The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global research organization dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity.
We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of tropical and sub-tropical forest landscapes. We help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.
Consultant for Green Rubber Project
The last decade has seen the expansion of rubber as a large and small plantation crop from established centers of production in Thailand, China and Vietnam into neighboring countries like Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. With this expansion has come a new boom sector, which has brought both opportunities for development and challenges in identifying governance approaches that could result in desirable outcomes. Economic, social and environmental changes can be expected to impact differentially on the lives and livelihoods of the rural women and men most closely involved in, and affected by, the introduction of rubber. These challenges may also extend to the realm of international relations (both regionally and globally) given rubber’s importance as a strategic crop, as well as larger issues related to transnational finance and trade.
As part of a larger World Agroforestry Centre-led research program on “Green Rubber: Alleviating poverty and enhancing environmental integrity through restoring ecosystem services in a tropical plantation crop in the Upper Mekong Region,” CIFOR has agreed to provide a number of research products grouped collectively under the heading of “Assessment and design of governance mechanisms and incentive instruments.” Two of these research products are country-specific studies describing the governance mechanisms for rubber and other tree crops, and their impacts on livelihoods and ecosystem services. This document pertains to these two studies.
Duties and responsibilities
• Analyze the range of obstacles that prevent the emergence of ’green’ rubber systems. By this we mean rubber production and trade that support the maintenance and/or enhancement (depending on the context) of ecosystem services, contributes to intra-household empowerment of women, and poverty alleviation at the household and community scale.
• Identify policy and governance mechanisms that enable rubber production to be ’greener’ both environmentally and socially, taking into account issues of effectiveness, equity and efficiency.
• Review literature that covers major sources with the emphases reflecting current debates on policy and governance mechanisms of land resources and development outcomes.
• Country studies on two of the following: Laos, Thailand, Myanmar or China. These will be determined later based on discussion and agreement.
• Review existing governance mechanisms in the study country or countries focusing on describing livelihood outcomes for women and men of three types of governance approaches:
– Community-based mechanisms (e.g., those derived from community forestry, or communally managed or controlled production land);
– Traditional state-led regulatory mechanisms (e.g., those based on land use zoning and/or other administrative efforts to restrict options available to local land managers, as well as policies which promote business models like plantation concessions and contract farming schemes);
– Novel or emerging regulatory mechanisms (including the ’financialization’ of environmental services via ’PES’ schemes and/or the imposition of ecological taxes or fines). If not all categories of governance mechanisms appear in the study country, the emphasis will be on those that do occur, although this will be conducted with a view to possibly bringing in methods from elsewhere.
Education, knowledge and experience
• A minimum of an MSc Degree in Forestry, Agriculture, Natural Resources Management, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Agricultural Economics or a related field.
• A minimum of 3 years of work/study experience in one or more of the target countries Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and/or China.
• Proven capacity to produce high-quality scientific reports and publications in English.
• Demonstrate knowledge of relevant national policies and practices as they relate to forestry, land use change, land tenure, rubber and/or tree cropping systems, and rural livelihoods in the Mekong.
Personal Attributes and Competencies
• Self-motivated, resourceful, ability to work independently according to strict timelines.
• Thai, Lao, Myanmar, and/or Chinese language skills would be an advantage
• Residents of the Mekong Region would be preferred.
Terms and Conditions
• This is a Consultancy position. CIFOR offers competitive remuneration commensurate with skills and experience.
• The duty station will be home-based.
Application processThe application deadline is 09 Jan-2015
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.