Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Environmental and Social Finance Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 11 December 2019 - 25 December 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-United Nations Environment Programme-128101-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ultimate result of the service will be (i) the design, formulation and implementation of an effective financial ecosystem engagement strategy in each of the GEF 6 IAP partner countries, which includes advancing financial institutions’ level of awareness of the importance of natural capital and sustainable land management (ii) by developing an ESG decision support framework, (iii) by establishing a roadmap in collaboration with government agencies and regulatory authorities for the integration of that framework in the operations of the bank and (iv) by sensitizing the different departments across the bank through a series of training programs and outreach programs tailored to respond to their operational and commercial.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The duration of the contract will be for 11 Months.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a strategic public-private partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector. UNEP FI works with over 300 financial institutions, signatories to UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development, and a range of partners and organizations, to embed environmental, social and governance considerations in financial decision-making. Through its industry, thematic and regional activities, UNEP FI promotes the adoption of sustainability practices by financial institutions and the finance sector at large.

In that capacity, UNEP FI has been mandated by the Ecosystems division to execute the finance component of one of the GEF (Global Environment Facility) three Integrated Approach Programs, the Good Growth Partnership, aimed at taking deforestation out of commodity supply chains. The primary role of UNEP FI in that program is to encourage the financial sector to adopt policies and measures in support of sustainable agricultural models, through a combination of interventions, ranging from capacity building to the elaboration of integrated ESG and risk management policies with a strong environmental and social focus.

The adoption and implementation of these interventions by the banking sector greatly hinges on the ability of the project team to understand and accommodate the banks’ needs and specificities and as a result, requires the assistance of consultants highly knowledgeable in finance, sustainability and agriculture.

In that context, UNEP FI is looking for an exceptional and experienced environmental and social (E&S) finance specialist, with expertise from the finance industry, who can lead the work with our finance institution partners (and other public/private stakeholders) to ensure that environmental and social impact is created as part of these projects by using his/her network, knowledge and experience.

The specific objectives of the consultancy include:
1. Taking stock of the current level of inclusion of deforestation risks in ESG criteria and financial decision-making, reviewing existing practices with the objective of informing the formulation of best practice recommendations.
2. Working on a complete understanding of the conceptual and practical hurdles limiting the inclusion of deforestation risks in ESG criteria.
3. Listing the different requirements that would have to be met to accurately reflect deforestation risks (e.g. type of data, existence and nature of monitoring systems)
4. Suggesting criteria and metrics for inclusion along with best implementation practices, in collaboration with partnering financial institutions. Recommendations will have to reflect the findings of the Value at Risk and business case research teams.
5. Disseminating the recommendations through an active engagement process with the investment community and financial institutions more broadly.
6. Supporting the Project Manager in ensuring effective coordination with the partner IAP implementing agencies.
7. Contributing general backstopping to support the work of in-country consultants related to ESG integration.

The consultant will provide advice, analytical skills and expertise in the area of ESG finance to contribute to the overall objectives of the program. The consultant’s main tasks will include:
1. Produce a report outlining the main results of the consultation process to discuss functional and technical aspects of the decision support framework.
2. Draft, review and finalize the technical and functional specifications of the ESG decision support tool, informed by the insights collected during the consultation process.
3. Prepare a mid-point review of progress towards the development of the decision support framework and its accompanying tool.
4. Prepare, develop and carry out at least one pilot project with the objective of supporting a partnering bank or regulator in its integration of the ESG framework and tool. Pilot projects will have to be in one or several of the GGP project countries.
5. Produce at least one knowledge management product to outline lessons and insights from implementing the framework in collaboration with one or several partner banks in the selected countries.
6. Draft and contribute specific sections of the GGP training program on deforestation risks for the banking sector with a focus on the challenges and opportunities of identifying improved ESG criteria for financial decision-making inclusive of deforestation risks as they relate to investment in and lending to the soy, beef and palm oil sectors.
7. Coordinate with GGP partners and other relevant stakeholders to highlight possible synergies and maximize rate of adoption and appropriation for the approach. In particular, work closely with WWF US.
8. Contribute to the project management of the inter-related components of the Program as they relate to the core area of the consultant’s work.
9. Support the Mid-term review process with the IFC and the GEF Task manager.
10. Identify opportunities for leveraging the results and impacts of the GEF IAP program through existing partnerships in the partner countries.
11. Identify resource mobilization opportunities with to deliver the outcomes of the portfolio of work associated with mitigating deforestation risk.
12. Help draft project briefs, proposals and other materials related to the overall Program as they align with the consultant’s program of work.

Deliverables:
1. High level technical report summarizing the key aspects of the decision support framework for deforestation risk management (audience, credit lines, mitigation strategies, etc.).
2. Report documenting technical and functional aspects of the innovative decision support framework, including recommendations for integrating decision support framework into the global training for banks.
3. Paper detailing how to engage with banks and asset managers on deforestation risk management.
4. Presentation (paper, brief) detailing the implementation of global and national training programs on deforestation risk
5.Engagement process describing how to interact and communicate with banks to be trained in GGP partner countries and globally at the UNEP FI global roundtable.
6.Brief identify opportunities for creating synergies between GGP, land use finance and REDD+ programs (delivered in a brief or ppt presentation).
7.Brief reviewing country policies and opportunities for engagement in Liberia on deforestation risk management issues, particularly under REDD+ and capacity building.
8.Case study of capacity development support in Brazil, working through multi-stakeholder initiatives.
9. Guidance document detailing opportunities for accessing results-based payments through GCF in Paraguay.
10. Case study of capacity development support with the Central Bank of Paraguay or other Paraguayan financial institution
11.Report or brief outlining recommendations for next steps in the deforestation risk training program.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The ideal candidate should have exceptional expertise in sustainable finance and the integration of ESG criteria for the financial sector through previous experience in assisting banks in their integration efforts. Knowledge of the UN system, REDD+, zero deforestation commodity supply chains, and other landscape investments would also be an asset. Experience with the Global Environment Facility, including its Integrated Approach Programs, a plus.

Academic Qualifications: Master’s Degree in one or several of the following areas is required: economics, finance, business administration, international relations, development studies or environmental management or studies.

Experience: At least ten years of work experience is required, working in the area of sustainable finance either in the private sector, or an international or non-governmental organization working on environmental finance.

Language: English is the working language of the Secretariat and is required. Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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