Regional Technical Specialist-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management

Location : Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC
Application Deadline :15-Jun-08 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :200 Series
Post Number :13015
Post Level :L-3
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year renewable
Expected Duration of Assignment :5 years


UNDP’s GEF unit is based in UNDP’s Bureau of Development Policy and is a key part of the Energy and Environment Group (EEG).  This placement ensures that global environment concerns are mainstreamed in UNDP’s overall portfolio of activities. UNDP’s GEF unit is organized by focal area, with the Principal Technical Advisor (PTA) being the team leader within each focal area. At this level there is daily interaction with colleagues in EEG on issues related to mainstreaming and knowledge management. Each PTA supports a larger team of regionally based UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) and Portfolio Managers/Programme Specialists, who in turn support UNDP’s country offices and partners in their focal area work in their respective countries.  The role of a UNDP Regional Technical Specialist-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management is to support project implementation partners, primarily UNDP country offices but also other UN agencies, governments and inter-governmental organizations, NGO’s, donors of co-funds, etc. in the efficient, effective, and high quality delivery of GEF and bio-carbon project development and implementation services in biodiversity. 

The Regional Technical Specialist works under the overall guidance and supervision of the UNDP/GEF RTA for Biodiversity and in close consultation with the UNDP/GEF Regional Team Leader and staff of the Regional Service Center in Bratislava. The UNDP/GEF team in Bratislava forms an integral part of the decentralized Energy and Environment Practice, which is located in the Regional Service Center.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Regional Technical Specialist-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management works under the overall guidance and supervision of the UNDP/GEF Regional Technical Advisor for Biodiversity and in close consultation with the UNDP/GEF Regional Team Leader, and staff of the Regional Service Center.  The Regional Technical Specialist is responsible for:

Project Identification and Development

Within the Europe and CIS region and the Biodiversity focal area, through all stages of the GEF and bio-carbon project and programming cycle, and in accordance with the UNDP-GEF Programming Manual, the Regional Technical Specialist is responsible for:

  • Supporting the RTA with the identification and development of project ideas for entry to the UNDP-GEF and bio carbon pipeline within the overall strategic priorities for the region identified by UNDP, the RCU and in line with the global strategic priorities articulated by GEF;
  • Assisting with the provision of timely quality information and technical advice on GEF and bio-carbon policies and activities to country offices, executing agencies, governments and other partners to enable the delivery of a portfolio of UNDP-GEF biodiversity and bio - carbon projects;
  • Supporting Country Offices (COs) in defining priorities for UNDP assistance and entry-points for MDG Carbon’s services in the area of carbon sequestration, particularly in the context of on-going and planned UNDP/GEF projects on biodiversity and land degradation;
  • Assisting with the coordination of design, preparation, submission and approval of project proposals and requests for project development financing;
  • Identification and sourcing of technical expertise and support including assisting with the preparation of Terms of References (TORs), identification and evaluation of experts and reviewing reports;
  • Support the liaison with potential co-financing agencies and institutions.

Project Implementation Oversight and Support

  • Assisting with inception, contracting and start up of projects including establishment of indicators, benchmarks and work plans;
  • Supporting the RTA with supervision, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, troubleshooting and adaptive management of approved GEF and biocarbon projects;
  • Maintain project and portfolio information and corporate information systems;
  • Reviewing and commenting on relevant submissions to GEFSEC from other agencies.

Strengthening Country Office and Executing Agency partner capacities to manage projects

  • Assisting with preparation of Community of Practice meetings;
  • Supporting the preparation and delivery of training courses (ATLAS Risk, etc);
  • Responding to queries on project progress, impacts and lessons;

Strategic planning, partnerships, mainstreaming, and liaison with other agencies and partners

  • Assisting in establishing and maintaining contact with other GEF IA’s, EA’s, donors, NGO’s, private sector, scientific institutions and the like, to seek strategic partnerships, synergies, coordination and cooperation and to avoid overlap, duplication or conflict;
  • Participating in global retreats, focal area retreats, regional strategic planning, pipeline management exercises, etc.;
  • Participating in cross-Focal Area dialogue, common strategic visioning, mainstreaming, programming, and other collaboration within the regional team;
  • Assisting in keeping the Regional Team informed of trends and issues within their focal area and region/sub-region.

Generating, managing and stimulating the uptake of knowledge

Within the UNDP-GEF biodiversity focal area and biocarbon field of expertise, contributing globally and regionally to one or more of the following in accordance with the agreed annual work plan:

  • Contribute to development and implementation of UNDP’s global and regional strategy on bio-carbon;
  • Peer reviewing, commenting on, and seeking to improve the technical quality of the biodiversity and bio-carbon project submission;
  • Assist in evaluating, capturing, codifying, synthesizing lessons and stimulating the uptake of best practices and knowledge, including the development of resource kits and other knowledge materials;
  • Developing and carrying out a personal learning plan (5%) 


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:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • In-depth practical 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.

Management and Leadership

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and results 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;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills. 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Masters degree in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Management, or a closely-related field
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in Biodiversity or closely-related field projects in developing countries (preferably in the Europe and CIS region) 
  • Extensive experience with project development, implementation and management;
  • Work experience in an international organization is an advantage, as is knowledge of UNDP policies and procedures.
  • Previous experience with GEF and with carbon finance mechanisms will be an asset;
  • Experience in the policy development processes associated with environment and sustainable development issues;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; commitment to team work and to working across disciplines;
  • Commitment to effectively supporting the work of UNDP Country Offices;
  • Skills in facilitation and coordination, entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrated ability to work in an independent manner;
  • Strong analytical, writing, communication and advocacy skills;
  • IT literacy, familiarity with e-presentation techniques and ability to operate with on-line web-based applications
  • Excellent drafting ability and presentation  and communication skills, both oral and written; ability to explain complex issues to UNDP staff and external partners;
  • Fluency in English is required (written and verbal) as well as writing, presentation and communication skills;
  • Working knowledge of Russian language and other UN languages is desirable.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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