Environmental Engineer (UNVMC)

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Bogota, Colombia 🇨🇴


Description of assignment title: Environmental Engineer

Assignment country: Colombia

Expected start date: 02/07/2023

Sustainable Development Goal: 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Volunteer category: International UN Volunteer Specialist

DoA reserved for persons with disabilities: No

Host entity: UNVMC

Type: Onsite

Duration: 6 months (with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Bogota


Mission and objectives
On 26 September 2017, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia started its activities, immediately upon the conclusion of the mandate of the first United Nations Mission in Colombia.

The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia (Verification Mission) was established by the UN Security Council pursuant to resolution 2366 (2017), adopted unanimously on 10 July 2017. The resolution followed a joint request for UN support from the Government of Colombia and the then Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–People’s Army (FARC-EP).
UNVMC mandate has been renewed through resolution points 3.2 and 3.4 of the Final Peace Agreement. Further to a request from the Government of Colombia, on its behalf and on behalf of the former FARC-EP, the Security Council, by its resolution 2574 (2021) adopted unanimously on 11 May 2021, mandated the Verification Mission to implement an additional task, as envisioned in the Final Peace Agreement, namely the verification of compliance with the sentences of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

The request of the National Government and the FARC-EP to the UN for the formation of a second political Mission, with different responsibilities than the first one, is based on the Peace Agreement signed by the parties on 24 November 2016.
The endorsement of the new Verification Mission was ratified in the visit to Colombia by the UN Security Council on 4-5 May 2017 and, furthermore, in the Council session of June 28, 2017, in the presentation of the third report of the current Mission.
In addition to the Peace Agreement, the guidelines of the Verification Mission were also defined in two documents:
• Statement No. 19 of the Follow-up Commission, Impulse and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Agreement- CSIVI, dated 29 May 2017.
• The letter from President Juan Manuel Santos to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on 7 June 2017, requesting said Mission.
On 10 July 2017, the Security Council approved the establishment of the Verification Mission through Resolution 2366, noted general characteristics of the Mission, requested to immediately start preparations and interim work, and requested, within 45 days, a report with recommendations on the size and operational aspects of the Verification Mission.
On 14 September, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2377 welcoming the report of recommendations submitted to the Security Council on 30 August.
On 27 October 2022 the Security Council approved Resolution 2655 renewing the mandate of the Verification Mission until 31 October 2023.
On 11 January 2023 the Security Council approved Resolution 2673 in which the mandate of the Verification Mission was extended to include the monitoring of the implementation of points 1 and 6.2 of the Final Agreement.
The successful implementation of the FARC’s reincorporation and security guarantees for ex-combatants and their families and communities is crucial to consolidate peace in Colombia. Therefore, the Verification Mission responsible for verifying these aspects will be a factor in building confidence in the process and stimulating efforts to fulfill the commitments made.
The results of the first Mission, the dialogue held with the Government and the FARC, social organizations, local and national authorities and different institutions, as well as the trust built, will contribute to the success of the second Mission. This dialogue and trust will be strengthened.

Task description
Under the direct supervision of the Chief Engineering Officer (CEO), the UN Volunteer will perform the following tasks:
• Conduct environmental assessments and operations surveys in the Mission.
• Develop the Mission’s environmental baseline study and environmental action plan.
• Advise relevant staff members/offices on environmental issues arising from environmental assessments and surveys conducted.
• Provide environmental information relevant to the Mission’s operations and take measures to promote awareness of environmental issues.
• Establish the list of potentially hazardous installations within the Mission.
• Advise on environmental issues with local authorities or the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s office and relevant United Nations bodies and agencies present in the country or region hosted by the Mission.
• Investigate complaints or reports of pollution, health hazards and other environment-related incidents.
• Maintain a record of environmental issues and actions in the Mission.
• Coordinate all activities related to environmental compliance at all levels of the Mission.
• Assess environmental conditions through baseline studies and implement monitoring and evaluation procedures.
• Prepare guidance materials and instructions aimed at achieving environmental objectives.
• Prepare consolidated reports on environmental actions for all Mission sites and identify problem areas to be addressed by relevant Sections within the Mission.
• Develop and implement training activities aimed at developing the Mission’s capacity to meet the Mission’s environmental objectives; Develop and implement training activities aimed at developing the Mission’s capacity to meet the Mission’s environmental objectives.
• Formulate and evaluate procedures and projects.
• Develop terms of reference and review contracts and services for waste disposal in accordance with international and local environmental standards.
• Develop and maintain contacts with other UN agencies, local authorities and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Mission area.
• Keep up to date on environmental development issues.
• Perform any other environmentally related tasks as required.

