Climate-Informed Horticulture Production Specialist

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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Application deadline in 12 days: Friday 8 Jul 2022 at 00:00 UTC

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This is a UNV International Specialist contract. This kind of contract is known as International UN Volunteer. It is normally internationally recruited only. More about UNV International Specialist contracts.

This international UNV assignment is a part of UNDP global initiative on the Leveraging Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to achieve net-zero emissions and climate-resilient development, in response to the climate emergency. Within the global initiative, a project “Climate resilient livelihoods of horticultural producers in Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan” is launched by UNDP Uzbekistan. This project is funded by the Government of Japan and aims at supporting the country’s climate adaptation efforts as per COP26 outcomes and the more ambitious NDC committed by Uzbekistan.

Adaptation is a high priority for Uzbekistan, as the warming trends observed are twice as fast as the global average and result in water stress, increasing climate aridity, and more frequent extreme weather events. This poses serious challenges to human security, including economic, food and environmental risks, and calls for urgent, people-centred, prevention-oriented responses focused on marginalized groups. Agriculture, which is an important sector for rural employment, is climate-sensitive and vulnerable. Therefore, the project is expected to increase climate resilience of horticultural production of 300 direct project beneficiaries - rural households and small/medium-size agricultural businesses (gender and youth sensitive) who will have access to evidence-based information/recommendations from 10 small and inexpensive agro-meteo stations to be installed in target districts. Installation of 15 automated agro-meteo stations/posts in 40 districts of 3 provinces in Fergana Valley, will indirectly strengthen livelihoods and food security of 9,876,000 people (incl. women and youth) living in this region. At the same time, 1.4 mln dehkans and farmers (3% of Uzbekistan’s rural population) will indirectly benefit from climate forecast and early warnings, that will be generated by the modernized agro-meteo observation network of the Fergana Valley, which is an integrated part of the national agro-meteo network.

Relevant staff of the Uzhydromet and experts of other institutions responsible for provision of agro-meteo information/services and climate-resilient agriculture related recommendations will be trained and will improve their operational capacities through partnerships with the advanced meteorological agencies, producers of agro-meteorological observation equipment/software, and transfer of best practices/expertise on weather forecasting and early warning systems.

Within the delegated authority and under the overall guidance of the Lead of Environment and Climate Action Cluster and direct supervision of the Project Manager and in close cooperation with the relevant UNDP colleagues, the International UN Volunteer Climate-Informed Horticulture Production Expert will have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Improve delivery of agrometeorological information for climate-resilient fruit and vegetable production • Review the international best practices of methodologies and approaches on forecasting risks of irrigation water availability, stress or deficiency with consideration of sufficient lead time of the corresponding early warnings for crops and horticulture (vegetables, fruits, etc.) products, and propose the most suitable options that can be adopted for agriculture, climate change impacts and environment in Fergana Valley; • Estimate potential yield and associated monetary losses during water deficient years by farming, dehkans, agricultural clusters and cooperatives and rural households engaged in horticulture (vegetables, fruits, etc.) production; • Formulate recommendations on replacement of the water-intensive crops (wheat, cotton, rice, maize) by drought-resistant and climate-resilient ones (vegetables, fruits, etc.) to avoid substantial yield and monetary losses during water deficient years; • Present proposed methodologies, approaches, estimates of potential yield and financial losses, and recommendations to the Uzhydromet professionals and project stakeholders through workshops to be organized by the project.

  2. Improve access to climate-focused forecasts of possible outbreaks of diseases and pests • Analyze adopted methodologies, innovative approaches and best practices on forecasting the climate risks of outbreaks of diseases and pests that might affect the horticulture sector; • Develop recommendations on strengthening the climate-induced diseases and pests control, in particular during water stress periods by farms, dehkans, agricultural clusters and cooperatives, and rural households; • Cooperate with the State Plants Quarantine Inspection in Fergana Valley and other relevant stakeholders to verify the formulated recommendations; • Conduct training on preventive measures on climate-induced diseases/pests spreading and applying integrated pest management and control for the State Plants Quarantine Inspection staff and other project stakeholders.

