Job Opening

Posting Title: Sustainable Land Use and Restoration Business and Finance Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 23 June 2022 - 13 July 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-184616-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

Help unlock public and private finance to scale restoration interventions

Work Location

Geneva

Expected duration

This consultancy is for 6 months spread over the period 1July 2022 to 30 December 2022. The consultancy is based at the Geneva duty station.

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 responsible sourcing, 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 responsible sourcing in 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 Market Development team Lead and the overall guidance of the Head of the Climate Finance Unit, the 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.

The consultant will work directly with various team members in the Climate Finance Unit team, and report to the Unit’s Market Development team Lead and the Head of the Climate Finance Unit.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Under the technical supervision of the CFU’s Market Development team Lead and the overall guidance of the Head of the Climate Finance Unit, the consultant will:
• Support the implementation of the activities of the Restoration Initiative (TRI), a partnership between IUCN, UNEP and FAO that provides business and finance solutions for the deployment of restoration interventions in 10 countries in Asia and Africa (https://www.iucn.org/restoration-initiative)
• 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 for investors;
• Support the deployment 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;
• 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 implementating the Factory in the flagship programs of the UN Decade of Ecosystems Restoration’s MPTF;
• Coordinate the implementation of the Restoration Marketplace, which aims to open up market opportunities for restoration projects by matching them 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 implementating the Marketplace in the flagship programs of the Decade of Ecosystems Restoration’s MPTF;
• Participate in fundrainsing efforts by contributing to the preparation of concept notes linked to the Restoration Explorer/Factory and the Restoration Marketplace;
• 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.
Experience: At least five (5) years of professional experience working in the field of sustainable finance, sustainable development, commodity trading or enterprise development.

In addition, the consultant should have proven qualitative and quantitative analytical skills in the field of sustainable finance, sustainable development, commodity trading or enterprise 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 network with private foundations and other sources of public and private funding is considered a plus.

In addition, he/she 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.
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

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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