Legal Expert (Environmental Rights)

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UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme

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Application deadline 3 months ago: Monday 24 Jan 2022 at 23:59 UTC

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Result of Service Work Assignments:

1. Development a workplan with set timelines for activities 2. Review and finalise training materials 3. Planning, facilitating and delivering training 4. Monitor Human rights and the environment issues and update 10 country Situation Reports 5. Produce four summary notes of thematic issues related to HR and the environment

Outputs: 1.Together with Regional Coordinator for Environmental Governance, develop a workplan with set timelines for activities 2.Review and finalise training materials, including all reference material, for UNCTs on Human Rights and the Environment: Slide deck, Reference material, Facilitated exercises, Script 3. Planning, facilitating and delivering training for 2 UNCTs in Human Rights and Environment : training report 4. Monitor Human rights and the environment issues and update 10 country Situation Reports 5. Produce four summary notes of thematic issues related to HR and the environment

Work Location Home Based

Expected duration 10 February 2022 - 10 June 2022

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.

UNEP’s Asia and the Pacific Office geographically serves 41 countries across the region to promote and implement sustainable development solutions. It assists countries of the region pursue sustainability, particularly in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including technical expertise, facilitating access to finance, undertaking cutting-edge science-policy assessments, offering advisory services and strengthening laws, policies, management and governance. UNEP works with national and local authorities, civil society, other UN organizations, research institutions and the private sector to catalyze the efficient use of the region’s natural assets and reduce the degradation of the environment.

The Law Division leads the development and implementation of the UNEP Environmental Governance subprogramme, which includes the promotion of streamlined and coherent environmental governance at the international level, the promotion of progressive development and implementation of environmental law, support to international environmental agreements (known as multilateral environmental agreements – MEAs), and promotion of mainstreaming of environmental objectives in the development sector. The activities of the International Environmental Law Unit in the Law Division are founded on the mission of UNEP to provide leadership and advice on matters related to international environmental law to Governments and other stakeholders. The Unit is responsible for the progressive development of international environmental law and the promotion of environmental rule of law across the UN system. The Unit implements decisions from UNEP’s Governing Body – the United Nations Environment Assembly - where it is responsible and provides legal advice to programmes and activities of UNEP’s other substantive Divisions in the area of international environmental law. In addition, the National Environmental Law Unit of the Law Division focuses on the provision of technical support to countries to develop/ strengthen and implement environmental law, and to build capacity of various stakeholders and institutions with respect to the development and implementation of, compliance with, and enforcement of, environmental law, including commitments set out in MEAs.

UNEP has been working on human rights and the environment for almost two decades and engages with members States and other actors to promote, protect and respect environmental rights under the Environmental Rights Initiative. A core pillar of the Environmental Rights Initiative is integrating environmental rights, including rights to a healthy environment into UN processes. These processes include the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the UN Common Country Analysis (CCA) and the UN regional cooperation mechanisms particularly the Issue Based Coalitions (IBC).

The UN Cooperation Framework draws upon the UN Common Country Analysis (CCA) for its situation analysis, priority setting and programmatic focus. The CCA is the UN system’s independent, impartial and collective assessment (i.e., a description of a country situation) and analysis (i.e., a description of causes and their implications) of a country’s situation for its internal use in developing the Cooperation Framework. It examines progress, gaps, opportunities and bottlenecks vis-à-vis a country’s commitment to achieving the 2030 Agenda, UN norms and standards and the principles of the UN Charter including human rights. Multi-disciplinary in nature, the CCA seeks to engender integrated, cross-pillar systems thinking, summarizing the interlinkages and integrated nature of the SDGs; multidimensional factors spanning the development, humanitarian, peacebuilding and human rights spectrum; the country’s legal, institutional, policy and financial landscape as it pertains to the 2030 Agenda and; the root causes of crises – potential or actual – in order to prioritize our support in preventing these. In other words, the CCA should both reflect and support the ambitious and transformational change called for in the 2030 Agenda and guide how the UN can further that Agenda.

In this new generation of CCA’s, there is a requirement to integrate analysis of human rights and the environment, and their impact on achieving the 2030 Agenda in the country.

In this context, UNEP and the broader regional UN development system has been receiving an increasing number of requests from RCs and UN Country Teams to support them on the analysis of environment and human rights issues to feed into the UN CCA and UN Cooperation Framework.

In response, environmental rights issue briefs have been prepared for 10 UNCTs. In 2022 these briefs will be further updated and training will be provided to UNCTs on human rights and the environment. The support provided to UNCTs and other UN actors aims to achieve the following:

1) Strengthen the environment and human rights dimension of the UN CCA and UN Cooperation Framework by providing an evidence based, succinct, analysis of environmental rights issues and their country specific current and projected impacts to UNCTs preparing CCAs; 2) Catalyse and scale up UN system-wide action to support member states and regional intergovernmental bodies in addressing environmental rights challenges 3) Ensure that the human rights and environment nexus priorities identified by global, regional and subregional intergovernmental bodies and forums as well as Multilateral Environmental Agreements, inform UN system planning at country level e.g. UN Environment Assembly, ASEAN, Regional Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific, Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development etc.

The primary audience for the briefs and other outputs is the UN Country Team. The work can also be used to inform work of UN Development System Asia Pacific and relevant regional issue-based coalitions and feed into global, regional and sub regional intergovernmental forums as appropriate.

UNEP wishes to engage the services of a consultant to:

  • Monitor and analyze environmental rights violations, advocacy and targeted thematic issues (thematic issues FPIC, SLAPPs, judicial harassment) in Asia Pacific particularly in priority countries including Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
  • Support the development and updating of Environmental Rights Situation Reports for priority countries in the Asia Pacific Region to support communication, decision making and thought leadership in environmental rights issues for UNEP UN Country Team (UNCT) Focal Points and UNCTs
  • Update ten country briefs providing recommendations for addressing threats to human rights and the environment.
  • Produce four thematic summary notes on key issues in the region
  • Finalize the development of training material on integrating human rights (through HRBA and Leave No One Behind) in environmental analysis and the nexus between human rights and the environment (focusing on key drivers and sectors linked to environmental rights violations).
  • Provide training to at least 2 UNCTs on human rights and the environment.

    Qualifications/special skills Skills: - Excellent writing and communications skills; - Excellent research and analytical skills - Results focused; - Clear and concise communication; - Demonstrated capacity to work in a consultative manner, good networking and good inter-personal skills

Academic Qualifications: A first level or postgraduate law or international relations/development degree from a university or institution of equivalent status with specialization in environmental law and/or human rights and the environment

Experience: - A minimum of ten years of experience with environmental law and human rights and the environment. - Five years of experience and knowledge of environmental law and governance, environmental rights and justice in Asia and the Pacific. - Working experience in engaging and effective communications with diverse organizations and audiences interacting and coordinating large networks/groups.

Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


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