Available evidence and the decisions adopted by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) indicate a significant gap in finance for biodiversity management, for countries to scale up their efforts and achieve the 20 Aichi Targets defined in the CBD’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020. A recent global top-down assessment conducted by the CBD High Level Panel for Resource Mobilisation estimated that the global investment required amounts to between US$ 130 and 440 billion annually. However detailed national-level (bottom-up) assessments are required to provide more robust information on the biodiversity finance gap, fully taking into account the effects of the enabling policy environment. In this context, at COP-11 in October 2012, UNDP and the European Commission (EC) launched a new partnership project “Building Transformative Policy and Financing Frameworks to Increase Investment in Biodiversity Management” that seeks to build a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity at the national level. With the Governments of Germany and Switzerland having recently joined, this project has since grown into a multi-partner global endeavour – the UNDP-managed Biodiversity Finance Initiative.

The Initiative will have a multi-tiered approach by:

  • mainstreaming biodiversity into national development and sectoral planning, to reduce the pressures exerted by the drivers of biodiversity loss and thereby reduce the investment needed to safeguard biodiversity, including through a significant strengthening of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs);
  • determining the national-level biodiversity finance gap, by defining the current investment baseline across those sectors relevant for the achievement of the Aichi Targets, and by defining the true investment needed to address biodiversity loss, taking into account cost-effectiveness and the effects of an improved enabling environment;
  • rolling out appropriate national-level biodiversity financing strategies and mechanisms through which countries can identify, access, combine and sequence multiple sources of environmental and development finance, both national and international, for meeting their biodiversity management needs and achieving the CBD’s Aichi Targets;
  • conducting the first-ever Biodiversity Public and Private Expenditure and Institutional Reviews (BPPEIRs), in support of the above three components.

The Initiative will first develop new methodologies and tools needed to produce coherent and comprehensive frameworks for each of the above aspects. In a second step, these frameworks will be piloted, and inform the development of NBSAPs and further transformational measures, in up to 20 countries including at least Argentina, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda. In a third step, the methodological frameworks will be refined, based on the results of the country piloting, and then disseminated for wider application.

UNDP is now building a fully dedicated team - the Central Technical Unit (CTU) – to globally lead and implement the Biodiversity Finance Initiative. The Initiative will be hosted by the Ecosystems and Biodiversity (EBD) cluster under the Environment and Energy Group (EEG) of UNDP’s Bureau of Development Policy, responsible for providing leadership and technical support to engineer delivery of the Environment and Sustainable Development pillar of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. Its main focus is on helping countries incorporate environmental sustainability into development, through environmental mainstreaming, environmental finance, advancing climate change adaptation and sustainable energy, and conserving and sustainably managing natural resources and biodiversity.

The Project Manager and Technical Advisor for Environmental Finance leads and oversees the Initiative’s CTU and has global responsibilities in his/her area of specialised technical expertise, working under the overall supervision of the EBD PTA in close collaboration with the Initiative’s Chief Technical Advisor (CTA – a UNDP staff member providing biodiversity-specific input) and other Technical Advisors (TA)/Specialists (TS) at both global and regional levels. The Project Manager will be initially based at the UNDP Regional Centre in Istanbul, Turkey, however, this position may be redeployed, in accordance with capability, consent, and due process, as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Manager and Technical Advisor for Environmental Finance is responsible for the overall day-to-day implementation of the UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative, providing strong leadership on technical, policy and management matters – especially relating to public and environmental finance and the costing of biodiversity action – as well as knowledge and capacity development services. The Project Manager is therefore also responsible for leading and overseeing the development of the global methodological frameworks of the Initiative, for guiding and overseeing the technical and piloting work carried out at national level, and for preparing a consolidated set of cutting-edge tools and products aimed at addressing the biodiversity finance gap.

The Project Manager works primarily, but not exclusively, with the CTU, UNDP country offices, pilot and donor country governments, other international/multi-lateral organisations, and contractors. In this context, the Project Manager will liaise with other UNDP staff and consultants involved in relevant UNDP-GEF and related projects focusing on (a) the in-country development of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs), (b) the “NBSAP Forum” platform aimed at technically supporting and benchmarking the development of NBSAPs globally, (c) the development and application of tools for sustainable financing of Protected Area systems and of mechanisms for Payments for Ecosystem Services, and (d) other relevant UNDP projects. Any required additional technical expertise on biodiversity (policy, field conservation, etc.) will be provided by a number of UNDP technical staff.

