Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant – Private Finance Land Use Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 09 November 2020 - 22 November 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-144024-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

• Report taking stock and assessing existing global experiences in mapping private finance for climate, forestry and sustainable land-use;
• Draft methodological guidelines on mapping private finance flows for forestry and land-use;

Work Location


Expected duration

This consultancy is for 3 months from Mid November 2020 to mid February 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.

Finance is critical for the implementation of the land-use mitigation and adaptation actions set out in tropical countries’ NDCs. International public financing sources will not be able to provide the large-scale investment needed on their own, and private sector and domestic budgets will be required to provide the bulk of the investment effort towards sustainable development. Despite significant efforts made to design comprehensive investment plans for REDD+ or NDC implementation, it remains complex and challenging for countries and their partners to balance competing development priorities and mainstream sustainable land-use objectives within key sectoral policies, such as agriculture or energy.

Despite a global recognition of the importance of mobilizing private finance at scale to fulfill NDC objectives and international and country pledges, monitoring of private financial flows related to forest and land-use change in developing countries remains limited, due to the lack of understanding of what constitutes sustainable land-use and the difficulties in accessing disaggregated information on data of private flows, due to confidentiality and market regulations.

Over the recent years, specific work has been conducted to shed more light on the impact of public investment in land-use. The EU REDD/CPI’s Land Use Finance Tool (LUFT), which maps the alignment of financial flows to outcomes related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), was designed specifically for this purpose, but has faced limitations when it comes to assessing private flows.

In addition, a number of approaches have been developed and tested by various organisations to gather information on private climate finance flows. Amongst the most significant ones, we can highlight:
- UNDP’s Private Climate Expenditure and Investment Review (PCEIR) methodology , which has been tested in several countries like Chile and Ecuador including for the land-use sector;
- Climate Policy Initiative’s current climate finance 2015-2019 mapping work in Indonesia has been extended to private flows, covering the forestry and agriculture sector;
- Trionomics’ reports on climate finance in Europe;
- COWI’s approach to quantify direct and indirect private REDD+ finance spent by the EU;

Other organizations (such as Trionomics, Forest Trends, ODI, OECD,) have also developed approaches to quantify the amount of private finance mobilized by leveraging public instruments. To date, there is no similar effort to map and track private flows targeting land-use and forestry, whether at domestic/regional or international levels, although a lot of lessons and information can be drawn from some of the experiments cited above. Any attempt to extend the implementation of the LUFT approach to private sector flows should therefore be based on a methodological proposal which would take stock of options and propose an approach tailored to the specificities and challenges of land-use.

Against that background, UNEP has initiated a collaboration with the EU REDD Facility of the European Forest Institute (EFI) , aimed at proactively helping countries and projects identify and (re)direct public and private capital towards sustainable land use, using an extension of the LUFT methodology.

This collaboration is framed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2019, established to support tropical countries in mobilizing finance to implement their REDD+ and zero-deforestation commitments at scale, including through the use of analytical tools developed by the organizations and the co-financing of activities of mutual interest.

A key output of this collaboration, and the object of these Terms of Reference, is the extension of the LUFT mapping tool to existing and available land-use and forestry private finance flows (phase 1), with the intent to inform a policy discussion around their use and the modalities of their mobilization for sustainable programs, which is envisioned to take place in a second phase of the overall assignment (phase 2). The second phase of the present assignment (not the subject of this ToRs) will have a duration of 4 months from March-June 2021 and will be managed and funded by the EU REDD Facility. The activities foreseen in phases 1 and 2 of this assignment are in line with these objectives.

To complement the skills and expertise of the two organizations, UNEP is looking to a hire the services of a private finance land-use expert able to design and implement a land-use private-finance mapping system capable of identifying, categorizing and tracking financial flows with a view to informing a policy dialogue on finance upscaling for sustainable interventions, complemented with two specific feasibility assessments in Colombia and Ecuador, which will be the subject of separate ToRs and contracting process managed by EFI. The consultant is therefore expected to provide his services to both contracts.

Under the supervision of the Climate Finance Unit Business Analytics Lead, with technical guidance from the EU REDD Facility, the consultant will perform a number of specialized tasks indicated below:


a) Provide a thorough understanding of the LUFT methodology, lessons learnt from case studies and exchanges with EFI staff;
b) Prepare a detailed review of existing methodologies and case studies in mapping/tracking private finance flows related to climate
change, land-use or other sectors at the sub-national, national, regional and international levels. UNEP and EFI will provide the
contractor with a preliminary, non-exhaustive list of relevant resources. Targeted consultations with international practitioners will be
conducted to collect additional feedback and lessons learnt. This task will consider: (i) the scope and nature of the data collected, (ii) the sources of data in country and at global level, (iii) methods to scout and extract relevant data, ideally including machine
learning and NLP, (iv) scale and specific objectives of the analysis, (v) stakeholders engaged, (vi) nature of results achieved and
deliverables, (vii) challenges and limitations and (viii) lessons learned;
c) Conduct a stock-take of the available data sources related to private financial flows for forestry and land-use change, for the
different aggregation levels mentioned above. The analysis of the data sources shall highlight how the available information could
feed into the reviewed method;
d) Propose draft methodological guidelines and options to map private flows in land-use in a given country/sub-national context;
e) Articulate key operational dimensions and shed light on the technical challenges and opportunities of developing the mapping
tools, including estimates of operational costs and upfront investments;

Qualifications/special skills

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

In addition, the consultant should have proven qualitative and quantitative analytical skills in the field of sustainable finance and sustainable development. The consultant should have some familiarities with public expenditure reviews in developing country contexts as well as a strong understanding of the international land-use context, agricultural supply chains and drivers of forest conversion. Understanding of the specific land-use challenges in Latin America is an asset. He/She should be skilled in the management of quantitative data.

Strong writing and oral presentation skills are expected. 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 natural resource economics or sustainable development is required
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consulting position, fluency in oral and written English plus a good understanding of Spanish is desirable, some knowledge of French is a plus.

No Fee


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