Call for proposals: Conducting a Multidimensional Biodiversity Index (MBI) for Switzerland

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17 September 2020

As part of a project to design and help implement a Multidimensional Biodiversity Index (MBI) for countries aiming to measure biodiversity health, the Luc Hoffmann Institute at WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), is seeking applications to carry out a pilot project in Switzerland.


To use, manage and restore biodiversity sustainably, we need to incorporate measures of how our socio-economic systems depend on, impact, derive benefits from and interact with biodiversity. These relationships determine biodiversity health, which is more than the number of species in an ecosystem or the remaining primary forest cover. If we are to effectively tackle the biodiversity loss crisis as a fundamental pillar to achieve sustainable development, we need to redefine biodiversity using a multidimensional approach that considers nature and people as equal parts of a healthy system. This requires a paradigm shift in how we measure biodiversity and link it to action through an improving biodiversity science-policy interface. This paradigm shift includes 1) accounting for the multidimensional nature of biodiversity and the context-dependency of its contributions to people and 2) establishing a science-based healthy and lasting relationship between biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

The MBI project aims to develop a policy-focused index for biodiversity as a tool for decision-makers to monitor if we are living within the regenerative capacity of nature or eroding our own opportunities to achieve sustainable development.

The gathering momentum in biodiversity policy on the world stage provides a window of opportunity for a shift from the perception of biodiversity conservation as a barrier to growth towards its recognition as an essential foundation for sustainable development. An MBI for nations could play a pivotal role in enabling that shift by transforming biodiversity from an abstract notion into a tangible entity that national governments can understand and act on. To achieve global relevance alongside the numerous existing biodiversity indicator initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the implementation of the MBI framework needs to be feasible in all countries, at different stages of development. Work is required to road-test the MBI framework in national contexts to understand its potential utility.  For more information and background to the MBI project and findings, please contact Carolina Soto-Navarro, Technical Lead, Science Programme (UNEP-WCMC), at

The MBI global project outcomes are:

1. The MBI framework is taken up by national governments to develop tailored national biodiversity measures that monitor the state of biodiversity and its contributions to people.  

2. Community of engaged experts is built and agreement on how to develop an MBI that monitors the ‘health’ of biodiversity and its contributions to people to inform policy making.

3. National government decision-makers consider evidence and recommendations from the MBI initiative to target resources and design biodiversity policies and measures that have better technical design, greater focus and are more effective in reducing biodiversity loss in all its dimensions.

4. Intergovernmental and multilateral agencies incorporate recommendations and outputs from the MBI Initiative and use the global MBI to compare biodiversity states across nations.

5. Increased global and in-country attention to research recommendations and outputs from the MBI initiative through engagement with media and civil society.

6. A growing global community of countries and organizations that focuses on multidimensional biodiversity is created, which promotes dialogue, provides peer-to-peer technical, statistical and policy support, and distils experiences and lessons learned about measuring and using multidimensional biodiversity for policy purposes.

About the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)

UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre is a world leader in biodiversity knowledge. It works with scientists and policymakers worldwide to place biodiversity at the heart of environment and development decision-making to enable enlightened choices for people and the planet.

Overall project aim

The MBI pilot project in Switzerland should support the overall MBI global project. 

The objectives of the MBI pilot in Switzerland are to:

  • road test the MBI framework;
  • contribute to the  methodology development of the index;
  • provide input into other MBI pilots being conducted in other countries around the world as well as the overall MBI project;
  • leverage in-country ownership and policy usage of the MBI in Switzerland;
  • provide findings, lessons and best practices to the global MBI project and team. 

The pilot must include a broad range of stakeholders from not only environmental disciplines and practices (for example: non-profit conservation organisations, state or local administrative departments) but ideally from other sectors such as economics, law, national statistics offices, or agriculture. Furthermore, the pilot should be cross-sectoral in nature and facilitate collaboration from a variety of stakeholders, including the private sector and the general public in order to gauge and integrate the aspirations, concerns and needs of the broader population into the MBI Swiss pilot. The aim is to co-create the Swiss MBI pilot for greater ownership and buy-in from important stakeholders.

