Call for Tender at Bird Life International

BirdLife International is a global Partnership of autonomous, national non-governmental conservation organisations, with a large grassroots membership, in 120 countries and territories. BirdLife works together as a Partnership to conserve wild birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, by working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife is the global authority on the status of bird species, has unparalleled technical expertise in bird and biodiversity assessment, and provides a global outreach through its national Partners and decentralised Secretariat.

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia (ECA) is the regional division of BirdLife International, and is one of the six BirdLife regional offices around the world. It is composed of an international team of permanent staff working on conservation, capacity building, policy, management, finance, fundraising, advocacy, science, communication, marketing and administration. BirdLife Europe supports the European and Central Asia Partnership of BirdLife International, which consists of 45 independent, grassroots Civil Society Organisations, governed by a democratic programme.
BirdLife ECA in capacity of his acting director and head of policy, Ariel Brunner, has been selected to become a member of the EU Platform Sustainable Finance (PSF). Through its participation on the PSF, BirdLife ECA aims to ensure the new EU taxonomy has robust criteria to protect biodiversity and moves Europe closer to net-zero GHG. As the Platform will advise the European Commission on the policy development of technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy, participation in the Platform provides a unique opportunity to influence a key policy area that will impact future climate and nature spending and financing.

BirdLife ECA is looking for a consultant to support the technical contribution to the platform work with a particular focus on biodiversity and ecosystem protection in agriculture, forestry, and partly fishery.

Sustainable Finance and the EU Taxonomy Regulation:

To make the EU climate-neutral by 2050, it needs between €175 and €290 billion in additional yearly investment in the next decades. That’s why it is important for the financial sector to invest in transformation in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). One key instrument of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan is the adoption of the Taxonomy Regulation in June 2020. The Taxonomy Regulation is part of the European Green Deal and aims to enable the EU to become climate–neutral, resource–efficient and to have zero pollution by 2050. So far, Member States and financial market participants differ in interpretation as to what sustainable investments are, with labelling schemes, standards or market led initiatives that are based on their own definition of sustainable investments. This ambiguity not only discourages green cross-border investments, but also offers loopholes that can harm nature and the environment depending on each Member State. The EU Taxonomy, a unified system with fixed technical screening criteria can overcome this issue.

Biodiversity loss has been recognized as a global issue, and consequently one of the six environmental objectives of the EU Taxonomy is the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. Agriculture, forestry and fishing are the main drivers of global biodiversity loss. At the same time, economic activities in the agriculture and fisheries sector depend on healthy ecosystems and biodiversity for production. There is also a growing recognition that the primary sectors are crucial for addressing the climate crisis. According to the IPCC report in 2019, an estimated 23% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (2007-2016) derive from agriculture, forestry and other land use, while ecosystems on land and sea represent the only currently available “negative emissions” option.

Science-based, ambitious and technically carefully developed screening criteria are therefore needed in particular for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Such ambitious criteria can substantially support a transformation of agricultural and forestry sector through directing investments massively towards sustainable practices and projects.

The Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF):

The European Commission has established the Platform on Sustainable Finance (PSF) in October 2020 as the successor of the Technical Expert Group (TEG). The platform is an advisory body subject to the Commission’s horizontal rules for expert groups and is made up of experts from the private and public sector. The EC selected 50 members (organizations and individuals) and 10 special observers on the basis of their environmental, sustainable finance or social/human rights expertise. Members include organizations from a broad range of stakeholders such as business associations from different sectors (e.g. forestry, aviation, industry), financial market organizations, environmental and consumer organizations as well as science and research.

The PSF will advise the Commission on the development of technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy, and policy development, amongst other things, as required by the Taxonomy Regulation. Both, the PSF and the Commission need to meet an ambitious timeline for the technical ground work for the adoption of a delegated act on the four environmental objectives by the end of 2021 and publish reports for the review of the Taxonomy Regulation by 31 December 2021 and 13 July 2022.

BirdLife ECA is looking for a consultant to support the technical contribution required to develop technical screening criteria in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, and fishery. This includes close collaboration with the BirdLife’s representative at the SFP and his support team from BirdLife partners. He/she will need to undertake on demand and with tight deadlines services like research briefings, literature research, gathering key content from biodiversity related and sector-specific European and international legislation and frameworks to strengthen ambitious biodiversity objectives in the respective sectors.

The consultant should be available to start as soon as possible for a period of 5 months – with the main work load being expected from now until mid-April. Timelines given by the EC and the PSF are demanding – the work needs to be undertaken in a flexible and on-demand way of delivery.

Provide research on environment-related policies (in particular on biodiversity) on European and international level and prepare concise analysis and overviews of objectives, targets, and measures
Identify reference points (EU policies, scientific work, industry data/outlook, reports from think tanks, etc.) that guide biodiversity and ecosystem protection in the selected sectors
Gather scientific evidence for sustainable modes and practices of agricultural, forestry, and/or fishing practices and identify critical thresholds for ecosystem protection in these sectors
Provide science-based and editorial content to feed ad-hoc arguments and positions for ambitious environmental protection levels
Coordinate work with other sector experts of BirdLife partners and in close cooperation with the PSF team
Produce relevant information on positions, activities, and strategies of key Member States and EU Institutions
Have a relevant academic degree (additional work experience may be accepted in lieu of this);
Have relevant experience with the EU Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery and Biodiversity policy, and of conservation issues; knowledge of international policies and framework in these sectors are an asset
Have an understanding of the EU Sustainable Finance Strategy and the Taxonomy Regulation;
Experience with research and engagement in (scientific) consultation processes;
Be capable to process and review complex content and proven ability to extract key findings in written summaries and briefings
Proven ability to deliver high quality results under time-pressure and with ambitious deadlines
Speak and write English fluently, with fluency in other EU languages being considered an asset.
BirdLife can provide 20,000 € (excluding VAT) for the above mentioned consultancy.

Any offers received that do not respect the upper limit will be automatically excluded from the evaluation procedure.

The price for the tender must be quoted in euro. Tenderers from countries outside the euro zone have to quote their prices in euro. The price quoted may not be revised in line with exchange rate movements. It is for the tenderer to assume the risks or the benefits deriving from any variation.

Prospective consultants are invited to submit proposals before 31st January 2021, 23:00 CET. The proposals should be sent to (by email only) specifying the following:

Number of person days they would be ready to provide over 5 months
Competence/experience of the person who would actually be providing the service
Daily rate and total proposed budget, VAT excluded Commitment to pursue the above mentioned objectives for the duration of the assignment – availability for a potential follow-up engagement would be appreciated (funding dependent)
Date when consultant would be able to start.


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