Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant – Project manager - Green Finance for Sustainable Landscapes
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 December 2020 - 31 January 2021
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-146636-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

1. Developing an alliance of banks, investors and other relevant entities
a. Framework agreement for the coalition/alliance
b. Identify and formalise partners that work with UNEP on the coalition/alliance
c. Launch, marketing & outreach for the alliance
d. Paper outlining options/means to implement commitments
e. 5 information briefs that capture conditions and lessons for novel land use finance deals

2. Project management
a. Contribute to timely reporting of deliverables to implementing agency, UNEP internal systems, etc.
b. Updates provided to the Project Steering Committee
c. Contribute to the project management of other relevant projects managed by the Climate Finance Unit, to be discussed and
decided with the successful candidate

Work Location


Expected duration

The duration of this consultancy is 12 months from 1 February 2021 until 31 January 2022.
The location of this position is in Geneva.

Duties and Responsibilities

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 to demonstrate ‘proof-of-concept’ that private investment in deforestation-free agricultural commodities, sustainable management of forests and restoration of degraded land can be catalyzed. However, to ensure wider scale and ultimately mainstreaming it is critical to go beyond a few ambitious commitments of financial institutions and agri/forestry businesses and convince a much broader group of investors, banks, traders and agri/forestry enterprises of the need to make time-bound and ambitious commitments to systematically shift to nature- and climate-positive land use.

Against this backdrop, UNEP’ Climate Finance Unit in collaboration with CIFOR is executing a GEF-funded project to stimulate more finance institutions to shift towards directing capital towards deforestation-free, sustainable land use, as well as capturing lessons learnt from emerging blended finance facilities to move towards a ‘standardised’ way in which to frame, monitor and evaluation social and environmental impact and work with community-based forest and agricultural organisations to better leverage their rights in order to catalyse private investment from a bottom-up perspective. In that context, we are looking for a sustainable finance expert to build a coalition of interested financial institutions and other relevant entities,and contribute to the project management of this project.

Under the supervision of the Head, Climate Finance Unit, the sustainable finance expert will be responsible for the development and launch a coalition of banks and investors (and potentially governments, agri/forestry enterprises). This includes scoping existing initiatives in order not to duplicate efforts, identify partners to work with (including UNEP FI, Principle for Responsible Investment (PRI), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Economic Forum (WEF) and others), draft a Terms of Reference outlining the “ask” and “offer” and working towards the launch of the coalition and draft an implementation plan for how commitments can and should turn into actions.

In addition, the selected candidate is expected to assist in the project management of this project as well as other related projects, including timely reporting to donors and internal UNEP processes and contribute to drafting information briefs that capture key lessons from this project.


1. Developing an alliance of banks, investors and other relevant entities

• Identify the scope of the alliance, in collaboration with UNEP FI, researching what existing initiatives and commitments have been made and whether the scope should include other entities beyond banks and investors, to potentially include governments (committing to make concessional finance available), agribusinesses/forestry enterprises or consumer goods companies, in order to capture the entire agricultural value chain.
• Identify partners to work with, including e.g. World Economic Forum, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), UNEP FI, PRI and others.
• Develop a framework / commitment for an alliance of banks, investors and potentially governments/foundations willing to commit to making concessional finance available. This agreement will include a) scope and aim of the alliance; b) the commitments sought (the “ask”); c) the support opportunities by the alliance for implementing the commitments (the “offer”); d) key impact indicators (KPIs); e) a methodology to track KPI implementation to ensure sound risk management and positive environmental and social impact..
• Marketing and outreach strategy: identify relevant banks, investors and other relevant institutions based on client portfolios in the food/agri sector, exposure, etc.
• Formal commitments: seek formal commitments from as many relevant finance institutions and other relevant private entities as possible
• Launch the coalition at a relevant venue/conference
• Capturing lessons learnt: Based on novel (blended) finance facilities that UNEP is involved in, such as the AGRI3 Fund, the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility, the &Green Fund and others, capture lessons learnt from novel deals financed to form the basis for a standard way in which impact is framed, measured and monitored

2. Contribute to project management:
• Assist in the project management of the GEF-funded ‘Green Finance for Sustainable Landscapes’ project.
• Engagement with partners / co-executing agencies
• Timely reporting to the Implementing Agency, to UNEP’s own internal reporting systems, etc.
• Contribute to annual progress reviews and budgets and share updates on project implementation with the Project Steering Committee (PSC).
• In addition, the successful candidate is expected to contribute to the project management of other projects managed by the Climate Finance Unit

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: The consultant should have an MBA or Masters’ degree in project management, environmental economics, finance, marketing or similar discipline.
Experience: Eligible candidates should have at least seven (7) years of professional experience in project management, preferably working with/for businesses. Experience working in or with the finance industry or agricultural soft commodity sectors and having a good network in these sectors are a distinct advantage.

Experience in marketing distinct concepts to businesses and convincing companies to change practices and/or being a very good oral and written communicator, would especially be welcome.

Experience with the United Nations system and having a solid network with environmental and social specialists is considered an asset.

In addition, 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.
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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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