Director, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment

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FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline 3 days ago: Sunday 25 Sep 2022 at 21:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) promotes integration of innovative approaches in the activities of the Organization, for the sustainable use, management and conservation of natural resources for food and agriculture. OCB assists FAO Members in their responses towards the challenge of climate change mitigation and adaptation related to agrifood systems, as well as the development of adaptive capacities of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, and food systems for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and other natural resources. It provides an FAO-wide coordination role on climate change, biodiversity and the environment, including on Social and Environmental Safeguards. OCB also serves as the FAO focal point for a number of partner institutions and processes, including with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and others, in relevant topics related to sustainable agrifood systems, including bioeconomy and bioenergy, as well as on Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems, ecosystem restoration, and green and climate resilient agriculture. The OCB also hosts FAO liaison units with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The position is located in the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines

The Director of the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) reports to the Deputy Director-General responsible for the FAO Stream on Natural Resources and Sustainable Production.

Summary of Duties and Functions

Under the policy guidance and the general supervision of the Deputy Director-General, the Director will:

• Provide strategic vision, leadership and coordination of FAO’s work related to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, biodiversity for food and agriculture, and environment related aspects of the Organization, leading the implementation of the FAO Strategy on Climate Change 2022-2031, as well as the FAO Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors; • Lead the Office’s work in contributing towards the achievement of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the FAO Strategic Framework, Medium Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget; • Advise the Core Leadership of FAO as well as the Heads of other FAO units on matters of strategy and policy relating to climate change, biodiversity and environment; • Supervise and guarantee the performance of the five units in OCB: (i) Climate Change, including sustainable renewable energy for agrifood systems; (ii) Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, including hosting the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) Secretariats; (iii) Environment, including coordinating FAO’s Framework for Social and Environmental Safeguards and relevant aspects related to pollution, circularity and bioeconomy; (iv) Green and Blue financing, including supervising the FAO liaison units with the GEF and the GCF; and (v) Innovation for Sustainability, including promoting nature-based solutions and urban/peri-urban/rural interfaces for sustainable agrifood systems; • Ensure liaison and coordination with, and provide information, guidance and support to, all units of the Organization, both at headquarters and the Decentralized Offices (DOs), on topics related to OCB’s mandate; • Maintain liaison with FAO Members and provide them with relevant information and policy and technical advice, as necessary; • Ensure cooperation and coordination with the organizations of the United Nations (UN) system, in particular with UNEP and the United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG), other global, regional and national institutions and relevant partners and stakeholders including development banks, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); • Provide overall guidance and technical quality assurance for OCB work, monitor and report on progress in the implementation of FAO’s Programme Priority Areas in relation to climate change, biodiversity and environment; • Promote FAO’s efforts for resource mobilization from resources partners in support of priority activities within the FAO Strategic Programme at global, regional and national levels; • Maintain a motivated and effective workforce by supporting the recruitment of highly qualified staff, mentoring, coaching and supporting their career development; • Leverage and promote innovation, science and technology in climate change, biodiversity and environmental aspects related to sustainable agrifood systems, in cooperation with public, private, academia and civil society actors; • Promote international dialogue and action on global and regional agrifood issues through intergovernmental and non-governmental channels, including through the FAO Technical Committees and other Statutory Bodies of FAO, such as the FAO Regional Conferences; • Supervise and support the preparation of FAO publications and media material related to climate change, biodiversity and environment; • Provide guidance and leadership in interdisciplinary bodies related to OCB work; • Support the implementation of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; • Represent the Organization in high-level meetings and other relevant events dealing with the Office’s mandate of activities and negotiate effective working relationships with international and national partners; • Advocate FAO’s policy position with respect to the areas under his/her mandate and communicate its messages; • Exercise overall management and internal control responsibility over activities, programme and sources of funds, oversee and deal with risk management in the Office, ensure that any significant control weaknesses are addressed or escalated, including on gender aspects and on youth participation and development; • Perform other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements • Advanced university degree in natural resources management, environmental sciences, climate change, sustainable development or other related fields; • At least fifteen years of professional experience in natural resources and development issues, including field experience on issues relevant to the post; • Deep understanding of climate change and sustainable management, use and conservation of natural resources for food and agriculture, including on ecosystem restoration; • Demonstrated capacity to work in partnership with relevant institutions and stakeholders including civil society, private sector, local communities, research institutions, UN system organizations, Member countries, resource partners, etc.; • Demonstrated intellectual, managerial and strategic leadership of a high order in relevant subject areas; • Experience with multilateral negotiations and advice to governments, successful resources mobilization and partnerships; • Management experience, interpersonal and communication skills as demonstrated in leading and working effectively with large teams of people of different national and cultural backgrounds in an international environment; • Extensive relevant experience in resource mobilization, development or humanitarian funding; previous experience with GEF and/or GCF projects development is an asset; • Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate- level B) of one of the other FAO languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

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