UNDP Climate & Forests is seeking a Global Technical Specialist on Policies & Investments

UNDP Climate & Forests is seeking a Global Technical Specialist on Policies & Investments
Position based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Apply by 21 October 2021. 
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
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.
Job Purpose and Organizational Context

UNDP’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan emphasizes the critical links between environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broader efforts to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, and Energy (NCE) Team promotes and scales up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.

The NCE Team works with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate natural capital, environment and climate concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies; support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and implement the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming on environment, climate change, and energy. This multi-billion dollar portfolio encompasses: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests; Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems; Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Renewable and Modern Energy; Extractive Industries; Chemicals and Waste Management; Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy and SCP approaches. This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, digital transformation, capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, and South-South learning. UNDP's Nature, Climate and Energy practice spans 137 countries, with a portfolio directly benefiting 86 million people. Our support to Governments focusses on enabling an inclusive, resilient, green recovery by: building competency to accelerate access to sustainable energy and climate and nature-positive policies and finance; scaling capacity to ensure No One is Left Behind; catalyzing SDG and Paris-aligned investments (public and private); delivering client-focused solutions that respond to countries' immediate, mid- and long-term recovery and socio-economic development priorities; and leveraging our on-the-ground presence and networks to unlock bottom-up solutions that deliver lasting impacts at country level.

In addition to UNDP’s bilateral partnerships on nature climate and energy, UNDP is an accredited multilateral implementing agency of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Multilateral Fund (MLF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which  includes the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF Trust Fund); the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund (NPIF); the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF); and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). As part of UNDP’s partnership with these vertical funds, UNDP provides countries specialized integrated technical services for eligibility assessment, programme formulation, capacity development, policy advice, technical assistance, training and technology transfer, mobilization of co-financing, implementation oversight, results management and evaluation, performance-based payments and knowledge management services.  The Nature, Climate and Energy Team focuses on managing the oversight of climate and environmental financial resources from global trust funds to catalyze and unlock other types of public and private financing for sustainable development. This includes oversight of the design as well as implementation phase of projects (together with Country Offices and Regional Bureaus), as well as portfolio level oversight and management.

UNDP Climate Change Mitigation Programme: In order to avoid an irreversible climate crisis, we need to halve global emissions by 2030, and have carbon-neutral economies by 2050. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – or climate change mitigation - is essential to fulfilling commitments to the Paris Agreement and limiting global mean temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels. All sectors, including energy, transportation, industry, forests, and land-use/agriculture must make a meaningful contribution towards achieving carbon neutrality. UNDP, as the largest implementer of climate change support within the UN system, plays a critical role by supporting countries in their emission reduction plans. With a commitment to providing long-term development support, our mitigation portfolio currently comprises of over 280 projects and programmes in over 110 countries. Together with our partners, UNDP supports countries to take ambitious climate action, advance Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and use a wide range of strategies and approaches across energy, forestry and land-use/agriculture sectors.

UNDP Climate and Forests Programme: Forests support the livelihoods of over 1 billion people and host the largest share of the world’s biodiversity. UNDP provides expertise in stakeholder engagement, social and environmental safeguards, governance, institutional coordination, strategic planning, implementation of policies and measures to address drivers of deforestation, access to innovative finance and accessing results-based payments. UNDP also facilitates the necessary partnerships to address the complex elements of the REDD+ process.

The Global Technical Specialist for Policies & Investments will provide technical and implementation support to the UNDP Climate & Forests' portfolio of technical assistance and investment programmes on REDD+, with a focus on policy review and implementation at country level. The Global Technical Specialist will work under the supervision of the Principal Technical Advisor of the UNDP's Climate & Forests Programme and the NCE Regional Team Leader for the Asia/Pacific region. The REDD+ policy & investment tasks will include support national strategies and action plans, NDC alignments, investment planning, REDD+ programme review, and support the implementation of REDD+ performance programmes, whether through public payment schemes (e.g. GCF) or carbon markets. The Global Technical Specialist will be based in the UNDP Asia/Pacific hub, in Bangkok, and will thus provide a large part of support to the work of the Climate & Forests Programme in the countries of the region. When requested, the Global Technical Specialist may represent UNDP in international and regional fora, liaise with external clients and a broad range of constituencies and UNDP counterparts in the Government, civil society as well as counterparts from other international organizations. In UNDP, Technical Specialists promote good cooperation and coordination among programme and operations staff, and between the Country Offices and Government counterparts.

