Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.

Office/Unit/Project Description

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels offers a spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in its Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. BPPS staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages; represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora, including public-private, government and civil society dialogues; and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. 

BPPS’ Nature Climate and Energy (NCE) Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion-dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Sustainable Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning.

In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships in NCE, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds (VFs), UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments, and knowledge management services.

Marine and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity contributes substantially to human development, including via the provision of food security, transport, energy, tourism, and critical ecosystem services; ocean sectors contribute around $3 trillion per year to the global market economy. Due to governance and market failures leading to unsustainable ocean practices, the health and socioeconomic contributions of the ocean, and especially coral reefs, face significant threats including overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change. These threats disproportionately impact SIDS and coral nations, where economic and community development is highly dependent on nature.

UNDP works with national and local governments, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to advance integrated, cross-sectoral, ecosystem-based approaches for the protection and management of marine and coastal ecosystems that help to create and maintain sustainable blue economies. Through UNDP’s Ocean Promise, the organisation commits to mainstreaming marine and coastal conservation and management targets into SDG-based national development and poverty reduction strategies and facilitating strategic partnerships and coordinated approaches to action and advocacy for marine and coastal resources management. This aligns closely with UNDP’s SIDS Offer—Rising Up For SIDS, which focuses on three interconnected pillars that can kickstart green and blue recovery and transform development: (i) enhance climate action; (ii) propel blue economies; and (iii) catalyse digital transformation, aiming to provide integrated development solutions specific to SIDS. On the ground, UNDP is redoubling its efforts to enable every SIDS and coral nation to access innovative and traditional finance that unlocks ocean-positive investment with benefits for local communities. UNDP is a founding partner of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR), which supports blended finance initiatives that unlock public and private investment for businesses and financial mechanisms that improve reef health and benefit communities. UNDP plays a leading role in the development and implementation of GFCR.

The Technical Specialist (TS) for Coral Reef and Island Ecosystems is primarily responsible for providing technical, policy, and programming implementation support and oversight across UNDP’s global Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) and wider coral reefs portfolio, and delivering related knowledge, capacity development and solution sharing services. The Technical Specialist will support UNDP’s engagement with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, including management of UNDP’s GFCR global project and programme portfolio, the development and implementation of the REEF+ Accelerator (a GFCR facility hosted by UNDP) and related fundraising. The TS is expected to support and oversee UNDP´s work with key partners in the coral reefs arena including UN agencies, governments and inter-governmental organizations, NGOs, donors (bilateral, IFI, foundations), the private sector and other stakeholders. The TS will also support corporate coral reef- and island-related policy and advocacy work.

Institutional Arrangement

  • The Technical Specialist will report to the Senior Technical Advisor (EBD/Marine and SIDS);
  • The Technical Specialist will be given access to relevant information necessary for the execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Technical Specialist will be responsible for providing her/his own workstation (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the Technical Specialist is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for consultations taking into consideration different time zones;
  • The Technical Specialist will engage regularly with the supervisor by email and Skype on a weekly and/or as needed daily basis;
  • The Technical Specialist shall submit to the Supervisor a monthly progress report on the status of the implementation of tasks.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The Technical Specialist for Coral Reef and Island Ecosystems works under the overall supervision of the Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for Ecosystems & Biodiversity with responsibility for EBD’s global marine, coastal and SIDS portfolio, and UNDP’s engagement with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs.

Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy

  • Contributing to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions and processes related to UNDP’s coral reefs and islands portfolio, including establishing contact and developing partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGOs, the private sector, financial institutions, scientific institutions, etc.;
  • Providing policy development support and guidance to country offices and governments, especially in SIDS and coral nations;
  • Supporting the development of strategic UNDP policy position papers and internal briefing notes relevant to SIDS and island nations;
  • Facilitating policy analysis and the development of technical tools and guidance;
  • Maintaining trusted relationships with country offices, government and non-governmental partners in SIDS and coral nations;
  • Keeping the Principal/Senior Technical Advisors informed of trends and issues related to coral reef ecosystems and SIDS.

