United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Senior Programme Manager (International Forest Policy Adviser)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

Background Information - Job-specific Global Programme on Nature for Development UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development brings together three different initiatives – the Equator Initiative, the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform, and the National Biodiversity Initiative under one program in order to identify, foster, showcase and celebrate nature-based solutions that help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at local, national, and international levels. The work of the Global Programme on Nature for Development contributes to UNDP's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 by charting sustainable development pathways through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems; and by promoting inclusive and effective democratic governance in the area of natural resources. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance indigenous and local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The Equator Initiative seeks to recognize the success of local and indigenous initiatives; create opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practice; inform policy to foster an enabling environment for local and indigenous community action; and develop the capacity of indigenous peoples and local communities to scale-up their impact. The Equator Initiative is built upon three equally important pillars: -          The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. -          Equator Dialogues are an ongoing series of community-driven meetings and exchanges, held in conjunction with related international forums. Equator Dialogues provide opportunities for people to share experiences, develop capacities and influence policy. -          Equator Knowledge is a research, documentation and learning program focused on local best practice in sustainable development. The Equator Initiative works with partners to identify, document, and analyze the success factors of local best practice, and to catalyze ongoing peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and replication of best practice. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), is a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and indigenous peoples who strive to halve deforestation by 2020 and to end it by 2030. The NYDF outlines ten ambitious global targets related to protecting and restoring forests. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests seeks to fill an important gap in multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration necessary to achieve the goals of the NYDF. The NYDF Global Platform works to increase ambition, forge new partnerships and accelerate progress on the NYDF goals by responding to NYDF endorsers’ requests for a dedicated, multi-stakeholder platform to re-invigorate political endorsement of the NYDF, to facilitate coordination and communication, to share best practices, resources and lessons, and to support ongoing monitoring of progress. The National Biodiversity Initiative supports countries to manage their ecosystems and biodiversity in order to improve national planning and governance of biodiversity, ecosystems, and development, and to promote resilience for sustainable development. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in three project areas: National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) Support, National Reporting, and Capacity Building. The use of spatial data for spatial planning is a cross-cutting theme across these project areas. Knowledge Sharing is a main goal of the Equator Initiative, the National Biodiversity Initiative, and NYDF. The Equator Initiative has a large series of research papers, books, and other publications focusing on local approaches to poverty reduction and conservation, informed by community-based initiatives. 180 case studies in over 30 languages have documented the Equator Prize Winners’ innovative practices that deliver the win-win-win solutions that ensure social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in partnership with UN Environment’s MapX to share knowledge on the role of spatial data in biodiversity planning, policymaking, and reporting through story maps. The NYDF Global Platform aims to use case studies about NYDF endorsers from a variety of stakeholder groups, including companies, governments, indigenous peoples and NGOs in order to share best practices and challenges in implementing the NYDF goals. Learning for Nature is a capacity-building offer provided by the Global Programme on Nature for Development, cutting across the three areas of work. This program connects biodiversity policymakers, change-makers, and on-the-ground subject matter experts to facilitate the delivery of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Access to the global multi-stakeholder networks mobilized by the NYDF, the Equator Initiative, and the National Biodiversity Initiative allows Learning for Nature to circulate knowledge while promoting best practices. Building on our learnings on the ground, we seek synergies, build linkages, and engage thousands of course participants on their journey towards sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. Learning for Nature invites its audiences to explore opportunities for building capacity to scale up efforts for nature-based sustainable development through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, self-paced e-learning modules, and private Training Courses. For further information please go to: www.equatorinitiative.org, www.nbsapforum.net, www.learningfornature.org, www.mapx.org, or www.nydfglobalplatform.org. UNDP’s Climate and Forests Team is spread globally, with management based in Geneva.  Regional teams are located in UNDP’s Regional Centers in Bangkok (Asia-Pacific) and Panama (Latin America and the Caribbean), while the regional team for Africa is in Nairobi in order to be co-located with UNEP’s REDD+ Team.  The regional teams support UNDP’s country offices and partners in their region.  Support to UNDP country offices is coordinated closely with the Regional Bureaux through the regional centers. The team works closely with other relevant UNDP initiatives, in particular: the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) Platform and the Green Commodities Program (GCP) on drivers of deforestation related to agricultural commodity supply chains.  In addition, there is strong coordination with: the UNDP-GEF team (on both forest-related GEF projects and the Green Climate Fund); and with the team supporting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to ensure UNDP’s efforts on REDD+ contribute to broader transformational change.  The team can support the REDD+ initiatives of the regions and country offices and provide quality assurance on a full cost-recovery basis.