Duties and Responsibilities 

Technical & policy advisory support to UNDP regional teams and country offices

  • Provide global guidance and country support on REDD+ policy development (e.g. National Strategies and Action Plans for REDD+).
  • Support countries with the design, consultation, financing and inception of REDD+ investment plans, including consideration to investment options and priorities, multi-stakeholder engagement, NDCs linkages and cross-sectoral dimensions.
  • Provide countries and UNDP teams with guidance on the contribution of REDD+ to broader national development objectives (e.g. SDGs, NDCs, Covid-19 recovery plans);
  • Develop approaches for ensuring REDD+ activities and proceeds contribute to poverty reduction, to rural livelihoods and to the Covid-19 recovery pathways.
  • Keep the Climate & Forests team well informed of trends and issues with respect to National REDD+ strategies, action plans, investments and performance finance, particularly in the context of UNFCCC alignments, NDC efforts, the nature-based solutions' frontlines, and the need for policy coherence.


Support to implementation of national REDD+ investment programmes, with a focus on ensuring successful in-country implementation and adherence with oversight requirements (of UNDP and source of funds)

  • Support countries with the implementation of REDD+ investment programmes.
  • Support countries with the design and implementation of REDD+ performance proposals & programmes (e.g. GCF, ART/TREES, LEAF)
  • Support Country Offices and national counterparts manage the successful implementation of programmes; meeting delivery targets; applying UNDP’s Internal Control Framework; managing risks effectively; complying with applicable policies and procedures; ensuring REDD+ Results-Based Payment proceeds are used effectively towards NDC implementation and SDG attainment.
  • As requested, support the Climate & Forests Programme with oversight functions for the Asia/Pacific portfolio.


Support UNDP partnerships related to climate & forests affairs

  • Contribute to relevant global and regional NCE initiatives and partnerships, including the Climate Promise, FACS, and emerging carbon markets initiatives.
  • Maintain a trusted working relationship with partners, UNDP Country Offices and national counterparts in terms of qualitative advice, best practices, joint efforts and integrated country support services.
  • Lead efforts to ensure the UNDP's and UN-REDD's work on national REDD+ strategies, action plans and investments is recognised as cutting edge and consistent with UNFCCC provisions.
  • Provide guidance and support on the application of REDD+ tools, approaches and procedures


Knowledge generation & dissemination

  • Capture lessons and stimulate the uptake of best practices and knowledge.
  • Peer review, comment on, and seek to improve the technical quality of project documents, country policies, reports, guidelines, advisory notes, knowledge products and publications.
  • Contribute regularly to the knowledge and communications efforts of the Climate & Forests Programme, NCE and UNDP, including through knowledge briefs, the Climate & Forest website, and social media.
  • Respond to queries on progress, impacts and lessons of Climate & Forests' projects and partnerships, as requested.
Competencies and Selection Criteria


Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Leadership: Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Communication: bility to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Delivery: Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.


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

Capacity Development: Ability to support partner countries' capacity to manage ODA resources effectively and harmonise with national policy and financing frameworks .

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

Knowledge Management: Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.

Report Writing: Ability to prepare quality reports.

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


Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in environmental management, international development, public policy, sustainable development or similar.

  • At least 7 years of relevant international work experience.
  • Experience working in the field of REDD+ or related Climate/Forest interventions
  • Experience with the implementation, management or oversight of large-scale international development projects in tropical forest developing countries (experience with UNDP projects is an advantage)
  • Experience with the oversight requirements of international vertical funds (such as the GEF or GCF) or Multilateral Development Banks is an advantage
  • Thorough understanding of UNFCCC REDD+ decisions and the Warsaw Framework will be an asset.
  • Work experience in countries of the Asia-Pacific Region will be highly valuable.
  • Working experience in an international organization is an advantage.


Language requirement:

  • Proficiency in English.
  • Working knowledge of other UN language/s is desirable.


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.
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UNDP Climate & Forests is seeking a Global Technical Specialist on Policies & Investments