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Urban Open Space Specialist


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Swaziland
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Urban Development, planning and design
  • Closing Date: 2023-12-04

IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

Organizational Setting

Eswatini still faces several Readiness gaps and barriers which limit the potential for climate change adaptation and mitigation particularly in urban and peri urban communities, which limits the potential to mainstreaming green cities indicators which intend to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The gaps include limited availability and applications of baselines and indicators, limited role/capacity of Eswatini Local Government Association (ELGA), limited knowledge on actions/interventions for/on urban agriculture and food systems, infrastructure and technologies, weak capacity, absence of knowledge and guidelines on advisory and extension services, absence of an updated policy environment and incentive framework, lack of awareness on how to make urban and peri urban spaces more resilient and adapted to climate change. Therefore, there is a need to prepare Eswatini’s urban and peri-urban communities for public and private investment towards attaining a sustainable green cities status. This is through developing a set of green cities national indicators, strengthening observatory, monitoring and evaluation systems and capacity of the Eswatini Local Government Association (ELGA) and promote advisory and extension services in relevant departments for sustainable agriculture and agribusiness in urban and per-urban spaces. The GCF Readiness activities are being implemented by FAO as delivery partner in close collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban development and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment as NDA.
The position is located in Eswatini, Mbabane.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative in Eswatini, (FAOR), guidance of the Assistant FAOR Program and the technical supervision of the National Programme Coordinator. The National Consultant will work in close collaboration with FAO officers that will form a project management team task force consisting of the Lead Technical Officer (FAO Sub Regional Office for Southern Africa)

Technical Focus

The incumbent will be responsible for defining key parameters, assumptions, definitions, methodologies, data sources and models in use and needed for strengthening management of Urban Open Space System towards climate action for adaptation and mitigation in cities Infrastructure which is a priority sector in the revised NDC.

Tasks and responsibilities

• Generates an inventory and identify gaps on the management of key open spaces assets (forests, grasslands, biodiversity corridors, hiking trails, parks etc) in the different municipalities of the country;
• Conducts a situational analysis on the use and incorporation of GIS database to draw a set of relevant land-use types in different municipalities;
• Identify operational gaps in municipalities towards developing and maintaining a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable open space system;
• Consults relevant stakeholders on actions/interventions for public and private investment in sustainable green cities open spaces;
• Conducts a situational analysis on strategies, frameworks, zoning plans, policies, resources and investments on urban open space of different municipalities;
• Conducts biodiversity hotspots and areas with the potential for the restoration of existing urban ecosystems and more efficient use of natural resources;
• Profiles urban and peri-urban ecosystems and production areas (existing and potential) particularly identifying those vulnerable;
• Documents actions and interventions for ensuring mainstreaming of green cities nature-based technologies and conservation sites on established core indicators;
• Reviews the extent on policy incentives to promote public and private investments on urban open spaces;
• Determines the extent of Systematic Conservation Assessments (SCA) and zoning of Critical Biodiversity Areas (CBA);
• Develops action plans for mainstreaming of core indicators in spatial environmental planning of the municipalities;
• Develops an Environmental Services Plan for inventor action/intervention for public and private investment in open space and recreational amenities management in green cities;
• Recommends policy reforms, review and policy creation for integration of ecological sites in development plans of municipalities;
• Documents environmental and social safeguards on proposed ecologically smart green cities technologies;
• Develops draft concept note on public/private investment urban open spaces and their conservation sites in cities.


Minimum Requirements

• Advanced Degree in Forestry, Urban Planning, Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management, Climate Change, Ecology or related field;
• At least 5 years of experience in ecology, and applications of GIS and GPS;
• Working knowledge of English;
• National of Eswatini or a legal resident of Eswatini

FAO Core Competencies

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

• Working knowledge of SiSwati will be an added advantage;
• Working knowledge of comprehensive planning, strategic planning, and park/open space planning, zoning codes, and park regulations and rules.
• Experience performing complex research or work in a discipline related to natural resource management.
• Demonstrated knowledge of international climate finance, specifically the green climate fund architecture and adaptation and mitigation agendas of the UNFCCC (understanding of the Eswatini NDC activities);

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.


  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing).
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need help or have queries, please contact\:
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.
  • Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications.
  • For other issues, visit the FAO employment website\: http\://
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance\: https\://


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.