Specialist – Nature-Based Solutions

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Sunday 24 Sep 2023 at 23:59 UTC

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This is a IICA-2 contract. This kind of contract is known as International Individual Contractor Agreements. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's an external contract. It usually requires 5 years of experience, depending on education. More about IICA-2 contracts.

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations. With over 8,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.

The UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP-CCC) was established in March 2022 to ensure the preservation and continuation of the experience and capacity established through a 30-year working relationship between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Danish Technical University, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as the UNEP-DTU Partnership. UNEP-CCC is programmatically guided by UNEP and operationally supported by UNOPS.

UNEP-CCC is a leading international advisory organization on energy, climate, and sustainable development. Its work focuses on assisting developing countries and emerging economies in transitioning towards low-carbon, climate resilient development pathways and supports the integration of climate action into national development. UNEP-CCC is actively engaged in implementing UNEP’s Climate Change Strategy and Energy Programme by delivering technical assistance and policy advice to developing countries and emerging markets in the context of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Impact Assessment and Adaptation Analysis (IAAA) section is one of five sections at UNEP-CCC. IAAA provides evidence-based assessments of the economic, social, and environmental implications of climate policies and actions. The main focus in the area of impact assessment is on the social, environmental, and economic outcomes of policies and measures at local to global scales, including their contributions to the SDGs and sustainable transitions. In the area of adaptation analysis, the main focus is on the assessment of climate risks and adaptation responses, including on their contribution to achieving adaptation and resilience goals at local to national and global scales, as well as on the analysis of and support for solutions to climate-related losses and damages.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are increasingly understood to be effective and efficient options to address both mitigation and adaptation challenges in a wide range of settings. In urban contexts, they contribute to mitigation by sequestering and storing carbon in their biomass and in soils or by reducing the demand for cooling. NbS are also powerful options to reduce climate risk by significantly lowering the impacts of climate hazards, such as reducing the impact of wave height and strength in coastal settings, dissipating flood risk through flood plains, and reducing urban heat by providing shade. At the same time, NbS contribute significantly to the provision of jobs, energy savings, ecosystem services, health and biodiversity.

However, despite many political pledges and overwhelmingly positive benefit-to-cost ratios in the longer term, NbS are often difficult to implement. This is due to a range of challenges, including high investment costs with delayed returns on investment, regulatory frameworks not designed to address natural solutions, the need to involve many stakeholders with potentially differing interests, as well as difficulties in monetizing all the benefits to overcome potentially higher up-front costs when compared to engineering solutions.

Overcoming the challenges of scaling up NbS in urban settings requires involving a range of stakeholders, identifying and assessing possible solutions and constraints, improving regulatory and legal frameworks, raising investments, among others. Danida is supporting UNEP-CCC in applying NbS in 3-4 small to medium-sized cities in India, Zambia, and potentially a SIDS facing different climate hazards and working with local and national public and private sector stakeholders to assess replicable implementation frameworks, business models, finance solutions, risk management approaches, synergies with mitigation solutions, and legal and regulatory frameworks to create enabling environments conducive to the implementation of NbS.

Functional Responsibilities

Reporting to the head of the impact assessment and adaptation analysis section, the main responsibility of the successful candidate will be to provide science-based advice in the context of nature-based solutions for adaptation and mitigation, policy support, and capacity building at local to national and global levels. The successful candidate is expected to work on a varied portfolio of activities, including project management and coordination, partnership development, data generation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, as well as contributing to fundraising, and proposal development in collaboration with other staff as well as other relevant colleagues across UNEP.

Specific areas of work for the Specialist – Nature-based Solutions will include:

  • Coordinate the work on nature-based solutions at UNPE-CCC through:

    • strategic inputs regarding the direction and scope of activities related to nature-based solutions;
    • management and implementation of projects and other initiatives related to nature-based solutions;
    • support and co-development of fundraising activities under the supervision of the head of section; and
    • development and maintenance of partnerships and intensive networking in the context of nature-based solutions, in particular those supporting low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable development.
  • Contribute to the development of knowledge and capacity building products for nature-based solutions that address climate risks and support climate mitigation and sustainable development.
  • Analyse the opportunities and challenges for public and private sector engagement in nature-based solutions and develop and implement innovative business models for NbS implementation in developing countries and emerging economies.
  • Collaborate with the head of unit in setting the work and strategic discussion of the IAAA section in the context of nature-based solutions.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of UNEP-CCC’s and UNEP’s strategies, in particular in the area of nature-based solutions that address climate risks and support climate mitigation and sustainable development.
  • Other tasks as designated by the section head.

3. Monitoring and Progress Controls

The incumbent will be evaluated against performance criteria including the following:

  • Level of contribution to project objectives
  • Level of contribution to resource mobilization, partnership building and maintenance, and networking
  • Level of contribution to the UNOPS core competencies (see below)
  • Level of contribution to the strategic discussions as part of the IAAA section, UNEP-CCC, and UNEP


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above) Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles. Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role). Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries. Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements. Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving. Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education

Candidates should possess a master's degree in Environmental Sciences, Economics, Natural Resource Management, Political Sciences, or other areas with strong relevance to climate change and nature-based solutions. A Ph.D. with a thesis in a related topic is highly desirable. A bachelor’s degree with an additional two (2) years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the master's degree.

b. Experience

  • Candidates should have at least 5 years of experience working on nature-based solutions for adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development, as well as M&E. Experience with the UNFCCC and climate policies at national and international levels is an important asset.
  • Experience in project management and coordination is required.
  • Experience working with developing countries and emerging economies is required.
  • Experience with fundraising and partnership building are strong assets.
  • Experience working in an international agency or organization is desirable.

c. Languages

  • The working language at UNEP-CCC is English. Fluency in English is required for this position. Fluency in either Spanish and/or French is highly desired. Knowledge of any other UN language is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement Contract level: IICA 2 / ICS 10 Contract duration: One year (12 months) initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds

For more details about the *ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Information

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process. If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark is a family duty station.

Terms and Conditions

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background information- ECR

Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

ECR strategy is to:

  • Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals with particular emphasis on health, environment and economic development.
  • Position UNOPS in the Balkan sub-region, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.

Added 2 months ago - Updated 2 months ago - Source: jobs.unops.org