Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant - Part-time 50%
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 27 October 2020 - 02 November 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-143860-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The primary goal of the strategic advisory work will be to support UNEP’s work to develop a cross-organisation strategy on trade and environment including by supporting: a) a stock-taking exercise to capture initiatives and organizations active in monitoring environment and trade policy developments and a review of UNEP’s trade-related activities; b) the development of a proposal for enhancing UNEP’s horizon-scanning capacity, including through collaboration with external partners; and c) the development of a strategy for enhanced partnerships with organizations and external stakeholders to support renewed interest in multilateral and regional dialogue on trade and environmental sustainability.

The primary goal of the work on the ‘TRADE HUB’ is to help environment and trade policy makers and negotiators better understand the interactions of biodiversity and trade trends and policies, through: the convening of a series of informal expert meetings to discuss (i) strategic policy opportunities and priorities on trade-biodiversity; (ii) consultations on four priority topics that emerge from the first expert meetings; (iii) coordination of a set of policy briefs on trade policy options to promote biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and restoration; and (iv) consultations on options for promoting the Greening of Aid for Trade and Finance in ways that support biodiversity goals, accompanied by a policy brief on this topic. The meetings will be followed by the development of a short, next steps strategic documents for UNEP and the TRADE HUB, drawing on findings relevant to ongoing TRADE HUB research and suggestions for follow on research. Further, the consultation will offer ongoing support to TRADE HUB and UNEP’s work to promote integration of biodiversity considerations in wider trade-environmental sustainability policy discussions and dialogue.

Work Location

Remote

Expected duration

8 November 2020 – 7 November 2021

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global, regional and national level. This consultancy is posted in the Environment and Trade Hub of the Resources and Markets Branch of the Economy Division. The Environment and Trade Hub is a capacity-building mechanism offering policy advice on sustainable trade and investment. The Hub aims to identify, assess and inform sustainable trade opportunities that arise from a green economy transition, and to tackle related risks and challenges. It assists countries in using trade as an engine towards a green economy, by means of research, advisory services and capacity building.

Stocktaking and Strategy Advice:

In September 2020, the UNEP Executive Director called on the organization to develop a cross-organisation strategy on trade and environment. To facilitate this effort, the Economy Division is supporting the following:

a) stock-taking to capture initiatives and organizations active in reviewing the environmental implications of newly developing trade agreements to consider how UNEP could gather early information and be prepared to quickly provide input that would help better synergies between trade agreements and action to address climate change, biodiversity and pollution (e.g., an “Environment and Trade Watch function”);

b) the development of a roadmap for reviewing the many different trade-related activities and experiences accumulated across the house, including the MEAs, with a view towards defining joint programmatic action. This could focus on enhancing green trade leadership at the regional level for breakthrough or high leverage/impact products such as agricultural or food products, plastic waste, second hand durables and consumer goods, etc. It could also include strengthening “behind the border” capacity for countries seeking to implement and enforce MEAs and related trade standards and regulations.

c) the development of a proposal for SMT consideration for enhancing UNEP capacity to scan the horizon for environmental challenges and opportunities related to upcoming trade agreement. This would include building on existing information gathering mechanisms within the house and by partners and possibly an outreach function.

Meanwhile, the Hub’s is working closely with the WTO to respond to the growing renewal of interest in trade and environmental sustainability matters at the WTO, both among Members and stakeholders. In this respect, the consultant will offer strategic advice and support to UNEP’s efforts to explore strategic and impactful ways to support: a) collaboration in the context of the UNEP-WTO multi-stakeholder partnership (launched in 2008), including the High-Level Environment and Trade Event organized jointly by WTO and UNEP at WTO’s Environment Week in November 2020; b) the efforts of government-led leadership groups including the Friends Advancing Sustainable Trade (FAST), an initiative which UNEP was instrumental in creating at Davos in 2018, c) collaboration with IGOs and civil society on strategic initiatives around trade and environmental sustainability; d) developing country engagement in trade and environmental sustainability initiatives. This will include strategic advice and support on the development of a potential partnership with the Graduate Institute on a number of the Hub’s activities in relation to multilateral dialogue in Geneva.

