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Project Officer

Chennai (India)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Chennai (India)
  • Grade: SB-3 (SC6/SC7), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-10

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Duty Station:  National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Human survival and well-being depend upon biodiversity and healthy ecosystems and the goods and services they provide. India is one of the megadiverse countries in the world with over 47000 species of plants and over 1,00,000 species of animals. India’s economy and livelihoods of millions of people depend on preventing biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. The rich biological diversity is facing new challenges such as multiple-use landscapes, climate change, lack in technical and financial capacities to deal with emerging challenges of biodiversity conservation, its sustainable use, access and benefit sharing and biodiversity governance at local levels.

The GoI-UNDP Strengthening Natural Resource Management (SNRM) project aims to help the Government of India meet its national and international obligations to address new and emerging challenges in the area of biodiversity conservation, governance and natural resource management.  The project also focusses on mainstreaming biodiversity into relevant sectoral plans and programmes of GoI and works towards developing new programmes in this area.

To address the global biodiversity loss, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes the importance and need for new and additional financial resources. At the Eleventh meeting of Conference of Parties (CoP11) of CBD held in Hyderabad during India’s Presidency of the CoP, the High Level Panel set up by the CBD on Global Assessment of Resources, found that the global investment required to implement CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 would cost between US$ 150 to US $ 440 billion annually.
Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), a global programme of UNDP, seeks to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner. BIOFIN was launched in India in May 2015. BIOFIN  provides an innovative methodology for countries to measure their current biodiversity expenditures, assess their financial needs for biodiversity conservation in the medium term and identify most suitable finance solutions to reduce their national biodiversity finance gaps.

BIOFIN in India is being led by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), hosted by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and managed by UNDP under the pillar of Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management.
BIOFIN provides a systematic and flexible approach to identify and mobilize the financial resources needed for implementing the National Biodiversity Action Plan and making progress towards achieving the National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs). BIOFIN, is expected to further enhance awareness and sensitize about significance of biodiversity in development sectors, thereby, inter alia leveraging existing resources to contribute more towards biodiversity, and reducing the financial gap in achieving the NBTs. BIOFIN in India is being implemented at the National level and is being piloted in three states-Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Based on the assessments made in Phase I of BIOFIN in India, the funding gap for implementing the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) has been assessed and a Biodiversity Finance Plan has been developed including a mix of potential finance solutions for reducing the funding gap for implementing the NBAP. The Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP) presents a coherent and comprehensive national approach to biodiversity finance that encompasses a full suite of finance solutions, well beyond the mobilization of new and additional resources, engaging the public sector, private sector, and civil society.  The BFP proposes steps to implement a mix of finance solutions in order to expand and improve the country’s biodiversity finance and achieve national biodiversity targets.

Currently India has entered in Phase II of BIOFIN and will be implementing some of the prioritized financial solutions for addressing the funding gap in key action areas of NBAP. The National Biodiversity Authority continues to be the National Host Institution for BIOFIN Phase II in India.
 The three financial solutions identified to be demonstrated in Phase II of BIOFIN includes “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)”.
Under the SNRM project another key component is the implementation of UNDP-GEF project entitled “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol”. This is a Global project which aims at assisting 24 countries in development and strengthening of their national Access and Benefit Sharing frameworks, human resources and administrative capabilities to implement the Nagoya Protocol. Key components of the project includes a) Strengthening the legal, policy and institutional capacity to develop national ABS frameworks; b) Building trust between users and providers of genetic resources to facilitate the identification of bio-discovery efforts; c) Strengthening the capacity of indigenous and local communities to contribute to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol; d) Creation of a global community of practice on ABS based on a dynamic South – South cooperation.
 In India, the project is anchored in the National Biodiversity Authority. The Global ABS project in India focusses on enhancing capacities of academic and research institutions in the public and private sector accessing genetic resources to pursue research and transfer of technology to better understand the legal provisions and guidelines related to access and benefit sharing.
UNDP Global has initiated a unique initiative namely ‘The Lion’s Share Fund ‘ which is a global initiative to protect and conserve nature and wildlife species where companies can contribute a small percentage of their media spend from advertisements, featuring animals, towards conservation and animal welfare projects. The animal can be real, cartoon or CGI.
India is one of the biggest economies in the world and conservation is high on its political agenda. However, to successfully implement the Lion’s Share Fund in India, a clear roadmap will be required. As an immediate step there is a need to have an India-focused approach for the fund and the first step would be to map what has already been done by corporates in India in this direction and device a way to approach for initiating The Lion’s Share Fund –India Chapter in consultation with key stakeholders.
Based on this background, under the GoI-UNDP SNRM project UNDP seeks to engage a Project Officer to support the National Biodiversity Authority and UNDP in successful implementation of two key components of GoI-UNDP SNRM project, including BIOFIN and Global ABS project and to support in establishing The Lion’s Share Fund –India Chapter.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

In this role, the Project Officer will be responsible for execution of the following activities:
The Project Officer will support the Chairman, NBA, and Secretary, NBA, Chennai, in the following:

1. Planning, implementing and monitoring  of the BIOFIN project and its various components in close collaboration with the National Biodiversity Authority, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and UNDP India ;

2. Ensuring coordination with various institutions/individual consultants and experts engaged under the project on data and information sharing, timely implementation of activities and submission of deliverables with quality assurance.

