Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant, Invasive Alien Species and Taxonomy
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 05 July 2021 - 19 July 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-159029-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The expected final outputs are:
• Successful facilitation of the objectives spelt out in the different COP decisions for both programmes of work, i.e. Invasive Alien Species and Taxonomy;
• Assist in the preparation for the resumed twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and serve at the meeting;
• Preparation of official and information documents, reports, outreach material, notifications, briefing notes, official and unofficial responses to partners’ requests;
• Consolidate the information related to invasive alien species to share with the Inter-agency Liaison Group on Invasive Alien Species and relevant organizations;
• Effective liaison with partners;
• Support provided for the organization of meetings, webinars, side events, internal workshops and other types of fora to ensure implementation of the SBSTTA recommendations and the COP decisions;
• Provides inputs into the taxonomic needs and capacity for the implementation of the Convention and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
• Carry out other activities, as requested by the Supervisor(s).

Work Location


Expected duration

Nine (9) months, with the possibility of a three-months extension.

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational unit:

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'. The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature in Rio in 1992. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by United Nations Environment Programme. Its main tasks are to arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including preparation of pertinent documentation, operation of the central node of the clearing-house mechanism, liaison and coordination with other international bodies and processes and, in close collaboration with these partners, the provision of technical support for the effective implementation of the Convention.

Duties and responsibilities:

The consultant will work under the supervision of the Officer-in-Charge of the Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit (BSPG), in the Science, Society and Sustainable Futures (SSSF) Division. He/she will perform the following duties:

a) In line with the major area of work defined by Article 8(h) of the CBD and COP decisions IV/1, VI/23, VIII/27, XII/16. XIII/13 and 14/11, promotes the importance of proper management of IAS in all countries Parties to the CBD, and the avoidance of the unintentional introductions of IAS associated with trade in live organisms, while monitoring the achievement of Aichi Target 9 and SDGs 2020;
b) In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, contributes to the research and the work associated with human health and infectious diseases vectored by exotic species or wild animals. Collaborates closely with specific SCBD partners to continue raising awareness about the threats caused by the introduction of IAS and emerging zoonotic diseases;
c) Assists in the preparation for the resumed meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and serves at the meeting including the above;
d) Assists in the preparation for the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15), and serves at the meeting. This includes also undertaking research and analyses on these subjects as needed and providing inputs, comments and feedback;
e) Maintains communications with relevant stakeholders, in particular after the virtual session of the SBSTTA-24 formal meeting held in May-June 2021 and leading to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to be held in the late part of 2021 or in the first part of 2022;
f) Prepares publications, articles, statements, speaking points and presentations related to the assigned programmes and prepares and manages correspondence (letters, notifications, emails).
g) In the context of the taxonomic work of the Convention, advocates for the strong interlinkages between the importance of identifying invasive species and the need to identify species properly for a better understanding of the components of biodiversity and the right decision-making about conservation and sustainable use;
h) Raises awareness about the importance of the GTI for removing the taxonomic impediment in some regions of the world and fosters as much as possible the work of the International Barcode of Life Consortium (iBOL) in facilitating capacity-building on DNA barcoding for rapid species identification;
i) Assists in the follow up activities of the CPTTP online webinar and further work on the regulatory framework for the prevention of invasive alien species transport;
j) Liaises and informs the Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) in the development of a framework for the transport on potentially hazardous articles including living organisms;
k) Collects, compiles and organizes information relevant to invasive alien species and the GTI for documentations, reports, presentations and other modes of communications
l) Updates project and other information on the invasive alien species and GTI websites;
m) Contributes to other activities, as may be required.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree) in environmental assessments, conservataion, governance and sustainable development or related fiels is required.

Experience: A minimum of 6 years of working experience in the field of project management, environmental science and assessment and biodiversity-related research (with focus on invasive alien species and taxonomy), research, writing and analysis, project implementation and monitoring is required. Experience with the United Nations or other International Organizations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets is desirable. Ability to work with minimum supervision in a team environment is desirable.

Languages: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is desirable.


Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis. Ability to identify, collect, use and assess information from various research sources, including scientific articles, study guides, technical reports, legal documents, and databases. Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel and Power Point.

Planning and Organizing:
Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; 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; and uses time efficiently.

Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; and demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position.

Additional Information


Travel may be required for participation in official meetings. The Secretariat will cover the costs of the participation of the consultant in the meeting as per the UN Travel policy. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel, the selected consultant might have to represent the SCBD by virtual means and this should be encouraged.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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