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  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Fire Satefy, Fire Protection and Firefighting
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-21

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Wildfire Specialist

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

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

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FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

 

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

 

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

 

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations

 

depending on the evolving needs of the Organization

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Organizational Setting
 
Sudan is currently implementing its R-PP with the support of the World Bank through the Forest Carbon Facility. There are several REDD initiatives in the Sudan that are supported by development partners. One key-element of a future National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) will be a fire-monitoring function and strategy. While the Sudan has already an existing fire monitoring system, this system should actually be updated and national experts be trained in available and advanced technologies and algorithms necessary for the improvement of this system.
FAO considers that approaches to fire management should place greater emphasis on addressing underlying causes and seek long-term, sustainable solutions by assessing, planning and managing for\: 
  1. RESEARCH - Analysis of the fire issue and identification of options for positive change;
  2. RISK REDUCTION - Prevention – focusing resources on the underlying causes of fires;
  3. READINESS – Preparing to fight fires;
  4. RESPONSE – Ensuring appropriate responses to unwanted damaging fires; and
  5. RECOVERY – Community welfare, Repairing infrastructure and Restoration of fire-damaged landscapes.
 
The Consultant will be home based for the overall duration of the assignment and provide remote guidance to the national consultant with short-term missions in the country. Subject to refinement the missions may consist of 3 - 4 missions to Sudan of short in-country visits.  The first mission to liaise with the NC, meet and have discussions with key stakeholders to understand the context (tasks 1 &2; see below), develop the work plan in consultation with the NC, the project CTA and NPC and agree with the group on the list of reports, maps, information to be reviewed while providing remote backstopping and guidance to the NC. The second mission to be devoted to capacity development (including IT equipment and software requirements, methodological approaches, conduct training sessions as required - based on the need assessment) and assessing options for Community Based Fire Management (CBFiM). The third and the fourth missions are to focus on the fire management strategy and the action plan (consultation and data and information gathering process, and the document design, drafting and validation and to support as well the lead national institution to facilitate its endorsement from the relevant authorities in the country. The last part will of course be done in collaboration with NC and FAO. His/her main task will be to support the development of a national fire-monitoring system to be integrated into the NFMS. It should specifically become part and compliant with the Green House Gas Inventory. Throughout his/her assignment, the consultant will receive technical backstopping and guidance from FAO HQ (FOA).
 
 
Reporting Lines
 
The consultant will perform his duties under the overall supervision of FAO Representative in Sudan and direct supervision of the Deputy FAO Representative and the joint technical guidance of the Chief Technical Advisor REDD and Lead Technical Officers at FAO HQ and Regional Offices, the FAO Fire Management Officer and in close collaboration with National Consultant on Fire Management & Monitoring and other national stakeholders.
 
Technical Focus
 
Output 3 of the project entails three activities regarding wildfire monitoring/strategy. In particular\:
 
  • 2.7. Set-up of fire/desertification monitoring
    • Sudan has already an existing fire monitoring system. This system should actually be updated and national experts have to be trained in available technologies and algorithms necessary for the improvement of this system. - REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING OF FIRE MANAGEMENT AS A SYSTEM; CONSULTATION SKILLS; AWARENESS OF AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES INCLUDING THE EXISTING APPROACHES – AFIS, EFFIS, NASA, AND OTHERS
    • A strong coordination with the range and pasture departments and the National Coordinating Committee for Desertification (NCCD) are foreseen. The following actions will be undertaken\:
      • Assessment and analysis of the current system in place – ANALYTICAL SKILLS AND UNDERSTANDING OF FIRE MANAGEMENT NEEDS AND PLANNING.
      • Analysis of the existing free geospatial fire products (MODIS, burnt areas) and its use for the country situation of Sudan – TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING OF EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES AND DATA SETS
      • Update of the system (introduction of new detection algorithms, test and operationalization) – UNDERSTANDING OF FIRE MANAGEMENT AS A SYSTEM AND FAMILIARITY WITH SYSTEMS
      • And development of a fire risk/vulnerability map. TECHNICAL CAPACITY IN MAPPING; UNDERSTANDING OF RISK
      • The work will be technically supported by FAO experts and national expertise will be strengthen for the management and update of the fire/desertification monitoring system.
  • 2.8 Capacity building on fire/desertification monitoring
    • The following activities will be undertaken on fire and desertification monitoring, in order to strengthen the technical capacity of national institutions including General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion, State Meteorological Authority\:
      • Support training on the use of data – EXPERIENCE IN DATA USE; EXPERIENCE IN TRAINING AND PREPARING TRAINING MATERIALS
      • Capacity development of the national experts for the update, maintenance and operationalization of the fire/desertification monitoring system and  building and implementing a processing chain to build map and reports on active fire and burnt areas – EXPERIENCE IN MENTORING AND CAPACITY BUILDING; APPROPRIATE PERSONAL SKILLS
  • 2.10 Design of fire management strategy and action plan
    • This activities aims the design of a fire management strategy in Sudan, after a survey of relevant strategy and policies and taking into consideration the ”Sudan National Action Programme (SNAP) – A Framework for Combating Desertification in Sudan in the context of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification”. - EXPERIENCE IN PREPARING FIRE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES; UNDERSTANDING OF FIRE MANAGEMENT AS A SYSTEM;
    • The link between the fire management strategy and the fire monitoring system (see activity 2.7) will be stressed and the involvement of mandated institutions will be encouraged (especially the range and pasture department). Stakeholders will be also involved through national consultation, which take place in different states and at national level. ENGAGEMENT, CONSULTATION AND FACILITATION
    • The fire management strategy and action plan should be endorsed by the Government and nationally validated. The document will be translated, printed and disseminated.  ENGAGEMENT,  CONSULTATION AND FACILITATION
 