The following are the specific key functions/results expected:

Overall implementation and management of the UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative:

  • Provide day-to-day guidance and management oversight to the overall UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative and its team, reviewing on a regular basis project details, schedules, deliverables, disbursements and budgets to ensure implementation is on track, and troubleshooting and adapting management as required;
  • Ensure the management and administrative requirements (technical, financial, communications, audits, evaluations, etc.) of the different partners/donors of the Initiative (notably the European Commission) are met;
  • Ensure that UNDP-specific processes (integrated work planning, budgeting, procurement, monitoring and evaluation, CTU performance planning and appraisals, etc.) are met;
  • Establish and convene meetings of the Global Steering Committee (GSC) together with the CTA, to define priorities, evaluate progress and management, and exchange information;
  • Manage and monitor risks and issues, submitting newly identified ones to the PTA, CTA and/or GSC for consideration and decision if required;
  • Identify and source necessary technical expertise and support, and oversee the recruitment of CTU staff members, international consultants and service providers;
  • Ensure that relevant UNDP projects and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative draw from and feed into each other, avoiding duplication and maximizing synergy;
  • Liaise with other relevant UNDP staff including in-country colleagues regarding the Initiative, including to share information about trends and issues in the thematic area;
  • Respond to queries on programme/project progress, impacts and lessons.

Leading and overseeing the development of the methodological frameworks at global level:

  • Provide strong leadership on technical and policy matters, especially relating to public and environmental finance, soliciting/securing additional technical input as required from UNDP colleagues, external experts and international and national consultants;
  • Lead on and contribute to the definition of indicators and benchmarks for the overall Initiative to form the basis for M&E;
  • Ensure technical excellence of implementation/outcomes and outputs/products (and of resulting policy recommendations, practices, guidelines, publications, etc.) by providing inputs to, and critically reviewing, these;
  • Operationalise a global Methodology Advisory Group (MAG), together with the PTA and CTA, to provide in-depth support on the development and piloting of methodologies and tools, and offer a frame of reference for the work of the global and national teams in charge of the implementation of the Initiative;
  • Oversee the preparation and organisation of global workshops aimed at developing and discussing methodologies and ensuring these build on and inform relevant policy processes at the national and global levels;
  • Share relevant expertise on public and private (environmental) finance with key players in both the global and national teams working for or towards the Biodiversity Finance Initiative;
  • Work with UNDP staff and partner organisations to feed thinking from the Biodiversity Finance Initiative into a global platform providing technical support and benchmarking to NBSAPs globally (the NBSAP Forum, supported by UNDP, UNEP, UNEP-WCMC and the CBD Secretariat).

Guiding and overseeing the technical and piloting work carried out at national level:

  • Ensure that planning and implementation in pilot countries is aligned with the Initiative’s global methodologies and standards, that these are reconciled with national NBSAP development processes, and that key milestones are met including towards global policy processes;
  • Stimulate the uptake of best practices and knowledge;
  • Oversee the recruitment of national institutions / service providers to carry out the respective in-country activities;
  • Ensure quality of in-country deliverables;
  • Oversee and support implementation progress in each of the pilot countries in contributing to and testing out the global methodology development; this will involve liaising with and supporting the UNDP-GEF TAs/TSs and the involved UNDP country offices to a) establish and convene a National Advisory Committee, b) contract relevant national institutions / service providers to carry out the respective in-country activities, c) ensure links with the UNDP-GEF NBSAP support projects and their coordinators, and d) convene national workshops aimed at commenting the methodologies and ensuring these and the results of the Initiative feed into relevant policy processes at the national level;
  • Support evaluation missions to each pilot country, to provide guidance and training, to gain a sense of progress and develop an analytical understanding, and to feed the cumulative learning which is taking place into national and global processes.

