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Technical Specialist on Subnational Carbon Finance, Brazil- IPSA 10 (Home Based)

Home Based - May require travel

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Remote | Home Based - May require travel
  • Grade: Mid level - IPSA-10, International Personnel Services Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Environment
    • Renewable Energy sector
    • Climate Change
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2023-06-01
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Office/Unit/Project Description

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) serves as the integrator in the UN Development System, to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP has a Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise supporting delivery of the signature solutions in UNDP’s Strategic Plan. 

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) develops all relevant policy and guidance to deliver on UNDP’s Strategic Plan, providing technical advice to Country Offices, representing UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora and engaging in UN inter-agency coordination. 

Climate change is the single greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Climate change mitigation – or reducing greenhouse gas emissions - is essential to fulfilling commitments to the Paris Agreement and limiting the global mean temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. UNDP, with more than 280 climate change mitigation projects and programs in over 110 countries, is a key actor supporting countries in their emission reduction plans, contributing to ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions. Activities in energy, as well as forests and agriculture, will be critical to meeting global mitigation objectives.  

UNDP’s approach to forestry aligns with the SDG 15 and contributes to UNDP's 'signature solution' on environment and nature-based solutions for development. Deforestation and forest degradation accounts for more than 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and the stabilization of global temperatures cannot be achieved without reducing emissions from the forest sector. UNDP's Climate and Forests programme supports countries to conserve and sustainably manage forests and ensure sustainable and equitable development paths that lead towards carbon neutrality. More information here:  

UNDP supports the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force (GCFTF) through the implementation of a NOK 200M pledge to the network to develop and implement innovative plans and actions for jurisdictional REDD+. Under this grant, UNDP is managing the Innovation Funding (Window B) which includes a project with the states of the Brazilian Legal Amazon[1] on leveraging finance for low-emission development. The project is implemented by Fundação Amazônia Sustentável (FAS) in partnership with the GCFTF’s Executive Secretariat in Brazil as well as six non-governmental implementing partners[2] and 10 organizations representing indigenous peoples and traditional communities[3]. Under the framework of this Window B project, UNDP is providing technical assistance to the nine states to access REDD+ finance using Architecture for REDD+ Transactions’ (ART) The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES), including submissions under the 2021 call for proposals by the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition, a public-private coalition including Norway.  UNDP’s technical assistance is directly supporting states’ conformance with the TREES standard and submit proposals for funding to the LEAF Coalition. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Technical Specialist will provide technical and coordination support to the nine states in the Brazilian Legal Amazon to achieve conformance with ART/TREES and submit proposals to the LEAF Coalition. The Technical Specialist will have both a technical advisory role and coordination role, between UNDP’s Climate & Forests Programme, Brazilian Amazon states and implementing partners in Brazil. Specifically, the Technical Specialist will: 

  1. Provide strategic and technical advice to UNDP, FAS and the GCFTF Executive Secretariat in Brazil on ART / TREES conformance of Brazilian states, assessing needs at regional (Legal Amazon) and state levels, and coordinating direct technical assistance to state environmental agencies and other governmental actors to identify and address gaps, as well as to develop pathways to conformance under the ART / TREES standard; 
  2. Coordinate and design the delivery of technical assistance and capacity building measures on ART / TREES, forest and climate finance, social and environmental safeguards, stakeholder engagement and related topics for government officials from the nine states as well as representatives from organizations of Indigenous Peoples and traditional communities (IPLC), including the coordination of technical inputs from FAS, states, the GCFTF Executive Secretariat as well as UNDP advisors and UNDP consultants;
  3. Provide direct technical contributions (reports, templates, reviews, etc.) to processes relating to social and environmental safeguards, stakeholder engagement plans, capacity development strategies as well as overall strategic planning, among others; 
  4. Prepare and participate in regular partnership and technical working group meetings with state government representatives, non-governmental partners, IPLC organizations as well as other relevant stakeholders on safeguards, capacity development, and forest carbon accounting; 
  5. Support and facilitate coordination between UNDP Climate & Forests Programme, UNDP consultants working on PLANT, forest carbon accounting and safeguards, GCFTF Regional Coordinator, lead implementing partner in Brazil (FAS), technical consultants of Window B and other partners as necessary;
  6. Contribute to UNDP knowledge products and processes on forest and climate finance in Brazil, as requested. 

Institutional Arrangement 

The Technical Specialist will be supervised by, and report to the Principal Technical Advisor for the Climate & Forests Programme. S/he will closely collaborate with the Climate & Forests Technical Specialists and Global Advisors, the GCFTF Regional Coordinator and the implementing partner, Fundação Amazônia Sustentável (FAS). In addition, the Technical Specialist will coordinate with the CSO partners to the Brazilian states, representatives of the Indigenous’ Peoples organizations, technical consultants supporting project activities and with the UNDP Country Office as necessary. 

The assignment is home-based. If travel is required, and subject to (local) Covid-19 health permission, such travel shall be at UNDP’s expense and processed in accordance with UNDP’s travel guidance and policy.  

Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact 
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems 
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands 
Act with Determination:  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area Name Definition
Business Management Partnerships Management Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts, and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
Business Management Digital Awareness and Literacy Ability and inclination to rapidly adopt new technologies, either through skillfully grasping their usage or through understanding their impact and empowering others to use them as needed
2030 Agenda: Planet Nature, Climate & Energy Climate and Forests: Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
2030 Agenda: Planet Nature, Climate & Energy Climate and Forests: REDD+/UNFCCC and access to emission reduction results-based payments (GCF or carbon markets)


Required Skills and Experience
Min. Education requirements  Advanced degree in environmental policy, environmental law, natural resource management, sustainable development, rural development, climate-change policies and/or another relevant field. First degree acceptable with seven (7) years of relevant professional experience in the above-mentioned fields. 
Min. years of relevant work experience   A minimum of five (5) years with advanced degree or seven (7) years with first degree of relevant professional experience in developing countries with environment issues, including support to countries/jurisdictions to access carbon finance using recognised global standards. 
Required skills  
  • Experience and understanding of forest and climate policy frameworks in Brazil is required, for example REDD+ monitoring and MRV, institutional and governance frameworks, safeguards, and stakeholder engagement (including Indigenous Peoples and local communities), and carbon accounting.
  • Experience supporting and/or coordinating complex, multi-partner processes or programmes is required.
Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section 
  • Understanding and experience in supporting jurisdictions to utilise the ART/TREES standard is desired.
  • Understanding and experience on REDD+ social and environmental safeguards is desired. 
  • Experience in supporting subnational governments on REDD+ results-based finance in Brazil is desired.  
  • Experience in government capacity building processes is desired.
Required Language(s)  
  • Proficiency in written and spoken Portuguese is required. 
  • Working knowledge of English is an advantage. 
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
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.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 
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