 
Tasks and responsibilities
 
  • Lead the identification and assessment of existing fire monitoring system and (historic) best practices in the Sudan. This assessment shall contribute to better understand the characteristics of fire in the Sudan (history, causes, trends and drivers).
  • Support the institutional mapping of stakeholders mandated with fire-monitoring on federal, state and local levels (including research institutions); conduct training needs assessment.    
  • Review of the report produced encompassing Remote Sensing fire products and their suitability for fire management needs and national reporting.
  • Backstop and review the update of the fire monitoring  system and the system performance requirements set down so the data sets, algorithms and reporting can be selected or developed to meet Sudan’s needs.
  • Vet the advice on IT equipment and software required at federal and state levels; train staff in its use and application.
  • Oversight and guide the development of a fire risk/vulnerability map. This activity will require a review to identify the risks as they are known (fire history, fire ignitions, fire impacts and natural and built assets).
  • Support the work at federal, state and local level to raise awareness, develop alternatives to fire use, bring fire use under sound management.
  • Identify and support capacity building measures (including training needs assessment) to empower the institutions in charge of the fire monitoring and introduction of a standardized methodological approach for monitoring on national and sub-national levels.
  • Support, together with the national consultant, the FAO communication expert in developing awareness raising and communication strategy.  
  • Frame, guide and assist the design of fire management strategy and action plan. This activity will aim to design the fire management strategy and action plan that will be based on existing models and best practices. Existing systems, if any and functional, will be integrated and upgraded that will include an early alert system for fire monitoring. This shall include (but not be limited to) an assessment of strategic in-country approaches and action plans, and entail recommendations to clarify the mandate of the various stakeholders and streamline decision-making.
  • Supporting the core working group on fire involving the various stakeholders through drafting the ToR for the working group with the National Consultant.
  • Perform other duties as required.
 
Expected Outputs\:
  • Assessment report of existing fire management systems and plans (including community level)
  • Assessment report of fire characteristics including drivers of fire
  • Institutional mapping and training needs assessment report
  • TOR of core working group on fire management and monitoring
  • Contributing to the awareness raising and communication package (together with the FAO Communication Expert)
  • Draft fire management strategy
 
 
 
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
 
 
Minimum Requirements
 
  • Advanced University Degree in natural resource management, remote sensing or forestry.
  • Ten years of relevant experience in the field of forest fire monitoring and management
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic).
 
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
 
Technical/Functional Skills
 
  • Understanding of fire management as a system and familiarity with the elements of fire management
  • Fire management analysis, planning and operational experience
  • Strong understanding of the structure and cycle of fire management planning
  • Understanding of REDD and previous work experience in the field of MRV and climate change issues and GHG inventories;
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity building and advising of developing country governments on forestry/environmental issues, including in fire management;
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning and policies and strategies development.  
  • Demonstrated ability to work under limited supervision and to take initiatives;
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of Sudan’s REDD context and institutions is an advantage;
  • Experience in multiple jurisdictions and contexts will be a strong advantage
 
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Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency

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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.
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