Leading and contributing to the consolidation and positioning of outcomes and outputs:

  • Regularly liaise with relevant initiatives and stakeholders such as WAVES and TEEB and their host organisations;
  • Oversee and contribute to the development of suitable communication and knowledge materials and knowledge-sharing platforms, tools and mechanisms;
  • Produce a consolidated set of outputs/products aimed at addressing the biodiversity finance gap that can be replicated globally;
  • In consultation with the PTA and CTA, present and position the outcomes and outputs of the Initiative in relevant technical and policy circles, securing high-level recognition at national and global levels;
  • Contribute to the further development of UNDP’s global and regional work on environmental/biodiversity finance, as required, such as by contributing to the development of strategic UNDP policy position papers and internal briefing notes;
  • Contribute relevant biodiversity finance input to UNDP publications, presentations, websites, newsletters, and other outreach products, as required.
  • In consultation with the PTA and CTA, actively seek and realise opportunities, entry-points for UNDP assistance and financial resources for strengthening, growing and continuing the Initiative;
  • Facilitate and contribute to the preparation, design, submission and approval of programme/project concepts and full-fledged proposals for financing.

Impact of Results

The results of the work of the Project Manager and Technical Advisor for Environmental Finance are critically important for the standing and reputation of UNDP at the global level, especially in the biodiversity policy community. More specifically, the decisions taken by the Project Manager impact upon programme success or failure, and the relations and credibility of UNDP with governments (particularly in the countries in which the Initiative operates), donors, civil society, other multi-lateral agencies and the Secretariat of the CBD.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s vision, mission and values;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders from a wide range of disciplines and fields, from both developed and developing countries, and having diverse and competing worldviews and interests.

Technical Competencies:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the dimensions and challenges linking biodiversity policy, biodiversity conservation measures, biodiversity finance accounting and resource mobilisation;
  • Understanding of relevant information sources and stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate, combining methodological approaches and data from various levels and disciplines including economics, finance, development and conservation;
  • Demonstrated ability to process and analyse large amounts of complex, technical information from different disciplines, to synthesise these and identify elements for use in applied contexts;
  • Ability to oversee and coordinate the development of high quality knowledge materials and exchange platforms;
  • Competence in environmental matters and policy development, as well as, in biodiversity conservation and biodiversity finance;
  • Advanced project/programme management expertise in theory and practice;

Functional Competencies:

Development and Operational Effectiveness, Knowledge Management and Learning, Client Orientation, etc.:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with analytic capacity and demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information in high quality papers/reports and in effective presentations to high-level technical and political audiences;
  • Strong inter-personal, communication, networking and team-building skills; competent in leading and inspiring teams, managing inter-group dynamics, stimulating team members to think creatively, stay enthusiastic and committed, and produce quality outputs in a timely manner;
  • Ability to effectively guide, coordinate and monitor a multi-disciplinary dedicated staff team and expert consultants, and to work effectively over the distance with in-country committees, teams and consultants and government representatives;
  • Results-driven, initiative-taking, ability to work under pressure and to meet strict deadlines;
  • Ability to plan and organise work and establish priorities;
  • Remains calm and in control even under pressure, and consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Shares knowledge and experience actively, mentors project staff;
  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior members of national and international institutions, government and non-government; ability to deal with politically sensitive issues;
  • Skill in negotiating effectively, including in sensitive situations and resolving conflicts as they arise;
  • Skill in facilitating meetings effectively and efficiently;
  • Ability to develop and maintain strategic partnerships/relationships, including with clients, focusing on results for the client/partner and responding positively to feedback;
  • Ability to work under minimum supervision.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters degree or higher in economics, environmental economics, public administration, natural/environmental sciences, social sciences with a specialization in environmental finance and development, or other closely related field.


  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience of which at least 5 years working in applied public or development finance with a focus on environment, in national/sectoral budget allocation processes, and/or in innovative public-sector and market-based analyses and mechanisms, with international and developing country experience desirable;
  • Experience in environmental policy development as well as in biodiversity conservation and biodiversity finance is an advantage;
  • Experience in results-based and results-oriented project implementation and management,
  • Experience with projects/contracts financed by the European Commission is highly desirable;
  • Experience in the development of knowledge and exchange materials and platforms;
  • Experience in implementing and representing high-profile projects involving government stakeholders is an advantage;
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage, as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices.
  • Knowledge in approaches to project implementation;

Language Requirements:

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

UNDP Personal History form (P11 required of all applicants):