Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 15 June 2020 - 29 July 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Programme Management-UNEP-136014-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for 'sustainable development'. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division (SSSF). Under the overall supervision of the Executive Secretary and the direct supervision and general guidance of the Principal Programme Management Officer of the SSSF Division, the incumbent will perform the following duties:


A. Leads, manages and coordinates the programme of work of the Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit (BSPG) to ensure the successful delivery of its outcomes, in a timely and effective manner: a) Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Unit (in areas of ecosystem based thematic work programs, agrobiodiversity, global strategy on plant conservation, ecosystem restoration, protected areas and the interlinkages with climate change and the combat of desertification and the broad forest agenda); ensuring that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely manner, in collaboration with other relevant organisations and partners, as appropriate. b) Supervises the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. substantive reports, studies, statements, publications etc. c) Establishes linkages and promotes collaboration with other work programme areas under the Convention to ensure synergies and to further integrate Conservation and Sustainable Use. d) Promotes synergy and coherence with the other units and Divisions including inter alia on issues related to sustainable and customary use, Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS), Traditional knowledge and Article 8j and mainstreaming biodiversity. e) Provides leadership, manages staff performance and facilitates the deployment of human, technical and financial resources necessary to implement the programme of work, building close working relationships with Parties and liaising with relevant agencies with a view to follow up cooperative/collaborative arrangements. f) Oversees the recruitment of Unit staff as well as short-term staff and consultants. g) Manages, guides, mentors and trains staff under supervision. h) Fosters teamwork and communication among staff within the unit and across divisions. i) Promotes interface with donors to raise funding for carryout activities under Unit. B. Plans, organizes and services meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Matters (SBSTTA) as well as to ensure the effective contribution of the BSPG Unit to the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI), Conference of the Parties (COP) and intersessional meetings on issues related to conservation and sustainable use: a) Develops evidence-based documents from scientific and technical data and information to facilitate decision making by the COP and its subsidiary bodies (e.g. SBSTTA, SBI). b) Prepares draft decisions and recommendations in an integrated manner to support Parties in reaching a coherent set of outcomes on conservation and sustainable use aspects including Aichi Biodiversity Targets. c) Provides substantive input to the bureau and chairs of the COP and its subsidiary body meetings, regarding conservation and sustainable use. d) Designs, plans, organizes and services expert workshops/meetings, regional workshops, side events/meetings that provide inputs to the subsidiary bodies (e.g. SBSTTA, SBI) and the COP, regarding conservation and sustainable use. e) Coordinates the identification of new and emerging issues of particular significance for the work of the Convention on conservation and sustainable use. C. Support Parties in implementation of conservation and sustainable use related actions in the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and other actions identified by Parties for achieving relevant targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework through improvement and innovation in pursuit of Programme delivery: a) Organizes activities for showcasing commitment and promoting awareness, on conservation and species protection by mobilizing support from all stakeholders and by making a strong case by showcasing tangible and multiple benefits of of conservation and related activities. b) Organizes monitoring of the status of implementation of actions identified by Parties on relevant targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and supporting the Parties to take stock on conservation and species protection policy interventions. d) Strengthens functional relationships with key partners, including other Conventions, international organizations, funding agencies, international non-governmental organizations, academic and technical institutions, seeking technical inputs and cooperation for facilitating implementation activities by Parties. D. Liaises, collaborates and maintains positive working relations with Parties and Governments as well as maintains and builds strategic partnerships with relevant organizations with emphasis on capacity building, technical cooperation, and information sharing activities in support of Parties in their implementation of the Convention: a) Develops, facilitates and strengthens cooperation/functional relationships with UN bodies, in particular UNEP, governmental organizations, indigenous and local communities, and the private sector including through the development of joint work programmes, MOUs and ensuring their follow-up. b) Support capacity building actions and awareness raising activities on conservation and sustainable use in collaboration with other units and Division of the Convention and external partners. c) Develops in collaboration with partners and makes available through the clearing house mechanism and other means a range of implementation tools for conservation and sustainable use. d) Designs communication activities on the role and the importance of the benefits of conservation in overall sustainable development and poverty alleviation, climate change and multiple benefits. e) Creates awareness among member States on the value and utility of effective implementation of conservation and sustainable use and other related activities. E. Performs any other duties as assigned by the Executive Secretary and the Principal Programme Management Officer.


PROFESSIONALISM: Strong scientific, analytical, organizational, writing and computing skills; Good knowledge international processes in the area of conservation and sustainable use. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

VISION: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction. Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.

COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Take ownership of responsibilities and honour commitments. Deliver outputs within prescribed time, cost and quality. Operate in compliance with rules. Support subordinates, provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments. Take responsibility for shortcomings.


Advanced university degree in biological or environmental sciences, environmental law, with a specialization in ex-situ and in-situ conservation issues and related, is required. A first level university degree combined with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible working experience in issues relevant to conservation, protected areas, ecosystem restoration, sustainable use on biodiversity and ex-situ and in-situ conservation or related fields is required.
Experience at national level, with at least five year’s experience at the international level in a decision-making position dealing with wider environmental issues or dealing with multi-country projects in relevant fields is desirable.
Experience with the Convention process and the functioning of the Convention’s bodies is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Initial appointment against this post is for a period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "need Help" link

• The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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