Job Opening

Posting Title: Environmental & Social Impact Coordinator
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 04 December 2020 - 24 January 2021
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-146017-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

• All outputs, progress and final technical reports of WCMC legal agreements for LUFP reviewed and quality assured before submission to UNEP
• New and revised E&S frameworks, including key performance indicators together with operational monitoring and reporting methods, data and institutional capacities, for new/existing facilities and funds
• Community of practice knowledge products (directories, info and technical briefs) and services (exchange events, webinars, workspace) delivered by the E&S team on time and to quality
• Analysis of E&S additionality/impact potential of each land-use finance deal coordinated and backstopped (subject to facility capitalization and human resources to lead on the analysis)
• Experiences, lessons and emerging standardized norms for E&S risk management/demonstrating impact integrated into wider LUFP scaling and mainstreaming efforts
• E&S inputs to country/region specific deliverables on deforestation-free supply chains, and think pieces on carbon market access and private sector investment in forest landscape restoration, for UN-REDD
• E&S inputs on meeting agenda and presentations; external communications materials; internal reports; concept notes and funding proposals; strategies and work plans; third party events and meetings; etc

Work Location

The location of this position is open, with options for the preferred candidate to be based in either Geneva, Nairobi, Bangkok or Panama.

Expected duration

The consultant will work for 12 months, spread over the period 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2022, with a view to a possible extension. The location of the consultant is open and can either be in Geneva, Nairobi, Bangkok or Panama.

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational Unit – Climate Finance Unit (Nature for Climate Branch / Ecosystem Division)

The consultant will contribute to the Climate Finance Unit’s Land Use Finance Programme as an:
Environmental & Social Impact Coordinator

UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda and promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system. 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 Ecosystems 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 – including the AGRI3 Fund, the Restoration Seed Capital Facility, TLFF, &Green Fund as well as a growing body of work to stimulate scaling public and private investment – there is a need for a consultant to shape and lead the Environmental & Social Impact portfolio of the Climate Finance Unit.

In this context, UNEP is hiring a specialized consultant to bring expertise on environmental and social risk / impact measurement – preferably with experience working with agri/forest businesses and finance institutions to the projects and blended finance facilities in which UNEP’s Climate Finance Unit is involved, and contribute to shaping this area of work for the unit together with the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). In addition, the consultant is expected to stay in close contact with the UN-REDD Programme and identify synergies and opportunities for joint work under the UN-REDD post 2020 programme. This novel area of work falls within the Nature for Climate Branch of UNEP’s Ecosystem Division.

The consultant will work directly with various team members in the Climate Finance Unit team as well as with UNEP-WCMC to jointly execute planned deliverables of the E&S portfolio, and report to the Head of the Climate Finance Unit. The location of this position is open, with options for the preferred candidate to be based in either Geneva, Nairobi, Bangkok or Panama.

Under the supervision of the Head, Climate Finance Unit the consultant will perform several specialized tasks that contribute to shaping and executing the E&S portfolio of the Land Use Finance Programme of the Climate Finance Unit.


• Shape and execute the E&S service lines contributing to CFU’s Land Use Finance Programme (LUFP) – across a range of individual projects.
• Work together in a joint and collaborative manner with UNEP – World Conservation Monitoring Centre’s (WCMC) on execution of programmatic delivery of LUFP on E&S risk management and impact monitoring.
• Coordinate activities supporting demonstration of proof of concept facilities and funds that unlock private finance for sustainable land use that achieve real and positive E&S impact (LUFP Outcome 1)
• Scale public and private investment in sustainable land use by contributing to a community of practice, and standardizing practices for E&S risk management/impact monitoring (LUFP Outcome 2)
• Contribute to LUFP efforts to mainstream experiences, lessons and emerging standardized norms for E&S risk management/demonstrating impacts in sustainable land-use financing (LUFP Outcome 3)
• Backstopping analysis of E&S additionality/impact potential at the level of, and harnessing lessons from, individual land-use finance deals
• Provide E&S contributions to activities – deforestation-free supply chains, carbon market access and private sector investment in forest landscape restoration - delivered by CFU for the UN-REDD Programme
Maintain E&S inputs into the day-to-day operations of the LUFP – regular team meetings; communications; internal reporting; programme development; work planning and strategizing; etc.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The consultant should be computer literate in standard software applications; have good analytical skills with a specific understanding of spatial data analytics; have good interpersonal skills; report writing and communication skills.
Academic Qualifications: The consultant should have a Masters’ Degree or doctorate in environmental sciences, biology, or similar discipline.
Experience: Seven (7) years of professional experience working in the field of environmental and social risk management, impact analysis, monitoring, as applied to business, with experience in the finance industry or agricultural soft commodity sectors a distinct advantage.

A Bachelor’s university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience working with business in either agriculture/forestry/finance seen as distinct advantage. Understanding of frontier technologies (artificial intelligence, big data) and existing global datasets, which could be employed to demonstrate E&S impact cost-effectively at scale, would especially be welcome.

Experience with the United Nations system and having a solid network with environmental and social specialists is considered an asset.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consulting position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is considered an asset.

No Fee


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