Consultant - Development and refinement of guidance and training materials for Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs)

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Result of Service

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity coordinates the global process to facilitate the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). The Secretariat has coordinated a series of regional workshops to facilitate the description of EBSAs, 321 of which have thus far been considered by COP and transmitted to the UN General Assembly and relevant international processes. The Secretariat is also reviewing work under the CBD on EBSAs and identifying potential modalities for the modification of the description of EBSAs and for the description of new EBSAs.

The Secretariat also coordinates the work of the Informal Advisory Group (IAG) on EBSAs, which was formed pursuant to a request from the CBD Conference of the Parties at its 13th meeting, in 2016. Part of the mandate of the Informal Advisory Group is to provide scientific and technical advice on matters relating to revising and further developing existing scientific guidance related to EBSAs.

Thus, a consultant is to be hired by the SCBD, under the supervision of Mr. Joseph Appiott, Associate Programme Management Officer, Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit, Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division, to support the development and refinement of EBSA training modules for the following issues (building on existing materials):
- Using various approaches and information to apply the EBSA criteria and describe EBSAs
- Using EBSA information to inform planning and management

This will build on existing training materials, including:

- Training Manual for the Description of Ecologically and Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) in Open-Ocean Waters and Deep-sea Habitats (2012) (available here:
- Training Manual on the Incorporation of Traditional Knowledge into the Description and Identification of EBSAs (2016) (available here: )
- Identifying Specific Elements for Integrating the Traditional, Scientific, Technical and Technological Knowledge of Indigenous and Local Communities, and Social and Cultural Criteria and Other Aspects for the Application of the EBSA Criteria as well as the Establishment and Management of Marine Protected Areas (2012) (available here:

Work Location

Remote - Home-based


Expected duration

Five months.

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational setting

The United Nations Environment Programme 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. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for 'sustainable development'. The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature in Rio in 1992. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by United Nations Environment Programme. Its main tasks are to arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including preparation of pertinent documentation, operation of the central node of the clearing-house mechanism, liaison and coordination with other international bodies and processes and, in close collaboration with these partners, the provision of technical support for the effective implementation of the Convention.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the general supervision of the Associate Programme Management Officer, Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit, Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division, the consultant will produce the following:

- Detailed outline of the training modules - Tentative date: 1 December 2020
- First draft of training modules - Tentative date: 15 January 2021
- Final draft of the training modules - Tentative date: 28 February 2021

Qualifications/special skills


• 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; and demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
• 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; and uses time efficiently.
• Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards.
• Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to clients.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in marine ecology/biology, marine environmental science, environmental law/policy, or related fields is required.

Experience: - A minimum of five years of work experience in the field of marine environmental science, policy and/or management or related field is required.
- Experience and/or knowledge related to the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) or related to the designation and or management of other types of areas of significance is required.
- Knowledge and work experience relevant to areas of work under the Convention on Biological Diversity is desirable.

Languages: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is desirable.