Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Consultant – Sustainable Land Use Business & Finance Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 23 June 2021 - 29 June 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-158227-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

• Functional, technical and visual specifications of the Restoration Marketplace
• Marketing engagement strategy for the Restoration Marketplace, including developers and investors engagement briefs
• Assessment of the first program of the Restoration Factory with recommendations for its expansion
• Written input into partners/transactions analysed by funds / facilities that UNEP CFU is involved with
• Technical backstopping of UN-REDD business analytics activities in Asia Pacific
• Technical analyses of the economic viability of sustainable land use commercial models
• Design of a platform to promote responsible investments in the forest sector of the Lower Mekong Region’

Work Location

Geneva

Expected duration

The consultant will work for 12 months spread over the period 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. 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 and Finance Specialist to expand the capacity of the unit.

In this context, UNEP is hiring a specialized consultant to provide expert analysis on the different business and financial models relevant to 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 area of work falls within the Climate for Nature Branch of the UN Environment’s Ecosystem Division.

Under the supervision of the Head, Climate Finance Unit the consultant will perform a number of specialized tasks that contribute to the Land Use Finance and Food Systems programmatic areas of the Climate Finance Unit, as well as the individual projects for which the unit functions as an umbrella. The consultant will also provide business analytics support in the development and implementation of the UN-REDD Programme in Asia and the Pacific.

The consultant will work directly with various team members in the Climate Finance Unit team, and report to the Head of the Climate Finance Unit, with additional supervision from the UN-REDD Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

• Carry out the design, development and implementation of a new initiative called the Restoration Marketplace, which aims to provide a central place where restoration developers and restoration investors share information in support of a more efficient match-making;
• Provide technical backstopping to support the expension of the Restoration Factory, a mentoring program aimed at strengthening the bankability of restoration projects;
• Contribute technical guidance to the design of CFU’s global program on restoration finance, including by developing novel ideas and concepts in response to identified needs;
• Participate in resource mobilization efforts to fund CFU’s restoration finance program of work, by helping prepare concept notes and presentations for donors;
• Support the Climate Finance Unit analysing relevant transactions or partners from the funds and facilities that it engages with (e.g. &Green, AGRI3, RSCF, TLFF, etc) from a financial analytical perspective.
• 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 Asia Pacific;
• Provide technical oversight and quality assurance during the development of business analytics deliverables at country and regional levels;
• Conduct advanced technical analysis and prepare deliverables, as and when required by the UN-REDD workplan in Asia Pacific;
• Contribute to UN-REDD and CFU 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 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 and UN-REDD;

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: The consultant should have a Masters’ Degree in environmental science, environmental economics 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 as well as strong writing and oral presentation experience. Knowledge of the UN system, or other international and multi-cultural working environments, is desirable.

S/he 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: The consultant should have at least seven (7) years of professional experience working in the field of sustainable finance and sustainable development
Language: For this consulting position, fluency in oral and written English is required, knowledge of other official UN languages is optional.

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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