Researcher on plastic pollution in aquatic environments

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Home-based/Remote

Job Opening

  • Job Opening ID: 228884
  • Job Network : Economic, Social and Development
  • Job Family : Environmental Affairs
  • Category and Level : Consultants, CON
    Duty Station : OSAKA
  • Department/Office : United Nations Environment Programme
  • Date Posted : Feb 26, 2024
  • Deadline : Mar 10, 2024

Result of Service

Draft report on existing models, methodologies and models that can be used to identify and quantify the sources of plastic pollution in the aquatic environment.

Work Location

Remote (Home-based)

Expected duration

2 months (full-time)

Duties and Responsibilities

A. Background: (1) Organisation setting: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 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 overall objective of the UNEP’s Industry and Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities. As part of the Industry and Economy Division, UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) works with developing countries to implement sustainable solutions to environmental challenges, with focus on holistic waste management. UNEP-IETC provides technical and advisory support to national and local governments to enhance their use of environmentally sound strategies and approaches. UNEP-IETC also implements in-country demonstration projects using innovative waste prevention and management methods and technologies to improve human well-being, reduce the impact of climate change, increase resilience and create jobs. Working with a wide range of partners and in line with relevant multilateral environmental agreements, UNEP-IETC mission is to serve as a global centre of excellence on environmentally sound technologies with focus on holistic waste management. (2) Purpose: As the UNEP report “From Pollution to Solution: A global assessment of marine litter and plastic pollution” reveals, plastic pollution poses threats to human well-being and healthy functioning of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. As of today, plastics account for at least 85% of the total marine waste, and with population growth, overconsumption and tourism, the scenario is posed to get worse. And the underlining problem is that given the complexity of plastic pollution with diverse sources, multiple pathways and a variety of plastic polymer types, there has not been a tool to identify and quantify sources and leakages to the aquatic environment, which can be practically applied without relying on physical models and complex algorithm and which can be used to assess plastic pollution sources in a comprehensive manner. To address this, UNEP designed a project to develop a practically useful toolkit to identify and quantify the sources of plastic pollutants entering into the aquatic environment, so authorities can develop source-inventories and list of source hot spots, based on which these water pollution control bodies can develop strategies to address water plastic pollution and prioritize necessary action. This consultant will collect information on the existing models, methodologies and tools that identify, assess and quantify sources of plastic pollution for the aquatic environment, as well as research results on the estimating the amount/concentration of plastic pollutants associated with specific human and sector activities on lands and on water. The consultant will work directly with and receive supervision from Programme Officer responsible for Plastic waste in IETC, and receive general guidance of Head IETC. B. Duties: (1) Objectives: Collect information on existing tools/methodologies/models to assess sources of plastic pollution for the aquatic environment. (2) Output expectations: Develop a final draft report on existing models, methodologies and models that can be used to identify and quantify the sources of plastic pollution in the aquatic environment; (3) Performance indicators: The scoping paper and the final draft report of quality satisfactory for UNEP. C. Specific tasks and responsibilities: 1. Collect information on the existing models, methodologies and tools that identify, assess and quantify sources of plastic pollution for the aquatic environment, as well as research results on the estimating the amount/concentration of plastic pollutants associated with specific human and sector activities on lands and on water. The Working Group and another consultant in this project will be assisting the information sources; 2. Compile collected information and categorise it according the human and sector activities associated the plastic pollution. Further list up possible plastic pollution sources that affect marine and water quality; 3. Carry out initial assessment of these tools and models on their applicability, use of results, and application frameworks; 4. Draft a report on the existing models, methodologies and models that can be used to identify and quantify the sources of plastic pollution in the aquatic environment; and 5. Have a draft report reviewed by reviewers and Working Group members and address comments provided; 6. Finalise the report and prepare a copy-edited and formatted draft for online publication.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: • Masters or equivalent in the field of pollution control, pollution assessment, water/ocean pollution policy development, physical, geo-chemical or biological oceanography/hydrology, or other related areas. Experience: • At least 7 years of professional experiences in marine/water pollution, particularly plastic pollution in the aquatic media.

Languages

Fluency in written and oral English.

Additional Information

Not available.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

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