Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant – Business & Finance Analytics Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 06 November 2020 - 19 November 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-143945-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

• Business case report (finalized, edited and proofread) on sustainable timber value chain models supportive of cocoa restoration and agroforestry programs in Ivory Coast, including excel spreadsheets used to produce results, GIS maps of asset locations, figures and charts;
• Agri3 Investment screening reports for potential transactions for which UNEP is asked to provide a ‘non-binding’ opinion;
• Sustainable Land-Use Finance deal database updated with on weekly basis;
• Technical analyses of the economic viability of restoration models for TRI country projects;

Work Location

Geneva

Expected duration

The consultancy is for 8 months spread over the period 1 February 2021 to 30 September 2021. The consultant will be based in the UNEP’s offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

Duties and Responsibilities

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that 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. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UNEP's Ecosystem Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The loss of forest, and the accompanying loss of ecosystems and the services they provide, threatens the security and livelihoods of local communities, reduces access to clean water, decreases soil productivity and accounts for 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, it has become apparent that the most significant threat to the world’s remaining forests is conversion for commercial agriculture – whether from large-scale operations or smallholder farmers – as well as other non-forest use. Many of the environmental benefits of intact forest are unpriced ‘externalities’, resulting in the market mispricing natural forest assets. By converting forest to land and then producing tradeable commodities that the market can price, land users are able to take advantage of this perceived arbitrage opportunity. Anticipated global economic growth and changing diets will strengthen the demand for agricultural commodities and place additional pressure on forests in the foreseeable future, meaning that the pressure will get even bigger than it is today without a changing paradigm how land is managed and agricultural commodities are produced. The challenge is to advance sustainable land use by developing business models that can manage sustainable commodity production while also maintaining forests and forest ecosystem services.

Against that background, UNEP initiated a new Land Use Finance Programme – under the Climate Finance Unit - to proactively help unlock and (re)direct public and private capital towards sustainable land use, including deforestation-free soft commodity production. Given the growing portfolio of projects and finance facilities – and the related need for expertise in analyzing sustainable business models in the land-use space – there is a need for a Sustainable Land Use Business Analytics Specialist to expand the capacity of the unit.

In this context, UNEP is hiring a specialized consultant to provide technical backstopping and expert economic and financial analysis across a range of activities, in line with the projects and blended finance facilities in which UNEP’s Climate Finance Unit is involved, and contribute to the enhancement of the unit’s analytical capacity across its activities. This novel area of work falls within the Climate for Nature Branch of the UN Environment’s Ecosystem Division.

Under the technical supervision of the CFU’s Business Analytics team Lead and the overall guidance of the Head of the Climate Finance Unit, the consultant will perform a number of specialized tasks that contribute to the Land Use Finance Programme of the Climate Finance Unit, as well as the individual projects for which the unit functions as an umbrella.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Lead the analysis and finalise the report (by 31 December 2021) outlining the business case and financial viability of different models of sustainable timber supply chains in Ivory Coast and their application in the context of the country’s sustainable cocoa agroforestry efforts. The analysis will place a greater emphasis on the incorporation of geo-spatial data and will attempt to shed light on the insights yielded from a spatial analysis of the value chain. The report shall propose different financial models to catalyze the adoption of sustainable soy production practices;
• Engage with government counterparts, relevant UN-REDD advisors and partners to support the implementation of business analytics activities in the context of the UN-REDD Programme in Africa;
• Review investment proposals submitted by Agri3 Fund Manager to the Facility’s Investment Committee and coordinate the formulation of UNEP’s non-biding recommendations by collecting, compiling and summarizing the organization’s staff members’ opinions. Manage day-to-day communication with Agri3 fund management and suggest recommendations regarding the investment review methodology and the criteria and metrics used by the facility in its due diligence process;
• Collect information on sustainable land-use finance deals (including CFU-supported facilities and beyond) and provide periodical updates on the state of the sustainable land-use finance sector using the information collected;
• Provide expert support to the Restoration Initiative (TRI) country projects, in the form of bespoke recommendations informed by the analysis of the projects’ economic viability, with a view to achieving bankability and enhanced attractiveness to investors;
• Coordinate the TRI economics and finance support to TRI countries, which includes occasional country missions and field visits;
• Contribute to CFU, Agri3, TRI and UN-REDD reporting and communications materials, and participate in team meetings and conference calls, as needed;
• Coordinate and liaise with relevant staff to ensure that UNEP’s expertise on sustainable land use finance is effectively disseminated through the technical assistance provided to the Restoration Initiative, UN-REDD countries and to CFU projects in general;
• Contribute technical inputs into the formulation of concept notes, proposals and expressions of interest relevant to CFU.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: The consultant should have a Masters’ Degree in environmental science, environmental economics or another relevant scientific background.

The consultant should have proven qualitative and quantitative analytical skills in the field of sustainable finance and sustainable development as well as strong writing and oral presentation experience. Knowledge of the UN system, or other international and multi-cultural working environments, is desirable.

In addition, he/she should be autonomous and computer literate in standard software applications as well as advanced proficiency in spreadsheet and statistical software; have excellent communication skills; an interest in the topic of sustainable land use and green finance; have good interpersonal skills. Although, he or she will work in a small team, it is essential that the chosen candidate can work in an independent manner to complete the given assignments.
Experience: Ten (10) years of of professional experience working in the field of sustainable finance and sustainable development.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consulting position, fluency in oral and written English AND French 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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