Request for Proposals: Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative

Requesting Organization: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 90 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 / Jonathan.Birdsong@nfwf.org
 

OVERVIEW

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) seeks a qualified Contractor to provide support to NFWF in the development and implementation of a five‐year strategy through its partnership with the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program in Joint Region Marianas for two (2) years, with the possible option to renew for up to three (3) additional years. The DoN REPI Program in Guam seeks to improve the baseline ecological status of plant and animal species federally listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) at priority sites on the island of Guam. 
 

BACKGROUND

NFWF is the country’s largest private conservation grant maker and manages a variety of grant programs across the Pacific Islands region through its Western Regional Office.  A cooperative agreement between NFWF and the DoN’s REPI Program (Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative) seeks to improve the baseline ecological status of plant and animal species federally listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) at priority sites on the island of Guam.  The REPI Program funds innovative partnerships between military services and conservation partners to leverage public and private funds to preserve habitats on non‐DoD lands and protect the military's capability to test, train, and operate.  NFWF seeks a field liaison to: (1) provide liaison support, (2) assist in the development of a concise five‐year implementation strategy in coordination with program partners, (3) assist applicants in developing high quality proposals that are aligned with the Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative priorities, (4) support program proposal review, (5) troubleshoot grantee challenges and help advance projects, and (6) facilitate communication among grantees.
 

SCOPE OF WORK

The following tasks constitute the Scope of Work for this Request for Proposals. The selected Contractor will be expected to work on all six (6) tasks described below throughout the duration of the period of performance. The Contractor should anticipate check-in calls every two weeks with NFWF throughout the duration of the contract. 

  1. Task 1: Provide liaison support - Assist NFWF staff in establishing, strengthening, and sustaining regional‐scale partnerships and collaborative approaches to advance program goals under the Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative. The Contractor would be expected to liaise between NFWF staff, DoN staff, and between conservation program partners, such as the Government of Guam (Guam Gov) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), to enhance communication between program staff and key stakeholders.
     
  2. Task 2: Support the development and implementation of a five‐year implementation strategy - In coordination with NFWF, DoN, USFWS, Guam Gov, and other Territorial program partners, assist in the development of a concise five‐year conservation strategy detailing the anticipated schedule of actions to be implemented through NFWF’s  competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The Contractor will be responsible for:
    1. compilation of relevant species information and spatial data,
    2. review of existing landscape scale conservation plans and federally listed species recovery plans,
    3. drafting the implementation strategy in consultation with NFWF and DoN, while effectively collaborating with USFWS, Guam Gov, and other Territorial program partners, and
    4. investigating the capacity of potential RFP applicants to implement the strategy.
       
  3. Task 3: Identify and grow opportunities for applicants - Conduct outreach and assist potential applicants to help them understand NFWF funding priorities, develop restoration project concepts that align with the five-year implementation strategy, identify potential partnerships, and identify funding opportunities for matching funds.  Potential projects may include partner facilitation, installation of fencing, removal of invasive species, planting native plants (including permitted prior seed collection and nursery propagation), erosion control measures, fire management, and other activities necessary to enhance habitats for federally listed species.  Experience managing or implementing these types of projects will be viewed favorably.
     
  4. Task 4: Support program proposal review - Assist in grant proposal review for annual funding opportunities. 
     
  5. Task 5: Troubleshoot grantee challenges and help advance projects - Occasionally conduct post-award site visits to troubleshoot potential challenges with project implementation. Connect with grantees regarding post-project to obtain lessons learned or NFWF program feedback, and scope potential next phases of projects with grantees. 
     
  6. Task 6: Facilitate communication among grantees - Facilitate communication and development of networks among grantees and potential grantees to encourage shared learning and a unified vision. Assist stakeholder peer‐to‐peer learning through field tours, site visits, workshops and other venues.
     

ANTICIPATED DELIVERABLES

The contract deliverables will include: 

  • Semiannual written and ongoing verbal progress reports detailing activity across the six main objectives.
  • Drafting of the five-year implementation strategy in partnership with key stakeholders.
  • Comprehensive reviews of grant proposals.
  • Creation of database/file structure containing contacts, mapping data, complimentary and/or exemplary project information, and other relevant information developed over the course of the program.
  • Final report summarizing achievements and lessons learned at contract completion.

These deliverables may be expanded or refined during the contract negotiation.
 

REQUIRED EXPERTISE

To assist the successful implementation of the Guam Habitat Conservation Initiative, a qualified individual will possess the following expertise:

  • A minimum of five (5) years of directly related experience in environmental project work, preferably implementing forest enhancement and watershed management projects that support species federally listed under the ESA.
  • Good working relationships with DoN, Government of Guam, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and/or other Territorial program partners. Experience with similar partnerships in other regions will be considered on a case by case basis. Please provide letters of support from applicable organizations.
  • Understanding of Guam conservation needs and challenges.
  • Understanding of partnership strategies, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Familiarity with Local and Federal conservation funding mechanisms and how to navigate through differing programs and policies.
  • Bachelor degree (or higher) in biology, ecology, environmental science or related field.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Effective mediator.  Experience in conflict resolution.
  • Experience working with and engaging diverse groups. 
  • Ability to work independently in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. 
  • Computer proficiency, including databases, spreadsheets, and word processing.
     

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria.  Contractors should organize their Proposal Narrative based on these sections:

  1. Understanding of the Scope of Work. A statement of no more than one (1) page demonstrating an understanding of the goals of the activities involved.  This section should include a description of how you will communicate with NFWF and program stakeholders and report on progress, results, and deliverables.  Weight: 10%
     
  2. Technical Approach. The proposed technical approach of no more than three (3) pages for conducting the tasks referenced above should clearly describe the proposed methods necessary to conduct the project.  The section must demonstrate that those methods are robust and appropriate for conducting the project and address any areas of complexity or uncertainty associated with conducting the project.  Weight: 20%
     
  3. Qualifications of Proposed Personnel.   The section should clearly describe how the Contractor's training and experience provide the requisite experience to successfully implement the tasks referenced above.  There is no page limit associated with this element of the proposal.  Letters of support are encouraged.  Weight: 20%
     
  4. Contractor’s Past Performance. The proposal should include information on the primary investigator(s)’s past performance experience in the requested field. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments and previous services related to the technical expertise offered. If subcontractors are to be used, information should be provided that demonstrates their past performance as well. Describe how that past performance is applicable to this evaluation. The cumulative statement of past performances should not exceed three (3) pages.  Weight: 20%
     
  5. Budget. The proposed budget should itemize work in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request. You must use the attached Contractor Budget Template. You may add columns to the template for additional tasks if needed but should not make any other changes. If applicable, please include the proposed budget for equipment purchase in the proposal separate from the Contractor Budget Template.  Weight: 30%
     

ELIGIBLE CONTRACTORS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, and local, state and Indian tribal governments.

By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the Contractor warrants and represents that it does not currently have any apparent or actual conflict of interest, as described herein.  In the event a Contractor currently has, will have during the life of the contemplated contract, or becomes aware of an apparent or actual conflict of interest, in the event an award is made, the Contractor must notify NFWF in writing in the proposal, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the proposal) of such apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest.  Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the Contractor, the Contractor’s employees, or the Contractor’s subcontractors in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the award and any other outside interests, or otherwise.  Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the Contractor, the Contractor’s employees, or the Contractor’s future subcontractors in the matter.  Upon receipt of such a notice, the NFWF Contracting Officer will determine if a conflict of interest exists and, if so, if there are any possible actions to be taken by the Contractor to reduce or resolve the conflict.  Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies NFWF may result in the proposal not being selected for award.  

By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the Contractor warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a Contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:

Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an Contract with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or 

Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension, ” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other Contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions instructions can be found here: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/
 

SUMBISSION REQUIREMENTS

Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinct and separate documents: 1) Technical Proposal, 2) Budget, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability.  Interested parties should submit proposals electronically to NFWF (Jonathan Birdsong, Jonathan.Birdsong@nfwf.org) as Word documents or PDF attachments following the requirements below:

  • Technical Proposal
    • Format: Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF with a font size no smaller than 11 pt.
    • Contact information: Primary contact person, company name, address, phone, email, website, DUNS number, and EIN/Taxpayer ID#.
    • Narrative: Concise description of the work plan, technical approach, and a summary of the applicant’s expertise and experience, organized by the Criteria for Competitive Applications. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments and previous services related to the technical expertise offered. 
    • Biographies: Resumes and/or Vitae of key staff and their role in the proposed work area.
    • References: List two (2) clients who have received services from the applicant that is similar in nature to the proposed work; include names, phone numbers, and email address. 
  • Budget
    The budget proposal must be submitted using the following NFWF budget template.
  • Evidence of Financial Stability
    The applicant shall provide proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements, credit ratings, a line of credit, or other financial arrangements sufficient to demonstrate the applicant’s capability to meet the requirements of this solicitation.
     

SUBMISSION DEADLINES (DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

October 30, 2020

Deadline for questions about the solicitation to NFWF. 
Contractors should submit questions regarding this solicitation via email to Jana Doi (Jana.Doi@nfwf.org). NFWF will post all the questions and responses to the questions so that all Contractors have access to them at the same time. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be sent to NFWF no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on October 30, 2020.

November 2, 2020

NFWF will post the questions submitted regarding the solicitation and responses on the NFWF website.

November 16, 2020

Deadline for receipt by NFWF of proposals. Proposals must be sent electronically as an email attachment to Jonathan Birdsong (Jonathan.Birdsong@nfwf.org) by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on November 16, 2020. Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF. 

January 4, 2021

Contract award to selected Contractor.