Chief Technical Specialist (Forest and Watershed Management)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Dhaka, Bangladesh 🇧🇩

Job Description


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 

After more than two decades since the signing of the CHT Peace Accord, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh still experience relatively low levels of development including economic and social progress and degradation of natural resources and forests. The combination of the increased pressure on scarce natural resources, the consequences of the economic downturn, and the persistence of extreme poverty below the national average, as well as a lack of economic development and prospective opportunities, add to growing tensions and conflicts throughout the region and adversely affect the country’s encouraging progress. The Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs (MOCHTA), in collaboration with UNDP and other Development Partners, has implemented several projects in the CHT during the last decade.  With assistance from various Development Partners, UNDP has undertaken a new 10-year project entitled, “Strengthening Inclusive Development in CHT” (SID-CHT 2017-26) with the main objective, ‘’To strengthen the capacity of the population in the CHT to shape and make decisions that impact on their lives”. The outcomes of this project are: 1) Economic and social empowerment and development; and 2) Improved social cohesion and community stability. The following four outputs are contributing to these two outcomes:

  • Output 1: Strengthened community land, resource and livelihood management.
  • Output 2: Increased participation and influence to shape decision-making.
  • Output 3: Democratic governance strengthened with responsive institutions and effective services.
  • Output 4: Empowerment of women and girls through education and skill training

The forests in the CHT support multi-story biodiversity as part of evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, many of which formed as important watersheds of rivers and were so named headwater Reserved Forests (RFs) after the river names. There are three Protected Areas (PAs) as part of RFs in the CHT. A key significance of these forests lies in keeping the river/stream water at a steady level, protecting the soils, and regulating the climate locally. Village Common Forests (VCFs) are community-managed non-RFs and their economic-ecological functions are essential, particularly for meeting the demands of local people and the region’s economy. They serve as important ecosystems rich in flora and fauna and are significant providers of forest products and services to neighboring communities. A ten-year USAID funded Chittagong Hill Tracts Watershed Co-Management Activity (CHTWCA), within the SID-CHT project, is under implementation for the improved, participatory management of headwater RFs, PAs and VCFs in the CHT. The CHTWCA’s purpose is to strengthen the capacity to protect and manage the natural ecosystems of the CHT, which is being achieved through the three Results – i) strengthened ecosystem governance, ii) resilient livelihoods with market access improved, and iii) reduced conflicts and improved social cohesion among communities for ecosystem conservation. The incumbent will be responsible for achieving the three Results in coordination with key stakeholders including the Government of Bangladesh (GOB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNDP, communities and their leaders and institutions, and other important actors and institutions.

Position Purpose

Chief Technical Specialist, Forest and Watershed Management, will be responsible for managing USAID funded CHTWCA including leading techno-managerial works on forestry policy and management planning issues, forest governance and climate change activities, coordinating with the GoB ministries and agencies, donors and other key stakeholders. He will be the Chief Technical Advisor for the CHTWCA.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Ensure effective coordination of relevant GOB ministries and agencies, donors and other relevant development partners and peoples’ institutions and civil society. 

  • Coordination of the concerned Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs (MOCHTA), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Forest Department (MOEFCC), Forest Department, CHT Regional Council (CHTRC), Hill District Councils (HDCs), the CHT traditional institutions, local stakeholders and civil society organizations;
  • Coordinate with the USAID team and USAID funded projects, and other relevant development partners and projects to keep updating them on the progress of the project and learning regularly;
  • Organize project workshops, seminars and dialogues for engaging actively all relevant parties at national, regional and local levels.

2. Manage policy and advocacy works on biodiversity, forestry, environment, natural resource management and climate change

  • Develop strategic documentation and policy papers on the SID-CHT project’s engagement to provide technical support on biodiversity, forestry, integrated ecosystem management, participatory watershed management, environment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and natural resource management and governance in the CHT, based on a thorough situation analysis;
  • Actively promote sustainable management of the CHT watersheds with the involvement of key stakeholders and with particular focus on headwater Reserved Forests (RFs), Protected Areas (PAs) and Village Common Forests (VCFs);
  • Develop advocacy and policy strategies to work on relevant policy and legal issues and frameworks for decentralized sustainable forest and watershed management in the CHT in line with the Peace Accord signed in 1997;
  • Following USAID and MOCHTA approved work plans and budget, prepare necessary implementation guidelines on different project activities to be followed by the project team and implementing partners;
  • Ensure donor guidelines are followed and strategic visibility of the project is recognized.

3. Manage the USAID funded CHTWCA in coordination with UNDP, USAID, GOB and other relevant organizations and key stakeholders.

