Environment Policy Specialist (Sustainable Financing and Natural Resource Management)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Phnom-Penh, , KH

Over the past two decades Cambodia has realized exceptional rates of economic growth averaging over 7% prior to the pandemic and has delivered an economic transformation.  This has been accompanied by persistent declines in poverty and rapid improvements in human development. 
Yet Cambodia does face several development challenges going forward. Pressures stemming from Cambodia’s rapid progression as a Middle-Income Country (MIC) have tended to be resource and carbon intensive, therefore, raising questions about sustainability. Cambodia has as a result, experienced both environmental challenges and natural resource depletion. As Cambodia responds to COVID19 and looks towards a recovery, opportunities may arise for a greener and more sustainable development pathway.
UNDP Cambodia has played important roles in supporting environmental sector priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia covering climate change, environment and sustainable energy. Over the next two and a half years (2021-2023), UNDP will be providing technical support to the Ministry of Environment as part of a wider World Bank IDA loan financed programme, the Cambodia Sustainable Landscape & Ecotourism Project (CSLEP). The Project Development Objective is to improve protected areas (PAs) management, and to promote ecotourism opportunities and non-timber forest product (NTFP) value chains in the Cardamom Mountains-Tonle Sap landscape. UNDP’s technical assistance to the MoE is to ensure a robust “Cambodian Environmental Management Information System” (CEMIS) and a data management system, development and operationalization of sustainable financing mechanisms, and effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of project activities.
The Policy and Innovation Hub for Sustainable Development (PIH) housed under the Policy and Innovation Unit of UNDP Cambodia Office delivers timely and innovative policy solutions, supports pilot initiatives and mobilizes partnership and resources, with a view to contributing to Cambodia’s transition towards a sustainable and inclusive upper-middle income country. The project is structured around three pillars: Prosperity, Planet and Peace which is anchored with the UNDP Country Programme Document for Camboia 2019-2023. Under pillar 2 (Planet), these services cover range of programmatic areas including environment and natural resources management, circular economy, climate change and sustainable energy.
The role of the Environment Policy Specialist is to support the delivery of technical assistance of this programme. For the CSLEP project, the Specialist’s role is to 1) provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages to the CSLEP project, and 2) provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalising sustainable financing options for natural resource management. 
Based in the Policy and Innovation Unit and reporting to the Environment Policy Specialist (Environment and Natural Resources Management), the Specialist 1) leads programming and resource mobilisation in the environment portfolio including natural resources management, and 2) helps facilitate UNDP’s policy engagement in terms of policy dialogue, advocacy, research, communication and partnership coordination.
Duties and Responsibilities
The specific responsibilities of the Environment Policy Specialist are as follows:
  • Provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages to the CSLEP project and other projects when and if required
  • Provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalising sustainable financing options for natural resource management
  • Lead programming and resource mobilisation in the environment portfolio including natural resources management 
  • Facilitate UNDP’s policy engagement in terms of policy dialogue, research, communication and partnership.
1. Provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages to the CSLEP project and other projects when and if required:
  • Manage and oversee the UNDP team of international and national staff and consultants in providing timely and high-quality technical support for the CSLE project in the areas of CEMIS, sustainable financing and M&E; 
  • Develop Terms of References (TORs), identify and evaluate experts, and review reports produced, following UNDP rules and regulations; 
  • Liaise with UNDP country office, regional bureaus, and HQ, to mobilize and strengthen Technical Support for the areas of CEMIS, sustainable financing and M&E;  
  • Regularly coordinate with the World Bank and the senior members of the MoE Project Team and act as a lead in responding to their comments and suggestions for improvement of our technical assistance;   
  • Provide regular technical backstopping for the effective and timely implementation of the project components under the UNDP’s responsibility;  
  • Provide effective communication, coordination and cooperation between the members of the project’s management team and UNDP teams in planning, monitoring and implementation process; and 
  • Regularly update programme analyst and the senior management of the country office on the project implementation status and results.
2. Provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalising sustainable financing options for natural resource management:  
  • Review ongoing work related to sustainable financing by UNDP such as Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES), Biodiversity-financing (BioFin) and REDD+ (“Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries);  
  • Support the Country Office (CO) in developing and implementing an overall strategy and action plan for sustainable financing work; 
  • Provide lead technical support for the UNDP team’s work related to PES, BIOFIN as well as REDD+ with the aim to design and operationalize sustainable financing mechanisms, and fund such as the Environmental and Social Fund (ESF) 
  • Mobilise technical assistance, supervise and provide quality assurance for the technical works conducted by international and national specialists and consultants and project partners related to sustainable financing.  These technical works entail: 
    • Examine existing revenue sources and gaps for protected area management in the country such as the national finance, ODAs, taxes, fees, royalties, charges, fines, penalties, private donations, trust fund, ecotourism, REDD+, PES, eco standards and labelling.
    • Review options for sustainable finance mechanisms for funds to determine suitability for implementation in the country and for the CSLEP landscape; 
    • Support the MoE in reviewing existing economic valuation studies on ecosystems in CSLEP and in identifying key ecosystems to be targeted; 
    • Support the MoE to identify and prioritize potential sustainable finance mechanisms and/or sources and necessary policy and fiscal reforms and fiscal incentives to implement priority sustainable finance mechanisms and/or sources in the CMTS landscape;
    • Assist the MoE in the organization of consultation meeting(s) including preparation of presentation materials and background documents to discuss and select sustainable financing options; and 
    • Provide technical support to the MoE for designing sustainable financing options for identified ecosystem services. This work entails support for a) identification of key stakeholders, b) development of a draft roadmap for operationalization, including target sources of payments, and revenue collection, fund management and c) development of draft operational guidelines for key identified options, fund management mechanisms.
3. Lead programming and resource mobilisation in the areas of environment and natural resources management:
  • Support the Country Office (CO) management in developing the overall strategy for resource mobilisation from bilateral, multilateral, IFIs and vertical funds including Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the private sector;
  • Analyze information about donor policies, trends and priority areas, including a who’s who of across the Donors’ landscape. Consolidate a Map of Donor’s sector involvement and maintain a macro picture of current and future funding and accordingly update the Country Office Partnership and Communication Action Plan;
  • Prepare briefs and other documents explaining donor strategies, policies/trends; alert senior management on major donor issues; 
  • Lead the development of concept notes, projects, programme proposals and/or full project documents as per the funding requirements;
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with key decision makers in governments, donor agencies and the private sector and regularly update them on UNDP Cambodia activities, priorities, and impact/positive results; 
  • Review and monitor key objectives, results and implementation status of projects in the environmental portfolio and through bi-annual meetings;  
  • Develop a leaflet, power point presentations, and other information materials on the CO’s environment profile;  
  • Participate in development partner and technical working group coordination meetings and prepare and disseminate a summary of discussion notes for the Country Office; 
  • Liaise with UNDP regional bureaus, HQ, and donor country based (as needed to ensure coherent corporate advocacy) and for identifying funding options and resource mobilisation strategies; and 
  • Perform other duties as needed.
4. Facilitate UNDP’s policy engagement in terms of policy dialogue, research, communication and partnership:
  • Facilitate policy dialogue with the Government, development partners, civil society, private sector; contributions to development of policies as relevant;
  • Provide top-quality analysis and technical evidence-based inputs to Common Country Assessment, United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Country Programme Document, the Country Programme Action Plan and other strategic documents;
  • Develop UNDP policy position papers, policy briefs, summary reports, meeting notes/minutes and internal briefing notes on environment for UNDP senior management;
  • Design, organize, and implement a research agenda such as a Human Development Report, with the aim of generating working papers and National Human Development Reports; 
  • Produce high-quality research papers for UNDP presentation at workshops and conferences and share knowledge on the project and UNDP’s work in the environment sector by documenting lessons learnt and best practices from the project piloting and contributing to the development of knowledge-based tools; 
  • Develop talking points and draft speeches for the senior management;   
  • Provide technical inputs for communication materials such as the website, social media, news articles, and blogs for use in print and social media channels;
  • Draft responses for media inquiries about the UNDP work in the environmental sector including natural resources management; 
  • Raise visibility of the programme strategies through knowledge sharing and well-developed communication materials; and 
  • Ensure that UNDP and wider international best practice and lesson learning is fed into the implementation of programme strategies and in the work of UNDP Cambodia.