Desired outcomes

In collaboration and consultation with the MBI Project Team at UNEP-WCMC, the successful organisation/team is tasked to:

  • Ensure broad consultation of stakeholders, including with the Swiss or Cantonal governments and administrations, to take into account user's needs and expectations, for example through cross-sector national or cantonal workshops, and coordinate periodic stakeholder exchanges to discuss and advance the MBI Swiss pilot; Ensure the MBI framework is aligned to biodiversity policy needs in Switzerland;
  • Successfully collect relevant data across government offices and environmental data-holders in Switzerland, ensuring the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the MBI Swiss pilot;
  • Produce a Swiss MBI score based on proposed methodology aligned with the MBI overall framework and the other MBI pilot countries, and draft a report on the MBI (based on the data collected and analyses performed);
  • Share findings, insights and recommendations on a regular basis with the MBI Project team and other in-country pilot projects;
  • Design and implement a convincing pathway, including feedback loops, for engagement and use of the Swiss MBI by local actors, including the cantonal and/or national authorities. This should include a marketing and communication plan. 

Required competencies

The successful applicant organisation must be able to demonstrate:

  • Influential relationships with relevant research organisations, government departments related to the environment, local and national NGOs and a broad range of stakeholders related to biodiversity  issues;
  • Working relationships with national environmental data producers and consumers, including the national office of statistics and local environmental and development NGOs as well as relevant research institutes;
  • Experience conducting environmental data analysis and producing comprehensive synthetic reports;
  • A strong track record in convening a diverse range of actors and facilitating discussions in an open dialogue as a neutral convenor;
  • Good understanding and track record of co-creation and co-learning;
  • Familiarity with main issues and political dynamics of relevant international bodies and conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and relevant UN bodies.

The MBI Swiss pilot project should be finalised preferably by June 2022 and no later than December 2022.

Reporting lines:  

The successful team/organisation shall work under contract WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund) ("WWF International"), on behalf of the Luc Hoffmann Institute., in collaboration with UNEP-WCMC and be responsible to the MBI Project Team. Throughout the project, the selected team/organisation will maintain regular discussions on the activities with UNEP-WCMC.

Procedure for submission

Applications should be submitted to with the subject line: “Application for MBI Swiss Pilot”.

The application can be in Microsoft word or pdf form. The application should include:

  • An overall statement of interest and suitability for the project (max 250 words);
  • A narrative of the overall approach and methodology to implement the MBI pilot in Switzerland, including the geographic scope (max 1000 words);
  • A description of how the pilot will contribute to the overall outcomes of the MBI project (see below);
  • A list of proposed stakeholders, confirmed or planned;
  • A demonstrated know-how of the Swiss political and economic system, as well as a track record of cross-sectoral research, co-learning and complex socio-political processes.
  • A detailed budget;
  • Confirmation of acceptance of the general terms and conditions set out in Annex 1.

Evaluation of proposals

 Proposals will be evaluated by the institute against the following criteria:

  1. Suitability, including geographic connection to Switzerland or a Swiss Canton;
  2. General understanding and alignment to the MBI approach and methodology;
  3. Strong understanding of the Swiss political system;
  4. Established networks with relevant actors in Switzerland, including  government offices  and civil society; links to environmental actors are a must; links to actors beyond the environment, such as industry and agriculture, are an added advantage;
  5. Ability and track record to conduct research and produce comprehensive reports;
  6. Ability and track record in convening a diverse group of stakeholders.
  7. Price

The proposals will be evaluated by a panel consisting of:

Representing the institute:

  • The MBI project budget holder;
  • A  WWF International  Executive  Director;
  • The WWF International  Finance Director;

Representatives of UNEP- WCMC will assist in the review process but the final decision will rest with the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Deadline: Applications must be received no later than 9 October 2020, midnight CEST. Late submissions will not be considered. The institute reserves the right to reject any and all responses to this Request for Proposals. Bidders shall bear all costs associated with preparing and submitting their proposals. Any form of canvassing will lead to the automatic cancellation of the bid in question.

The institute will notify bidders of its decision as soon as possible and no later than 23 October 2020, with projects able to start as early as mid-October 2020. Interviews may be conducted with short-listed candidates on the week of 19 October. The Institute is under no obligation whatsoever to award the contract to the lowest-priced bid or any bidder. The Institute may cancel the invitation to tender without notice and shall accept no liability whatsoever arising out of such action.

Budget: An important criterion for selection will be value for money. Applications with a total budget in excess of 200’000 CHF (including, if it applies, VAT) over the said period will not be considered. 

For any questions regarding this call for proposals, please contact

Further resources: Annex 1: General terms and conditions

Want to get in touch?

Email the project team at
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