BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist (Home-based)

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UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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.

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels offers a spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in its Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in UNDP’s Strategic Plan. 

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. BPPS staff provide technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private, government and civil society dialogues, and engage in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. 

UNDP’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan highlighting our continued commitment to eradicating poverty, accompanying countries in their pathways towards the SDGs and working towards the Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP’s Nature, Climate Change, Energy, and Waste (NCE&W) Hubs promote and scale 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.

BPPS’ Hubs on Nature, Climate, Energy and Waste work with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate nature, climate, energy and waste related concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies, support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and oversee the implementation of the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming nature, climate change, energy and waste. 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 including Nature-based Solutions for Adaptation
  • Climate Mitigation 
  • Sustainable 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.

In recent decades, biodiversity finance tools and solutions have demonstrated their importance for achieving biodiversity goals and broader sustainable development objectives. Improved choice, design and implementation of effective, well-tailored finance solutions will strengthen countries’ chances of achieving national and global biodiversity targets. 

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN – was developed to provide a comprehensive methodology for governments to 1) review the existing policy context, 2) measure expenditure levels for biodiversity, 3) calculate future financial needs and 4) design strategic plans to deploy the right mix of finance solutions, tailored to the country context. Biodiversity Finance Plans were designed in 41 countries to date many now having reached the implementation stage.

BIOFIN is supported by the Governments of Germany, Flanders, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada and the European Union. The initiative is part of UNDP’s Nature, Hub, under UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), in cooperation with the Climate Hub. 

BIOFIN’s first phase (2012-2019) enabled full assessments and initial implementation of finance plan elements in target countries. Based on lessons learned, a new and comprehensive version of the BIOFIN Methodology was developed. Significant scaling up of finance solutions is required in all 41 countries to address the biodiversity finance challenge. BIOFIN’s second phase (2018 – 2027) focuses mainly on the implementation of prioritized finance solutions while also allowing additional countries to undertake the initial assessments and create the finance plan. See for further information. 

UNDPs Climate adaptation portfolio under the climate hub, assists government partners to scale up the integration of climate change adaptation into policy, planning, and investments at both national and local levels through the support to the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process and the NDCs. UNDP supports climate change adaptation action in the context of agriculture and food security, water resources, coastal zone management, ecosystems protection, public health, resilient infrastructure, urban resilience, livelihoods, and climate information/early warnings.

UNDP works with governments, private sector, academia, and civil society to build capacities to implement transformative approaches to securing resilient lives, livelihoods, ecosystems, and markets, particularly focusing on the most vulnerable and marginalized. With a portfolio of adaptation projects and programmes across 100+ countries, UNDP is a key actor within the UN System in supporting countries to access and catalyze public and private finance to implement their adaptation priorities in the context of the SDG agenda.

The strategic objective of the Climate Change Adaptation Team is to develop the capacity of national and sub-national Governments for adaptation planning and support countries in accessing, mobilizing, and implementing adaptation finance for resilient development. To achieve this, the team focuses its efforts on the following signature programmes: 

  • Supporting integration of climate risks into national/sub-national planning and budgeting;
  • Advancing resilient Livelihoods, Food and Agricultural systems, Water Security, Coastal Zone management, and Ecosystems;
  • Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development;
  • Promoting private sector engagement in adaptation: 

UNDP’s work on Climate adaptation cuts across different thematic and sectoral areas, and includes a focus on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Adaptation (Ecosystem based Adaptation), as part of a suite of adaptation approaches. There are certain areas of commonality between BIOFIN and NbS for adaptation finance, which need to be further identified, understood and assessed to expand relevant areas of complementary financing that support both biodiversity and climate adaptation.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Global BIOFIN Manager and the Senior Technical Advisor, National Adaptation plans, the BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist will guide to (1) Review and Revise the suite of global tools and platform to integrate climate change adaptation objectives, including the BIOFIN workbook, Catalogue of Finance Solutions, e-learning modules and other technical manuals. (2) Review entry points in the National Adaptation plans and associated financing strategies and investment plans for greater linkages between biodiversity and adaptation co-benefits and trade-offs (3) advise countries to with integrated approaches between biodiversity finance plans and NAP financing strategies and contribute to designing national finance plans, update existing finance solutions and identify new financing solutions with a climate change adaptation benefits in addition to biodiversity goals (4) review specific financing solutions under application for Financing solutions and identify co-benefits for adaptation and applicability for adaptation financing

