Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Junior Consultant for Sustainable Blue Economy
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 23 June 2021 - 07 July 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-158311-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ultimate result of the service will be to support the ecosystem management work stream’s contribution to UNEP FI’s work plan under UNEP´s Project 623.3 indicated below, i.e. to support UNEP FI’s members in contributing to sustainable development worldwide. UNEP FI is focused on accelerating private sector financing for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including developing financial institutions’ knowledge and expertise to contribute to achieving SDG 14 (Life Below Water - “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”). The consultant will support the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative hosted by UNEP FI.

Work Location

Working remotely

Expected duration

The duration of the contract is 5 months.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 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.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 300 banks, insurers and investors. For over 28 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.

The Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative is hosted by UNEP FI under its Nature workstream, which engages financial institutions across the banking, insurance and investment industries. UNEP FI’s Ecosystem team works with member institutions to develop innovative insight and tools for financial institutions to incorporate natural capital, deforestation and related issues into decision making. The team co-ordinates the Secretariat of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative to raise awareness, maintain a community of practice and develop insight, tools and resources for financial institutions on ocean and marine ecosystem issues. The Initiative also champions the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.

After an initial start-up phase with an expanding work programme and with its membership growing by 355% within the first 12 months, the team requires support to maintain the smooth operation, resource production and member engagement of the secretariat. UNEP FI currently does not have the internal capacity to undertake these activities, and hence outside expertise is required for this purpose.


To assist with delivering the Nature work plan, the consultant is required:

1. To support the organization and execution of a series of relevant activities to ensure financial institutions are actively engaged in the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative, e.g. meetings, webinars, podcasts. To be involved in content development for such webinars / events / website with the opportunity to lead on some of these tasks.

2. To support the continued development of concrete actions and outputs for banks, insurers and investors to align their activities with sustainable blue finance, and support the implementation of the Principles across lines of business, asset classes, industries and geographies, e.g. supporting research work on guidance 2.0, as necessary.

3. To support the team in engaging and expanding the community of practice / membership and help facilitate members’ role in undertaking outreach to the wider financial sector to promote sustainable blue economy financing (including e.g. reviewing incoming applications to join, facilitating peer exchanges, responding to requests on collaboration).

4. To support monitoring of the application of the Initiative’s disclosure framework for implementation of the principles and actions by members of the community of practice under the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance initiative, in order to report on progress and impact of the Blue Economy Finance Initiative/Principles and sharing of lessons learned.

5. To support the work of the SBEFI and Community of Practice on exploring alignment with the European Commission’s work on a taxonomy for sustainable finance, as necessary.

6. To support the SBEFI team in shaping a training programme for FIs on sustainable ocean finance, lending and insurance in 2022, e.g. by helping to develop training materials and seminars.

7. To support work producing a policy briefing on enabling conditions to mobilise private finance into the SBE, possibly in collaboration with external stakeholders (e.g. the OECD), as necessary, as required.

8. Co-maintain resources site of the Initiative’s website (e.g. adding relevant new reports, co-creating content with members).

9. Support the scoping, planning and coordination of TNFD marine sector/sub-sector pilots, such as for fisheries and shipping.

As Junior Consultant for the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative the consultant would support engagement of the community of practice alongside the wider financial sector, and outputs of the initiative.

Specifically, the consultant would be responsible for:

• Supporting the team on community engagement of the members and signatories of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, e.g. onboarding new members, writing newsletters, organising and running webinars or other events.

• Supporting the team in raising awareness of “blue finance” to increase the impact of the Principles and the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative across the financial sector, e.g. sharing expertise from the community of practice to support further adoption of the Principles via outputs such as briefings and blog posts on relevant topics.

• Supporting the team in further cultivating existing signatories as a part of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance initiative and mobilise action on blue economy finance globally across the investment, insurance and banking communities and key stakeholders, e.g. via organising membership meetings, workshops or interviews / podcasts.

• Supporting the development of knowledge products and practical resources to support implementation as a community of practice of interested financial institutions globally, which will encompass and use the Principles as a guiding framework to accelerate the role of sustainable finance in the blue economy, e.g. support on the development of guidance 2.0 as necessary, supporting scoping exercise for a TNFD pilot with marine focus, contributing to briefing documents, or training materials.

• Collect, curate, share and leverage existing knowledge materials and showcase thought leadership.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of Head UNEP FI and report directly to the acting Nature lead at UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The candidate should have proven ability to manage multiple projects and activities simultaneously and in an organized and timely manner. He or she should be able to work independently and have strong problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, the candidate should have a track record of delivering consistently high-quality outputs as well as strong analytical and conceptual skills. Expertise in finance, biodiversity, marine ecosystems and ocean issues is highly desirable. An understanding of the current challenges and opportunities facing the blue economy is a plus. Content creation/writing skills are highly desirable, as is experience in the organisation and successful execution of in-person and virtual events, particularly catering to a finance audience. The consultant should have the ability to coordinate and support stakeholder relationships and drive collaboration. An ability to build good working relationships at all levels is desirable. An interest in tracking relevant external developments and developing innovative solutions through collaboration is a plus.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, finance, environment, ocean-based science, sustainability, business, marine economy-related development or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with additional relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: A minimum of two years of progressively responsible work experience in the area of sustainable finance. Experience working in/with banks and /or insurers and/or investors is desired as well as experience working in international contexts. The candidate should have successfully coordinated and supported complex and, ideally, multi-stakeholder, projects. Previous work experience in the UN system is an advantage. Experience working on communications and events is highly desirable.

Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations are an asset. The consultant should have excellent listening and communications skills, with experience of presenting in public.

No Fee


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