Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) TNFD Project Associate Consultant
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 12 August 2021 - 31 August 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-161765-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

At the moment, financial institutions and companies have a low understanding of how their operations or investments impact or depend on nature, and therefore to what extent they are exposed to nature-related financial risks. To integrate nature-related risks in their decision-making, financial and corporates need decision-grade data. A Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) will deliver a framework for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks, to support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes.

Work Location

Working remotely

Expected duration

The duration of the initial contract will be six 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.

UNEP FI is one of the four founding partners who has set up and now supports the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). The Taskforce is Co-Chaired by Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv and Group Leader of Data & Analytics Division at London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). It will consist of approximately 30 members from industry, with an equal representation of financial and “real economy” corporates from developed and emerging markets, as well as service providers. The TNFD will work with existing standards bodies to develop a framework which draws from existing initiatives and standards that are relevant to its scope. The TNFD intends for its outputs to be integrated into existing frameworks and standards in the space, such as those published by GRI, SASB, CDSB and the forthcoming IFRS Sustainability Board.

UNEP FI executes the WWF-US-implemented GEF-funded project in support of the TFND. The GEF project objective is to support the establishment of a Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) to develop and disseminate a global framework for corporates and financial institutions to assess, manage and report on their dependencies and impacts on nature. The GEF funding, as the multilateral financing instrument of the Convention on Biological Diversity, complements other support to TNFD to provide a framework to report and act on nature-related risks, and also help support the enabling conditions for a shift in financial flows away from nature-negative and toward nature-positive impacts. The project will support the first four phases of the TNFD development through UNEP FI execution in accordance with the work plan described in the GEF project and reflecting the baseline work of the Informal Working Group (IWG) and the Informal Technical Expert Group (ITEG), then the full Taskforce once established later this year. As GEF agency, WWF will work with UNEP-FI under Project Steering Committee guidance to adjust the GEF project as needed during implementation to support achievement of the TNFD deliverables.

UNEP FI also manages funding from UNDP via the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) office from the Government of Italy for the UNDP-UNEP joint programme - Building support for the creation of a Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures.

The Project Associate will support the TNFD lead for UNEP FI and the GEF Project Manager to successfully deliver on all expectations including meticulous and timely financial management, reporting and delivery of milestones.

The consultant will support the TNFD lead and GEF Project Manager to successfully deliver on all expectations for MPTF and GEF projects including meticulous and timely financial management, reporting and delivery of milestone, in the first six months of project establishment and inception. He or she will support the TNFD transition team and incoming Secretariat, GEF Project Management Unit and GEF Project Steering Committee via tracking of timelines and deliverables, drafting reports, developing agendas, minutes, and other materials as required.

Outputs:

1. TNFD transition and Secretariat support:
• Assist in tracking and delivery of relevant tasks in the transition phase and assisting the full Secretariat set-up;
• Assist in monitoring project risk: Project risk assessment will seek to identify areas of project risk along with mitigation actions to address them (with UNDP);
• Assist in supervising WCMC contract and timely delivery of milestones, from an administrative and finance perspective; and
• Assist in the delivery and monitoring of GEF project outputs, especially:
• Output 1.1.3 Institutional and financial sustainability plans developed for TNFD, and financial commitments secured for the long-term running of the TNFD;
• Output 1.1.4 TNFD Secretariat set-up and operations supported; and
• Output 1.1.5 TNFD launched at a public event and with targeted communication; activities (including support to the organization of the first meting of the Taskforce circa September 2021).

2. Project coordination support:
• Assist in the day-to-day management, monitoring and evaluation of project activities and results as outlined in the GEF and MPTF relevant documents such as ProDoc, Grant Agreement, and Annual Work Plan and Budget to achieve the project objective and targets in the Results Framework;
• Participate and support routine meetings, including via minutes and tracking sheets;
• Support the GEF PM to manage the workflow for the Project Steering Committee (PSC);
• As requested and led by the PM, in collaboration with all project sub-grantees and partners, support drafting the Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWPB) for each project year, for approval by the PSC and no-objection from the WWF GEF Agency;
• Contribute to identifying lessons learned and propose potential changes for adaptive management to ensure project results and indicator targets are reached; and
• Support organization of Kick-Off workshop and other project-level workshops/meetings.

3. Reporting support:
• Draft GEF and MPTF narrative reports for lead review and finalization, address comments as required;
• As feasible, support with the drafting and setting up of contracts and disbursement of sub-grants;
• Assist with the timely delivery of quarterly financial reports to the WWF GEF Agency and final financial reports to UNDP; and
• Provide administrative support to support co-finance reporting on a yearly basis, as applicable.

The consultant/individual contractor will report to Head UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The consultant directly report to the Ecosystems/Nature Lead who is the Direct Supervisor.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Project management and/or accounting qualification would be valuable. Exceptional writing and editing skills and attention to detail are essential. Pro-active with independent working ability, combined with good problem-solving skills and personal resilience to work effectively in a complex setting.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in project management, international relations, business, environmental studies, finance, social sciences, accounting or a related discipline. A First degree with relevant experience could be taken in lieu of advanced degree.

Experience: A minimum of three years of progressively responsible work experience related to project coordination and support, particularly for donor-funded projects and/or with the private financial or corporate sectors relevant to the themes of TNFD.

Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Other United Nations languages particularly French would be an asset.

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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