Consultant in protected areas


With the launch of the new RA 2020 sustainable agriculture standard, new risk-based evaluation requirements have been put in place to safeguard forest conversion from 2014 onwards and farm encroachment production into protected areas.


Due to the new requirements of the RA's new standard, the risk assessment must be performed at farm scale in every country where RA has certification activities, making it challenging to find suitable datasets that cover a global scale and have the scientific support to perform the assessment. The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas. It is a joint project between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), managed by UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center and shared via Protected Planet. This is the dataset that is been used to perform the risk of encroachment into protected areas in the so-called non-risky countries.


Based on the IUCN classification available for each protected area on the WDPA, a NoGo/Go classification has been created to evaluate and indicate whether the farms are encroaching into areas with specific management regulations or areas where the economic / agricultural activities are forbidden. This classification groups the protected areas into two types:


  • No go (I, II, III): High conservation priority, with a strictly protected regulation. Agricultural production is not allowed under applicable law.
  • Go areas (IV, V, VI): Protected areas where certain regulated economic and agricultural activities are allowed under specific conditions (specified in applicable law).


There are three other categories (not reported, not applicable, and not assigned), but due to the lack of information and ambiguousness it is not easy to assign a class, thus these areas are being classified as "No go". This lack of information is related to the fact that the WDPA is updated on average every 5 years, bringing problems to the risk assessment due to the outdated version of some areas.



The main objective of this consultancy is to provide the Rainforest Alliance an updated database on protected areas, Rainforest Alliance requires a consultant with experience in protected areas management to:


  • Review official governmental information such as, geoportals, environmental legislation, protected area’s management plans, and other related documentation to create an inventory of protected areas and find evidence of restriction activities to create the No-go / Go classification.
  • Update the information available on the WDPA; especially for the not reported, not applicable, and not assigned categories.



The Deliverables are:

  1. Provide an inventory of official updated protected areas, including GIS vector information (feature class, shapefile) for the following countries.
  2. Guatemala
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Ecuador
  5. A table per country with the protected areas and the uses as indicated in the national legislation
  6. Classify the protected areas according to the IUCN categories
  7. Classify the protected areas according to the RA “Go” and “No go” areas.


  • Proven experience in protected areas management and natural resources management
  • Experience in document preparation and database management
  • Have strong analytical and investigation capabilities.
  • Strong communication skills
  • Must be fluent in English and Spanish.
  • Be familiarized with the new RA 2020 sustainable agriculture standard (optional)


Working Structure

The consultant aligns with Rainforest Alliance on the design of the methodology for the consultancy. After the design is being approved by RA and the consultant, the latter can start with the implementation. During the implementation, the consultant will be coordinating the work together with Rainforest Alliance. The agenda of the implementation of the consultancy will be shared with Rainforest Alliance and approved.  In case of changes and updates (scope, costs, any other) these will be communicated by the consultant to Rainforest Alliance and discussed to make sure the objectives of the consultancy are still met.   Rainforest Alliance must approve such changes in written prior implementation.


Proposal and time


Interested consultants must submit their proposals in English through Hirehive by September 20, 2021.


Proposals must include:

  • Proposed workplan and methodology (data collection design, logistics and timeline)
  • Updated and detailed CV (2 pages maximum) which reflects required experience
  • Economic proposal including all expenses (fees, travel, taxes and others)


Apply for position now

Please find below a link to our Data Privacy Policy View Privacy Policy