Land and Water Officer (Soil Information)

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Rome, Italy
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Organizational Setting

The Land and Water Division aims at enhancing the agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through their improved tenure, management, development and conservation. It addresses the challenges member countries face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land and water quantity and quality. It promotes equitable access to these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods and ecosystem services. It provides assistance to member nations in developing policies, programmes, best practices and tools in the fields of irrigation and drainage, soil conservation, drought mitigation, water rights, access to natural resources, and improvement of land markets. The Division hosts the Secretariat of the Global Soil Partnership which aims to promote sustainable soil management at all levels contributing to food security and nutrition, provision of ecosystem services, mitigation and adaptation to climate change and sustainable development.


Reporting Lines

The Land and Water Officer reports to the Secretary of the Global Soil Partnership under the overall supervision of the Director of the Land and Water Division.


Technical Focus

The Land and Water officer should work with the objective of assuring efficient, smooth and timely implementation of the Pillar 4 and Pillar 5 of the Global Soil Partnership focusing on the establishment of the Global Soil Information System based on harmonized national and regional soil information systems


Key Results

Collection and analysis of information, data and statistics and project / meeting services to support programme projects, products and services.


Key Functions

• Collects and analyzes relevant technical, social, economic, environmental, institutional and technology related information, data and/or statistics to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services;

• Undertakes analysis, provides technical input for plans and reports and edits/revises technical/scientific documents;

• Participates in the development of improved work methods, tools and systems;

• Updates databases and web pages;

• Participates in multidisciplinary project/work teams;

• Collaborates in the development of training tools and materials and the organization of workshops/seminars etc.;

• Participates in the organization, conduct and follow-up of meetings, consultations and conferences, the development/production of required materials and the provision of information and assistance to partners.


Specific Functions

• Supports the coordination of the development of the Soil Atlas of Asia and National Soil Information Systems project;

• Contributes to and monitors the implementation of the Global Soil Information System (GloSIS) and SoilSTAT;

• Supports the execution of the GSP Pillars 4 and 5 Global Implementation Plans;

• Develops soil data/metadata collection tools and methodologies and coordinates data flow between Global Soil Partnership and member countries;

• Develops, organises and conducts capacity development trainings on soil data collection, data preparation, digital soil mapping and soil property modelling;

• Supports Pillar 4 and Pillar 5 activities and monitors progress on the development of spatial and non-spatial GLOSIS (Global Soil Information System) data products including global maps;

• Keeps GSP Technical Networks (International Network of Soil Information Institutions and its Pillar 4 Working Group) stakeholders, working groups, decision makers adequately informed about project progress, technical results and achievements;

• Organises regular workshops and network meetings (International Network of Soil Information Institutions, Pillar 4 Working Group, Pillar 5 Working Group).





Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in agricultural sciences, soil science or related field;

• Three years of relevant experience in soil survey and soil mapping, including data collection/compilation, spatial data analysis at global level;

• Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).



• Results Focus

• Teamwork

• Communication

• Building Effective Relationships

• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement


Technical/Functional Skills

• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable;

• Extent and relevance of experience or knowledge of issues related to soil data and information, digital soil mapping to support decision making for sustainable soil management and by providing support to countries;

• Extent and relevance of experience in the formulation and implementation of soil information and mapping projects;

• Familiarity with soil mapping and modelling techniques, and experience with spatial statistics tools;

• Ability to organize efficient data collection programmes from diverse data sources;

• Extent and relevance on producing global soil maps following a country driven process including capacity development;

• Understanding of FAO policies, rules of procedures and programmes is considered a strong asset.