Consulting Services for Development and Operationalization of the Bio-Physical and Ecological Monitoring System (BEMS)

The primary objective of the assignment is to develop and operationalize an advanced spatial data infrastructure and analytic capabilities required for an effective and scalable biophysical and ecological monitoring system to track and report the progress of its SLM-related policies, strategies, and investment plans to enable policymakers to better coordinate restoration-related programs, and to meet requirements from funding institutions. A sound monitoring, and evaluation system would allow to understand better what restoration options work where and why. This understanding is critical to building adaptive capacity, making more informed investment decisions, better planning and targeting, and to mobilize additional finance. In addition, this enhanced biophysical monitoring will be crucial in the establishing and monitoring of the proposed Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) scheme.

Actual services provided by our staff within the assignment:

Tasks include:

  • Development of a framework for biophysical and ecological monitoring, building on well-established and scientifically rigorous methods, together with associated ICT-based monitoring tools and geo-spatial information systems;
  • Collection of spatially-referenced baseline biophysical data such as soil organic carbon and other soil functional properties, soil erosion prevalence, land cover, including diversity of trees and shrub species. These data sets will be used to assess and map land degradation hotspots and soil health constraints, as well as to target interventions to restore degraded areas;
  • Purchase of modern ICT equipment and tools for data management, including integration with satellite and remote-sensed data systems;
  • Collection of data for water quantity, quality and sediment load for continuous monitoring in targeted watersheds; and
  • Capacity building of Catchment Management Committees (CMCs), Village Natural Resources Management Committees (VNRMCs), districts, relevant ministries, departments and agencies on bio – physical and ecological monitoring of changes.

Name of client: Ministry of Water and Sanitation / NIRAS
Start date (month/year): 09/2022
Completion date (month/year): 05/2025