Portfolio Management

  • Assisting in the maintenance of EBD’s coral reefs portfolio and islands information and corporate information systems;
  • Facilitating the identification and sourcing of technical expertise and support, including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification, and evaluation of experts, and reviewing reports;
  • Advising country offices, governments and other constituencies on issues related to the conservation and management of coral reef ecosystems, the establishment, effective management, and sustainable financing of Marine Protected Areas, blended and innovative financing approaches and private sector engagement for scaled up solutions, and integrated coastal management, particularly in coral nations.

Resource Mobilization and Portfolio Development

  • Proactively contributing to strengthening donor relationships and raising funds for UNDP’s coral reefs and islands portfolio, including grant funding as well as, via partnerships, private equity, and debt financing for bankable investment opportunities;
  • Supporting fundraising for the innovative REEF+ Accelerator, a knowledge and finance facility of the GFCR developed and implemented by UNDP, including through the development of a global GEF project;
  • Supporting programme and project identification and development, including integrated approaches and multifocal area projects;
  • Identifying and suggesting priorities and entry-points for UNDP assistance;
  • Facilitating the process of preparation, design, submission, and approval of programme/project concepts and full-fledged proposals for financing;
  • Providing guidance and support in the identification and sourcing of technical expertise and support, including assisting with the preparation of TORs, identification, and evaluation of experts, and reviewing reports;
  • Facilitating liaisons with potential financing agencies and institutions.

Development Impact 

  • Supporting the development and implementation of the REEF+ Accelerator including the development of capacity development and exchange programmes, maintenance of communities of practice, and the curation of partner/solutions profiles;
  • Assisting with inception, contracting and startup of programmes/projects including establishment of indicators, benchmarks, and work plans;
  • Supporting UNDP Country Offices and programme/project implementation partners in supervision, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, troubleshooting and adaptive management;
  • Preparing reports and communications pieces effectively showcasing socio-economic development benefits as well as environment results.

Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development

  • Evaluating, capturing, codifying, and synthesizing lessons, and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge relating to coral reef ecosystems and islands;
  • Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve the technical quality of EBD and GFCR programmes and projects, policies, practices, guidelines, advisory notes, publications, etc.; 
  • Supporting the preparation and delivering of training courses and events;
  • Responding to queries on programme and project progress, impacts and lessons;
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan.?




Achieve Results

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies

Thematic Area



Business management

Customer Satisfaction/Client Management

  • Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers' needs.
  • Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy.
  • Look for ways to add value beyond clients' immediate requests.
  • Ability to anticipate client's upcoming needs and concerns.

Business management

Project management

  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Business management


  • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.

Business management

Resource management

  • Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity.

Business management


  • Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results.

Business management

Partnership management

  • Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust, and mutual understanding.

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature, Climate and Energy

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Conservation and Sustainable use of biodiversity, land, forests and oceans


Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Qualifications and Competencies of the Successful IPSA

Min. Academic Education

  • Master’s degree or higher in marine science, environmental sciences,  economics, or business studies with a specialization in environment and development, or other closely related fields.

Min. years of relevant Work experience

  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience working with developing countries in the field of marine and coastal area conservation, management, and financing;
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience with conceptualizing and developing internationally financed projects and programmes;
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience working with/in SIDS and/or coral nations in the policy development and implementation processes associated with coral reef conservation;
  • Demonstrable experience in working across different disciplines and connecting natural resource issues with the sustainable development agenda;
  • Demonstrable experience in working on conservation finance;
  • Experience working with multilateral, bilateral and/or regional environmental funds;
  • Experience in establishing and/or maintaining strategic and long-term partnerships.

Desired additional skills

  • Experience with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and/or GFCR is an advantage;
  • Experience in direct project management and guiding project implementation and management an advantage;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures, and practices;
  • Working knowledge of French or Spanish an asset.

Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation, and communication skills

Professional Certificates