  3. Introduce climate-informed planning of agricultural products • Develop a Concept on strategic planning of fruits and vegetables production in the face of increasing climate risks (drought, cold waves, heavy rainfall, dust storms) with consideration of awareness raising and improving access to climate information for farming, dehkans, agricultural clusters and cooperatives, and rural households and various population groups; • Assist in identification of potential Japanese counterparts (relevant public agencies, production companies, NGOs, private sector) to cooperate and establish partnership with the project and its stakeholders. Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:

• Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day); • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country; • Provide annual and end of assignment self-reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities. • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.; • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers; • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

Results/expected outputs

• As an active UNDP Uzbekistan team member, efficient, timely, responsive, client-friendly and high-quality support rendered to UNDP Uzbekistan and its beneficiaries in the accomplishment of her/his functions, including: o Concept Note on improving delivery of information about irrigation water availability to avoid yield and monetary losses developed; o Concept Note on improving access to climate-focused forecasts of possible outbreaks of diseases and pests developed; o Concept on strategic planning of climate-resilient fruits and vegetables production developed and submitted; o Relevant Japanese public agencies, production companies, NGOs, and private companies identified and proposed for cooperation/partnership by the project stakeholders. • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment; • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed

Competencies and values:

• Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNDP; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNDP procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented; • Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNDP in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority; • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues; • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment. • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities; • Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups; • Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary; • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNDP’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.

climate change, smart agriculture or area related to natural resources management;

This assignment is funded by Japan - Only Japanese Nationals are Eligible to Apply.

• A first-level university degree or equivalent in combination with relevant training and/or professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree; • At least 5 years of professional work experience at the national and/or international level in hydrometeo services, climate change adaptation, climate resilient agriculture or other relevant programmes; and experience with efficient water resources management in agriculture is an asset, as is experience working in the UN or other international development organization; • Excellent oral and written skills; excellent drafting, formulation, reporting skills; • Accuracy and professionalism in document production and editing; • Excellent interpersonal skills; culturally and socially sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners, including grassroots community members, religious and youth organizations, and authorities at different levels; familiarity with tools and approaches of communications for development; • Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel; • Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment; • Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines; • Sound security awareness; • Have affinity with or interest in climate change adaptation in the light of climate resilient development, volunteerism as a mechanism for durable development, and the UN System.

Tashkent is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the most populous city in Central Asia, with a population in 2018 of 2,485,900. Tashkent is located in the north-eastern Uzbekistan, near the border with Kazakhstan. Tashkent is a safe and secure city. Many expatriates and foreigners are impressed by its extremely low crime rates, due primarily to the heavy police presence in the center of the city. A diverse, cosmopolitan city, Tashkent has a vibrant cultural scene that is welcoming and accessible to both local residents and those relocating to the city. It has a number of interesting museums, theatres, and contemporary entertainment. The city offers many shopping and dining options you would expect to find in a European city, with a fantastic array of cultural events and tourist sites on offer. Cultural events and concerts can be enjoyed at a much lower cost than many European cities. The Chorsu Bazaar, the city’s famous marketplace, is the cultural and social hub of the city, and is where you will find traditional Uzbek food, drink and gifts. The city also features many famous mosques and countless examples of Soviet architecture, though much of the ancient city has not been preserved until today. You can also explore the amazing mountains and nature that surrounds the city or travel to other locations in Uzbekistan such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva by train or air.

Climate: Tashkent features a continental climate. As a result, Tashkent experiences cold and often snowy winters and long, hot and dry summers. Most precipitation occurs during winter, which frequently falls as snow. The city experiences two peaks of precipitation in the early winter and spring. Summers are long in Tashkent, usually lasting from May to September. Tashkent can be extremely hot during the months of July and August. The city also sees very little precipitation during the summer, particularly from June through September.

Transport: Tashkent has extensive and affordable subway/ metro system, along with other types of public transportation (e.g. buses, minivans) and affordable taxi rates. Tashkent International Airport is the largest in the country, connecting the city to Asia, Europe and North American continents. Train and bus stations also operate on a regular basis.

Uzbekistan is a unique country and Fergana Valley is a unique region. It provides for an interesting and enriching environment, but also requires a mature level of cultural awareness, as well as more stamina and commitment than elsewhere to make life comfortable and affordable. Therefore, flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential.

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