Impact of Results 
It is anticipated that the work of the Environmental Policy Specialist will have the following impacts:
  • Delivery of high quality technical assistance to the Royal Government of Cambodia and the World Bank;
  • High visibility of UNDP Technical Advisory service and value proposition in the implementation of government’s loan programme;
  • UNDP’s contribution to environmental policy dialogue enhances sustainable development goals of Cambodia;   
  • Strategic partnership and relationship of key stakeholders in the environmental sector built and enhanced;
  • Resource mobilization targets achieved with expansion of resource base from new sources of financing such as IFIs, GCF and blended financing model.

Core Competencies: 

  • Promoting Ethics and Integrity / Creating Organizational Precedents 
  • Building support and political acumen 
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation 
  • Building and promoting effective teams
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication 
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards 
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning 
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking 
Functional Competencies: 
Advocacy / Advancing Policy Oriented Agenda: Analysis and creation of messages and strategies
  • Creates effective advocacy strategies
  • Contributes to the elaboration of advocacy strategies by identifying and prioritizing audiences and communication means
  • Performs analysis of political situations and scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses
  • Uses the opportunity to bring forward and disseminate materials for advocacy work
Building Strategic Partnerships: Identifying and building partnerships
  • Effectively networks with partners, seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda; 
  • Sensitizes UN Partners, donors and other international organizations to the UNDP’s strategic agenda, identifying areas for joint efforts;
  • Develops positive ties with civil society to build/strengthen UNDP’s mandate; 
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners;
  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments;
  • Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved; and
  • Promotes UNDP’s agenda in inter-agency meetings. 
Innovation and Marketing New Approaches: Developing new approaches
  • Seeks a broad range of perspectives in developing project proposals;
  • Generates for regional and innovative ideas and effective solutions to problems;
  • Looks at experience critically, drawing lessons, and building them into the design of new approaches;
  • Identifies new approaches and promotes their use in other situations;
  • Documents successes and uses them to project a positive image;
  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking; and
  • Makes the case for innovative ideas from the team with own supervisor.
Resource Mobilization:  Implementing resource mobilization strategies
  • Analyzes information on potential bilateral donors and national counterparts to recommend a strategic approach;
  • Identifies and compiles lessons learned;
  • Promotes and encourages country office action with local missions of donor countries as well as appropriate government authorities for increased contribution to UNDP resources, including cost sharing modalities;
  • Identifies country needs and develops proposals to be presented to donors and governments; and
  • Develops a resource mobilization strategy at the country level.
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Developing tools and mechanisms
  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches;
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms;
  • Develops and/or participates in the development of tools and mechanisms, including identifying new approaches to promote individual and organizational learning; and knowledge sharing using formal and informal methodologies.
Job Knowledge and Technical Expertise: In-depth knowledge of the subject-matter
  • Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines;
  • Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff;
  • Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments; and
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.
Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDP’s Goals: Analysis and creation of messages and strategies
  • Creates effective global advocacy messages/strategies;
  • Contributes to the elaboration of a global advocacy strategy by identifying and prioritizing audiences and messages;
  • Performed analysis of political situations and scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses; and
  • Uses the opportunity to bring forward and disseminate materials for global advocacy work and adapts it for use at country level.
Overall results-based management of the project, in line with UNDP’s Results Management Guide
  • Coordinate planning, budgeting and management of all project activities;
  • Oversee the work of project staff/sub-contractors and ensure that strong partnerships are established between project staff and their Government counterparts, contributing to national capacity development;
  • Monitor risks, lesson learned and issues affecting project implementation;
  • Facilitate support services from the UNDP country office; and
  • Report to the Project Board on a quarterly basis. 
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s degree in Environmental/Ecological Economics and Finance, Natural Resource Management, and Policy, or other relevant discipline. A PhD degree is an asset. 
  • At least 7 years of working experience in sustainable financing (including REDD+, Payments for Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity Financing) for natural resource management or a related field. 
  • Robust programming and project formulation experience with successful records of resource mobilisation for the environment sector from bilateral and multilateral donors and vertical funds such as GCF and GEF
  • At least 3 years of developing country experience in working with senior level national governments and forming strategic stakeholder partnerships for project implementation in the field of natural resources management; prior working experience in South East Asia including Cambodia is a plus
  • Robust proposal writing, analytical, research and communication skills 
  • Knowledge of UN policies and procedures and of developing and experience implementing environment projects at the country level, including quality assurance processes and social and environmental standards screening is a plus.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

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