Specialized Technical Advisor on Ecosystem-based Adaptation

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Xalapa, , MX

Result of Service

The Specialized technical advisor´s main duties will include:
• Develop methodologies and road maps that allow mainstreaming the EbA approach in cities.
• Provide technical and scientific support in the development of the monitoring and evaluation program of the EbA interventions in the city of Xalapa, which includes the design of indicators and strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services with goals and actions.
• Strengthen links by leveraging its network of stakeholders that complement the project’s knowledge and implementation network.
• Develop dissemination and training materials for the EbA approach in cities for different target audiences.
• Develop proposals for improvement to include the EbA approach in the territory planning instruments: Ecological Planning, integrated watershed management program, urban development plans and climate change adaptation plans.
• Collaborate in the organization and facilitation of workshops, courses and meetings with social, governmental and academic actors.
• Analyze the feasibility of updating the vulnerability study based on the analysis of variables that may change in the short and medium terms derived from: i) extraordinary climatic events, ii) changes in social and economic variables (census update, variables gender sensitive, etc.), iii) from the impacts measured in the EbA interventions in the city of Xalapa.
• Support the identification of other EbA intervention alternatives.
• Characterize all EbA interventions using multi criteria methods and cost benefit analysis.
• Collaborate in the realization of protocols, technical guides, and dissemination and communication materials.
• Other assignments as necessary according to upcoming requirements.

Work Location

Xalapa, Mexico


Expected duration


Duties and Responsibilities

1. Purpose.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The UN Environment Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC), located in Panama City, works closely with the 33 countries of the region and its activities are integrated into the Medium Term Strategy and the Programme of Work approved by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region is the second most urbanised region in the world, with ~80% of its population living in cities. Rapid urbanisation, coupled with limited urban planning and the associated expansion of cities, is degrading urban and peri-urban ecosystems that provide vital ecosystem services for urban communities. Ecosystem degradation poses a threat to urban communities and increases their vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change.

To address the vulnerability of urban communities, governments in the LAC region need to develop and implement cost-effective and low-risk solutions, such as Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) protecting, maintaining and rehabilitating priority ecosystems in urban areas and its immediate surroundings.

As a result, UNEP is working with the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico to execute the Global Environment Facility (GEF) financed project “Building climate resilience of urban systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Latin America and the Caribbean in the cities of San Salvador, Kingston and Xalapa”, also known as CityAdapt. The objective of the project is to increase the adaptability of urban communities through: i) mainstreaming urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) into medium- and long-term urban development planning; ii) implementing urban EbA interventions to foster climate-resilient communities; and iii) acquiring knowledge and raising awareness of urban EbA throughout the LAC region.

The specialized technical advisor will collaborate with the project national coordinator, providing technical and scientific support to the project activities, in addition to supporting the development of monitoring and evaluation methodologies that require proposing scaling strategies, will also serve as a link between other consultants and the project coordination, in addition to fostering and creating links with key actors that advantage the inclusion of the EbA approach in city planning.

The specialized technical advisor will report directly to the Adaptation Programme Officer and will work in close collaboration with the project’s National Coordinator of Xalapa, based in the NGO Fondo Golfo de Mexico (FGM). He/She will also be based in the FGM in Xalapa, and will be present in the office 40 hours per week during a normal working hours from Monday to Friday on a full-time basis.

2. Objective.

The Specialized technical advisor´s main responsibilities will include:
• Provide technical support under EbA approach to the project and collaborate on the supervision of activities and delivery of products in a timely manner,
• Provide technical and scientific support in monitoring and evaluation of EbA interventions,
• Support the coordination of activities, workshops, courses, online seminars and technical advice on adaptation with an EbA approach,
• Provide support in conflict resolution and decision-making with key actors,
• Strengthen participation mechanisms among decision makers in the different areas of government,
• Support in the development of methodologies that allow mainstreaming the EbA approach in cities,
• Collaborate in the timely preparation of detailed annual work plans and budgets for approval by the Coordinator and the Technical and Project Steering Committees.
• Collaborate in meetings organization with the technical advisory committee of the project.
• Inform the project coordinator of any problem or risk that could jeopardize the success of the project.
• Provide on the ground information for progress reports.
• Provide logistical support in organizing visits to project sites.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:
– Master’s degree in the areas of biology, environmental engineering, sustainable development, environmental management or related.
– PhD in mentioned areas would be an asset.

– A minimum of 6 years of relevant work experience
– Extensive experience in the design of indicators for monitoring and evaluation of actions with an ecosystem-based approach.
– Extensive experience in the development of vulnerability studies and adaptation plans to climate change at the municipal and regional level.
– Solid links and respected relations with local and regional actors of the State of Veracruz.
– Proven leadership in the coordination of interdisciplinary working groups in scientific studies as well as in community work and in consultation with governments.
– Extensive experience in the development of methodologies applied to land use planning in the territory, both at the basin, regional and municipal level.
– Proven experience in facilitation and organization of workshops.

– Excellent written and communication skills in English and Spanish.

– Planning and organization skills.
– Vast knowledge of the environmental and socioeconomic conditions of the area where the actions of the CityAdapt project are carried out (State of Veracruz, Municipalities of Xalapa and adjoining).

– Being a Mexican citizen in full exercise of its rights, or foreign, whose migratory condition allows the function to be developed

– Professionalism: Ability to perform a broad range of administrative functions, e.g., human resources, budget/work programme, database management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions.

– Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

– Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

– Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates 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 efficiently.