Regional Technical Specialist for Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Location : Bangkok, THAILAND
Application Deadline :10-May-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year


UNDP recognizes that the growing risks and impacts of climate change and the accompanying loss of ecosystem services requires the world to urgently invest in a new green development paradigm. Based in UNDP’s Bureau of Development Policy and its Environment and Energy Group, the UNDP/GEF unit helps developing countries make green, low emission and climate resilient development not only possible, but also economically attractive. To achieve this, it works closely with UNDP country offices to help countries develop and implement programmes and projects which advance their capacity to put in place the right mix of regulatory and financial incentives, remove institutional and policy barriers, and create enabling environments that attract and drive private sector investment into green development.

UNDP/GEF staff assist partner countries to develop and implement programmes and projects that combine and sequence resources from a wide range of global environment and climate funds, financial mechanisms, and instruments including, but not limited to: the GEF managed family of vertical funds such as the GEF Trust Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund, and the Least Developed Countries Fund; the Adaptation Fund; the Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation, voluntary carbon markets and other innovative sources of carbon, climate, and ecosystem finance, as well as a variety of multilateral, bilateral, national, sub-national and private sector sources.

Staff are organized into thematic teams of technical specialists led by Principal or Senior Technical Advisors (PTAs/STAs). Each team leader supports, guides, and supervises a team of Region based Technical Advisors (RTAs) and Specialists (RTSs). RTAs and RTSs work in close collaboration with other technical specialists at both global and regional levels. While RTAs and RTSs have global responsibilities in their area of specialized technical expertise, they are deployed from Regional Service Centres, normally close to the countries to which they provide most support, and have a secondary line of reporting to the Regional Practice or Team Leaders on the countries they support.

The strategic objective of the Ecosystems and Biodiversity team is to support the effective management of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Sustainable Human Development. To achieve this, the team focuses its efforts into the following signature programmes: Integrate EBD management into development planning and production sectors to safeguard biodiversity and maintain ecosystem functions that sustain human well-being; unlock the potential of protected areas, including indigenous and community conserved areas, to conserve biodiversity while contributing to sustainable development; manage and rehabilitate ecosystems for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

The RTS for Ecosystems and Biodiversity will be based in Bangkok, Thailand but may be periodically re-deployed, in accordance with capability and due process, to a different regional centre as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Region based Technical Specialist for Ecosystems and Biodiversity is primarily responsible for providing high quality technical, policy, programming implementation support and oversight, and knowledge and capacity development services to UNDP country offices, and works with other UN agencies, governments and inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, donors, the private sector and many others. Specific results are expected in the areas of:

Innovation, Strategic Leadership, Policy Dialogue and Advocacy (10%)

  • Contributing to a strategic understanding of, and engagement with, the substantive technical issues, institutions, and processes within the region, including establishing contact and developing strategic partnerships with other agencies, donors, NGO’s, the private sector, scientific institutions and the like;
  • Participating in the development and implementation of UNDP’s global and regional strategies on environment and sustainable development;
  • Providing policy development support and guidance;
  • Supporting the development of strategic UNDP policy position papers and internal briefing notes;
  • Facilitating policy analysis and the development of technical tools and guidance;
  • Maintain a trusted leadership role amongst the countries served;
  • Keeping the Regional Practice/Team Leader and other RTAs serving the same countries informed of trends and issues with respect to the substantive technical area;
  • Keeping the Principal Technical Advisors informed of trends and issues in the countries served.

Portfolio Management (10%)

  • Assisting in the maintenance of programme/project and portfolio 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;

Resource Mobilization (35%)

  • Supporting programme and project identification and development
  • Providing timely and quality information and technical advice on sources of funds, policies, priorities and activities;
  • Identifying and suggesting to the PTA 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;
  • Liaising with potential financing agencies and institutions.

Development Impact (35%)

  • Assisting with inception, contracting and start up 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;

Learning, Knowledge Management and Self Development (10%)

  • Evaluating, capturing, codifying, synthesizing lessons and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of knowledge materials;
  • Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve the technical quality of programmes/projects, policies, practices, guidelines, advisory notes, publications and the like;
  • Contributing to the preparation of regional Community of Practice meetings;
  • Preparing and delivering training courses;
  • Responding to queries on programme/project progress, impacts and lessons;
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan (5%).
Impact of Results

The results of the work of the RTS impacts on the standing and reputation of UNDP in all the countries served. Overall, the decisions taken by the RTS also impact: the relations and credibility of UNDP with government (civil society and donors); programme success or failure; the efficiency and effectiveness of resource allocations within UNDP. The RTS has regular contact with Country Office and national counterparts in monitoring UNDP ecosystem and biodiversity programmes and projects. The RTS makes recommendations to the UNDP Resident Representative or Country Director on necessary courses of action in response to changes in the country context and new programme and resource mobilization opportunities. When requested, the RTA represents UNDP in international and national fora, liaises with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP counterparts in the Government, local and international media, civil society as well as counterparts from other international organizations. The RTA promotes good cooperation and coordination among programme and operations staff and between the Country Office and Government counterparts.


Technical Competencies:

  • Ability to provide guidance on biodiversity and ecosystem management: strengthening management of protected area systems and developing protected area system finance schemes; mainstreaming biodiversity management in economic sector governance systems and markets; developing ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation solutions to address climate change; and developing financial instruments for ecosystem management.
  • Ability to guide the design and implementation of multi-sectoral and sectoral programmes and projects at different scales; and
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders across a wide range of disciplines

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Functional Competencies:

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to contribute to strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting
  • Ability to lead formulation, oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects
  • Ability to apply development theory to the specific country context to identify creative, practical approaches to overcome challenging situations
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office
  • Knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside of UNDP

Client Orientation

  • Maintains relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Proven networking, team-building, communication, conflict resolution and organizational skills

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters degree or higher in ecology, marine sciences, oceanography, fisheries, coastal management, environmental sciences, economics, social sciences with a specialization in environment and development, or other closely related field;


  • Minimum of 7 years experience preferably working with developing countries on ecosystems and biodiversity;
  • Experience with project development, implementation and management (direct project management experience is preferable);
  • Experience in the policy development processes in substantive technical area;
  • Demonstrated technical and intellectual skills in substantive area;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships;
  • Demonstrated facilitation and coordination skills;
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial abilities and ability to work in an independent manner;
  • Full computer literacy;
  • Experience working in Asia and the Pacific;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, with exceptional writing, presentation and communication skills
  • Proficiency in other UN languages is an asset.

UNDP Personal History form (required to submit):  


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