Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Finance Sector Engagement Specialist: (UNEP FI and CBD Secretariat)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 March 2023 - 27 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-205030-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The CBD Secretariat has an interim focal point for finance sector-related implementation of the GBF provisions relevant to the financial sector and is well-coordinated to take advantage of UNEP- and UN-supported platforms, knowledge and tools.

The former CBD Executive Secretary, now Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Ms. Elizabeth Mrema is well-supported in her role as TNFD Co-Chair, and the CBD position is well represented in the TNFD.

The UNEP FI Nature Team is supported with specific expertise on nature integration in financial organization sustainability strategies, implications of the Kunming-Montreal GBF, including through external engagement, internal training, and fundraising activities.

Work Location

Working remotely

Expected duration

6 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 overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 450 banks, insurers and investors. For over 30 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.

The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature in Rio in 1992. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. Its main tasks are to arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including preparation of pertinent documentation, operation of the central node of the clearing-house mechanism, liaison and coordination with other international bodies and processes, development of partnerships and actions with Non State Actors (including inter alia Business and Finance) and, in close collaboration with these partners, the provision of technical support for the effective implementation of the Convention.

During 2022, following the Kunming Declaration, Parties to the CBD intend to finalise the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which is expected to call for the alignment of financial flows with the goals of the agreement and encourage disclosure of nature-related risks (and opportunities) by financial and real economy actors. UNEP FI is one of the four founding partners who has set up and now supports the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), which has set out to provide a framework for such disclosures by 2023. The Taskforce is Co-Chaired by Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the CBD together with David Craig, former CEO and founder of Refinitiv. UNEP FI executes the WWF-US-implemented GEF-funded project in support of the TFND, and co-leads in related efforts on alignment of financial flows, risk and disclosure such as the Principles for Responsible Banking biodiversity targets working group and the ENCORE partnership and tool.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was succesfully adopted by the Parties to the CBD, together with a specific decision on Resources Mobilisation, at COP15 on 19 December 2023. Also, during COP15, a successful Finance and Biodiversity Day was held including participation of a broad range of financial sector representatives (government, public financial institution, private financial institutions). It is now important to support the CBD Secretariat’s financial sector engagement to encourage and catalyse endorsement and implementation of the GBF by financial sector organisations. This includes collaboration with UNEP FI as part of outreach, engagement and support activities targeted towards private sector financial organisations.

The Finance Sector Engagement Specialist will work from his home with reporting and ad hoc travel on a needs basis to the CBD Secretariat in Montreal, Canada and other locations as authorized by the CBD Secretariat and/or UNEP FI, such as Europe or the United States of America.

The Consultant main tasks will be:
1. Providing direct support (backstopping / Sherpa) to the UNEP Deputy Executive Director in her role as the TNFD Co-Chair:
o create briefings, speaking points, speech writing, though-leadership articles (e.g. with UNEP FI and PRI post-GBF launch)
o provide technical inputs, such as documentation review,
o act as liaison between the CBD and the TNFD teams: the consultant will be in direct rapport with TNFD Secretariat for relevant TNFD work on behalf of the Executive Secretary and provide necessary contributions as may be required and expected,
o establish relationships and mechanisms to align and connect TNFD work with the development of the GBF and later implementation of GBF and the TNFD framework when both will be finalized or adopted (beyond the term of the consultant).
o co-organise events with select governments who champion nature-positive finance, together with UNDP and others, and other likeminded initiatives,
o convene PSI, PRB and ILP signatories to familiarize them with TNFD,
o participate and represent the Co-Chair in selected events.

2. Managing the CBD’s financial sector engagement program:
o development and maintenance of the CBD secretariat's work and role on its engagement with the financial sector or finance and thus be able to initiate relevant activities to strengthen the Secretariat work and role with finance sector.
o connection and partnerships with relevant groups of public and private financial institutions, facilitation of or participation in working groups,
o participation in and/or organisation of events with the financial sector,
o facilitation of the financial sector participation in pre-COP, COP and post-COP events,
o support to the implementation of GBF provisions to align finance, promote disclosure, mobilise resources, including through thought leadership on the implications of the Kunming-Montreal GBF for the financial sector, and how to implement the GBF, and
o contributing to increase new public and private financial flows for biodiversity through support to the CBD Science Division, in particular with regards to implementing the Resources Mobilisation Strategy adopted at COP15 in December 2022.

