Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Consultant –Land Use and Restoration Business and Finance Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 25 October 2021 - 03 November 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-166664-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

• Brief outlining how the restoration finance work fits with CFU’s wider strategy and articulate a sound Theory of Change for moving towards financing sustainable land use that moves beyond niche projects and deals.;
• Excel file with an overview of relevant donors that can be contacted for various projects. Actively reach out to specific/new potential donors, and track progress and success rate in monthly assignment reports.
• Three strategy briefs outlining CFU’s optimal strategy for the application of a value chain approach to its restoration and smallholder business/finance work;
• Blueprint and specifications for a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage the various restoration finance stakeholders engagements;
• Marketing brief to support the engagement of CFU with various classes of restoration stakeholders;
• Sections of various reports related to the TRI and UN Decade of Ecosystems Restoration Sustainable Land-Use Finance;
• Reviews of the economic viability of restoration models for TRI country projects;

Work Location


Expected duration

6-month consultancy

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 Climate Finance Unit in the Ecosystem Division to proactively help unlock and (re)direct public and private capital towards sustainable land use, including deforestation-free soft commodity production, stimulate land restoration and sustainable forest management. As part of its mandate, the Climate Finance Unit contributes to the UN Decade on Ecosystems Restoration by providing technical and strategic expertise to help unlock public and private finance to scale restoration interventions
Given the growing portfolio of projects addressing the various dimensions of a growing investment pipeline for restoration – and the related need for expertise in restoration business and finance – there is a need for a Land Use and Restoration Business and Finance Specialist to expand the capacity of the unit.

This novel area of work falls within the Climate for Nature Branch of the UNEP’s Ecosystem Division.


Under the technical supervision of the CFU’s Business Analytics team Lead and the overall guidance of the Head of the Climate Finance Unit, the senior consultant will perform a number of specialized tasks that contribute to the Restoration Finance Programme of the Climate Finance Unit, as well as the individual projects for which the unit functions as an umbrella.

• Contribute his/her expertise to the development of a growth strategy for CFU’s restoration business and finance program, which includes the Restoration Explorer, the Restoration Factory and the Restoration Marketplace, in addition to the program’s engagement strategy with the wider business community, including finance;
• The consultant will support the design of the Restoration Explorer and advise on its implementation in the context of the Restoration Initiative and the UN Decade on Ecosystems Restoration’s MPTF. This includes mapping out partners and collaboration opportunities and formulate dissemination approaches to ensure a wide adoption;
• The consultant will contribute to the growth development of the Restoration Factory, by reviewing and appraising the concept and its early implementation and by proposing ideas to enable its further deployment at scale. This entails designing and developing a comprehensive partnership strategy with the aim to deploy the program through a network of local agents and associations. The consultant will assist in implementing the Factory in the flagship programs of the UN Decade of Ecosystems Restoration’s MPTF;
• The consultant will advise on the implementation of the Restoration Marketplace, which has the primary objective of creating a market of restoration projects by putting project developers in touch with market access providers, investors and financial actors. The consultant will provide recommendations to increase the visibility of the Marketplace vis a vis its potential users and support the preparation of its communication materials. The consultant will assist in implementing the Factory in the flagship programs of the Decade of Ecosystems Restoration’s MPTF;
• The consultant will provide strategic guidance for the systematic engagement of key restoration stakeholders with a focus on three core constituencies: project developers, market intermediaries and investors. The objective will be to determine and strengthen the comparative advantage of UNEP CFU as a important contributor to the emergence of viable land use and restoration markets;
• The consultant will provide expert support to the Restoration Initiative (TRI) country projects, in the form of bespoke recommendations informed by the analysis of the projects’ economic viability, with a view to achieving bankability and enhanced attractiveness to investors;
• The consultant will advise and contribute to the general CFU strategy, in particular how restorative activities fit in the broader narrative underpinning the shift towards sustainable land use enterprises and finance;
• The consultant will help the Head of Unit with identifying fundraising opportunities and engaging them, particularly from private foundations and other (non-traditional) sources of funding;
• The consultant will liaise with CFU’s communication lead and provide strategic inputs for the preparation of marketing materials aimed at raising the visibility and credibility of the unit.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:Masters' Degree in environmental science, environmental economics, development economics, finance or another relevant scientific background is required. A first level degree with additional two years of qualifying experience maybe accepted in lieu of Masters’ Degree

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. Having a solid network with private foundations and other sources of public and private funding 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: It is a requirement for the candidate to have at least ten (10) years of professional experience in the field of sustainable finance and sustainable development

Language: For this consulting position, fluency in oral and written English and French are both required, knowledge of other official UN languages is optional.

No Fee


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