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Climate Change Specialist

Colombo (Sri Lanka)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-27

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

Qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member countries are encouraged to apply.

Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Organizational Setting

The number of undernourished people in the world has been on the rise since 2014. The global response to climate change today will determine how we feed future generations tomorrow. By transforming their agriculture sectors, countries have the chance to achieve food security for all. At the same time, agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. This must be reduced by 2030 to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 2°C.

To meet these challenges, FAO’s strategy focuses on adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sectors and advocates for better management of synergies and trade-offs between the two. FAO supports its member countries in these efforts offering technical guidance, data and tools for improved decision making and the implementation of adaptive measures. FAO has also embedded these tools and approaches in broader frameworks such as climate-smart agriculture and in the promotion of Disaster Risk Reduction policy and action.

The Organization’s assistance to developing countries focuses on integrated approaches to agricultural development. It facilitates the design of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and supports climate actions that countries have publicly pledged to achieve, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through coherent policy frameworks.

FAO has a long history of working with countries to improve policy coherence in order to achieve national agricultural objectives. The establishment of inter-ministerial working groups to review national bioenergy programs is an example of this. In response to increasing demands, FAO's climate change portfolio has expanded. From 2009 to 2017, more than 300 programs and projects addressed the problems caused by climate variability and extremes in the agriculture sectors.

To this end, FAO is recruiting a Climate Change Specialist, to support the implementation and delivery of FAO’s Climate Change Thematic Program in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The post is based in the FAO Representation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Reporting Lines

As a core member of the Policy and Knowledge Management Team, the Climate Change Specialist will directly report to the FAO Representative in Sri Lanka and Maldives and receive technical advice from the Lead Technical Officers at FAO Regional Representation in Asia and Pacific and other relevant technical officers at HQ.

Technical Focus

Climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, forestry, agriculture, fishery, aquaculture, marine resources, water, nature- based solutions and payment for ecosystems services.

  • Contribute to efforts to mobilize additional resources from donor agencies, multilateral funding mechanisms, carbon markets and special climate change funds and payment for ecosystem services (PES) opportunities.
  • Provide inputs to preparation of Inception of GEF/FAO/Sri Lanka Project - Enhancing and bridging knowledge gaps in Sri Lanka's NDC implementation of AFOLU sector for Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF).
  • Work with broad policies and objectives, working directly with clients, with supervision for critical tasks.

