Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Agro-meteorologist (Anticipatory Action)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Job Description

  The Office of Emergencies and Resilience (OER) is responsible for ensuring FAO's efforts to support countries and partners in preparing for and effectively responding to food and agricultural threats and crises. It is responsible for coordinating the development and maintenance of corporate tools and standards to enable Decentralized Offices to assist Members to prepare for, and respond to emergencies. OER ensures humanitarian policy Coordination and knowledge, liaison with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee as well as with humanitarian resource partners, co-leadership with World Food Programme of the global Food Security Cluster, organizational preparedness, surge capacity and response to large-scale emergencies. OER supports Food and Nutrition security assessment and early warning activities related to Emergency and humanitarian Analysis and responses. OER plays a major role in the development and leadership of the Organization's programme to increase the resilience of livelihoods to food and Agriculture threats and crises FAO’s Anticipatory Action system translates warnings at country level into concrete actions to reduce the impact of disasters on vulnerable and food insecure communities. Acting early, before a disaster has actually happened, or reached its peak is critical: it can save lives and protect livelihoods from the immediate shocks while increasing the resilience of local communities over time. FAO’s Anticipatory Action programme is part of a growing number of approaches to prevent or mitigate food crises and is being implemented by various organizations worldwide. In FAO, this initiative is supported by a number of resource partners including the EU, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. Reporting Lines The Agro-meteorologist reports to the Evidence for Programming Team Leader and works in close collaboration with meteorology, hydrology, climatology, food security and other relevant colleagues. Technical Focus Agro-meteorological expertise to support implementation of FAO’s Anticipatory Action agenda at global, regional, and country level. Tasks and responsibilities The Agro-meteorologist will:
  1. Review and validate existing country-level Anticipatory Action systems

  • Review and validate existing FAO anticipatory action systems, including an assessment of agrometeorological indicators (including forecasts, remote sensing, parameters of water stress, and any other indicator relevant for the early detection of potential hazards) and the accuracy of thresholds for triggering anticipatory action ;

  • Review the EWEA country toolkit and the online Learning Programme, providing specific advice on matters related to agro-meteorology and anticipatory action triggers ;

  • Review anticipatory action systems developed by other organizations and related initiatives.

  1. Develop guidelines and tools for anticipatory action systems

  • Develop guidelines and tools on the selection of agrometeorological indicators and thresholds for triggering anticipatory action ahead of potential hazard impacts, e.g. from drought, cyclones, severe winter seasons and floods, on agriculture and food security ;

  • Identify and Design the requirements for an effective and optimized monitoring system for hydro-meteorological hazard risk management ;

  • Provide technical advice on communication of weather and climate information.

  1. Support decentralized offices with technical advice

  • Provide advice and support to decentralized offices for the establishment, testing and validation of anticipatory action systems ;

  • Support decentralized offices and partners to integrate data form observation networks and develop value added agro-meteorological products and services ;

  • Validate anticipatory action thresholds and support the development of project documents with decentralized level focal points ;

  • Provide technical advice on agrometeorology for the development and implementation of trainings on anticipatory action (both e-learning and in-person) ;

  • Undertake travel to ensure adequate support is provided to establish technically sound anticipatory action systems ;

  • Perform other duties as required.

  • Advanced degree in agro-meteorology or meteorological sciences ;

  • At least five years of relevant experience in public and/or private sectors related to seasonal forecasts, climate services and agro-meteorology ;

  • Experience in Database Management,  seasonal forecast information systems and linking climate service providers and users in the agricultural sector ;

  • Working knowledge of English is required and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) would be an asset.

FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus

  • Teamwork

  • Communication

  • Building Effective Relationships

  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
  • Technical experience linking seasonal forecasts with food security projections is an asset ;

  • Experience working with hydro-meteorological agencies, governments and partners to in countries vulnerable to hazards is highly desirable ;

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable ;

  • Depth of knowledge of agricultural threats and crises ;

Ability to operate effectively in a team, contributing positively to team operations and working relationships
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