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Communications Advisor


  • Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Location: Panamá
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: Closed

Result of Service

Increase knowledge, awareness, and action about forest issues among target audiences and raise IRI’s profile.

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

12 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative (IRI) is an international, multi-faith alliance convened by UNEP that brings moral urgency and faith-based leadership to global efforts to halt and reverse tropical deforestation. It is a platform for all religious leaders and faith communities to work shoulder-to-shoulder with indigenous peoples, governments, civil society and business on actions that protect tropical forests and safeguard those that serve as their guardians.

Multi-religious cooperation is essential for halting and reversing tropical deforestation. The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative is making the protection of rainforests and the rights of indigenous peoples a shared moral concern and religious priority. The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative works both globally and in five program countries – Brazil, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Peru – which contain more than 70% of the world’s remaining tropical forests.

The initiative has three primary goals: (i) educate and raise awareness about the deforestation crisis and equip religious leaders with the science, educational tools, and training needed to serve as effective advocates for rainforest protection; (ii) mobilize faith-based action by connecting religious leaders with allies from across sectors to multiply their collective impact; and (iii) influence policy and advocate for governments and companies to adopt, fulfill and expand upon their commitments to protect rainforests and the rights of the indigenous peoples that serve as their guardians.

This position is home-based, under the overall supervision of UNEP/UN-REDD Global Team Leader.

The consultant will perform the following tasks:
• Develop a strategy for global advocacy communications, including messaging and audience segmentation, building on, and leveraging IRI’s country work and UNEP’s wider forest-related advocacy efforts. The strategy should support, from a faith-based perspective, UNEP’s position in the global nature-based solutions and forest discourses.
• Identify key events for IRI's global advocacy such as UNFCCC COP. Develop and execute engagement plans, including events.
• Map out and engage in new strategic partnerships beyond faith-based organizations.
• Prepare a plan and deliver a range of strategic, targeted, and tailored communications products.
• Manage media relations including pitching to key media at the global and regional level, advocating for key issues at the core of IRI’s mandate, and raising IRI’s profile.
• Identify key days, such as UN Days, and leverage them to position IRI and promote IRI’s positions.
• Whenever possible, produce media and communications packages for additional global, regional, and national events including press releases, media engagement, social media campaigns, and outreach communications pre-and post-event.
• Provide crisis communications counsel and develop a crisis communication plan.
• Develop a social media and web strategy to ensure that IRI’s digital platforms support the implementation of its mandate through coherent digital communication approaches.
• Liaise with communications counterparts. Organize and facilitate global communication meetings.

Qualifications/special skills

A master’s degree in journalism, political science, social science, public affairs, public relations, development studies, communications or other relevant fields is required.
• A minimum of 10 years of experience in communication is required.
• In-depth knowledge of communication approaches and strategies is required.
• Experience in working with international development organizations in advocacy and communication
including the design and facilitation of events is required.
• Experience in managing collaborative processes is desirable.
• Experience in facilitation and coordination is desirable.
• Working experience in an international organization is an advantage
• Knowledge of UNEP policies, procedures and practices is an advantage.
• Proven experience having communicated on environmental issues, particularly
forests, is an advantage.

• Strong, proven project management skills.
• Ability to work independently with limited supervision.
• Ability to convene partners and facilitate consensus.
• Ability to coordinate a wide range of different outputs and partners.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in spoken and written English is required. Knowledge of any other official UN languages would be an asset.

No Fee


This vacancy is now closed.
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