Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Environmental and Social Finance Expert for the Restoration Project
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 05 February 2020 - 02 March 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-131325-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

The ultimate result of the service will be the formulation of the first stage of the Enabling Investment Rapid Diagnostic Tool, which will comprise (i) a literature review documenting and compiling existing methods, approaches and tools pertaining to FLR financing, (ii) a needs assessment report aimed at collecting opinions, views and recommendations from TRI stakeholders, FLR project developers and investors, government and civil society representatives with a view to informing the formulation of the tool’s main components and (iii) a review of the different user interface options, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each with the intent to propose a mock-up interface as the final product of this assignment.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The duration of the contract should be for 4 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 200 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 implement the finance component of the Restoration Initiative, an innovative GEF-funded project aiming to accelerate and promote the development of restoration projects in 10 priority countries in Africa and Asia. Impacts to forests, landscapes and soil negatively affect the provision of ecosystem services while it contributes to loss of soil and water retention, loss of biodiversity and creates barriers to migration of species, reduces replenishment of underground aquifers, and overall, generate fewer and lower ecosystem services that societies seeking to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need. Over the past decade, commitments and support for Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) have grown significantly. A global initiative to bring 150 million hectares into restoration by 2020 and 350 million by 2030 – the Bonn Challenge – has and continues to garner significant support and generate awareness on FLR. It has been complemented by several regional initiatives that include AFR100, the Initiative 20x20 in Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Recovery Plan, among others.

While FLR has benefited from a growing national and international visibility, and from a growing pool of sources of finance available for restoration of degraded and deforested lands, the models, information and partnerships needed to unlock those resources are insufficient to meet global FLR targets and objectives. There is a need in particular to mobilize investment from the private sector.

In that context, UNEP FI is looking for an senior environmental and social (E&S) finance specialist, with experience from the finance industry, and ideally some knowledge of FLR, who can lead on the development of a rapid appraisal tool destined to assess investment opportunities in restoration activities in collaboration with the TRI’s project country teams. In its final form, the tool should give FLR project developers insights into the conditions determining how much financing they can mobilize and assist them in establishing a project responding to the needs and considerations of potential investors.

The specific objectives of the consultancy include:

1. Taking stock of existing literature on FLR financing, including methodologies, methods, training programs as well as tools and techniques aimed at mobilizing capital for restoration projects in a large sense, which comprises FLR projects but is not limited to them.
2. Preparing a short scoping study aimed at specifying the role, objectives, outputs and outcomes of the Enabling Investment Rapid Diagnostic Tool.
3. Carrying out a needs assessment with the intent to capture the considerations and objectives of the various intended audiences for the tool. This assessment should inform the formulation of the tool’s functional specifications.
4. Providing a series of recommendations covering the functional form of the tool, in terms of its user experience and user interface, and their performance in various use case scenarios.

The consultant will provide advice, expertise and opinion in the area of FLR finance to contribute to the overall objectives of the program. The consultant’s main tasks will include:
1. Produce a stock-taking report outlining existing FLR finance decision-support tools and methodologies.
2. Prepare a scoping study summarizing the main programmatic, functional and operational considerations to include in the design of the Enabling Investment Rapid Diagnostic Tool.
3. Perform a thorough needs assessment to ensure adequation between the tool’s outputs and the needs identified by the TRI project’s stakeholders.
4. Compile recommendations in a short document pertaining to the UX and UI aspects of the tool, which should include a comparison between several technological solutions.
5. Help disseminate the results of the assignment to relevant stakeholders and projects at various points over the course of this mandate.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The ideal candidate should have strong expertise in sustainable finance and/or project finance, acquired in an international organization, a governmental agency, a financial institution or non-profit organization. Preferably, the candidate should be familiar with FLR themes, concepts and practical considerations. Knowledge of 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: A Master’s Degree is required in one or several of the following areas: economics, finance, business administration, international relations, development studies or environmental management.

Experience: Five 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 UNEP FI Secretariat. The Restoration Initiative is a bilingual program in English and French. For this assignment French is not required but is considered a strong 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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