Functional Responsibilities

The Global Programme on Nature for Development together with the UNDP’s Climate and Forests team is seeking a Senior Programme Manager [International Forest Policy Adviser] to provide advice and guidance on engaging with international stakeholders on biodiversity, forest, climate and development related policies, to coordinate efforts across various teams and partners. The overall development goal of the project is to contribute meaningfully to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 13 and 15: Forested developing countries contribute to efforts to combat climate change and sustainably manage forests, halt and reverse land degradation. In order to achieve this goal, the project will support forested developing countries to effectively harness REDD+ opportunities and the potential for emissions reductions and enhanced forest carbon stocks as agreed in the UNFCCC.  Through associated social inclusion, gender equality, and governance efforts, the project also contributes to SDG 5. International events:
  • Support engagement strategy, in consultation with UNDP stakeholders, at UNDP-led forest events, including the Equator Prize and the Equator Dialogues at various international fora;

New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform: 
  • Work alongside TFA 2020, CGF, REDD+ programs, and other platforms and initiatives to support stakeholders in engaging in conversations on current gaps and ways to achieve success in priority landscapes to better understand the Platform's value-add.

  • Engage in the development of the agenda for the indigenous peoples panel at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress to feature IP led nature-based solutions for climate change including forest restoration, protection and sustainable Forest Management and pursue opportunities to showcase NYDF endorser action.

  • Support crafting and dissemination of NYDF 2.0 narrative and process, the NYDF Theory of Change, and consult endorsers and other key stakeholders on endorser-specific NYDF 'pathways to implementation' (building on the Action Agenda) engaging the relevant colleagues of the Climate and Forests team and GCP teams

  • Support the development of guidance materials and Technical Support on nature-based solutions and nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and indigenous peoples and NDCs

  • Support the delivery of strategic global climate and nature events to position and advance NBS and indigenous peoples’ contributions

  • Advice and support country engagement for delivering UNDP’s activities in the NYDF workplan

Quality assurance for forest-related materials:
  • Be accountable for the application of UNDP, GCF and REDD+ guidance, tools, approaches and procedures

  • Supervise and contribute to the monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of approved programmes and projects in UNDP country offices;

  • Ensure the effective application of indicators, benchmarks, work plans and other requirements in accordance with UNDP's role as an Accredited Entity of the GCF;

  • Maintain portfolio and corporate information systems;

  • Review semi/annual progress and final reports;

Implementation support to UNDP’s Climate and Forests team portfolio in Latin America:
  • Contribute to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the region;
    • Validating the 2020 TA workplans with the new government authorities in Colombia and Mexico

    • Carrying out interagency missions for follow up of activities

    • Providing technical support as per the agreed workplans

    • Delivering the reports to the lead advisors

  • Provide technical assistance to Colombia and Mexico (or Peru, TBC in January 2020) as per the agreed 2020 results framework, including:

  •  Support Costa Rica to access REDD+ result-based payments;

  • Support the Climate and Forests team with the delivery of the GCFTF initiative in Mexico and Colombia as requested

Strategic communications and knowledge sharing:
  • Synthesizing lessons and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of knowledge materials;

  • Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve the technical quality of programmes/projects, policies, practices, guidelines, advisory notes, publications and the like;

  • Responding to queries on programme/project progress, impacts and lessons;

Monitoring and Progress Controls The assignment is supervised by the Manager of the Global Programme on Nature for Development, with inputs from the Principal Technical Advisor of Climate and Forests Team within UNDP.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Master’s degree in international relations, sustainable development, environmental management/sciences, social/political science, business administration and management, and/or other relevant field is required.

Work Experience
  • A minimum of 7 years of working experience on at least one of the following topics at a conceptual and/or practical level is required: community-based natural Resource Management and local sustainable development; indigenous peoples rights; biodiversity/climate change/environmental protection;

  • Prior experience supporting international events, communications and/or local development is considered a strong asset;

  • Experience in engagement with environmental processes and mechanisms, including but not limited to the CBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD, Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund is highly desired;

  • Experience supporting management of UN or UNDP projects would be an important asset ;

  • Experience in project development and/or proposal writing would be an important asset.

  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in English is required.

  • Fluency and excellent writing ability in French and/or Spanish is required.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement (IICA) Contract level: IICA-3, (ICSC-11) Contract duration:Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.

  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types

  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post

  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by Security Policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development. UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources. Working with us UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines. Diversity With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates. Work life harmonization UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) Based in New York, the Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. The SDC’s services include Grants Management, development and special initiatives support, and technology support to the UN and UN agencies. The SDC is part of the New York Service Cluster that supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as a broadening community of other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and Procurement Management.
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