3. Development of knowledge projects, relevant policy papers and communication outreach material to facilitate knowledge sharing on BIOFIN and Global ABS project as well as preparation of training manuals for institution/s for ex: Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration/ National Institute of Rural Development/Centre for Innovations in Public Systems (CIPS)

4. Establishing linkages with other related and relevant programmes and projects of NBA and liaise with other relevant ministry/ministries on behalf of the Ministry and NBA, to support in effective implementation of project and to achieve desired results.
5. Assisting in various programme related activities which may include (but not limited to) planning for meetings, local and national consultations, trips and other project related activities, as assigned by the authorities;
6. Regular coordination with Secretary NBA and Chairman NBA for facilitating project implementation, file management, organisation for meetings and interactions with relevant stakeholders for implementation of BIOFIN Phase II in India.

7. Support NBA in implementation of financial solution on Access and Benefit Sharing (including implementation of activities under PAGE funds)

8. Support the Senior Technical Consultant (BIOFIN) to ensure timely completion of project activities and achievement of desired results.

9. In consultation with the select State Biodiversity Boards, National Biodiversity Authority, MoEFCC, UNDP and relevant technical experts etc. support the Senior Technical Consultant BIOFIN-India, in implementation of the financial solution on Access and Benefit Sharing.

10. In consultation with NBA and UNDP, facilitate in establishment of a NBAP implementation committee in NBA.

11. Facilitate data flow emerging from BIOFIN project into national reporting requirements on biodiversity conservation including National Reports and reports on ‘Resource Mobilisation for biodiversity conservation’ to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Secretariat.

12. Drafting communications, letters, concept notes, Terms of Reference etc. to support the authorities;

13. Supervising the work of team members or consultants, as may be recruited under the BIOFIN;

14. For the GoI-UNDP global ABS project, regularly monitor the ABS training programmes for scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education on behalf of NBA & UNDP to ensure quality and timely completion of all tasks assigned including release of handbook on ABS, guidebook on ethical code of conduct and monitoring guidelines on 22 May, 2020 – the International Day for Biological Diversity. 
15. Set up and moderate the national electronic network on Access and Benefit Sharing and also contribute to the global CoP on ABS (electronic network).

16. Support the National Biodiversity Authority and UNDP in doing necessary research, analysis, documentation and consultations  required for establishing The Lion’s Share Fund –India Chapter
17. Identify, engage and manage interns to support in research, documentation, organisation of events etc.

18. Apart from the above, the consultant will also be required to execute duties assigned under the GoI-UNDP Strengthening Natural Resource Management Project, other donor funded projects and any other tasks assigned by the Chairman and Secretary, NBA, and the Head, Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity, UNDP India.



Functional Competencies

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
Technical Knowledge:
  • Sound understanding of the technical aspects of the functioning of the National Biodiversity Authority especially in the area of Conservation, sustainable use of biological resource and fair equitable sharing of benefits of use;
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of various technical and expert committees formed under NBA to support the implementation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002;
  • Knowledge Management and Learning:
  • Promotes knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in the area of professional discipline and job knowledge, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills;
  • Demonstrates competent analytical and presentation skills.
  • Development and Operational Effectiveness:
  • Ability to facilitate strategic planning and reporting;
  • Excellent working knowledge of MS Office-Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Intra-Internet, e-mail applications etc. Knowledge of other applications such as Front Page, Publisher and some multimedia tools would be useful.
  • Management and Leadership:
  • Focuses on expected impact and results and responds positively to feedback;
  • Promotes teamwork and shows conflict resolution skills;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Builds strong relationships with stakeholders and external actors;
  • High interpersonal skills, and ability to remain calm, in control and good humoured under pressure;
  • Ability to prioritize assignments and requirements, and multitask as needed;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Demonstrates skills to liaise with varied government stakeholders and report to senior government officials.
Communication Skills
  • Excellent oral and writing and communication skills;
  • Sound analytical and presentation skills;
  • Good interpersonal and presentation skills, with an ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
Promote Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
  • Generate new ideas and approaches, research best practices and propose new, more effective ways of doing things.
  • Document and analyze innovative strategies and new approaches.
Knowledge and Skills
• Ability to lead a team based on strong leadership skills.
• Good understanding of development issues such as human development, inclusive development, gender, participation.
• Familiarity with government policies, programmes and government operational systems in India.

• Proficiency in MS-Office, especially PowerPoint, Excel and Word; Advanced knowledge of spread sheet, database management and research skills will be an asset.
• Ability to work independently and deliver time sensitive tasks assigned.
• Willingness to travel extensively within the country.


Required Skills and Experience


Bachelors’ degree in the field of environmental science/ environmental economics/economics/Biology/ Natural Sciences / Forestry or related field
Masters’ degree in the field of environmental science/ environmental economics/economics/Biology/ Natural Sciences / Forestry or related field is desirable
• At least 7 years of work experience in relevant field;

• Minimum five years of experience of working with an institution preferably in Central Government would be an advantage;

• Experience of providing inputs to the preparation of reports preferably  of various Central &/ or State Government committees would be an advantage; 

• Experience of engaging with a range of stakeholders such as government agencies, donors, industry and scientist;

• Proven experience of good research writing is required.

• Experience in organizing training and capacity building programmes and knowledge products in relevant thematic area will be desirable.

Language Requirements: Proficiency in English with excellent writing skills in English.

Remuneration package is Rs. 1,39,858/- per month (taxable).  UNDP also offers additional benefits which include medical insurance coverage and limited pension reimbursement for contract holder and encourages work life balance.


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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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.

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