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International Consultant (HABs and marine biotoxins)

Home Based - May require travel

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Remote | Home Based - May require travel
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Maritime
    • Sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-23

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, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality


Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Division (NFI) is responsible for the economic, social, institutional, governance and policy aspects of FAO's activities related to fisheries and aquaculture and their development, with particular emphasis on human well-being, food security and poverty reduction; post-harvest utilization, marketing and trade with due regard to the protection of the environment, food security and the well-being of fishery communities; collection, compilation, validation, trend analysis and dissemination of the best available and up-to-date fishery statistics and for the syndication of the FAO information on all aspects of world fisheries and aquaculture. NFI promotes sustainable practices from harvest to table and focuses on optimizing utilization of captured and cultured fish to extract maximum value. The Food Safety, Nutrition and Health Team (NFIMF) provides support to FAO’s work related to the implementation of the FAO Strategic Programme 2022-2031, the FAO Programme Priority Areas on Blue Transformation, Safe Food, Nutrition for the Most Vulnerable, Healthy Diets for All, One Health and Biosecurity, and Climate Change for sustainable food and agriculture and the UN Sustainable development Goals.
The FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Division produces codes of practice and standards related to product safety, use, marketing and responsible trade. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries establishes principles and standards applicable for the conservation, management and development of all fisheries. The Code, which was unanimously adopted in 1995 by the FAO Conference, provides the necessary framework for national and international efforts to ensure sustainable exploitation of aquatic living resources. Article 11, which applies to post-harvest practices and trade, is particularly relevant to the safety and quality of aquatic foods, and encourages States to: establish and maintain effective national food safety and quality assurance systems; protect consumer health; set minimum standards for safety and quality assurance; make sure that these standards are effectively applied throughout the industry; promote the implementation of the Codex Alimentarius standards and codes of practice; and cooperate to achieve either the harmonization or mutual recognition (or both) of national sanitary measures and certification programmes. NFIMF is responsible for supporting the implementation of Article 11 of the Code with regard to food safety and quality for aquatic products.

Purpose of the call for expression of interest

International consultants and PSAs represent an important source of expertise for FAO, making their specialist contributions towards the achievement of the Organization’s strategic objectives indispensable. For FAO to be able to attract and employ the best possible experts in the wide range of technical areas of its mandate, a competitive selection process has been introduced. This process is intended to create a pool of candidates which can be called upon when their expertise is required, ensuring a transparent and rigorous selection process.
The purpose of this call is to attract global talent for Consultant and Personal Services assignments that may provide support and/or expertise to fisheries projects and activities related to harmful algal blooms and marine biotoxins. The assignment may be home-based or located at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, or other locations depending on the requirements, with potential travel for field missions. Suitably qualified experts will be included in a roster of qualified experts that will be used to identify candidates for relevant short-term assignments with NFIMF. The assignments can range in duration from a few days or weeks to a maximum of 11 months (on a when-actually-employed basis).

Reporting Lines

The Consultants/PSA Subscribers will work under the overall supervision of the Team Leader, and the direct supervision of a relevant Officer of the Team.

Technical Focus

The Consultant or PSA Subscriber will work as part of a closely collaborating team to conduct activities, research, analyses and development on issues related to harmful algal blooms (HABs) with significant impacts on food safety and security through contamination or due to mass mortalities of aquatic organisms.

This work may require some specialization in the one or more of the following areas of NFIMF work:


- Implementation of early warning systems for HABs, specifically for those affecting food safety or food security (benthic HABs, fish-killing HABs, pelagic toxic HABs, and cyanobacteria HABs).
- Implementation of marine biotoxins monitoring systems, especially for amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (AZP), ciguatera poisoning (CP), diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of each selected Consultant will be defined in the Terms of Reference for the specific assignment. In general, assigned tasks and responsibilities will normally include one or more of the following elements depending on the assignment and the expertise of the Consultant:

• Formulate Projects in accordance with FAO’s strategic framework and the FAO project cycle;
• Coordinate, implement and manage assigned programmes/projects and/or project component and activities in accordance with FAO rules, procedures and systems, and donors requirements;
• Organize and participate in field missions and other events in support of the delivery of NFI’s programme of work, including for consultation, training, capacity building and technical assistance to beneficiaries of FAO support programmes and projects;
• Lead or contribute to relevant studies, publications and analyses, knowledge products and dissemination materials related to NFI’s areas of work, including the development and implementation of guidelines, guidance, tools, capacity development and training materials, or similar products;
• Contribute to NFI’s work related to resource mobilization, monitoring of implementation of activities and projects, and organization of international meetings;
• Lead or contribute to the development of technical tools for HABs and marine biotoxins monitoring and management;
• Collect, manage, collate and analyse data related to HABs and marine biotoxins monitoring and management;
• Collaborate within NFI’s remit with the various Teams and whenever required other Divisions, including providing assistance to countries and partners in responding to emergencies involving the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
• Collaborate with relevant UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, in areas of mutual interest;
• Represent NFI in internal and external meetings, in particular those related to the development and implementation of NFI-led programmes/projects (only for consultants);
• Any other duty related to NFI’s areas of work and to specific assignments.

CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in food safety, biology, toxicology, chemistry or other field relevant to NFIMF work.
• Three years of relevant experience in HABs and marine biotoxins monitoring and management.
• Working knowledge (level C) of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian. For PSA, working knowledge of English is required.

FAO Core Competencies

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


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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