It should be noted that within the overall work of CCA, a Nature based Solutions for Adaptation focal point and a National Adaptation Plan focal point are both intrinsically linked to the work under this TOR and the supervision would be closely coordinated internally with the CCA team with BIOFIN Manager. 

Key Duties and Accountabilities

  • Provide guidance to countries to design and implement finance solutions with a biodiversity and climate change adaptation co-benefits, including actions with a strong positive impact on gender equality;
  • Contribute to the design of national biodiversity finance plans including priority actions to contribute to the implementation of National Adaptation Plans;
  • Oversee  national adaptation plans and upcoming financing and investment plans to identify and create linkages between biodiversity finance financing plans and solutions and adaptation planning and financing solutions;
  • Provide inputs into the BIOFIN Workbook, Catalogue of Finance solutions, e-learning modules, guidance manuals and other technical documents about the link between nature and climate change adaptation finance;
  • Write web articles, blogs and develop other knowledge products on the link between nature and climate change adaptation finance;
  • Coordinate with both Climate change adaptation and BIOFIN teams to lead sessions on integrating climate change adaptation and nature financing during regional and global conferences, webinars and dedicated events, and contribute as a resource expert or moderator as relevant;
  • Ensure the development and monitoring of indicators to track climate change adaptation impacts of biodiversity interventions and solutions proposed under BIOFIN; 
  • Contribute to relevant sections in progress reports. 
  • The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Core Competencies
  • 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

  • Systems Thinking

    • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
  • Knowledge generation

    • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for content, or responsive to a stated need
  • Knowledge facilitation 

    • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally
  • Nature, Climate and Energy 

    • Climate Change Policies: Climate Finance 
  • Nature, Climate and Energy

    • Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Biodiversity Finance 
  • Nature, Climate and Energy

    • Climate Change Adaptation: Public and private finance for adaptation solutions
  • SDG Finance

    • Public Sector Finance (Tax and domestic resource mobilization, public financial management and public expenditure)
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in climate change, environmental sciences, natural resource management or any other area relevant for climate change adaptation is required.
  • Bachelor’s degree in the said fields with additional 2 years of qualifying experience will be given consideration in lieu of Master’s degree. 
  • Minimum of  5 years (with Master’s degree) or 7 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience  in climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, public finance, climate change adaptation finance or another related area.

Required Skills:

  • Proven previous experiences in environmental related policies.
  • Sound experience to train national teams.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in the design or application of diagnostic tools, assessment methodologies related to public finance such as expenditure reviews, finance plans, costing etc is an asset.
  • Proven experience in making presentations on the above mentioned topics during high ranking events and/or meetings is highly desirable.
  • Proven extensive experience in preparing and drafting reports would be a strong asset.
  • Experience with an UN organization/agency is desirable.


  • Fluency in English language (written and spoken) is required. 
  • Knowledge of additional UN language is an asset.

Institutional Arrangement

  • The BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist will be home based;
  • The BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist will work under the supervision of BIOFIN Global Manager and will work in strong coordination with the  Senior Technical Advisor, National Adaptation plans, the Climate Change Adaptation Specialization a daily basis;
  • The BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist will work with the BIOFIN global Team, global Climate Change Adaptation Team, BIOFIN national Teams, UNDP Country Offices, core and donor country governments, other international/multi-lateral organizations, and contractors;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones where applicable; 
  • The BIOFIN and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist will be responsible for providing her/his own working station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, relevant software, etc.) and shall have access to a stable, secure and reliable internet connection. 
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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