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Forest Specialist

Accra (Ghana)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Accra (Ghana)
  • Grade: NO-C, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-10

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Background

Healthy ecosystems are at the heart of development, underpinning societal well-being and economic growth. Through nature-based solutions, such as the sustainable management and protection of land, rivers and oceans, UNDP helps ensure that countries have adequate food and water, are resilient to climate change and disasters, shift to green economic pathways, and can sustain work for billions of people through forestry, agriculture, fisheries and tourism. 
 
UNDP is the primary actor on climate change in the United Nations. Our aim is to help build the Paris Agreement and all environmental agreements into the heart of countries’ development priorities.
 
Promoting climate action and nature-based solutions in the forest and land use sector is one of UNDP’s key priorities in Ghana. Under its current Country Programme (2018-2022), UNDP aims to strengthen public institutional capacities to reduce environmental degradation and implement climate action, as well as facilitate access to information, knowledge and tools that promote green jobs, citizen participation in environmental conservation, and community resilience. In this regard, UNDP has been facilitating public-private partnerships to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Since 2013, for example, UNDP has been partnering with Ghana Cocoa Board and the private sector such as Mondelez International to promote environmental sustainability of cocoa production. This year, UNDP will start the implementation of a landmark collaboration with Forestry Commission and Global Shea Alliance (with funding from the Green Climate Fund) to reduce emissions in the savanna landscape while protecting and promoting the shea value chain. UNDP brings together two complementary streams of work: on one side, UNDP assists Ghana to implement the Paris Agreement by reducing deforestation, forest degradation and sustainably managing its forests, meeting internationally recognized framework and standards (e.g. REDD+); one the other side, UNDP works to improve the economic, social and environmental performance of agricultural commodity sectors, in order to improve the lives of farmers and their communities while protecting high conservation value forest and important vulnerable ecosystems.
 
The UNDP Ghana Country Office seeks to engage the services of a Forest Specialist to 1) strengthen UNDP’s technical advisory support in the area of forestry, green commodities and REDD+; 2) contribute to the effective and high-quality delivery of the forestry portfolio; 3) manage and expand the current forestry project pipeline; and 4) strengthen key partnerships that advance UNDP’s vision for promoting nature-based solutions.
 
The selected candidate will be based in the Environment and Climate Cluster and work under the direct supervision of Head of the Cluster in close collaboration with UNDP HQ and regional staff (in particular from the UNDP Climate and Forest Team and the Green Commodities Programme), and other UN Agencies. S/he will liaise with government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, private sector and civil society as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
1. Policy advice
2. Partnership and resource mobilization
3. Portfolio management
 
1. Provide top-quality advisory and technical services in the areas of forestry, green commodities, and REDD+ (45%): 
 
  • Provide timely and quality information and technical advice to the Government of Ghana on planning and implementation of nature-based solutions focusing on forestry, green commodities and REDD+.
  • Undertake relevant analyses and research, as required, and prepare knowledge materials to support UNDP’s forestry related initiatives, as well as other initiatives implemented by the Environment and Climate Cluster.
  • Contribute to the preparation of necessary briefings and update for UNDP’s effective  participation in important meetings, workshops and relevant events.
  • Support UNDP’s efforts on advocacy and policy dialogue, including participation and contribution to policy driven researches and reviews.
  • Advise UNDP on relevant national and international developments on forestry and assist in identifying coordinated approaches. 
  • Maintain close collaboration with the UNDP Climate and Forest Team and Green Commodities Programme to receive technical support as needed.
  • Contribute to global learning and knowledge exchange by documenting and disseminating lessons learned from activities of the forest and land use portfolio and disseminate widely through on-line platforms. Reflect on experiences/lessons from the global policy network for possible adaptation/replication to the Ghanaian context.
  • Enhance UNDP’s visibility and profile on forests and forestry.
 
2. Maintain and expand strategic partnerships and support resource mobilization in the areas of forestry,  green commodities and REDD+ (30%):
 
  • Explore new areas of cooperation and identify opportunities for new initiatives on forests in line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan (2018-2022), the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership with Ghana (2018-2022), and UNDP’s Country Programme (2018-2022).
  • Provide technical support to the formulation of project proposals on forests and land use.
  • Strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders in the area of drivers of land use change, forests and integrated  land use management.
  • Participate and contribute to development partners’ engagements with government on land, forests and agriculture including meetings and events.
 
3. Support effective implementation of CO’s project portfolio on forests and land use (25%):
 
  • Manage portfolio assigned to her/him in line with UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures.
  • Provide technical support to projects in close collaboration with the relevant implementing partner/responsible 
  • party, ensuring implementation of coherent approaches across projects in the forest portfolio.
  •  
  • Support top quality planning (annual, and quarterly work-plans), reporting, monitoring and evaluation of  assigned portfolio.
  •  
  • Effectively apply Result Based Management (RBM) tools, establishing management targets and monitoring  achievement of results.
  •  
  • Support production of aggregate reports on activities, outputs and outcomes, including reports for donors as needed.
  • Support procurement of goods and services as needed. 

Competencies

 Core

Innovation

Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them.

Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others.

Communication

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others

Delivery

Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions.

Technical/Functional

Biodiversity and Eco[1]systems Management

Knowledge of conservation, sustainable use and access and benefit sharing of biodiversity, land, forests and oceans and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for

innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Forests and development

Knowledge of forestry and development and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area.

Green Economy / Green Commodities / Green Growth

Knowledge of Green Economy concept and green growth issues, including green commodities, supply chains and poverty.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area.

Sustainable development

Knowledge of sustainable development concepts, principles and issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations, covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area.

 Project management

Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Result Based Management:

Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Knowledge management

Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Partnerships

Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Relationship management

Ability to engage and foster strategic partnerships with other parties, Inter-Agency.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Coordination and forge productive working relationships.

Resource mobilization

 Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources (definition is unclear and not well linked to the stated competency)

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:
Master’s degree or higher in environmental sciences, natural resource management, social 
sciences or closely related field.
 
Experience:
  • At least five (5) years of professional experience in the formulation and implementation 
  • of forests related initiatives/projects.
  • At least five (5) years of relevant progressively responsible experience supporting 
  • national processes on forests and sustainable development.
  • Solid understanding of forests related issues at both the global (e.g. REDD+) and local 
  • (challenges, policy environment, key initiatives) levels.
  • Experience preparing knowledge products and communications material is highly 
  • desirable.
  • Experience working with UN/DP and/or other multilateral, bilateral, national or civil 
  • society actors on forests issues is an asset. 
Language Requirements:
 
Proficiency in English.

Disclaimer

Important applicant information

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

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

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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