Advisors (Ecosystem services valuation and incentives)

Rome, , IT

Organizational Setting

FAO Strategic Programme 2 aims to “make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable” and highlights the need for direct action to conserve, protect and enhance natural resources. Hosted by the Land and Water Division, the Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) Programme assists country teams to develop integrated incentive packages to assist farmers in the transition to sustainable agriculture: This work contributes to the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme of the 10-Year Framework for Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP)

FAO International Consultants and Call purpose

The Organization frequently engages experts to work on short-term projects as international consultants. The functions of a consultant are results-oriented and normally involve analyzing complex issues, directing seminars or training courses, preparing documents for conferences and meetings, or writing reports on matters within their area of expertise.

An international consultant is engaged by the Organization to provide expertise, skills or knowledge for the performance of a specific task or piece of work, which would be short-term by nature. The assignment may involve full-time or part-time functions similar to those of staff members. FAO consultants fall into three categories (1) C for the base level (2) B for the middle level and (A) for the high level. A Senior consultant (Categories A and B) is expected to deliver without close supervision while a junior consultant assists a senior consultant or an FAO Officer of a higher level. For more details see:

The assignment can be from 1 month up to 11 months. The possibility of extension is subject to satisfactory performance and depending on the resources and needs of the Organization. Contracts will normally be based in FAO HQ with required travel for field missions, where relevant.

The purpose of this call is to attract talents with experience and background in the area of Incentives for Ecosystem Services, to populate rosters for the following profiles:

  • Financial mechanism advisor with experience in designing innovative agro-environmental public and private financing mechanisms to support farmers in the transition to more sustainable food systems. This may include a wide range of options, from policy-driven programmes, international funds such as REDD+, or national programmes supporting conservation practices, to market-led green business opportunities and ecosystem service reward and recognition systems.
  • Agro-environmental policy coordination advisor with practice in analyzing the opportunities to adjust, redirect and combine existing public and private programmes, and offer farmers an integrated package of incentives for conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable management of agro-ecosystems.
  • Impact assessment advisor capable of providing technical assistance to field projects in the valuation of ecosystem services and design of a long-term monitoring programme to track impact of agro-ecological practices in protecting biodiversity and in reducing drylands degradation.

Reporting Lines
Overall supervision of the Director, Land and Water Division (CBL) and the direct supervision of the IES Programme Coordinator, in collaboration with technical units in FAO and/or FAO decentralized Office, as appropriate. When activities are carried out in countries, the consultant will be required to work in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, as well as the relevant FAO regional office 
Technical Focus
Supporting the development, quality control and effective implementation of FAO’s programme and projects in the areas of land degradation assessment, land resources planning, sustainable land management practices, integrated landscape management, and incentives for the adoption of these best practices, including their relevance for rural livelihoods and ecosystem services (including awareness raising and communication). 

Tasks and responsibilities 

The consultants will provide expertise needed for one or several of the following tasks:

Financial mechanism advisor

  • Identify and map public programmes and corporate strategies that contribute to the sustainable management of farms, forest, fisheries and aquaculture
  • Develop strategies to engage the private sector in responsible investment in sustainable production and consumption
  • Design innovative financing options to render sustainable agriculture, including conservation and rehabilitation of sensitive habitats profitable to farmers. 

Agro-environmental policy coordination advisor

  • Propose policy reforms to reduce perverse incentives, offer more efficient direct support to farmers and achieve greater institutional coordination between environmental and agriculture sectors; and of these with financial and market development institutions and the private sector
  • Propose ways and means of combining these investments to offer farmers (including forest managers and fishers) packages of incentives with policy recommendations for their implementation
  • Hold technical consultations with the targeted institutions to assess the incentive package feasibility and plan implementation steps 

Impact assessment advisor

  • Develop a framework to identify and quantify adoption barriers to sustainable production practices
  • Develop a framework to valuate ecosystem services and trade-offs of implementation of sustainable production practices on their provision
  • Develop a long-term tracking and reporting of environmental and socioeconomic impact of public and private investments in sustainable agriculture
  • Gather adoption barrier and ecosystem services valuation data in partnership with FAO field projects
  • Support the collection, analysis and dissemination of pertinent information regarding the identification of barriers and incentives required for sustainable land management

Candidates will be assessed against the following:
Minimum Requirements

  • University Degree (for PSAs) or Advanced University Degree (for Consultants) in agriculture, environment and/or economic sciences, geography, natural resources management or a related field;
  • At least four years of relevant experience for base level consultants/PSAs (category C), and at least five years’ relevant experience for middle level consultants/PSAs (category B),more than 12 years for the consultant category A and 15 years for PSA category A;
  • Certified working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two, or of Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs); 

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement 

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Ability to analyse technical and scientific information, to write and communicate clearly and concisely, including technical reports, project documents and effective oral presentations;