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Soil Specialist

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2020-09-28

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


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


Organizational Setting

The Land and Water Division aims at enhancing the agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through their improved governance, development and management. It addresses the challenges member countries face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land, soils and water quantity and quality. It promotes equitable access to these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods and ecosystem services. It provides assistance to member nations in developing policies and programmes, and adopting best practices and tools in the fields of irrigation and drainage, soil and water conservation, drought mitigation, water rights and access to natural resources.

In view of its global mandate, the Global Soil Partnership Secretariat is hosted at the Land and Water Division. The Global Soil Partnership was established in December 2012 as a mechanism to promote sustainable soil management under a strong interactive partnership and enhanced collaboration and synergy of efforts between all stakeholders. From land users through policy makers, one of the key objectives of the GSP is to improve soil governance and promote sustainable management of soils. The Global Soil Partnership Secretariat facilitates the implementation of activities through its regional soil partnerships and scientifically guided through its Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils.

FAO International Consultant/PSA and Call purpose

The purpose of this call is to provide FAO’s Land and Water Division (CBL) and the Global Soil Partnership Secretariat with a list of qualified candidates for a number of profiles with different specializations to enhance the FAO/GSP soil’s programme of work as indicated below:

  • Sustainable soil management Consultant/PSA
  • Soil data and information Consultant/PSA

Contracts will be based in FAO HQs with required travel for field missions, where relevant.

Reporting Lines

The International Consultant/PSA reports to the Director, Land and Water Division and to the GSP Secretary.

Technical Focus

Supporting the development, quality control and effective implementation of FAO’s soil portfolio including the Global Soil Partnership work plan through the provision of expertise in relevant technical areas including project formulation and implementation to support member countries.

Tasks and responsibilities

Sustainable Soil Management Consultant/ PSA

  • Compile global and national findings to support the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management;
  • Organize national trainings and field activities to strengthen technical and local extension services to implement sustainable soil management practices;
  • Assess baseline nutrient status of soils, crops and the local population to demonstrate and verify SSM practices to tackle micronutrient deficiencies;
  • Assemble and disseminate global and national workshop findings, including recommendations on priorities for research and policy in terms of soil fertility and sustainable soil management;
  • Develop and disseminate technical guidelines for SSM for nutrition-sensitive agriculture.
  • Participate on multi-disciplinary teams, and collaborate with other departments and agencies on work groups and committees and promotes best practices of sustainable soil management;
  • Promote soil knowledge sharing and best sustainable soil management practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations;
  • Promote soil governance and supports the development and implementation of soil legislation including normative tools such as the VGSSM, the Revised World Soil Charter and SoilLEX.
  • Contribute to the implementation of various projects including the preparation of a protocol for assessing sustainable soil management practices;
  • Support resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate strategy and under the Healthy Soils Facility;
  • Contribute to the capacity development efforts in relation to sustainable soil management;
  • Support the development of training materials and ensure their scientific quality and adaptation to different audiences
  • Write policy briefings and communication material as requested
  • Support the Regional Soil Partnership and the implementation of their work plans
  • Contribute to the implementation of the Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) and the harmonization of soil laboratory data and methods

Soil Data and Information Consultant/PSA

  • Contribute the implementation of the Global Soil partnership Pillar 4 Implementation Plan
  • Contribute the development of the Global Soil Information System (GloSIS) and SoilSTAT
  • Provide technical support on mapping and modelling soil properties
  • Support the GSP Capacity Development Programme (Training sessions, training material)
  • Support the communication between the secretariat and it’s technical network (INSII, ITPS, Technical Working Groups)
  • Collaborate in the development of improved/updated tools, systems, processes, and databases of soil data and information;
  • Participate on multi-disciplinary teams, and collaborates with other departments and agencies on working groups in relation to soil information serving the SDG process and others.
  • Support production of technical documents (Manuals, Guidelines, Reports)
  • Support the secretariat in handling, collecting and harmonising spatial data


Minimum Requirements

  • University Degree in soil science, agriculture, environmental sciences, or a related field with some specialization in soil science, or extent and relevance of experience in soil;
  • Minimum one year of relevant experience (for category C), minimum five years of relevant experience (for category B), minimum twelve years of relevant experience (for Cat. A) and fifteen years of relevant experience (For PSA Cat. A). in sustainable soil management, soil mapping, soil assessment, soil governance, soil fertility, soil salinity, etc;
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for consultants); Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (For PSA).

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable;
  • Understanding of FAO policies and programmes and familiarity with UN policy agendas;
  • Extent and relevance of experience or knowledge of issues related to soil laboratory functioning and soil sample analyses or statistical analysis or sustainable soil management and agriculture (including forestry) and natural resources management in developing countries and in particular in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable agriculture and forestry in developing countries;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the formulation and implementation of projects related to sustainable soil management and knowledge of the Healthy Soils Facility will be an asset;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the preparation of technical and policy reports and capacity development materials;
  • Extent of experience in organizing medium to large scale international technical meetings and conferences;
  • Experience in the development of teaching materials is an asset.
  • Experience in the establishment and facilitation of technical networks.
  • Demonstrated experience of work with member countries in terms of normative and technical work on soils;
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results within deadlines.


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


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.

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