  • Manage CHTWCA successfully through technical and management teams located at the project office at Rangamati, with field implementation offices in the three Hill Districts of the CHT. Project and team management is an important responsibility of the incumbent;
  • Develop and implement the project field implementation guidelines and operational procedures and methods;
  • Coordinate with the SID-CHT senior management, the UNDP Country Office, USAID and MOCHTA for field implementation of CHTWCA successfully;
  • When needed, provide technical support to the SID-CHT project management to manage the SID-CHT project effectively;
  • As the budget holder of CHTWCA, manage funds and ensure financial deliverables and reporting to USAID and  MOCHTA;
  • Coordinate with other relevant UNDP projects for cross-learning and sharing of technical experiences and knowledge.

4. Develop participatory management plans and guidelines on participatory forest management, protected area co-management, wildlife management, control of wildlife trafficking, integrated ecosystem management, participatory watershed management, and sustainable natural resource management.

  • Preparation and presentation of USAID technical deliverables (annual work plans; monitoring, evaluation and learning plan; annual and quarterly progress reports, technical management plans for forest and protected areas; policy papers for USAID and MOCHTA, REDD+ Sub-National Plan, Integrated Watershed Management Plan, Social and Environmental Safeguards, gender analysis and strategy, communication and branding plans, etc.);
  • Ensure donor guidelines are followed and strategic visibility of the project is recognized;
  • Document best practices and learnings, covering different concepts, strategies and implementation approaches and support the management in mainstreaming programme policies and practices relevant to biodiversity, forestry, environment, natural resource management and climate change;

5. Provide technical support and capacity building to the UNDP Country Office and the project offices including CHTWCA in the field of forestry, wildlife, climate change and natural resource management.

  • Prepare technical concept papers and project proposals (both technical and financial) for soliciting donor funds;
  • Prepare and present technical and financial proposals to USAID for the extension of CHTWCA and resource mobilization;
  • Prepare technical proposals for funding from Global Affairs Canada and DANIDA;
  • Participation in technical meetings and providing professional inputs to the teams of the UNDP Country Office and its project offices;
  • As when needed, provide technical advice to the country and the project offices in the field of biodiversity, forestry, environment, natural resource management and climate change;
  • Participate in relevant technical debates/discussions as convened by the country and the project offices in the field of biodiversity, forestry, environment, natural resource management and climate change;
  • Contribute to the preparation of the SID-CHT Project Document;
  • Imparting technical training (on sustainable landscapes, integrated ecosystem management, participatory watershed management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, forest governance, etc.) to Divisional Forest Officers of Assistant Conservators of Forests of Bangladesh Forest Department, Managers and Coordinators of partner organizations, traditional leaders including Headmen and Karbaries;
  • Provide necessary technical training and management orientation to the project team to build their techno-managerial capacities for effective implementation of CHTWCA;
  • Ensure necessary technical support to the national steering committee and the project implementation committee of the MoCHTA and prepare strategic technical papers and notes; 
  • Provide capacity-building support to FD, MoEFCC, MoCHTA, the CHTRC, the HDCs, traditional leaders and other partners.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: Manage USAID funded CHTWCA and supervise a team of technical staff and operations staff.


Core Competencies

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, and develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy   

  • Strategic Thinking: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with the UNDP’s objective, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.

Business Direction & Strategy   

  • Effective Decision Making: Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources.

Business Development 

  • UNDP Representation: Ability to represent UNDP and productively share UNDP knowledge and activities; advocate for UNDP, its values, mission and work with various constituencies

Business Management 

  • Resource Management: Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity.

2030 Agenda: Planet    

  • Nature, Climate and Energy: Climate and Forest: Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation,  Climate Change Adaptation: Livelihoods,  Water Management,  Ecosystem and Biodiversity:  Access and Benefits sharing of biodiversity, land, Forest and Oceans,  Conservation and Sustainable use of biodiversity, land, forest and Oceans,  Ecosystem and Biodiversity,  Natural Resource Management;
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery: Climate Risk Management.

2030 Agenda: Peace    

  • Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions Land, Natural Resources and Conflict: Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry

2030 Agenda: Prosperity

  • Inclusive Growth: Development Planning

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s or PhD degree in Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Studies, Climate Change or any other relevant field.


  • Minimum 7 years of relevant experience in managing forestry and/or natural resource management projects, including government/donor interactions at the management and policy level in the region;
  • Proven record of experience/working on participatory watershed management, sustainable forest management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • A good understanding of policies related to sustainable forest management and climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • Demonstrated ability to produce good quality technical briefs/reports and management plans in English;
  • Ability to critically review relevant technical materials and recommend appropriate measures to overcome the issues;
  • Relevant working experience with UN agencies or INGOs is an added advantage;
  • Experience of working in post-conflict regions and working with indigenous peoples will be an added advantage.

Language requirement:

  • Proficiency in oral and written English


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)  

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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