Job Opening

Posting Title: Principal Programme Management Officer, D1
Job Code Title: Principal Programme Management Officer
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 17 June 2021 - 31 July 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Programme Management-UNEP-153059-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, 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. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for 'sustainable development'. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Scientific, Society and Sustainable Futures Division (SSSF). Under the direct supervision of the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the incumbent will perform the following duties:


A. Leads, manages and supervises the Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division to provide neutral scientific, technical, policy and information documents and expert advice to the COP and, where applicable COP-MOPs, and the Subsidiary Bodies as well as other scientific, technical and policy preparatory processes by ensuring: a) Development of evidence-based documents from scientific, technical, policy and governance data and information to facilitate decision making by the COP, COP-MOPs, subsidiary bodies and other Convention’s processes. b) Coordination and supervision of preparation of relevant draft decisions and recommendations in an integrated manner engaging other divisions and units of the Secretariat to support Parties in a coherent manner. c) Provision and coordination of substantive contribution to the SBSTTA Chairs and Bureau and as relevant to the Bureau of COP/COP-MOPs. d) Coordination and the preparation of relevant scientific, technical and policy reports, documents and publications on the Convention. e) Design, planning, organization and servicing of expert workshops/meetings, regional workshops, side events/meetings that provide inputs to the COP, COP-MOPs and the subsidiary bodies. (f) Support and guarantee effective participation, engagement and representation of indigenous peoples and local communities and other relevant stakeholders in CBD meetings, processes and activities. (g) Representation of the Convention at relevant fora, events and meetings. B. Coordinates, manages, supervises and provides strategic leadership and expert advice in the execution of the various components of the Convention's work on Conservation and Sustainable Use of biological diversity by ensuring: (a) Coordination of scientific, technical, policy and governance work relating to the development and implementation of post-2020 global biodiversity framework, its goals and targets with specific reference to the following issues: marine, coastal and island biodiversity, forest biodiversity, dry and sub-humid lands biodiversity, mountain biodiversity, agricultural biodiversity, inland waters biodiversity, ecosystem restoration; climate change and biological diversity and nature based solutions, ecosystem approach, protected areas and other effective area based conservation measures, impact assessment, sustainable use, human health and biodiversity, new and emerging issues; Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, the Global Taxonomy Initiative; species conservation and management, including invasive alien species (IAS); traditional knowledge and the customary sustainable use of biodiversity; biodiversity economy, business and biodiversity, biodiversity for sustainable development; incentive measures; mainstreaming biodiversity; health and biodiversity, gender and biodiversity; among others, in line with Articles of the Convention and mandates from the Parties. (b) Organisation of the monitoring of implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework in line with the monitoring framework for the areas listed in (a). (c) Coordination and facilitation of SBSTTA including documentation, servicing, supporting SBSTTA Bureau, liaising with Parties and relevant organizations and stakeholders; (d) Organization, servicing and provision of inputs to regional, expert and/or technical meetings and workshops, other processes and activities. (e) Supervision and coordination contribution towards SBI meetings and its agenda items relevant to the mandate of the division in coordination with Implementation Support Division; (f) Engagement with other intergovernmental processes and fora by providing scientific, technical and policy input to advance the policy discourse on biodiversity; (g) Liaison with relevant organizations, stakeholders, expert groups in order to enhance scientific and technical partnerships and inter-agency coordination within the areas listed in (a). (h) Provision of scientific, technical, policy and governance inputs in support of Secretariat-wide strategies and activities to ensure effective synergies, coordination and collaboration; (i) Provision of scientific, technical and policy support to Parties through capacity-building activities, including for indigenous peoples and local communities, facilitating scientific and technical partnerships, and information-sharing mechanisms within the areas listed in (a); (j) Collaboration with partners on initiatives and following developments in other international organizations related to traditional knowledge and the customary sustainable use of biodiversity. C. Provides leadership, coordinates, supervises and manages the staff of the Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division and contributes to the overall management of the Secretariat: (a) Provides leadership, manage staff performance and facilitate the deployment of human, technical and financial resources necessary to implement the programme of work, building close working relationships with Parties and liaising with relevant agencies and stakeholders on cooperative/collaborative arrangements. (b) Oversees the recruitment of the staff of the Division as well as short-term staff and consultants. (c) Manages, guides, mentors and trains staff of the division. (d) Fosters teamwork and communication among staff within the division and across divisions. (e) Promotes interface with donors in facilitating in-flow of donor funds for activities of the division. (f) Supports and participates in communication activities to raise awareness on biodiversity and the Convention. (g) Performs any other duties as assigned by the Executive Secretary.


PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to be a strong advocate for science-based policy and knowledge of the implications of legal, economic and policy decisions on the scientific and technical aspects of the Convention. Demonstrated ability to work at the intersection of multiple science disciplines and connect across seemingly disparate fields, as well as good capacity for synthesis. Strong programme management skills with the capability to advise the Executive Secretary and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex issues. Excellent policy analysis skills and the ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Knowledge and ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations.

PLANNING & ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies, vision and programs; Identifies priority activities and assignments and adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary.

CLIENT ORIENTATION: Ability to communicate complex science issues in language easy to understand by non-science communities; Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from client’s point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies client’s needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the client’s environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects, Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to clients.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

VISION: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Clearly communicates inks between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction. Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in biological, environmental sciences, legal, policy and environment related subjects is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of professional working experience in the management of international environmental and sustainable development programmes related to biological diversity and solid scientific knowledge of the scientific and technical subjects covered by the functions of this position is required.
Experience in policy analysis and policy design skills is required.
Experience in supporting intergovernmental processes performing international negotiations is required.
Experience in interacting with members of the scientific community is highly desirable.
Experience in interlinkages between natural and social sciences as they apply to sustainable development is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.

NOTE: 'Fluency' equals a rating of 'fluent' in all four areas (speak, read, write and understand) and 'Knowledge of' equals a rating of 'confident' in two of the four areas.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?" link.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
Home | Privacy notice | Site map | Fraud alert | Contact Us
Copyright 2022 United Nations. All rights reserved