Associate Programme Specialist

Paris, , FR


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector (ADG/SC), guidance from the Director of the Division for Ecological and Earth Sciences (DIR/EES) and the direct supervision of the Chief of the Section on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Networking: Biosphere Reserves and Capacity Building (SC/EES/NBC), the incumbent will be responsible for providing professional and technical support, research and analysis, as well as programmatic activities and initiatives, specifically in relation to UNESCO’s MAB Programme and the Secretariat of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). The incumbent will perform the following tasks:

  • Contribute to the implementation of projects and initiatives within the frameworks of the MAB Programme and the MAB Strategy 2015-2025, in addition to the Lima Action Plan 2016-2025 by preparing and organising statutory meetings of MAB, WNBR and the International Coordinating Council of MAB (MAB-ICC). Provide and maintain MAB and WNBR communication service for the Member States in cooperation with the Executive Office of the Natural Sciences Sector, Field Offices and the Central Services, contributing towards the development of regional thematic networks of MAB and WNBR.
  • Update and enhance the MAB/WNBR information management systems, as well as the internet based platforms and databases at the MAB Secretariat. Support the implementation of the activities of the UNESCO MAB/WNBR and organise events, exhibitions and outreach activities related to MAB’s work in biodiversity, climate change, coastal and mountain ecosystems, ecological restoration, green economy and the development of application projects, scientific ideas and knowledge in the use of remote sensing technologies relevant to Ecological and Earth Sciences and in monitoring UNESCO designated and affiliated sites.
  • Conduct and support surveys, studies and analyse data, as well as site best practices and current trends of  biosphere reserve development that help ensure the relevance of the MAB work to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG 15.
  • Assist in mobilizing extrabudgetary resources and developing partnerships to enhance the MAB/WNBR, with UNESCO Chairs and Category 2 centers, universities, research institutions, NGOs and private sectors, within the overall partnership development policy of the SC Sector and that of SC/EES (Division for Ecological and Earth Sciences).
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of ecological sciences or environmental sciences. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. 
Work Experience
  • Minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience in the field of ecological sciences or environmental sciences, of which at least 1 year acquired at the international level.
  • Experience working in and implementing international scientific programmes/projects.
  • Good analytical, organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills.
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations with national/local authorities, relevant institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Ability to communicate and negotiate effectively and persuasively (orally and in writing) with various stakeholders at all levels, within and outside of the Organization.
  • Ability to work efficiently in a team and to maintain effective working relations within a multi-cultural environment.
  • Solid IT skills including knowledge of office software. 
  • Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken) and a good knowledge (written and spoken) of French.
  • Advanced university degree (Ph.D. or equivalent degree) in the field of ecological sciences or environmental sciences.
  • Professional certification or other accreditation in the fields of ecological sciences, environmental sciences, or the sustainable use of natural resources.
 Work Experience
  • Professional experience in the UN System or in an international development corporation.
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks.
  • Research and analysis conducted in the fields of ecological sciences or environmental sciences.
  • Knowledge of fund-raising and other resource mobilization mechanisms.
  • Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Spanish, Arab, Chinese or Russian).