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Environment Policy Specialist (Nature, Climate and Energy)

Phnom Penh

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Phnom Penh
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Political Affairs
    • Legal - Broad
    • Environment
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Renewable Energy sector
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: 2024-06-26

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
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.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is present in 185 countries. The Cambodia Country Office works in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), non-government organizations, community-based organizations, development partners, and the private sector to support the Kingdom’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recently, UNDP Cambodia adopted the new Country Programme 2024-2028 aligning with key national priorities, particularly Cambodia’s vision 2050 and the Pentagonal Strategy-Phase 1 2024-2028. The UNDP Country Programme Document 2024-28 for Cambodia identified three transformational shifts for support. The first shift is toward a more sustainable and green economic development model for accelerating inclusive growth, economic diversification, and human development. The second shift involves championing just energy transition, climate action and nature-based solutions as the foundation for national wealth, well-being, and resilience to shocks. The third shift is towards strengthening institutions, civic space, and participation as enablers for inclusive growth, access to rights and equal opportunities for all, whilst ensuring that the society at large is using the full potential of digital transformation.

Guided by the UNDP Signature Solution on Environment, UNDP will continue working with Ministry of Environment (MoE) for inclusive environmental governance reforms and policy coherence that focus on better quality of, and access to, data, as well as improving coordination and institutional capacities for sustainable natural resources management. UNDP will work with the government and private sector in pursuing new avenues for sustainable financing and non-tax revenue management, greening value chains, promoting impact standards, and raising public awareness on the value of ecosystem goods and services. Community-based management will be advocated for, and nature-based solutions and sustainable livelihoods promoted for sustainability and fostering a sense of ownership. UNDP will promote an enabling environment that encompasses inclusive and gender-responsive policies, regulations, knowledge and capabilities, sectoral mainstreaming, and networking. UNDP will collaborate with the private sector on promoting innovative solutions, green businesses, new markets, and access to sustainable financing. On the demand side, UNDP will promote consumer and citizen awareness on circularity and build capacities and skills for green and circular economy jobs.

Position Purpose
The Environment Policy Specialist will contribute to the implementation of the Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) portfolio and related outcome of the 2024-2028 Country Programme, and the design and implementation of associated portfolios/projects. S/he will play a lead role in mobilizing the required funding and alternative financing and representing UNDP on environment and natural resource management both outside and within the UN Development System in Cambodia, as and when designated. The Specialist will also contribute to addressing multidimensional development challenges through portfolios/projects, working in multidisciplinary teams. This includes collaboration with teams working on initiatives related to climate action and nature-based solutions, as well as governance and inclusive socio-economic growth.
Duties and Responsibilities

Under the general direction of the Resident Representative, and the daily supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, the incumbent is expected to provide high-quality and timely technical guidance and advice to UNDP Senior Management and national partners, and tangible substantive programmatic inputs delivering results effectively in the following areas. When required, the Policy Specialist may be assigned to lead the NCE portfolio of interventions. 

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across  interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions,  teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

1. Provide technical and management support for the effective and timely provision of UNDP’s technical assistance packages NCE portfolio   

  • Manage and oversee the UNDP team of international and national staff and consultants in providing timely and high-quality technical support in the areas of NCE, sustainable financing and other related areas; 
  • 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 related to NCE;
  • Regularly coordinate with the International Finance Institutions (IFIs) and act as a lead in developing partnerships and guiding their implementation;   
  • Provide regular technical backstopping for the effective and timely implementation of the projects under the NCE portfolio;  
  • Ensure effective communication, coordination, and collaboration between the NCE team as well as internal and external partners  in the planning, monitoring and implementation process; and 
  • Regularly update management on the NCE portfolio implementation status and results.
2. Provide lead technical and advisory support for designing and operationalizing 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); 
  • Advice 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 entail: 
    • Examining existing revenue sources and gaps for protected area management in the country such as the national finance, Official Development Assistance, taxes, fees, royalties, charges, fines, penalties, private donations, trust fund, ecotourism, REDD+, PES, eco standards and labelling.
    • Reviewing options for sustainable finance mechanisms and assess suitability for implementation in the country ; 
    • Facilitate the MoE, Ministry of Economy and finance (MEF),  and other national partners as applicable in reviewing existing economic valuation studies on sustainable ecosystems; 
    • Facilitate 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;
    • Guide 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 mobilization for NCE portfolio: 
  • Facilitate the Country Office (CO) in developing and implementing the overall strategy for resource obilization from bilateral, multilateral, IFIs and vertical funds including Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the private sector;
  • Collect and analyze information about the funding landscape, including government cost-sharing, private sector financing, and donor policies, trends, and priority areas. Consolidate a Map of Donors 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 on donor strategies, policies/trends; alert senior management on major financing issues; 
  • Lead the development of concept notes, projects, programme proposals and/or full project documents as per 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 NCE 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 mobilization strategies.

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, 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;
  • 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.

5. Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities

  • Lead the teams to implement nature, climate and energy-related portfolios/projects. 
  • Provide on-the-job coaching and mentoring, using a learning-by-doing approach

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organisation.

  • Core Competencies:

Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

  • Cross-Functional & Technical competencies: 
Business Direction & Strategy-System Thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
Business Management-Results-based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results
Business Management-Project and Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment. Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals. 
Business Development-Knowledge generation: Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.
2030 Agenda:Planet-Nature, Climate and energy: Green Economy: Circular economy concepts, policies and tools.
Partnership Management-Resources Mobilization: Ability to identify funding sources, match funding needs programmes/projects/initiatives with funding opportunities and establish a plan to meet funding requirements.
Partnership Management-
Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) in Environmental / Ecological Economics and Finance, Natural Resource Management and Policy, or other relevant fields is required.  Or
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying  experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • A Ph.D. degree in the fields of study mentioned above is an asset
  • Minimum of 7 years (with master’s degree) or 9 years (with bachelor’s degree)  of work experience in sustainable financing (including REDD+, Payment for Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity Financing) for natural resource management or related fields at national or international levels in development projects and programmes is required. 
  • At least 3 years of developing country experience in working with senior level national governments and forming strategic stakeholder partnerships in formulating strategies and action plans in the field of natural resource management, climate action and environment is an asset. 
  • Demonstrated experience in design, implementation, and monitoring of development projects/portfolios in areas of natural resource management is an asset.
  • Experience in provision of policy advice, technical guidance, and strategic direction to the high-level government partners at the national level is an asset.
  • Experience in strategic partnerships and resource mobilisation is an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to write analytical and structured documents such as policy briefs, concepts, proposals, portfolio/project documents is an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience in team management and implementation of portfolios/projects on natural resource management is an asset.
  • Previous experience and familiarity with UNDP rules and procedures is an asset.
  • Professional experience and understanding of the political and governance context of Cambodia or Southeast Asia is an asset.


  • Proficiency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of another UN languages is desirable. 
Note: Please upload copies of your academic qualifications and 3 latest UN Common System performance evaluations (if applicable).
Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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