Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant – Raising Public & Private Ambition to Transform Food Systems
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 17 January 2022 - 23 January 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-172509-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

1. Successful management and growth of the Good Food Finance Network and IFACC initiatives
a. Objectives outlined for 2022 met as agreed with partners and donors
b. Growth of the number of public and private entities that commit to finance sustainable food / agricultural commodity systems.
c. Asses outcomes and impact generated from these initiatives, as per KPIs identified.
d. Draft briefings as knowledge management products from these initiatives.
e. Manage consultants involved in these initiatives from UNEP’s perspective.

2. Project management
a. Deliverables timely reported to implementing agency, UNEP internal systems, etc.
b. Updates provided to the Project Steering Committee
c. Contributed to the project management of other relevant projects managed by the Climate Finance Unit, to be discussed and decided with the successful candidate

Work Location


Expected duration

12-month consultancy

Duties and Responsibilities

UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda and promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system. 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 Ecosystems 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 the Climate Finance Unit to proactively unlock and (re)direct public and private capital towards sustainable land use, including deforestation-free soft commodity production. UNEP CFU has a growing portfolio of ‘proof-of-concept’ facilities such as the AGRI3 Fund, the Restoration Seed Capital Facility, TLFF, &Green Fund to demonstrate that private investment in deforestation-free agricultural commodities, sustainable management of forests and restoration of degraded land can be catalyzed. However, to ensure wider scale and ultimately mainstreaming it is critical to go beyond a few ambitious commitments of financial institutions and agri/forestry businesses and convince a much broader group of investors, banks, traders and agri/forestry enterprises of the need to make time-bound and ambitious commitments to systematically shift to nature- and climate-positive land use.

Against this backdrop, UNEP’ Climate Finance Unit is seeking a Project Manager (Consultant) focused on raising the ambition by governments, businesses and finance institutions to switch to sustainable food production and specifically the role of finance in making the transition happen towards ‘net zero, nature positive’ production, processing and trade of agricultural and forest commodities. The successful candidate will manage a global partnership called ‘Good Food Finance Network’ which UNEP helped create together with WBCSD, EAT Foundation, FAIRR and Food Systems for the Future as well as a regional initiative to switch to more sustainable soy and beef production in Latin America. Additional (regional) initiatives that raise the ambition level of public agencies and private sectors may become part of the portfolio. The consultant will report to the Head, Climate Finance Unit and work in close collaboration with colleagues in the Climate Finance Unit and other relevant teams in UNEP.

Under the supervision of the Head of the Climate Finance Unit the consultant will:

1. Co-Manage a global coalition that seeks to transform food systems

• Co-Manage the Good Food Finance Network (GFFN) by representing UNEP in its Secretariat , in partnership with other entities including WBCDS, EAT, FAIRR and Food Systems for the Future. This includes day-to-day operational implementation, direction, growth of corporates/finance institutions.

- Marketing and outreach strategy: identify relevant banks, investors and other relevant institutions based on client portfolios in the food/agri sector, exposure, etc.
- Formal commitments: manage the High Ambition Group pf the GFFN and seek formal commitments from as many relevant finance institutions and other relevant private and public/multilateral entities as possible
- Manage specific catalyst groups and/or activities of the Good Food Finance Network, according to UNEP’s annual workplan for the GFFN.
- Develop and manage relevant partnerships to work with, including e.g. World Economic Forum, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), EAT Foundation, Food Systems for the Future, UNEP FI, PRI and others.

2. Manage regional initiatives aimed at transforming agricultural / food commodity systems
• Manage the IFACC (Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco) from the perspective of UNEP, in co-partnership with TNC and the World Economic Forum.
- Ensure that deliverables are met from UNEP as agreed with donor(s)
- Ensure professional day-to-day operational implementation of the IFACC project
- Actively reach out to corporates and finance institutions seeking ambitious commitments to transition to sustainable agricultural/food commodity systems.

3. Identify additional opportunities that raise the ambition level for governments and private sectors to transition food systems towards ‘net zero, nature positive’, especially at a regional level in Africa and Asia-Pacific.

4. Project management:
• Lead the project management of the GEF-funded ‘Green Finance for Sustainable Landscapes’ project, which funds the Good Food Finance Network, contracts with 3rd party entities such as CIFOR, reporting and financial management.
• Lead the project management for the IFACC project, including with regards to financial management, reporting and engagement the donor and main partners.
• Timely reporting to the UNEP GEF Implementing Agency, to UNEP’s own internal reporting systems, etc.
• Contribute to annual progress reviews and budgets and share updates on project implementation with the Project Steering Committee (PSC).

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: The consultant should have a MBA or Masters’ degree in project management, environmental economics, finance, marketing or similar discipline.
Experience: It is a requirement for the candidate to have at least ten (10) years of professional experience in project management, preferably working with/for businesses. Experience working in or with the finance industry or agricultural soft commodity sectors and having a good network in these sectors are a distinct advantage.

A Bachelor’s university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience in marketing distinct concepts to businesses and convincing companies to change practices and/or being a very good oral and written communicator, would especially be welcome.

Experience with the United Nations system and having a solid network with environmental and social specialists is considered an asset.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consulting position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is considered an asset.

No Fee


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