Climate Security Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Suva, , FJ

Office/Unit/Project Description

Although climate change is cited as the most significant security threat to the South Pacific, its likely effects on security and potential conflict are yet to be widely explored by the international and regional organizations present on the ground. Climate change in the Pacific region has the potential for a myriad of cascading fragility and instability risks. These will affect men, women and youth differently, and vary across the region both according to timeframes under consideration and depending on the country contexts.

There is a range of critical climate fragility risks emerging in the Pacific Region that will require greater examination, monitoring and coordinated action by many stakeholders at all levels to prevent potential irreversible economic, social, cultural and environmental damage with a range of potential security implications and a direct impact on social cohesion. The most critical issues amongst these include:

• Displacement and forced migration due to irreversible degradation of livelihoods, food sources and coastal erosion.

• Increased social tensions linked to access to land and fisheries resources.

• A decrease in national revenues could affect these states’ ability to mitigate climate change’s social impacts.

• Challenges to the Blue Economy, particularly losses in fisheries and tourism revenue at the same as the costs of disasters and climate change to national budgets, is increasing.

• The decline in health and productivity of Pacific People as local food source degradation exacerbates dependency on unhealthy cheap imports coupled with an existing and growing NCD crisis.

• Reduced coping capacity and vulnerability of at-risk populations with more frequent and more impactful natural disasters.

• Impacts of sea-level rise on the jurisdictions of Pacific SIDS with uncertainty on maritime zones and boundaries

A practical and tailored response is needed to the region’s unique political, economic, cultural, environmental and development circumstances to avoid reaching critical thresholds for social conflict and exhausting coping capacities.

The Climate Security in the Pacific project (hereafter called the Project) responds to these issues by providing capacity to Pacific Countries, focusing on low lying Atoll nations, to assess, understand and address their critical climate security challenges.  This will be achieved through the application of tailored climate security assessment approaches, inclusive youth and gender-sensitive dialogues, partnerships with the range of stakeholders operating across the aspects of climate security and supporting the uptake of key findings in relevant national, regional and international policy and resourcing strategies. These activities will add value through key regional frameworks and initiatives such as the Boe Declaration and Action Plan. The Project is designed as a catalytic intervention to strengthen capacity for global advocacy and capacity to plan and respond to challenges at the community, national and regional level in Pacific SIDS.

The Project will be implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji under the UNDP Direct Implementation Modality (DIM). It will be part of the Resilient and Sustainable Development (RSD) team, in close collaboration with IOM office in RMI. Under the guidance of the Team Leader – RSD, the Project Manager directly supervises the Consultant who supports the effective implementation and management of the “Climate Security” project and strengthens the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) and the Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change (CANCC) with their efforts at the national and regional levels to strengthen resilience and of help to amplifying the voices of their constituency at the regional and global level.

Institutional Arrangement

• The Consultant will report to UNDP Project Manager Climate Security in the Pacific. The frequency of progress reporting is monthly for UNDP approval, format: TBC.

• The Consultant is expected to liaise with CROP Agencies, Pacific Island Countries in the Project and beyond, UN Agencies at regional and global level amongst other drivers of or stakeholders in the Climate Security arena.

Duties and Responsibilities

Working under the direction of UNDP Project Manager Climate Security in the Pacific (CSP), in close collaboration with the CROP Agencies and the CANCC, the Consultant will:

• Advocate and provide support to the Global Climate Security Conceptual Framework’s country-level application and the contextualization of this to the national level. Also, offer advocacy support to include regional findings into relevant reporting and decision-making processes linked to the Boe Declaration and relevant regional and international fora’s. The Consultant will ensure that relevant results and outputs of the Climate security project are institutionalized in regional and international resolutions and policies. 

• Undertake a desktop review of relevant climate and environmental security risk assessment frameworks in collaboration with the Climate Security Mechanism (CSM) and define their applicability to the Pacific climate risk context. The work will include undertaking consultations, research, and developing briefs and knowledge products to improve the understanding of climate-security and the link to human security in the regional context.

• Support the development/adaptation of a regional climate security analytical framework based on the work undertaken at the national level in the region to support the narrative of climate change as an existential threat and the most significant security threat for the Pacific region.

• Foster collaboration amongst key stakeholders in the region on climate-security and support the CANCC members to convene and build consensus on their priority climate security challenges and help articulate these as a basis for calling on the international community to raise ambition and provide longer-term support.  

• Provide support to identify and connect CANCC work to relevant regional and global processes and advocacy. Under this workstream, the Consultant will lead the consultation with member states and present recommendations for permanent support to the CANCC.  

• Provide high-level dedicated policy advice, on an on-demand basis, to the three-atoll countries, CANCC and appropriate CROP Agencies and carry out any other relevant tasks to support the Project assigned by the supervisor.

 Expected Outputs and Deliverables

• Provide monthly progress report on the expected overall consultancy output as mentioned hereunder.

• In collaboration with the PMU and selected CROP Agencies, support a comprehensive report and guidelines for applying a regional climate security risk assessment framework (finalized by October 2021). 

• In close collaboration with the climate security mechanism in New York (CSM), including regional findings into relevant reporting and decision-making process linked to the Boe Declaration and relevant regional and international fora’s (ongoing deliverable).

• Facilitate exchanges and the consultation of the project/report recommendations and proposed guidelines for the regional climate security assessment by  relevant Ministers of Pacific nations, the regional platforms and beyond.

• In close coordination with the CANCC, develop a comprehensive assessment of recommendations for more permanent support to the CANCC, to assist member states with their unique situation at the frontline of climate change (finalized by January 2022). 

• Under the guidance of the Project Manager, provide support to the country project coordinators for the implementation of the project activities (ongoing monthly).



Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

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 the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

Minimum Masters level of education in the area of governance, administration, climate science, disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, geography or related field is acceptable.
Min. years of relevant Work experience

A minimum of 5 years of work experience in applied climate risk management and/or political science is required.

Minimum required skills

• Strong interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills.

• Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities skills.

• Openness to change and the ability to receive/integrate feedback.

• Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work.

• Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines.

• Comprehensiveness knowledge of Climate risks in Atoll countries and the Pacific region in general. 

• Proficiency in using office IT applications and the internet in conducting research.

• Outstanding communication, project management and organizational skills.

• Excellent presentation and facilitation skills.

Desired Skills

• Positive, constructive attitude to work.

• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

• Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards

Required Language(s) (at working level)

• Fluency of English language is required, both written and verbal.

• Knowledge of a Pacific Island language and culture would be an asset.


UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.