitoring socio-economic indicators and emerging issues;

c. Contact (online) MPA authorities in Vietnam, analyze monitoring requirements, and identify their existing monitoring capacity;

d. Develop and publish an integrated coral reef monitoring manual for MPAs in Vietnam, taking into account the conventional monitoring methods and emerging requirements for understanding the impacts of ocean acidification, marine plastic debris, including their socio-economic aspects;

e. Conduct demonstration workshop (s) for MPAs in Vietnam, and assist in the establishment of needed monitoring capacity;

f. Prepare and produce various reports associated with the Specific Tasks outlined above;

UNESCO, 16 Septembre 2022. More information.

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