UN Offices

Regional Technical Specialist (Climate and Forests)

UN Offices

Job Description

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response.  BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working.  BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts. In order to avoid an irreversible climate crisis, we need to halve global emissions by 2030, and have carbon-neutral economies by 2050. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – or climate change mitigation - is essential to fulfilling commitments to the Paris Agreement and limiting global mean temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. All sectors, including energy, transportation, industry, forests, and land-use/agriculture must make a meaningful contribution towards achieving carbon neutrality. UNDP, as the largest implementer of climate change support within the UN system, plays a critical role by supporting countries in their emission reduction plans. With a commitment to providing long-term development support, our mitigation portfolio currently comprises of over 280 projects and programmes in over 110 countries. Together with our partners, UNDP supports countries to take ambitious climate action, advance Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and use a wide range of strategies and approaches across energy, forestry and land-use/agriculture sectors. UNDP’s approach to forests aligns with the SDG 15 and contributes to UNDP's 'signature solution' on environment and nature-based solutions for development. Deforestation and forest degradation accounts for more than 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Further, stabilization of global temperatures cannot be achieved without reducing emissions from the forest sector. UNDP's Climate and Forests team supports countries to conserve and sustainably manage forests and ensure sustainable and equitable development paths that lead towards carbon neutrality. UNDP Climate and Forests manages a portfolio of national and jurisdictional projects and provides technical assistance to countries and stakeholders ensuring alignment with the UNFCCC agreements, enhancing forest and land-use components of NDCs, and ensuring social inclusion, notably through mainstreaming gender equality and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples and forest communities. The objectives of UNDP’s Climate & Forests work are i) to support countries develop policies and instruments for sustainability in the land, forest & climate interface, in line with UNFCCC requirements and safeguards and to advance the Paris Agreement (notably articles 5 and 6); ii) to support countries access, combine, implement and monitor finance for their REDD+ actions and results, including international, market, and private-sector sources; and, iii) to promote partnerships and disseminate knowledge to better advance the forest solutions to the climate crisis. UNDP is currently active in the three major tropical forest areas (Amazonia, Congo and Southeast Asia) and in 20 countries. UNDP’s Climate and Forests team is spread globally, with management based in Geneva.  Duty stations for the global team include Bangkok, Panama, Nairobi.  The team supports UNDP’s country offices and partners in their region.  Support to UNDP country offices is coordinated closely with the Regional Bureaus through the regional hubs. The team works closely with other parts of the Natural Capital and Environment team, particularly the UNDP-GEF team, the Green Commodities Programme (GCP), and the New York Declaration of Forest global platfor). It also works closely with the Climate team within the GPN (particularly with regards to NDC support).  The team can support Climate and Forest initiatives of the regions and country offices and provide quality assurance on a full cost-recovery basis. Regional Technical Advisors and Specialists (RTAs/RTSs) have regular contact with UNDP Country Offices and national counterparts throughout the project cycle for UNDP programmes and projects related to Climate and Forests. Where BPPS issues a Delegation of Authority (or similar) to the Country Office, the RTAs/RTSs are responsible for quality assurance and provides specialized technical services. In all cases, the RTAs/RTSs makes recommendations to the UNDP Resident Representative on necessary courses of action in response to changes in the country context and new programme and resource mobilization opportunities. Under the supervision of the Senior Regional Technical Advisor and the leadership of the Principal Technical Advisor, this Regional Technical Specialist will help position UNDP as a world leader in the provision of technical advisory services related to the contribution of forests to ambitious climate change targets. As a member of the UNDP Climate and Forests team, the Regional Technical Specialist will be located in Nairobi, Kenya, will contribute to the overall success of the team, engage effectively with team members, support the delivery of the UNDP global project, and contribute to the overall portfolio as needed. Duties and Responsibilities Provide high-quality technical and policy advisory services to national and sub-national counterparts on Climate and Forests matters
  • Stay abreast of global and regional developments related to climate and forests and share knowledge within UNDP and with relevant partners;

  • Contribute to efforts to position the Climate and Forests team as leaders on REDD+ Results Based-Payments and other innovative financing for the implementation of Article 5 of the Paris Agreement;

  • Provide high-quality technical advice to UNDP Country Offices, development partners, national counterparts and sub-national partners;

  • Ensure coordination with other related initiatives and mechanisms in the region;

  • Advise the Principal Technical Advisor of trends and issues in the countries served and provide any additional assistance requested.

