Job Opening

Posting Title: Mercury Emission and Release Data Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 13 March 2023 - 24 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-203642-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

The first expected outcome from this consultancy is a searchable database containing estimation of mercury emissions to air and releases to land and water at national and sectoral levels . The database shall include basic search function, enable access by third parties and be password protected.
The second expected outcome is documentation (e.g., logbook) detailing how each dataset and/or individual data points were obtained, modified, and stored to enable tracing back to the original datasets.
The third expected outcome is a report describing all compiled emission and release data and metadata, including but not limited to, estimation methods, sources of underlying data, temporal and spatial coverage, and data quality. The report shall include a narrative text, as well as images and graphs, in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the compiled data.

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

9 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 Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The Convention was adopted in Kumamoto, Japan in 2013 and came into effect in 2017. The Secretariat functions of the Convention are administered by UNEP. As of February 2023, there are 140 parties to the Convention. The Secretariat of the Minamata Convention is located in Geneva.

Article 22 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury states that the Conference of the Parties (COP) will evaluate the effectiveness of the Convention, beginning no later than six years after the Convention’s entry into force and periodically thereafter at intervals to be decided by the COP.
In decision MC-4/11, at its fourth meeting, the COP agreed to begin the first effectiveness evaluation of the Convention and adopted the framework for the effectiveness evaluation as outlined in annex I to the decision. Further in the same decision, the COP established the Open-ended Scientific Group (OESG) in accordance with the terms of reference in annex II to the decision.
In accordance with its terms of reference, the OESG shall develop a plan and a summary of available emissions and releases data, including available emissions and releases data from national inventories, and estimates of emissions and releases data not available from national inventories.
The purpose of the consultancy is to collect, rearrange and store large and complex data on mercury emissions and releases originating from a variety of sources with the goal of presenting mercury emission and releases data in an organized manner to enable the OESG and other experts to understand, analyse and interpret the data.

Under the supervision of the Programme Management Officer, the consultant will perform the necessary tasks to achieve specific objectives. To this end, the consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables:

A. Database Set Up

1. Identify the available data sources through national reporting, inventory reports for Minamata Convention Initial Assessments and other existing databases, and compare the data elements, source categories and estimation methodologies.
2. Create a draft format to facilitate the comparison of the data elements from available data sources. This format should be able to a) incorporate currently available information, and provide a framework to incorporate new and more detailed information for estimating emissions and releases.
3. Prepare an initial database structure to store submitted and collected emission and release data using open-source software (e.g., MySQL, PostGreSQL, etc) that will facilitate access for analysis of trends and spatial patterns;
4. Provide and maintain a password protected data storage location for the database that can be accessed by the OESG and its experts and a file transfer capability to both receive large datasets submitted from Parties and other data providers and downloaded data, as well as to distribute compiled datasets for analysis by OESG and its experts;

B. Data Acquisition and Harmonization

5. Contact and follow-up with owners of known datasets identified by the OESG in the revised data collection plan to confirm and facilitate their submission of the data or to acquire the data, including by downloading publicly available datasets;
6. Prepare a preliminary overview of the number and types of datasets acquired (to be included in the updates to the progress report to COP-5) and a list of the types of data quality issues encountered;
7. Load the data acquired above or submitted by Parties and other data providers into the database structure, checking for completeness and consistency with the standardized formats. Perform and document necessary data reformatting and conversions. Contact data providers to obtain missing information. Identify data quality issues. All data transformations and quality issues should be documented;
8. Identify additional sources of data through internet search and literature review, as needed;

C. Database Completion and Reporting

9. Provide detailed draft documentation describing how each dataset was obtained, modified, and stored to enable tracing back to the original datasets;
10. Provide a draft report describing the compiled database, including but not limited to describing the number and types of datasets included, the source sectors and species addressed, the temporal and spatial coverage, data quality;
11. Provide the final versions of deliverables #9 and #10 above, which take into account the comments and requests made by the OESG, and of any other pending deliverable.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree in chemistry, environmental science, knowledge and data management or related field. A bachelor’s degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying working experience in chemical management or data management may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of experience in the field of chemical science, chemical management, environmental science, data management or closely related field.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required.

No Fee


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