Natural Resources Officer (Environmental Sustainability)

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Rome, Italy 🇮🇹

Organizational Setting
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda by supporting the transformation to More efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems, for Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life, leaving no one behind.
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 Member countries in their responses towards the challenge of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the development of adaptive capacities of agriculture, fisheries and forestry for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and other natural resources. It provides a coordination role on climate change, biodiversity and the environment. The Office also serves as the focal point for a multidisciplinary and global approach to UNFCCC, CBD and topics on bioenergy and undertakes work and provides support and guidance on assessment, management and tenure issues.

The post of Natural Resources Officer (Environmental Sustainability) is located in OCB.

Reporting Lines
The Natural Resources Officer (Environmental Sustainability) reports to the Senior Natural Resources Officer (Team Leader, Environment & Social Safeguards and Sustainability).
Technical Focus
Technical support for FAO’s international engagement and regional/country support for environmental sustainability with focus on natural resources use efficiency, circularity and sustainable ecosystem management, including assessing and monitoring environmental risks in agri-food sector from climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution; mainstreaming the environmental sustainability of agri-food systems in relevant FAO policies, strategies, plans and frameworks (e.g., FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031, Multilateral Environmental Agreements, UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy agenda, UN Environmental Management Group, UN Reform and others), and foresight for emerging environmental issues for food security and nutrition.

Key Results
Comprehensive technical and policy expertise to support the planning, development and implementation of Divisional programmes, projects, products and services in accordance with Divisional objectives and FAO Strategic Objectives.

Key Functions
• Plans and leads components of multi-disciplinary teams, leads and/or participates on Organization-wide, cross-Divisional committees, project teams, and working groups and/or provides specialized expertise on technical networks and/or international technical policy  and standard setting bodies;
• Develops technical, analytical, monitoring and reporting frameworks, and related methodologies, tools, systems and databases etc. to support the planning, implementation/delivery and monitoring of programmes of work, projects, products and/or services;
• Designs and conducts research, data collection, validation, analysis and/or reporting activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovative approaches and strategies, new tools, technologies, technical reports/publications, and/or policy proposals as well as the provision of technical/policy/ specialist/advice and expertise;
• Responds to country requests for technical and policy assistance, provides technical advice, assistance and solutions to  Regional, Subregional and Country Offices, and provides technical backstopping to field projects;
• Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to, and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within Member countries, such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials, on-line tools;
• Promotes international cooperation, advocates best practices, supports increased policy dialogue, and provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings;
• Participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with  FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions
• Supports the Team Leader in planning and policy, facilitates quality control of the relevant elements in the work programme of the Office;
• Leads and oversees the implementation of the assigned programmes and projects addressing environmental sustainability of food security and nutrition with a focus on resource use efficiency and sustainable bio-economy, pollution and ecosystem management:
• Supports the implementation of strategic partnerships with United Nations entities and in particular the Rome-based Agencies, civil society, academia and research organizations, cooperatives and producer organizations;
•Supports the development of public-private partnerships and alliances to promote environmental sustainability/innovation/technology transfer in agri-food sector;
• Supports advocacy efforts including the development of a framework for measuring results, with particular emphasis on sustainable use of natural resources for food security and nutrition;
• Represents the Organization at external and interagency meetings as required;
• Contributes to and leads resource mobilization efforts

Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in natural resources management, environmental or social sciences, economics, civil engineering, agriculture or a related field.
•  Seven years of relevant experience in natural resources management in public and/or private agri-food sector, including in the areas of research, capacity development, policy and country support, and international sustainable development agenda, some of which should be with the United Nations entities. 
•  Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable
• Extent and relevance of experience in collecting, analyzing, and translating into policy and action complex technical information and data related to climate change, biodiversity and environment for food and agriculture and related areas;
• Practical knowledge of global environmental issues and familiarity with major frameworks of relevant multilateral environmental agreements and processes;
•  Extent and relevance of experience in the development of tools and methodologies, policy support, editing and revision of technical/scientific/policy documents;
• Extent and relevance of experience in mobilizing partners and financial resources, establishing networks, organizing meetings and events at national and international levels and in coordinating multi-disciplinary consultations for inputs in areas relevant to FAO.  _________________________________________________________________

FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.



  • Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
  • FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link:
  Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of  annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protection FAO encourages  a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes: 
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct.
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  • To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications and language skills.
  • Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile;
  • Once your profile is completed, please apply and submit your application;
  • Your application will be screened based on the information provided on your online profile;
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered;
  • Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered;
  • We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact: [email protected]





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development