Sustainable Mountain Development Specialists

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Rome, Italy
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
0-2 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Organizational Setting

The Forestry Policy and Resources Division of the Forestry Department leads FAO's work in promoting sustainable forest management and providing leadership on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of forestry, including its contributions to poverty reduction and food security and nutrition. It liaises with member countries, civil society and the private sector in aspects ranging from development of effective forest policies to forest conservation and management issues, and strengthens the role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Division also collects, analyses and disseminates information on the world's forest resources and on the production, trade and consumption of wood and non-wood forest products. It is also responsible for promoting sustainable mountain development and watershed management,

The posts are located in the Water and Mountains Team, FOA, which hosts the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. The Secretariat acts as a networking and liaison point for members, connecting institutions and countries for activities in sustainable mountain development to ensure advancement of the mountain agenda at any level. It is also engaged in raising awareness globally about the importance of mountains and in advocating increased attention to sustainable mountain development. The Mountain Partnership Secretariat plays a facilitating role in helping members build and develop joint activities, mobilize resources, promote closer collaboration and achieve better results for sustainable mountain development.

FAO International Consultants and Call purpose:

The purpose of this Call for Expression of Interest is to provide FAO with a list of qualified candidates to support and enhance its program of work. Assignments pursuant to this Call for Expression of Interest may be at the Organization’s headquarters in Rome (Italy), home based, or on field missions, as required.

The Organization frequently engages experts to work on short-term projects as international consultants. The functions of a consultant are results-oriented and normally involve analysing complex issues, directing seminars or training courses, preparing documents for conferences and meetings, or writing reports on matters within their area of expertise.

An international consultant is engaged by the Organization to provide expertise, skills or knowledge for the performance of a specific task or piece of work, which would be short-term by nature. The assignment may involve full-time or part-time functions similar to those of staff members.

The assignment can be from 1 month up to 11 months. The possibility of further extension is subject to satisfactory performance and depending on the resources and needs of the Organization.

The purpose of this call is to attract talents with experience and background in the area of Sustainable Mountain Development

Reporting Lines

The international consultant(s) will be working under the direct supervision of the Water and Mountains Team Leader in collaboration with the Mountain Partnership Secretariat team.

Technical Focus

The incumbent(s) will contribute to the implementation of FAO’s Strategic Framework linked to eliminating hunger, food security and malnutrition (SO1), making agriculture and forestry more productive and sustainable (SO2), reducing rural poverty (SO3), enabling more inclusive and efficient food systems (SO4) and increasing the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises (SO5).  Specifically the Mountain Partnership Secretariat is looking for international consultants with experience and working knowledge on thematic areas related to:

  • Sustainable Mountain Development
  • Watershed management
  • Climate Change
  • Biodiversity mainstreaming into forestry and climate change mitigation/adaptation activities
  • Agrobiodiversity
  • Capacity development
  • Value chain analysis of mountain products
  • Agribusiness and marketing
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Indigenous Peoples

Partnerships development, private sector liaising and resource mobilization

  • Development of strategies to support fragile ecosystems, such as mountains, islands, drylands
  • Global advocacy, outreach and knowledge management
  • Gender
  • Remote sensing and GIS  
  • Social media and information dissemination
  • Policy advice

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Provide technical assistance on Sustainable Mountain Development
  • Provide technical assistance in the field of mountain economy, value chain analysis and financing schemes
  • Facilitate networking among Mountain Partnership stakeholders, respond to needs and promote best practices in sustainable mountain development
  • Support the Mountain Partnership’s advocacy activities (Rio Convention COPs, working groups, policy briefs, UN reports, declarations)
  • Contribute to policy advice to countries for the advancement of mountain issues in the 2030 AgendaContribute to the development and implementation of strategies to support fragile
  • ecosystems, including mountains, islands and drylands
  • Contribute to data collection and analytical research in the field of Sustainable Mountain Development, Climate Change, Biodiversity conservation
  • Support the work on the Mountain Green Cover Index for the SDG target 15.4 for which the MPS is responsible
  • Plan, implement capacity development activities and tools, including knowledge management platforms
  • Contribute to the development and dissemination of technical content and information products on Sustainable Mountain Development and for wide variety of audiences, particularly at the international level
  • Support field projects and monitoring and evaluation
  • Contribute to the design and formulation of Sustainable Mountain Development project proposals for FAO TCP, GEF and GCF, bilateral donors and private sector


Minimum Requirements

  • University degree (for PSA) and advanced university degree (for consultants) in the fields of environmental sciences, ecology, social and political sciences, environmental law, environmental engineering, sustainable management of natural resources, forestry, agriculture, communications, journalism  and/ or economics  
  • At least 2 years for level C and 5 years for level B of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: sustainable development,  project management, policy advice on Climate Change and Biodiversity, agribusiness, value chain analysis, food security and nutrition, Indigenous Peoples issues, communications and knowledge management, watershed management, remote sensing and GIS
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two, or of Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs)

Selection criteria 

  • Understanding of the sustainable mountain development context (2030 Agenda, Sendai Framework and Paris Agreement)
  • Good presentation and writing skills with demonstrated records of publications and papers
  • Relevant and demonstrated experience in training and other capacity development activities linked to Sustainable Mountain Development, small-scale enterprises, food security and nutrition, advocacy and information.
  • Experience of advocacy and outreach activities, especially at the United Nations level
  • Work experience in supporting sustainable mountain development programmes especially with civil society organizations and governments

FAO Core Competencies

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