3. Contribute to UNEP FI’s leadership and solution development work for the financial sector, with particular focus on nature
o Support UNEP FI-led pilot program in support of the TNFD
o Support UNEP FI Nature Team external engagement with financial sector organizations to promote the integration of the Kunming-Montreal GBF and (more generally) of the dimension of nature within their sustainability commitments and strategies,
o Participate in UNEP FI thought leadership initiatives including social media articles, press releases, market-oriented papers
o Provide training to UNEP FI members on the implications of the Kunming-Montreal GBF for the financial sector and how to encourage financial organisations to integrate the GBF within their sustainability strategies
o Support UNEP FI-led fund raising in collaboration with the Nature Team Lead.
o Provide specialist inputs into ongoing work of Principles for Responsible Banking working group on target setting for nature
To that effect, the specialist will utilize notably industry platforms such as the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) and the Investment Leadership Platform (ILP) between UNEP FI and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) as relevant.

The consultant is needed to catalyse support from the financial sector in the early period of implementing the GBF provisions around finance, and to support the Executive Secretary’s routine duties as co-Chair of the TNFD. This is in direct response to the UNEP Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) 2022-2025 and Programme of Work 2022-2023 particularly 1.1.3 Finance and Economic Transformations as an enabler, and Nature Actions especially Public and Private sector financial flows contribute to improved ecosystem management.
The consultant will directly support the TNFD, which is identified as a priority in the UNEP FI ProDoc for 2022-2025, responding to the MTS priority. He/she/they will directly contribute to the ProDoc goal for UNEP FI:
Number of banks and financial institutions committed to nature-positive / post-2020 global biodiversity framework aligned portfolios via UN-convened or UNEP-supported platforms
- Baseline: 0
- Target (Dec 2025): 50

Objective: Support the CBD Secretariat financial sector engagement notably around the GBF financial sector provisions, and the Executive Secretary’s role on external engagement related to the Financial Sector. Support UNEP Deputy Executive Director in her role as co-Chair of the TNFD. Partnership management and communications.

• Refreshed work plan for finance at the CBD Secretariat
• Generic speaking points, briefings, speaking note prep and other tasks for Elizabeth Mrema’s role as TNFD co-Chair and to the Acting Executive Secretary of the CBD for finance-sector related engagement activities
• Review notes and recommendations, as well as written contributions, to the study on resources strategy being contracted by the CBD Secretariat in anticipation of the mobilization of the Advisory Committee on Resources Mobilisation
• Updated Plan of Action for the Financial Sector to Implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiverstiy Framework, including external outreach / parternships/ events to promote endorsement
• Presentations, including slide decks and verbal presentations as need may be, at internationally visible conferences and seminars on the integration of nature in finance (calendar to be developed and maintained in discussion with UNEP FI Nature Team Lead
• Briefing and training activities to UNEP FI personnel (on a needs basis) regrding the implications of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for the financial sector
• Fundraising activities: in collaboration with UNEP FI Nature Team Lead: External stakeholder engagement, proposal development and follow-up.

The consultant will have dual reporting lines:
- Deputy Executive Director of the UNEP, for the TNFD work and to the Director of the Science Division of the Convention on Biological Diversity, for the financial sector work.
- Head UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The consultant directly reports to the Nature Lead who is the joint Direct Supervisor, for UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental sciences, social sciences, finance, administration, private sector or a related discipline, ideally combined with an MBA, CFA or other finance-relevant qualification. A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 9 years of relevant experience.

Professional Experience: A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience related to the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, partnership building and stakeholder engagement, preferably in a financial institution and/or in a risk, legal or compliance-type role. Experience in the financial sector and the economy is appreciated, especially in biodiversity safeguards, nature-related risks, financing of nature-positive projects and related TNFD themes. Familiarity with the work of the TNFD preferred.

Special skills/knowledge: Stakeholder engagement. Ability to synthesize inter-disciplinary information and work across sectors and industries. International and inter-cultural work or educational experiences. Exceptional writing and editing skills. Pro-active with independent working ability, combined with good problem-solving skills and personal resilience to work effectively in a complex setting.


Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Other United Nations languages particularly French would be an asset.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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