Result of Service
The objective of this consultancy is to support the work of the African Union Commission (AUC) through the Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE) to strengthen Africa’s commitment to Conserving Africa’s biodiversity. Hence, AUC in collaboration with the UN - Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), have secured funds from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to strengthen capacity and coordination functions of the Commission, and support the African Group of Negotiators on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Advancing Africa’s Biodiversity Agenda in the pre and post 2020 Global Framework for Biodiversity (GBF). Work Location
12 Month Duties and Responsibilities
The African continent is endowed with rich biodiversity resources both fauna and flora; it contains an estimated one-fifth of all known species of mammals, birds, and plants. Home to 8 of the 34 biodiversity “hotspots” in the world and to 1,220 important bird habitats (AMCEN 2019). These biodiversity resources play a critical role in Africa’s socio-economic development and livelihoods, where most economies largely depend on agriculture, forests, water resources, ecosystems, and ecosystem services.
African ecosystems supply multiple ecosystem services required to meet human needs and sustain livelihoods, while regulating diseases and climatic systems, supporting soil formation, and providing suitable wildlife habitats for nature-based tourism.
Notwithstanding the potential and great opportunities biodiversity provides, Africa's biodiversity and ecosystems are progressively being eroded at an alarming rate due to population growth, extensive agricultural practices, rapid urbanization, infrastructure development, unsustainable extraction of resources, illicit trafficking, and armed conflict among others. In addition, policy frameworks and decision-making processes often undervalue the true cost of nature and biodiversity and its direct and indirect contribution to the GDP of countries. It is estimated that the overexploitation and degradation of the biodiversity ecosystems will cause a 50% loss of Africa’s bird and mammal species, 20-30% of lake productivity and decline of wildlife and fisheries by the end of this century (UNEP-WCMC, 2016).
Besides excessive demand of biodiversity resources to meet development and human needs of the continent, the biodiversity loss is further exacerbated by excessive pollution of land and water resources with toxic chemicals, plastics and heavy metals that are detrimental to wildlife and integrity of Africa’s ecosystems. The threat to Africa’s biodiversity is compounded further by climate change induced wildlife, habitat, and ecosystem loss from extreme events of floods and prolonged droughts. If the loss of biodiversity continues unabated, it will undermine Africa countries efforts to achieve goals and objectives of the Agenda 2063 as well as the UN - Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, in particular SDG 14, Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources and SDG 15, which aims at sustainably managing forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.
Consequently, Africa countries now recognise the critical value of biodiversity in sustaining economic growth while safeguarding development needs of future generations and are committed to protecting biodiversity and ecosystems from deterioration including through mainstreaming natural capital accounting in policy, plans and programmes across Africa. Accordingly, the continent remains steadfast in seeking a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that will reduce and reverse biodiversity loss by the year 2030, in line with the AU Agenda 2063 goal for “an Environmentally sustainable climate and resilient economies and communities that aims to put in place measures to sustainably manage the continent’s rich biodiversity, forests, land and waters and using mainly adaptive measures to address climate change risks”.
Under the direct supervisor of Director for Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy or his delegated authority the consultant will assume the following duties and responsibilities
In particular, the programme management expert will make sure the planning, reporting, implementation and monitoring of project activities and outputs is done in a timely manner. S/he will also ensure compliance with all relevant project commitments including delivery of quality reports and compliance with performance indicators. The Programme Support Expert will work under the direct supervision of the Director, Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy on a day-to-day basis, liaise and develop close coordination with key project stakeholders including UNECA and relevant Departments of the AUC, to articulate, complement and monitor the project’s implementation.
Progress reports will also be submitted to the Director, TCND, through the Senior Natural Resources Officer, ACPC at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on key deliverables:
• Support the overall functions of the Commission in coordination, advocacy and partnership building for biodiversity, forestry and wildlife management;
• Support the Commission in strengthening AU Member States capacity to implement their national obligations under the CBD Convention;
• Provide technical support in the implementation of Pillar 3 of the AU Green Recovery Action Plan (AU-GRAP)
• Provide technical input into the work of the Commission to support the African Group of Negotiators on the Biological Diversity Convention;
• Support the development of a Natural Capital Accounting Framework for adoption and implementation by member States to enhance biodiversity conservation;
• Promote sustainable land management and land restoration programmes and activities;
• Provide technical input in the development of work programmes, budgets and reports;
• Provide technical in the development of a Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting framework for the Biodiversity Programme Implementation;
• Contribute to Resource mobilization activities for the Programme;
• Facilitate the organization of meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences;
• To liaise with relevant sectors, units and programmes of the AU Department Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment and the UNECA Division Qualifications/special skills
Academic Qualifications: Advanced university (Master’s degree) in -Biodiversity, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, or a closely related fields is required. A first level university degree in a combination of additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the master’s degree.
Experience: A minimum of three years of experience in the field of environmental studies involving policy analysis, research is required. Experience in programme/project management are desirable.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this consultancy, fluency in English is required. Working language of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN language is desirable.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.