Environmental Indicators and monitoring framework specialist

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

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Result of Service

a) Concrete support to the implementation of the core indicators framework provided to the Regional Seas Programme.

b) A Regional Seas indicator monitoring framework and reporting mechanism developed/updated.

c) Regional Seas Indicators working group operational.

Work Location



Expected duration

The contract will run from January to September 2021.

Duties and Responsibilities

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. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UN Environment Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The assignment is located in the Regional Seas Unit, Nairobi duty station.
The 2014 UN Environment report “Measuring Success: Indicators for Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans” compiled ecosystem-based indicators and indices used in different Regional Seas Programme and initiated the establishment of the Regional Seas Indicator Working Group. The aim of the group is to develop coordinated set of indicators to facilitate implementation of ecosystem approach and improve monitoring of regional ecological objectives. In October 2015, the indicator working group adopted 22 core set of Indicators and described three indicators: chlorophyll-a, beach litter and ICZM. During the 18th Global meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, the secretariats made a number of pledges, including to continue the work of describing the 22 Regional Seas Indicators and to align them with Sustainable Development Goal Indicators and Aichi Targets.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Ecosystems Integration Branch and also report to the Coordinator, Regional Seas Programme.

The consultant will evaluate the progress towards implementation of the pledges made during the 18th Global meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans with the aim to establish the state of play for all the 18 regional seas and to support development and implementation of a commonly agreed approach in some areas. This assessment will build on the outcome of the baseline assessment of the 22 indicators for the Regional Seas Programme conducted in 2016. The results of this assessment will feed into the capacity and needs assessment of the Regional Seas an effort to move the programme towards integrated ecosystem assessment and ecosystems management approach.

i. Stocktaking exercise to determine the state of play for all Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans In 2017, the Regional Seas Programme pledged to prepare outlook documents which proposed how the Conventions and Action Plans will support their respective participating countries in the implementation and monitoring of the ocean-related SDGs. These outlook documents would be the guiding documents for future actions towards achieving the SDGs, setting clear regional baselines and targets. The consultant will therefore support the Regional Seas Programme to:

a) Conduct a stock-taking exercise to establish progress so far made by the Regional Seas Programme to prepare outlook documents to support member states in achieving ocean-related sustainable development goals targets with the purpose of supporting common actions that advance implementation of regional and international conventions, agreements and initiatives. In particular, assess if the framework streamlines its action with the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreement and the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway) among others. The stock-take will also be extended to the Regional Seas core set of indicators used to assess the state of the marine environment with a view to identify which indicators are operational in which regions or whether the aspect measured by the proposed indicator is covered by the RSCAP however not in the form of an indicator.

b) Conduct an assessment of the existing data and information handling infrastructure (mechanisms, tools and methodologies) used by the conventions and action plans including reporting requirements by Contracting Parties/Member Governments while carrying out indicator assessments (data reporting, data handling, data ingestion, data storage, assessment output storage) and various other ecosystem assessments such as the regional state of the coast and marine reports to determine the needs and areas of improvement.

c) Undertake an analysis and state of play of existing methodologies on data collection, quality assurance, assessment, and infrastructures, looking in particular in differences across RS.

d) Identify and share best practices, especially in the area of integrated assessments.

ii. Support development and implementation of a commonly agreed approach based on the outcome of (i) above.
The Regional Seas Programme has identified and prioritized 22 indicators common across all the 18 regions (See annex A for detailed list of the 22 indicators) complementary to SDG 14 indicators 14.1.1, 14.2.1 and 14.5.1. The consultant will support the Regional Seas Programme to:

a) Re-assess the 22 prioritized indicators to assess their suitability taking to account the progress made in the implementation of the sustainable development goals, lessons learnt in the implementation of the Aichi targets as well as the new post 2020 global biodiversity framework and regional and international conventions, agreements and initiatives. For instance, the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, Paris Agreement and compatible with the areas of marine pollution prevention, biodiversity conservation, protected area management, ecosystem restoration/resilience building and economic valuation.

b) Develop a framework of linking the 22 indicators to specific SDG targets and scope out CBD post-2020 goals as well as other global frameworks where it could be relevant to contribute regional assessment information.
c) Develop a process for collating data and information based on existing monitoring frameworks in the regions, taking into consideration regional specificities of select indicators (out of the list of 22 indicators or new proposed indicators) and using to the extent possible best practices from the regional seas as appropriate.

d) Develop a methodology for comparing the indicator outputs (results) across regions, recognizing that the data layers as input to the indicators differ regionally while the indicator outputs are comparable.

e) Develop a criterion for selection of regions to be supported to further develop their indicators.

f) Re-establish the Regional Seas indicators working group with clear TORs.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced University degree in environmental assessment, natural resource management, environmental science, social science or other relevant discipline is required.

Experience: Required (7) years of progressive experience in environmental management and strong track record in environmental assessments, data collection and analysis GIS, and proficiency on software for preparing technical reports. Familiarity with the Regional Seas Programme would be an advantage.

Language: Fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of any other UN language is an asset.