Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant for developing Sustainable Blue Economy fiscal policy assessment approaches
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 16 October 2020 - 22 October 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-143299-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The services of the consultant will result in the development of a Public Finance Framework for Sustainable Oceans. Specifically, this consultancy will provide:
• an initial review of the applicability of existing Green Public Finance Framework to ocean economy issues
• assess how the Green Economy Public Finance Framework could be customized for a SBE context (i.e. four key sectors)
• identify information needs, and through practical examples recommend an appropriate public finance framework, based on the foundation provided by Green Public Fiance Framework, for addressing ocean matters and incorporation into a SBE decision-making framework.

The proposed Public Finance Framework for Sustainable Oceans will feed into the overall Sustainable Blue Economy Decision-Support Framework (SBE-DSF) being developed by UNEP. The exercise will be closely coordinated with parallel thematic workstreams feeding into the SBE-DSF (TEEB4Coast assessment and valuation framework, social indicators and processes for ocean knowledge framework and guidance on SBE Financing Principles).

Work Location


Expected duration

The consultancy contract will start on 30 October 2020 and expire on 28 February 2021

Duties and Responsibilities

A healthy ocean is key for a sustainable future and underpins several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, marine biodiversity and ecosystems continue to face multiple threats including habitat degradation and destruction, pollution, unsustainable, unregulated fisheries, and the effects of climate change. The underlying causes of this decline vary across countries and regions and include unsustainable resource consumption and production patterns globally, misalignment of policies and economic incentives across sectors, and rapidly growing populations in coastal areas among others. Efforts to manage, restore and safeguard marine and coastal ecosystems and maintain their contribution to people, will require the transition to a sustainable blue economy fully integrated in ecosystem-based ocean and coastal governance systems. This transition requires reframing the development of ocean economies around the sustainable management of the natural capital that underpins them and integrating sustainability in macro-economic planning and key sectoral policies to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits.

The transition to a sustainable blue economy could also contribute to countries efforts to ‘build back better’ from the current COVID19 pandemic, to increase their resilience to future crises and result in both healthier people and planet, in support of Agenda 2030, biodiversity commitments and the Paris Agreement.

To support the transition to a sustainable blue economy (SBE), the UNEP project “Sustainable Blue Economy: Building blocks for a Knowledge and Decision Support Framework” will elaborate a decision support framework that will help countries to integrate sustainability in blue economy policy and planning processes. To help guide and inform the design and content of the SBE Knowledge and Decision Support Framework and its building blocks, four thematic scoping exercises will be carried out including a ‘Stock-taking of Green Economy tools and approaches for oceans’.

While each country and region is different, and the exact pathways they chose to implement SBE will be unique, the foundations for creating such tailored pathways and delivery strategies could be drawn from existing experiences, expertise and available implementation tools, including inclusive green economy (IGE) approaches and tools used to integrate environmental sustainability in economic and social policies and macro-economic planning processes. The IGE approach speaks to the multiple benefits – economic, health, security, social and environmental – that such an approach can bring to nations, mindful of the different challenges faced by states along the development continuum, be they developed, developing, emerging, or in conflict. It argues for policies that are nuanced, context-dependent, and modulated. An integrated approach can help states understand how to maximize, prioritize, and sequence the different benefits to human well-being that can be derived from a healthy environment.
There are numerous green economy tools and approaches available to Government’s including macro-economic planning tools such as green economy modelling assessments and green economy progress measurement framework, green finance framework to align the fiscal and budgetary framework with sustainability and sectoral policy assessments. Such green economy tools and approaches can also be useful to support an SBE transition at the macro-economic level as well as in key blue economy sectors such as fisheries, tourism, extractives, waste and shipping.
For example. the adoption of green budgeting processes help integrate green economy policies in national budget planning, management, and expenditure processes. For a SBE context, a sustainable blue budgeting process could focus on embedding SBE considerations in national economic planning. Similarly, green fiscal policy tools like environmental taxes and the reform of environmentally harmful subsidies could be directly applicable to a SBE context (i.e. four key sectors). For example, harmful fisheries subsidies (e.g. those which reduce the cost of inputs such as fuel, vessels and gear) could be repurposed and directed towards subsidies that support small-scale fishers and the scaling up nature-based practices as part of efforts to ensure food security, support livelihoods and build resilience of coastal communities, contributing to delivery of SDG14.6.

In the current context of COVID19, such efforts to rationalise public expenditure could be particularly relevant, freeing up public resources which can be re-allocated towards recovery measures which support the SBE transition, for example by investing in ecological restoration jobs such as planting mangroves, which store carbon and protect against flooding. Other fiscal policies and other market-based instruments are also relevant to the SBE context, for example helping to address issues of marine pollution through taxes/charges on plastic bags, waste taxes, economic incentives such as payments to fisherman for the litter they collect and fees such as vessel berthing fees, tourist taxes, beach entrance fees and waterfront business charges which generate revenues for improved waste management among others.

Building on existing green public finance framework (e.g. green budgeting, climate budgeting, BIOFIN and green finance), the public finance framework for SBE will expand the scope of green public finance framework to support a SBE transition at the macro-level and sectoral level. The study will provide an overview of key knowledge, planning steps and tool application in the SBE context including questions that can be addressed by the green public finance framework, supported by practical examples of such a framework applied to oceans. Cross-cutting aspects will be examined, for example how natural capital accounting is practically applied in area-based marine planning and management.

In order to contribute to establishing a SBE framework that is built on the solid methodological experience and foundations of the IGE, UNEP requires support from a consultant with expertise in these areas. The UNEP, Economy Division, Resources and Markets Branch currently does not have the relevant expertise in house, to carry out the required tasks.

Specific tasks and responsibilities

The consultant will be expected to carry out the following tasks:
• Conduct a mapping of existing green public finance framework and tools used by UNEP and other agencies
• Develop a methodology to customise green public finance framework for a SBE context
• Draft a report detailing the applicability of mapped green public finance framework to a SBE context based on the methodology, anchored with practical cases, and identify gaps (methodological and data) in current green economy fiscal policy assessment approaches when it comes to addressing ocean matters.
• Develop a sustainable blue economy public finance framework

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Other:
• Verifiable knowledge of green economy approaches
• Established track record in implementing policy assessment or monitoring frameworks
• Established track record in implementing public finance monitoring or assessment frameworks
• Proven capacity for conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking.
• Demonstrable communication skills, both oral and written, including the ability to write clearly and concisely on technical, socio-economic, fiscal and environmental topics.
• Proven ability to analyze and communicate complex information at a simpler level to a wide audience.
• Demonstrated experience in undertaking research and producing economic policy analysis related to oceans or marine ecosystems would be highly desirable.
• Proven organization skills, problem-solving, teamwork and coordination skills.
• Ability to establish an effective working relationship with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
• Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
• Commitment to respect the values advocated by the United Nations.
Academic Qualifications: • A university Masters’ degree in a relevant field: e.g. economics, agroeconomics, environmental economics, public policy, natural resource management, development, environment.
Experience: • 10 years of experience of using and applying public finance frameworks (assessments, reforms, sector analysis)
• 5 years of experience in conducting green economy or climate change public finance and policy assessments, research, data analysis
• Experience in working with international organizations or national governments in developing guidelines and frameworks
• Good report writing and ability to develop practical and operational recommendations.
Language: • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required.
• French and Spanish would be assets reviewing cases

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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