Tasks and responsibilities

  1. Strategy and Planning
  • Provide knowledge and inputs for the coordination of the preparation of climate change policies and strategies of FAO in Sri Lanka.
  • Analyze water, forest, biodiversity, agriculture and other natural resources plans in Sri Lanka with respect to the role of carbon markets to mobilize additional financing, and the opportunity of incorporating PES, NBS and eco-tourism to help finance ecosystem services.
  • Conduct policy dialogue with relevant government officials and development partners in Sri Lanka on policies and strategies to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation in development planning with a special emphasis on climate change impacts on natural resources, rural development, agriculture, marine ecosystem and fisheries.
  • Assess the comparative advantage of FAO to deliver support to the Sri Lanka to better support progress against climate change priorities for agriculture and land-use sectors as outlined in their respective Nationally Determined Contributions and other relevant climate change policies.
  • Prepare a short strategy document on how to enhance the capacity of FAO to better facilitate action and scale-up climate finance to address climate change policy priorities for the agriculture and land-use sectors in Sri Lanka;
  • Provide inputs to projects on policies and strategies to anticipate and minimize future impacts from adverse climate change events on water, other infrastructure, and services.
  • Ensure proper coordination among thematic portfolios for the exchange of information and experience, and the improvement of climate change policies, and planning and implementation practices in Sri Lanka.
  1. Climate Programming and Project Management
  • Review past project reports, concepts and idea notes on topics related to climate change and nature-based solutions;
  • Develop, formulate, and administer projects related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the rural development, agriculture, water, marine ecosystem, and natural resources sectors in Sri Lanka.
  • Prepare analytical reports describing the impact and progress made relative to program objectives, identify any gaps and emerging operational issues, and identify best practices and lessons.
  • Participate in reviews in the project cycle to help assure improved quality at entry, oversee and monitor project performance, and extract lessons learned for the design of new projects and programs in Sri Lanka.
  • Liaise with development agencies and partners in Sri Lanka on collaborative work on rural development, agriculture, water, marine ecosystem and natural resources sectors development and climate change.
  • Ensure that key technical, economic, financial, and crosscutting issues are incorporated into projects.
  • Provide inputs to preparation of Inception of GEF/FAO/Sri Lanka Project - Enhancing and bridging knowledge gaps in Sri Lanka's NDC implementation of AFOLU sector for Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF).
  • Coordinate with government officials in Sri Lanka on the improved management of FAO led programs and projects.
  1. Preparation and organisation of Inception of GEF/FAO/Sri Lanka Project - Enhancing and bridging knowledge gaps in Sri Lanka's NDC implementation of AFOLU sector for Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF)
  • Recruit the Project Management Unit staff.
  • Establish the Project Steering Committee (PSC), which includes the FAOR.
  • Establish the Technical Working Group (TWG), including the PSC's formal endorsement of the TWG's ToR and membership.
  • Review and, as needed, refine the stakeholder-coordination mapping and the MRV assessments from the PPG phase.
  • Review of the project's logical framework and results matrix (e.g., baselines) and draft any refinements for the PSC's review and endorsement in order to reflect any circumstantial changes since the GEF CEO's endorsement.
  • Draft Year1 Annual Work-plan and Budget for Project Task Force (PTF) clearance and further approval by the PSC.
  • Consolidate activities for the first proposed batch of Letter of Agreement (LOAs) and contracts.
  • Preparation and conduct of an inception workshop.
  • Preparation and organisation of the first PSC meeting.
  • Review and finalize relevant baseline and targets indicators.
  • Refine the M&E plan as needed to reflect specific requirements for each indicator (e.g., data collection methods, frequency, responsibilities for data collection and analysis and budget). Any missing baseline data will also be collected during this time.
  • Prepare an inception report and submit its outcome to the PSC.
  1. Policy Advocacy and Knowledge Sharing
  • Assist FAOR and Thematic Portfolio Leads to address climate change mitigation and adaptation issues, particularly in the areas of Nature Based Solutions (NBS), access to special climate change funds, and carbon markets.
  • Initiate and coordinate activities in generating and disseminating knowledge on climate change and environmental sustainability in the rural development, agriculture, water, marine ecosystem, fisheries, and natural resource sectors in Sri Lanka through research, studies, and networking initiatives.
  • Coordinate training and advice on climate change mitigation and adaptation aspects of FAO Country operations.
  • Attend, as required by FAOR, in international and national forums and establish and maintain productive dialogue and relationships with key stakeholders in Sri Lanka and Asia and Pacific.
  1. Staff Supervision
  • Mobilize and technically lead multidisciplinary teams for Climate Programming and ensure the overall quality of their work.
  • Supervise the performance of Climate Programming teams and individuals by providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance.
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to FAOR personnel and ensure their ongoing learning and development in the field of climate change.


Minimum Requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent, in Economics, Development Economics, Environmental Economics, Environment Management, Natural Resources Management or related fields or a University degree in Environment Management, Natural Resources Management or related fields, combined with 3 years of specialized experience in similar organization(s), may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree.
  • At least 8 years of relevant professional experience in the fields related to climate change aspects of agriculture, marine ecosystem, water and natural resources sectors as well as exposure to the full project cycle (i.e. leading medium and large size climate programming for GEF and GCF funding, project processing to project implementation management).
  • Working knowledge of English.
  • National of Sri Lanka or resident in the country with a regular work permit.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Experience in climate change analysis and policy, environmental and development economics are preferred.
  • Experiences in leading medium and large size climate programming for GEF, GCF and donor funding are preferred.
  • Knowledge about government decision making and network with climate institutions will be considered assets.
  • Strong analytical skills as reflected in publications on climate change in referenced journals.
  • Suitability to undertake the responsibilities mentioned above at the required level.


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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