Result of Service
The expected final outputs are:
• The Secretariat is provided with up to date and accurate information on issues related to biodiversity and agriculture (including soil biodiversity), as well as on inland waters, to support participation and input into relevant processes and fora;
• Official documentation for meetings such as the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), the Open-ended working group for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (OEWG), the Conference of the Parties (COP), is prepared on time and quality;
• Substantive and logistical support is provided to meetings such as SBSTTA, OEWG, and COP;
• Relevant information on agriculture and biodiversity, including soil biodiversity, and inland waters/wetlands is synthesized to ensure it informs the negotiations of the post-2020 global biodiversity;
• Support is provided to ensure the smooth adoption of the plan of action 2020-2030 for the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity at COP 15;
• Activities to support early implementation of the plan of action on soil biodiversity are identified and agreed in collaboration with FAO;
• Actions or elements to be included in a draft of the new Joint Work Programme between the Ramsar Convention and CBD are identified, in collaboration with Ramsar;
• Correspondence and requests related to biodiversity, agriculture and freshwater ecosystems are answered;
• Engagement with partners on issues related to biodiversity, agriculture and freshwater ecosystems is fostered and maintained.
Twelve (12) months.
Duties and Responsibilities
The United Nations Environment Programme 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. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for ‘sustainable development’. The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature in Rio in 1992. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by United Nations Environment Programme. Its main tasks are to arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including preparation of pertinent documentation, operation of the central node of the clearing-house mechanism, liaison and coordination with other international bodies and processes and, in close collaboration with these partners, the provision of technical support for the effective implementation of the Convention.
Duties and responsibilities
The consultant will work under the supervision of the Programme Management Officer (Agriculture and Inland Waters), Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit (BSPG), Science, Society and Sustainable Futures (SSSF). He/she will perform the following duties:
1. Undertakes research, reviews and analyzes recent information and scientific literature related to agriculture and biodiversity, including soil biodiversity, and inland waters/freshwater ecosystems to ensure these issues are reflected in relevant documentation and programme activities as well as to monitor their implementation.
2. Assists in preparing, drafting, reviewing and editing background documents, policy and technical documents for meetings such as the SBSTTA, OEWG, and COP and other fora;
3. Supports and services meetings such as SBSTTA, OEWG, and COP, workshops and other meetings:
a. Substantive support: note-taking and report writing, as well as assistance during negotiations for integrating comments;
b. Logistical support: provides secretariat services to meetings/workshops (on site or virtual): issues notifications, compiles country nominations, analyzes submitted curriculum vitae (in the case of expert meetings), issues funding and visa assistance letters, liaises with other units for logistics (travel, venue and accommodation arrangements) and funds/budgets, communicates with participants, drafts and circulates agenda, drafts and reviews background documentation, prepares minutes or reports of the meetings, coordinates follow-up actions, etc.
4. Tracks the post-2020 global biodiversity framework process to ensure that issues related to the agriculture and biodiversity, including soil biodiversity, and inland waters/wetlands are reflected in relevant documentation and negotiations;
5. Supports communication with Parties and coordination with partners, such as FAO, to ensure the adoption of the plan of action 2020-2030 for the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity at COP 15;
6. Engages with FAO (and others as needed) to identify actions to support early implementation of the plan of action on soil biodiversity;
7. Engages with the Ramsar Convention (and others as needed) to develop a first draft of the new Joint Work Programme between the Ramsar Convention and CBD;
8. Prepares publications, articles, statements, speaking points and presentations related to the assigned programmes and prepares and manages correspondence (letters, notifications, emails).
9. Liaises and coordinates with partner organizations regarding collaborating on issues related to the sustainable use of biodiversity, including soil biodiversity, and inland waters/freshwater ecosystems (e.g. communicate and coordinate joint work with focal points in other organization, particularly FAO and the Ramsar Convention).
10. Performs other related duties as assigned.
Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis. Ability to identify, collect, use and assess information from various research sources, including scientific articles, study guides, technical reports, legal documents, and databases. Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel and Power Point.
Planning and Organizing:
Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; and uses time efficiently.
Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; and demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position.
Academic Qualifications: University degree in environmental sciences, environmental policy, climate impacts, international relations, or related field is desirable.
Experience: A minimum of 2 years of relevant experience working in the field of environment is required. Experience in research, writing and analysis, in particular on issues related to biodiversity and natural resource management or environment-related issues is required. Experience in logistical work in organizing meetings and workshops is desirable. Experience within the United Nations is desirable.
Languages: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is desirable.
Travel may be required for participation in official meetings. The Secretariat will cover the costs of the participation of the consultant in the meeting as per the UN Travel policy. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel, the selected consultant might have to represent the SCBD by virtual means and this should be encouraged.
Applicants must be Canadian residents or citizens or have permission to work in Canada.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.