Eligibility criteria

Age: 27 – 80

Nationality: Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience
3 years of experience in environmental engineering or related fields.
• Experience in engineering aspects of environmental engineering at national and international level.
• Experience in environmental health and sanitation, emission and pollution control, wastewater disposal, water treatment plants, landfill development, environmental health hazards, hazardous substance control and food safety.
• Experience in planning, organization, management and evaluation.
• Previous experience in field operations, e.g. within a UN mission or NGO establishment at national or international level, or with other organizations with comparable mandates and working conditions is desirable
• Ability to work analytically; ability to take initiative and innovate; ability to plan, coordinate and supervise work plans and organize activities under pressure; ability to maintain records clearly and concisely.
• Strong common computer skills, including familiarity with Microsoft office suite.
• Fluency in spoken and written English is required. Knowledge of Spanish is desirable.
• Valid driver’s license and proven ability and experience driving 4×4 manual vehicles.
• Affinity or interest in humanitarian support, post-conflict situations, volunteerism as a mechanism for sustainable development, and the United Nations system.

Area(s) of expertise: Engineering and construction , Energy and environment

Driving license: B Required

English, Level: Fluent, Required
Spanish, Level: Fluent, Desirable

Required education level
Bachelor degree or equivalent in Environmental Engineering, Energy Management, Environmental Management.

Competencies and values
• Integrity and professionalism: technical qualifications and knowledge of environmental engineering issues; ability to apply engineering skills to environmental problems; demonstrating professional competence and mastery of the subject matter; motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; demonstrating persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; demonstrated ability to apply good judgment in applying technical knowledge and to be accurate; high degree of personal initiative and willingness to accept broad responsibilities; ability to take ownership and work independently according to established procedures;
• Accountability: ability to operate in accordance with organizational rules and regulations, assume responsibility for actions, meet commitments and deliver results on time, cost and quality standards; supporting subordinates, providing supervision and assuming responsibility for delegated tasks.
• Technology awareness and commitment to continuous learning: keeping abreast of available technology; understanding the applicability and limitation of technology to the job; actively seeking to apply technology to appropriate tasks; showing a willingness to stay current and utilize new technologies.
• Planning, effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to handle a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to set priorities and plan, coordinate and monitor work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities, often under difficult and demanding conditions.
• Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relationships in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender.
• Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good oral and written communication skills, including the ability to write clear, concise and meaningful reports; ability to make presentations, articulate options and positions concisely by conveying as much information as necessary.
• Flexibility, adaptability and willingness to live and work in dangerous and remote, physically challenging and uncomfortable locations, including possible travel to remote locations within the Mission area; willingness to relocate to other duty stations within the Mission area as needed.
• Genuine commitment to the principles of volunteer engagement, including solidarity, compassion, reciprocity, and self-reliance; and commitment to the core values of the UN.

Other information

Living conditions and remarks
The UN Volunteer will be based in Bogotá, which is the capital of Colombia, unless support is needed in other regions or cities. The candidate may be required to travel to other assignment sites to implement training activities. All public and health services are available in Bogotá, as well as cultural and other recreational activities. The incumbent will be responsible for arranging his/her own housing and other essentials of life. Official missions and all movements must be reported to the UNDSS. National UN Volunteers are part of an insurance scheme.
Bogota is the capital of Colombia and one of the most populated cities in the country, so living expenses (including housing costs) are higher than in other cities. Living and working conditions in Bogotá are “low” risk. The city has security problems common to most growing capitals, however, this does not create a permanent risk exposure for national and international staff. All UN Volunteers receive a report from the Mission Security Section that addresses the security environment of the duty station, guides the security measures to be taken and the selection of residence. UN Volunteers are entitled to a residential security enhancement grant (MORSS) and have access to security training (some are mandatory and some are recommended). Colombia has different security levels (from low to substantial) clearly defined. Missions and official movements must be reported to the UNDSS. When conducting missions, the SRA defines the mitigation measures that may be required and additional measures are set out in the Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS).
Full health services are available in Bogota. In addition to public service, several international schools are present in the city. Bogota offers a lively cultural program and other recreational activities. Bogota’s El Dorado Airport is the largest airport in the country. It is served by flights from the Americas and major European airports. It is located very close to the urban area and is easily accessible, either by public or private transportation.
Bogota is characterized by a moderately cold climate, with approximately 14ºC on average. Even though it is a tropical climate, the cold is accentuated on rainy days or days with little sunshine. On the other hand, during very sunny days the wind chill can be increased to 23 ° C or more. Although it has an approximate humidity of 80%, residents and visitors to the city do not experience a humid climate: the wind, especially in January-February and July-August, can sweep away the humidity. During El Niño and La Niña phenomena, Bogota’s weather becomes unpredictable.
Colombia is a unique country with unique people and offers a rewarding and enriching UNV experience. However, some duty stations that are not suitable for family accompaniment will require more resilience and dedication than others. Therefore, the ability, capacity and willingness to be able to live and work in relatively challenging and difficult conditions with limited comfort are essential.

Inclusivity statement
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements
Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy





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