Environment and Trade
Result of Service
The primary aims of these services are to help environment and trade policy makers and negotiators better understand the interactions between trade, climate and nature through: research into how levers including trade agreements and Aid for Trade can be better leveraged to support environmental objectives, such as biodiversity preservation; the development of policy-relevant briefings and case studies; communications and outreach to disseminate outputs; and strategic network building.
The contract will be deliverable-based and last from 20 January to 20 November 2021 (10 months) with the consultant working 3 days each week.
Duties and Responsibilities
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global, regional and national level. This consultancy is posted in the Environment and Trade Hub of the Resources and Markets Branch of the Economy Division. The Environment and Trade Hub is a capacity-building mechanism offering policy advice on sustainable trade and investment. The Hub aims to identify, assess and inform sustainable trade opportunities that arise from a green economy transition, and to tackle related risks and challenges. It assists countries in using trade as an engine towards a green economy, by means of research, advisory services and capacity building.
UNEP is a core partner in the work of the UKRI Trade, Development, and the Environment Hub (abbreviated ‘TRADE Hub’), funded by the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund, which is a 5-year partnership of 100 researchers, 50 organisations, 15 countries, including UNEP-WCMC and the UNEP Environment and Trade Hub. Among other activities related to the project, UNEP’s Environment and Trade Hub is responsible for working to: a) Enhance knowledge, capacity and partnerships of stakeholders to identify, promote and implement policy solutions in support of sustainable trade in wild meat, wildlife and commodities, contributing to ecosystem resilience, safeguarding biodiversity and promoting inclusive sustainable development; and b) Facilitate and support creation of platforms partnerships for discussion, research dissemination, awareness raising materials, and delivery of capacity building that contribute to policy-relevant outcomes and solutions.
In this context, the Hub is working to support work on:
- Network development: Develop networks to maximise value of policy-related research from TRADE hub to public-sector stakeholders in TRADE hub countries and international community.
- Analysing what works: Identify policy and public sector response options to: 1) make international trade in commodities more sustainable; 2) understand the policy drivers of and barriers to successful implementation; and 3) translate research into consolidated policy-relevant findings.
- Pushing for impact: a) Boost profile & attention to trade & nature policy intersections & areas for action in international processes; 2) disseminate research findings & policy recommendations to key policy communities; and 3) Connect with ongoing initiatives to build durable capacity, create impact & take solutions to scale.
The aims of this consultancy are to support the Hub’s implementation of the activities under the TRADE Hub project, most notably in relation to research and the formulation of policy priorities - particularly in relation to trade agreements, develop networks to support the dissemination of key finding emerging from research; and to translate research into consolidated policy-relevant briefings.
In light of the Covid 19 crisis, its repercussions on trade and current recovery efforts, this consultancy also aims to explore opportunities to promote greening of trade policies including through supporting joint activities by UNEP and the WTO that build on the existing high-level partnership, facilitating dialogue between the trade and environment communities, and providing support and input into preparatory work ahead of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2021 to ensure trade makes a real contribution to the climate and nature. In addition, the consultant will provide input into the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2021, which will contribute to the UN’s call to build back better a more inclusive, resilient, green and digital economy in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The UNEP Environment and Trade Hub currently does not have the staff resources required to complete this work in the time frame required. The implementation of this work requires the support of a professional with experience in the international trade and environment policy landscape, including a close knowledge of the key players and evolving work in this area. The consultant should have a background in trade policy, with substantial technical expertise on the interlinkages between trade, development, and environment. The consultant will also support communications and outreach associated with these projects.
Specific tasks and responsibilities per outputs
1. Contribute to reviewing past work and developing strategy for trade-related work in the context of the new MTS with a focus on climate, nature and pollution action via sustainable consumption and production. (Output 1)
• Review past work and effectiveness
• Provide input to strategizing and planning for “MTS readiness” ensuring that UNEPs trade work delivers on the key outcomes and builds on available expertise in the organization.
2 Contribute to flagship Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2021 and prepare policy brief on trade agreements and their potential to better support environmental objectives (Output 2)
• Review existing regional trade and economic partnership agreements to identify provisions that can mitigate the negative impacts of trade on climate change as well as the scope of these agreements to enhance their impact, particularly in relation to biodiversity and climate action.
• Leading UNEP’s contribution to Chapter 3 of the report on the role of regional trade agreements and other cooperation initiatives for climate-smart trade and investment.
• Review and edit other chapters of the report as required.
• Manage the marketing of the report through UNEP’s communications channels, including the website and social media.
• Prepare for the launch of the report the COP 2021 in collaboration with the partners.
• Develop policy brief summarising findings and identifying areas for improvement, as well as suggestions for implementation and better communication between stakeholders. Incorporate comments from relevant stakeholders, including InfoMEA and others and develop at least two case studies from TRADE Hub project countries.
• Manage outreach of the report and policy brief through UNEP’s communications channels, including the website and social media.
3 Advance dialogue and efforts to make Aid for Trade achieve positive biodiversity and nature impact (Output 3)
• Develop a think-piece focused on how Aid for Trade projects could be designed to help achieve positive impacts for biodiversity and nature more broadly. Integrate comments and suggestions from relevant trade, development and environment policy makers and practitioners.
• Prepare at least two case studies from TRADE Hub countries where the case for integrating environmental considerations into Aid for Trade supporting is or can be made clear.
• Work with at least one country to operationalise the integration of environmental considerations into Aid for Trade projects. Explore how this can be shared with the wider trade and development community, for example through the WTO Trade and Environment Committee or the WTO’s Trade Policy Reviews.
4 Enhance development and implementation of partnerships and resource mobilization (Output 4)
• Support in activities that build on the existing high-level partnership.
• Provide input into preparatory work ahead of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2021.
• Support leadership initiatives at the WTO, such as the structured discussions
• Support the Hubs engagement with UNFSS and provide input to UNFSS meetings, conferences, publications and planning, as well as other inter-agency partnerships
• Build strategic relationships including with academic institutions, think tanks, international organisations, and countries with a strong interest in trade and environment.
• Pursue other resource mobilization and partnership activities, Revise and develop funding proposals and workshop these with potential donors.
5. Provide research and communications support to contribute to the delivery of the Hub’s projects (Output 5)
• Undertake research where required to support trade-related narrative in support of climate, nature and pollution action
• Support development of presentations
• Upload content onto UNEP’s website and coordinate with communication colleagues at WCMC, social media outreach through Twitter in particular
Skills: A good theoretical and practical understanding of issues at the interface of trade and the environment. An existing network in the international trade and development community is an advantage.
Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree/s in Economics, International Relations, Environmental Studies, Development, or similar.
Experience: Minimum of 7 years of work experience related to international trade, with experience working on issues at the trade, development and environment interface. Exposure to trade and environmental policy linkages. Proven experience undertaking research, developing policy recommendations and partnership building. Experience of working with the United Nations, and other international organizations, in particular the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other trade-related organizations is an asset. Previous work experience in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region related to trade, development, and the environment, is considered an advantage.
Language: For this position, fluency in English is required.