TRADE HUB:

At the same time, UNEP is a core partner in the work of the UKRI Trade, Development, and the Environment Hub (abbreviated ‘TRADE Hub’), funded by the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund, which is a 5-year partnership of 100 researchers, 50 organisations, 15 countries, including UNEP-WCMC and the UNEP Environment and Trade Hub. Among other activities related to the project, UNEP’s Environment and Trade Hub is responsible for working to: a) Enhance knowledge, capacity and partnerships of stakeholders to identify, promote and implement policy solutions in support of sustainable trade in wild meat, wildlife and commodities, contributing to ecosystem resilience, safeguarding biodiversity and promoting inclusive sustainable development; and b) Facilitate and support creation of platforms partnerships for discussion, research dissemination, awareness raising materials, and delivery of capacity building that contribute to policy-relevant outcomes and solutions.

In this context, the Hub is working to support work on:

- Network development: Develop networks to maximise value of policy-related research from TRADE hub to public-sector stakeholders in TRADE hub countries and international community.
- Analysing what works: Identify policy and public sector response options to: 1) make international trade in commodities more sustainable; 2) understand the policy drivers of and barriers to successful implementation; and 3) translate research into consolidated policy-relevant findings.
- Pushing for impact: a) Boost profile & attention to trade & nature policy intersections & areas for action in international processes; 2) disseminate research findings & policy recommendations to key policy communities; and 3) Connect with ongoing initiatives to build durable capacity, create impact & take solutions to scale.

The main elements of the project are to support the Hub’s implementation of the activities under the TRADE Hub project, most notably in relation to expert and advisory consultations on research and policy priorities, the organization of public events to disseminate and highlight policy-relevance and options emerging from research; support the development of a policy-related research community that can support the TRADE Hub’s work; and to translate research into consolidated policy-relevant briefings.

The implementation of this work requires the support of an expert in the international trade and environment policy landscape, including a close knowledge of the key players and evolving work in this area. It also requires an expert on the international trade and environmental policy and legal architecture that is relevant to the intersections of biodiversity and trade.

The UNEP Environment and Trade Hub currently does not have the staff resources required to complete this work in the time frame required. Further, for the items included under strategic advice, UNEP will benefit from having an objective, external viewpoint.

Specific tasks and responsibilities per outputs

Strategic advice and consultation (Outputs 1-6)
• Develop a stock-taking report that capture initiatives and organizations active in monitoring environment and trade policy developments
• Develop a proposed strategy and set of questions that can form a roadmap for reviewing UNEP’s trade-related activities;
• Input into a draft proposal for enhancing UNEP’s horizon-scanning capacity, including through collaboration with external partners, including strategic proposal for enhanced partnerships with Geneva-based actors to enhance the Trade Hub’s work to support renewed interest in multilateral dialogue on trade and environmental sustainability. This includes identification and development of partnerships that could serve as flexible and effective mechanisms through which UNEP can implement selected aspects of its activities on trade and environmental sustainability,
• Support UNEP engagement in a meeting on a proposed multi-agency partnership on monitoring and information-sharing on trade and plastic pollution.
• Organise co-hosted events on trade and MEAs and on trade and circularity with focus on plastic pollution - engaging trade and environmental officials and partner organisations in Geneva.
• Strategically support UNEP’s engagement in multilateral discussions on environment and trade, including development of its horizon-scanning capacities, partnerships and resource mobilization and to support the implementation of partnerships identified as priorities by UNEP.

Policy analysis and dialogue on biodiversity, trade and development (Outputs 7-11)

• Undertake research on the policy implications of biodiversity and trade intersections
• Complete publication on biodiversity and trade
• Co-develop at least two outreach materials to promote the policy brief following publication, including a web story and marketing blurb/summary for UNEP's website and other online promotion, and promotion via social media channels
• Organize an informal consultation
• Submit a workshop outcome report, and draft a blog post

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in International Relations, international trade or environmental policy or similar.
Experience: Minimum of 15 years of work experience related to international trade and environmental sustainability policy. Broad exposure to international trade and environmental policy linkages and extensive knowledge of the trade and environment policy community and landscape. Proven experience facilitating strategic, expert and high-level discussions and providing strategic advisory services to high-level policy makers and public officials, as well as think tanks, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders is vital.
Language: For this position, fluency in English is required.

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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