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Research and analysis of regional logistics systems connecting the Greater Mekong and China

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: WWF-Greater Mekong - World Wide Fund for Nature International
: 9 Mar 2023
31 / March / 2023

WWF-Greater Mekong would like to request proposals from eligible individual consultants, groups of individual consultants, consultancy and research organizations (hereinafter called Consultants) who are interested in providing a professional service in conducting research and analysis of regional logistics systems connecting the Greater Mekong and China, and its impact on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.  

 

Terms of Reference (TOR)

 

Consultancy service: Research and analysis of regional logistics systems connecting the Greater Mekong and China, and its impact on the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT)

 

Work location: Remotely

 

Duration (term): 20-30 days

 

1. Background of consultancy assignment/project

IWT refers to the buying, selling, and transportation of wildlife species and their parts - such as ivory, tiger bones, and rhino horn - that are protected under international and national laws. In the Greater Mekong (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) and China, IWT poses a significant threat to biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as human health and public security. The trade is driven by high demand for wildlife products, particularly originating in China, where they are used in traditional medicine and as status symbols.

 

The impact of improved infrastructure and increased connectivity on IWT can be complex and multifaceted. On one hand, these factors can make it easier for wildlife traders to transport their goods across borders, leading to an increase in the trade. On the other hand, key transit choke points and improved communication can also make it easier for law enforcement agencies to monitor and intercept illegal wildlife shipments, reducing the trade.

 

Southeast Asia (SEA) is made up of mainland SEA, including the Greater Mekong region, and maritime countries, which have different dynamics when it comes to connectivity - be it overland or by sea  (USAID). This unique geographical landscape has resulted in a large volume of the trade within and between ASEAN nations depending heavily on land transport, which is mostly by road (Chia, 2016; ANZ 2016). These transport systems involve a dynamic interaction of multiple players, including logistics and e-commerce companies, railway providers, multimodal transport operators, consolidators, freight forwarders, and inland depots. ASEAN nations are major trading partners with China and have a long diplomatic history with the country (Foo et al. 2019).

 

The China-Greater Mekong cross-border e-commerce trade relies on various logistics and communications channels, and involves multiple modes of transportation, such as sea, air, and land. With new transportation routes emerging as part of the Bridge and Road Initiative (BRI), including construction of Trans-Asia high speed rail network connecting Bangkok - Vientiane - Kunming, cross-border freight block train services connecting Vietnam and China, and an extensive system of transboundary highways, a better understanding of the connectivity, logistic routes and current monitoring and screening systems will contribute to an improved ability to combat IWT, and this in tandem with improved international cooperation, will support law enforcement efforts.

 

2. Objectives:

  • Compile details on the current inland transport and logistics sector and systems (roads, rails and ocean freight links) connecting the Greater Mekong region and China, and carry out an assessment of the status and performance of the logistics system connecting these two regions to facilitate trade, including, but not limited to, information on (1) shippers, traders, and consignees; (2) public and private service providers; (3) regional and national rules, policies, and institutions; (4) transport and communications infrastructure and routes; and (5) existing screening methods for cargo, if any.
  • Based on the compiled information, analyze potential vulnerable points that transnational organized criminals or wildlife traffickers might use along the logistics route.
  • Identify policy (both government and private company) and law enforcement intervention points for the Greater Mekong countries to disrupt IWT and wildlife trafficking across the border to China (to be led by WWF in the future).

 

3. Scope of work

  1. Conducting literature review and research on logistics systems and structures in the five Greater Mekong countries - Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam (and to a lesser extent Myanmar) and China
  2. Identify and analyze the current transportation modes used, the private sector players involved in facilitating trade, the challenges faced by the logistics and ecommerce industry in detecting and disrupting the IWT, the potential for growth in the region, and the potential impacts on IWT.
  3. Look at current policy and legislation around transport and IWT to identify key intervention points.
  4. Produce a narrative report of the analysis in English

 

4. Methods: The literature review will be conducted using desk research, including a review of relevant academic articles, industry reports, open sources and online data.

 

5. Deliverables:

  1. The final narrative report  (10-15 pages) will provide a comprehensive overview of the current transport and logistics systems in the Greater Mekong connecting with China, including key players, transportation routes and modes, challenges in detecting and disrupting the trade, growth potential, and the impact on IWT. The report will also include recommendations for law enforcement and policy intervention points in the region, both for government and private company policies.

 

Timeline: April - June 2023

  • A draft report to be submitted by early May 2023 for review by WWF
  • The final report after revisions to be submitted by mid-June 2023

 

6. Required profile:

 

A well-established researcher/research organization with substantial experience and strong capacity

to analyze logistics systems, familiar with SEA and China, and produce a well-written report of analytical findings and their implications.

To be submitted by applicant: CV and 2-page proposed outline and workplan

 

Application deadline: March 31, 2023


HOW TO APPLY:

Interested consultant submit proposals to WWF-Greater Mekong via email to: jedsada.taweekan@wwfgreatermekong.org and copy to: yoganand.k@wwfgreatermekong.org, with the email title “Research and analysis of regional logistics systems connecting the Greater Mekong and China, and its impact on the Illegal Wildlife Trade”. Minimum compositions of the Proposal are as follows:

  1. Proposal Cover Letter signed by a person authorized to sign on behalf of the Firm;
  2. CVs & Summary of relevant experience and projects;
  3. Technical Approach/Proposal for completing the deliverables;
  4. Work plan;
  5. Financial proposal;
  6. Scan/photocopy of Business Registration Certificate, Company Profile, document proving the finalization of tax obligations. 

Only the shortlists will be contacted. The deadline for receiving applications is March 31, 2023.

Contact : email to: jedsada.taweekan@wwfgreatermekong.org and copy to: yoganand.k@wwfgreatermekong.org

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