Job Opening

Posting Title: Spatial Planning Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: RIYADH
Posting Period: 30 January 2023 - 20 February 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-200776-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Establishment of a National Protected Areas Network.

Work Location

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Expected duration

2 months

Duties and Responsibilities

Organization Setting:

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 West Asia Office of UNEP delivers advisory services and capacity building support to countries to achieve environment and sustainable development objectives. This consultancy is established at the West Asia Office within the framework of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement between UNEP and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager in UNEP West Asia Office and in coordination with the National Centre for Wildlife (NCW) and the respective department in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Saudi Arabia, the expert will carry out, inter alia, the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Provide technical advice and guidance on the development and application of state-of-the art spatial planning techniques and tools associated with the development and finalization of the protected areas system plan for Saudi Arabia, to ensure adequacy and alignment of the NCW database with relevant national and international databases and knowledge platforms including the new Terrestrial Eco-regions of the World (TEOW).
2. Technical inputs in the adjustment of terrestrial eco-region boundaries and ecosystem type boundaries, aiming at seamless nesting of ecosystem types within terrestrial eco-regions. This will involve checking the boundaries of the ecosystem type units against the new Terrestrial Eco-regions of the World (TEOW) map, to ensure that the best of each map is retained.
3. Design and refine ecosystem type unit boundaries using satellite imagery and remote sensing tools. The current boundaries of the NCW ecosystem types are often coarse and angular; in cases where they are meant to reflect landforms and vegetation boundaries, remote sensing tools will refine them greatly.
4. Develop ecosystem type unit boundaries, where needed, using the GIS geology layer for NCW.
5.Technical inputs and advisory in the refinement of boundaries of the 'Asir Escarpment crest and 'Asir Escarpment crest juniper woodlands; refinement of the boundaries of the wadi units. o Consideration to differentiate the Hijaz Hills and Mountains ecosystem type into northern and southern units and recommendations of sedimentary ecosystem types - and the Najran-'Asir plateau ecosystem type.
6. Development and conversion of remaining points in the biodiversity hotspots layer to polygons.
7. Technical inputs in the rationalization of the boundaries between terrestrial and marine ecosystem types, as needed, in collaboration with the consultant on marine protected area planning.
8. Technical guidance on refining a map designed as an overlay on the Ecosystem Types Map, that sets out the NCW vision for future conservation planning to meet and surpass the targets of the Saudi Green Initiative and the CBD for 2030, increase connectivity (including latitudinal, altitudinal, and marine depth connectivity for improved resilience to climate change), and to fill gaps in ecological representation and biodiversity hotspots.
9. Provide on-the-job capacity building and training for NCW and partners staff on the application of state-of-the-art spatial planning technologies and tools thus ensuring the institutionalization of the key technical competencies and capabilities within national entities.

Outputs / Work Assignments (Deliverables):
1. An inception report.
2. Technical guidelines and scientific reports.
3. Monthly and quarterly reports.
4. Training manuals and courses.
5. Capacity building programme for National Centre for Wildlife.
6. Final report on spatial planning protected areas.

Qualifications/special skills

Master's degree in biodiversity, ecosystems, protected areas, environmental science, natural sciences, or related fields is required. PHD is an asset.
Minimum of 10 years of professional technical experience in the field of protected areas is required.
Knowledge of protected areas in Saudi Arabia is an asset.
Experience working in West Asia is desirable.

Languages

Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable.

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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