Provide implementation support to UNDP Country Offices and national counterparts for the Climate and Forests portfolio
  • Provide high-quality implementation support and oversight to UNDP country offices and national counter parts to support the successful implementation of the portfolio, across all relevant sources of funds in the region;

  • Provide quality assurance for relevant projects and initiatives;

  • Ensure application of UNDP social and environmental standards, as well as, any other relevant safeguards or standards;

  • Ensure mainstreaming of gender considerations in all key documents and processes;

  • Maintain workplans, portfolio, and corporate information systems; and

  • Ensure the timely preparation of semi/annual progress, final reports, and other oversight documentation as necessary.

Contribute to UNDP’s efforts to raise Nature-Based ambitions in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions
  • Contribute to efforts to position UNDP as a leader in supporting developing countries in integrating the implementation of REDD+, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

  • Collaborate with GPN colleagues to ensure UNDP Country Offices are provided with clear guidance on how REDD+ is a climate mitigation strategy that contributes to NDC targets;

  • Assist Country Offices to coordinate various initiatives and programmes to ensure UNDP provides national counterparts with the best available guidance on efforts to raise Nature-Based ambitions;

  • Provide advice to UNDP Country Offices and national counterparts, as requested, on NDCs and relevant UNFCCC negotiations relating to climate and forests.

Development, formulation, and review of programmes and projects with the associated resource mobilization when needed
  • Work with partners to develop and formulate proposals in-line with requirements of donors and sources of funds;

  • Coordinate the submission and approval of proposals in accordance with relevant operating procedures;

  • Provide guidance in the process of preparation, design, submission and approval of programme/project concepts and full-fledged proposals for financing;

  • Liaise with potential financing agencies and institutions;

  • Prepare Terms of Reference, identify, and evaluate experts, and review reports to source technical expertise and support;

  • Provide guidance in the process of preparation, design, submission, and approval of program/project concepts and full-fledged proposals for financing;

  • Build strategic initiatives and partnerships;

  • Support the development of proposals for REDD+ Results-Based Payments (RBPs) and other sources of innovative finance;

  • Mobilize additional resources under the UNDP global project for the Climate and Forests team.

Share Climate and Forests knowledge and communicate results
  • Represent UNDP in relevant fora and strategic initiatives, including UN inter-agency meetings as required;

  • Support the UN’s convening role by organizing and contributing to international events, such as policy dialogues and south-south exchanges;

  • Share knowledge from international events with other members of the Climate and Forests team and build mechanisms for transfer of experience, lessons learnt and best practices;

  • Contribute actively to the Global Policy Network, including relevant Communities of Practice and other UNDP corporate requirements;

  • Contribute to the development of knowledge-based tools (including guidelines, articles, briefing notes etc.);

  • Contribute lessons, experiences and stories for the Climate and Forests webpage and social media, as well as, other UNDP outlets.

Competencies Core Innovation
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

Leadership
  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Communication
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Delivery
  • Ability to get things done.

Technical/Functional Forests and Development
  • Knowledge of forestry and development and the ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations.

Project Management
  • Ability to plan, organize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Operational Efficiency
  • Ability to identify and execute opportunities to improve operational efficiency.

Knowledge Management
  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.

Report Writing
  • Ability to prepare quality reports.

Resource Mobilization
  • Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources.

Results Based Management
  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Advocacy and Representation
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues).

Required Skills and Experience Education
  • Master’s degree in environmental management, international development, public policy or other closely related field;

  • A Bachelor’s degree in environmental management, international development, public policy, or other related fields with at least 7 years of relevant experience would be accepted;

  • Certification in project management would be an added advantage.

Experience
  • At least 5 years’ relevant work experience, or 7 years of experience with a Bachelor’s degree, working on Climate & Forest issues in developing countries is required;

  • Demonstrated experience with project development, implementation and management;

  • Experience in forest and biodiversity conservation issues, environment policies, and/or governance systems in the countries in the Africa region would be an asset in francophone Africa, especially the Congo Basin countries, is an advantage.

Language Requirements
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills;

  • Operational fluency in French is required;

  • Working knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.

Disclaimer Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications. Applicant information about UNDP rosters Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements. Workforce diversity UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. Scam warning The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.
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