Environmental Policy Specialist (Sustainable Financing and Natural Resource Management)

Location : Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA
Application Deadline :07-May-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-11
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 Year with possibility for Extension

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.


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.

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.


  1. UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.
  2. Any travels related to official performance of duties will be covered by UNDP.

Office/Unit/Project Description 

Over the past two decades Cambodia has realized exceptional rates of economic growth averaging over 7% prior to the pandemic and has delivered an economic transformation.  This has been accompanied by persistent declines in poverty and rapid improvements in human development.

Yet Cambodia does face several development challenges going forward. Pressures stemming from Cambodia’s rapid progression as a Middle-Income Country (MIC) have tended to be resource and carbon intensive, therefore, raising questions about sustainability. Cambodia has as a result, experienced both environmental challenges and natural resource depletion. As Cambodia responds to COVID19 and looks towards a recovery, opportunities may arise for a greener and more sustainable development pathway.

UNDP Cambodia has played important roles in supporting environmental sector priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia covering climate change, environment and sustainable energy. Over the next two and a half years (2021-2023), UNDP will be providing technical support to the Ministry of Environment as part of a wider World Bank IDA loan financed programme, the Cambodia Sustainable Landscape & Ecotourism Project (CSLEP). The Project Development Objective is to improve protected areas (PAs) management, and to promote ecotourism opportunities and non-timber forest product (NTFP) value chains in the Cardamom Mountains-Tonle Sap landscape. UNDP’s technical assistance to the MoE is to ensure a robust “Cambodian Environmental Management Information System” (CEMIS) and a data management system, development and operationalization of sustainable financing mechanisms, and effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of project activities.

The Policy and Innovation Hub for Sustianable Development (PIH) housed under the Policy and Innovation Unit of UNDP Cambodia Office delivers timely and innovative policy solutions, supports pilot initiatives and mobilizes partnership and resources, with a view to contributing to Cambodia’s transition towards a sustainable and inclusive upper-middle income country. The project is structured around three pillars: Prosperity, Planet and Peace which is anchored with the UNDP Country Programme Document for Camboia 2019-2023. Under pillar 2 (Planet), these services cover range of programmatic areas including environment and natural resources management, circular economy, climate change and sustainable energy.

The role of the Environmental Policy Specialist is to support the delivery of technical assistance of this programme. For the CSLEP project, the Specialist’s role is to 1) provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages to the CSLEP project, and 2) provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalising sustainable financing options for natural resource management.

Based in the Policy and Innovation Unit and reporting to the Environmental Policy Specialist (Environment and Natural Resources Management), the Specialist 1) leads programming and resource mobilisation in the environment portfolio including natural resources management, and 2) helps facilitate UNDP’s policy engagement in terms of policy dialogue, advocacy, research, communication and partnership coordination.

Institutional Arrangement

The Environmental Policy Specialist (Sustainable Financing and Natural Resources Management) is based in the Policy and Innovation Unit under the overall management of the Assistant Resident Representative/ Head of Unit and direct supervision of Environmental Policy Specialist (Environment and Natural Resource Management). With regard to the implementation of the CSLEP project, the Specialist will work under the programmatic oversight of the Porogramme and Results Unit of UNDP Cambodia Office.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

The specific responsibilities of the Environmental Policy Specialist are as follows:

  • Provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages to the CSLEP project and other projects when and if required
  • Provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalising sustainable financing options for natural resource management
  • Lead programming and resource mobilisation in the environment portfolio including natural resources management
  • Facilitate UNDP’s policy engagement in terms of policy dialogue, research, communication and partnership

1. Provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages to the CSLEP project and other projects when and if required:

  • Manage and oversee the UNDP team of international and national staff and consultants in providing timely and high-quality technical support for the CSLE project in the areas of CEMIS, sustainable financing and M&E;
  • Develop Terms of References (TORs), identify and evaluate experts, and review reports produced, following UNDP rules and regulations;
  • Liaise with UNDP country office, regional bureaus, and HQ, to mobilize and strengthen Technical Support for the areas of CEMIS, sustainable financing and M&E; 
  • Regularly coordinate with the World Bank and the senior members of the MoE Project Team and act as a lead in responding to their comments and suggestions for improvement of our technical assistance;  
  • Provide regular technical backstopping for the effective and timely implementation of the project components under the UNDP’s responsibility; 
  • Provide effective communication, coordination and cooperation between the members of the project's management team and UNDP teams in planning, monitoring and implementation process; and
  • Regularly update programme analyst and the senior management of the country office on the project implementation status and results. 

2. Provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalising sustainable financing options for natural resource management:  

  • Review ongoing work related to sustainable financing by UNDP such as Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES), Biodiversity-financing (BioFin) and REDD+ ("Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries); 
  • Support the Country Office (CO) in developing and implementing an overall strategy and action plan for sustainable financing work;
  • Provide lead technical support for the UNDP team’s work related to PES, BIOFIN as well as REDD+ with the aim to design and operationalize sustainable financing mechanisms, and fund such as the Environmental and Social Fund (ESF)
  • Mobilise technical assistance, supervise and provide quality assurance for the technical works conducted by international and national specialists and consultants and project partners related to sustainable financing.  These technical works entail: 
    • Examine existing revenue sources and gaps for protected area management in the country such as the national finance, ODAs, taxes, fees, royalties, charges, fines, penalties, private donations, trust fund, ecotourism, REDD+, PES, eco standards and labelling.
    • Review options for sustainable finance mechanisms for funds to determine suitability for implementation in the country and for the CSLEP landscape;
    • Support the MoE in reviewing existing economic valuation studies on ecosystems in CSLEP and in identifying key ecosystems to be targeted;
    • Support the MoE to identify and prioritize potential sustainable finance mechanisms and/or sources and necessary policy and fiscal reforms and fiscal incentives to implement priority sustainable finance mechanisms and/or sources in the CMTS landscape;
    • Assist the MoE in the organization of consultation meeting(s) including preparation of presentation materials and background documents to discuss and select sustainable financing options; and
    • Provide technical support to the MoE for designing sustainable financing options for identified ecosystem services. This work entails support for a) identification of key stakeholders, b) development of a draft roadmap for operationalization, including target sources of payments, and revenue collection, fund management and c) development of draft operational guidelines for key identified options, fund management mechanisms.

3. Lead programming and resource mobilisation in the areas of environment and natural resources management:

  • Support the Country Office (CO) management in developing the overall strategy for resource mobilisation from bilateral, multilateral, IFIs and vertical funds including Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the private sector;
  • Analyze information about donor policies, trends and priority areas, including a who’s who of across the Donors’ landscape. Consolidate a Map of Donor’s sector involvement and maintain a macro picture of current and future funding and accordingly update the Country Office Partnership and Communication Action Plan;
  • Prepare briefs and other documents explaining donor strategies, policies/trends; alert senior management on major donor issues;
  • Lead the development of concept notes, projects, programme proposals and/or full project documents as per the funding requirements;
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with key decision makers in governments, donor agencies and the private sector and regularly update them on UNDP Cambodia activities, priorities, and impact/positive results;
  • Review and monitor key objectives, results and implementation status of projects in the environmental portfolio and through bi-annual meetings; 
  • Develop a leaflet, power point presentations, and other information materials on the CO’s environment profile; 
  • Participate in development partner and technical working group coordination meetings and prepare and disseminate a summary of discussion notes for the Country Office;
  • Liaise with UNDP regional bureaus, HQ, and donor country based (as needed to ensure coherent corporate advocacy) and for identifying funding options and resource mobilisation strategies; and
  • Perform other duties as needed.

4. Facilitate UNDP’s policy engagement in terms of policy dialogue, research, communication and partnership:

  • Facilitate policy dialogue with the Government, development partners, civil society, private sector; contributions to development of policies as relevant;
  • Provide top-quality analysis and technical evidence-based inputs to Common Country Assessment, United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Country Programme Document, the Country Programme Action Plan and other strategic documents;
  • Develop UNDP policy position papers, policy briefs, summary reports, meeting notes/minutes and internal briefing notes on environment for UNDP senior management;
  • Design, organize, and implement a research agenda such as a Human Development Report, with the aim of generating working papers and National Human Development Reports;
  • Produce high-quality research papers for UNDP presentation at workshops and conferences and share knowledge on the project and UNDP’s work in the environment sector by documenting lessons learnt and best practices from the project piloting and contributing to the development of knowledge-based tools;
  • Develop talking points and draft speeches for the senior management;  
  • Provide technical inputs for communication materials such as the website, social media, news articles, and blogs for use in print and social media channels;
  • Draft responses for media inquiries about the UNDP work in the environmental sector including natural resources management;
  • Raise visibility of the programme strategies through knowledge sharing and well-developed communication materials; and
  • Ensure that UNDP and wider international best practice and lesson learning is fed into the implementation of programme strategies and in the work of UNDP Cambodia.



Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Required Skills and Experience


Minimum Academic Education:

  • Master’s degree in Environmental/Ecological Economics and Finance, Natural Resource Management, and Policy, or other relevant discipline. A PhD degree is an asset.

Minimum Years of Relevant Work Experience:

  • At least 7 years of working experience in sustainable financing (including REDD+, Payments for Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity Financing) for natural resource management or a related field.
  • Robust programming and project formulation experience with successful records of resource mobilisation for the environment sector from bilateral and multilateral donors and vertical funds such as GCF and GEF
  • At least 3 years of in-country developing country experience in working with senior level national governments and forming strategic stakeholder partnerships for project implementation in the field of natural resources management; prior working experience in South East Asia including Cambodia is a plus

Required skills and competencies

  • Robust proposal writing, analytical, research and communication skills
  • Knowledge of UN policies and procedures and of developing and experience implementing environment projects at the country level, including quality assurance processes and social and environmental standards screening is a plus.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of Khmer would be an asset.

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