Environmental Officer

SRSG for West Africa/United Nations Office in West Africa

Dakar, Senegal 🇸🇳

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) is a regional Special Political Mission (SPM) with a conflict prevention and peacebuilding mandate from the Security Council. As such, it undertakes good offices and preventive diplomacy and works with the UN and regional partners to address cross-border and cross-cutting threats to peace and security, promote good governance, respect for the rule of law, human rights and the mainstreaming of gender in conflict prevention, management and resolution initiatives.

During its mandate renewal in January 2020, the Council requested UNOWAS to “take into consideration the adverse implications of climate change, energy poverty, ecological changes, and natural disasters, among other factors, including by assisting the governments of the region and the United Nations system in undertaking risk assessments and risk management strategies relating to these factors.”

This Climate Security Advisor will support UNOWAS in the implementation of these mandated tasks, in close cooperation with the Climate Security Mechanism (CSM), a joint initiative by DPPA, UNDP, UNEP and DPO. The position is located in the Political Affairs Section of UNOWAS, based in Dakar, Senegal, and reports to the Team Leader.

Responsibilities

The Environmental Officer, P-4, will play the role of a Climate Security Advisor is mainly two-folds:

• To advise UNOWAS leadership and substantive staff on current and emerging peace and security risks relating to climate and environmental change in West Africa and the Sahel, and to lead on the mainstreaming of such climate-related security risks into political analysis, strategies and advocacy of the mission.

• To enhance coordination and cooperation on climate security between UNOWAS and its partners in support of policy development and implementation by the UN system, regional organizations and national governments in the region.

In particular, this includes:

  1. Prepare analysis of the impact of environmental issues on peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel through integrated risk assessments and consultations with UN and non-UN actors, including ECOWAS, government agencies, the scientific community, and civil society; keeping database and resource-materials of such analyses prepared for information and access of mission leadership and collaborators;
  2. Support the development of risk management strategies that draw on the climate security risk assessments completed, including support to ECOWAS in the development and implementation of its Regional Climate Strategy and support to national governments in the development and implementation of National Climate Change Plans through the work of the UN Country Teams.
  3. Provide technical guidance on climate security policy and programming with the view to mainstream climate security across policy areas of the mission, and build further capacity to help bridge the technical and political aspects of climate security;
  4. Lead and contribute to training and capacity building efforts on climate security for UNOWAS substantive staff and other UN staff in the region in collaboration with local partners and the CSM, as appropriate;
  5. Contribute to the global work of the CSM and support knowledge management activities, advocacy, partnerships and convening efforts, including through the UN Community of Practice on Climate Security;
  6. Serve as the coordinator of the Secretariat of the UN Working Group on Climate Change, Environment, Security and Development, including planning, organization, and follow-up of meetings, reporting, consultations, and partner outreach, especially as it relates to the Working Group’s role in monitoring and implementing the Call to Action emanating from the Regional Conference on Climate Change, Peace and Security held in Dakar on 6 and 7 April 2022;
  7. Serve as UNOWAS’ technical focal point with the Office of the Special Coordinator on Development in the Sahel relating to climate security activities and events, to ensure synergy, timely cooperation and sharing of information;
  8. Develop a wide network of contacts relevant to the field of climate security in West Africa and the Sahel; conduct outreach and initiate collaboration with other regional bodies and actors (such as the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Climate Commission for the Sahel, G5 Sahel, the Manu River Union (MRU), the Greet Green Wall (GGW) initiative, the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), the World Bank, as well as non-governmental organizations and research institutions.
  9. Prepare reports, statements, presentations and other materials on climate security in West Africa and the Sahel, and participate in meetings and conferences, as relevant, to exchange information with other stakeholders.

Competencies

Professionalism: Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks in the field of climate change and security as it relates to UNOWAS’ mandate implementation; Good understanding of peace and security issues in West Africa and the Sahel; Ability to establish and strengthen partnerships at different levels; Capacity to manage complex multi-stakeholder processes; Shows good analytical skills and persistence when faced with difficult challenges; Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Planning and organization: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; Adjusts priorities as required; Allocated appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time effectively.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, Provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings where applicable.

Education

An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, political science, environmental studies, development, geology, climate change or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in environmental management/assessments, geology, climate change, biodiversity, development or related field is required.

At least 2 years of field experience in Africa is desired;

A strong understanding of global environmental and climate change policy and practice is required.

Demonstrable experience in drafting and editing high quality reports is required.

At least 2 years of experience working in an international organization or non-governmental organization is required

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in oral and written English and French is required.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise, which may be followed by interviews.

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available until [June 2024]. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

This job opening is advertised to fill a temporarily vacant position during the absence of the regular incumbent for a period of one year or longer. The regular incumbent is entitled to return to this position at the expiry of the temporary vacancy period. If the regular incumbent exercises the right to return, the appointment or temporary assignment or promotion of the candidate selected for this job opening will not be renewed or extended.

The selection process for this job opening will be conducted pursuant to ST/AI/2010/3 on the “Staff Selection System” and include the compliance review process by a review body described in staff rule 4.15. In case of selection, a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat who meets the definition of “internal candidate” in staff rule 4.10 will be placed on a temporary assignment if he or she holds the same grade as the job opening; and a temporary promotion if he or she holds a lower grade than the job opening. If the regular incumbent vacates the position during such temporary assignment or promotion, the selected staff member will be laterally assigned, promoted or transferred to the position without further selection process under ST/AI/2010/3.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED