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Senior Financial Expert - Biodiversity Finance and Project Acceleration
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Chief and Senior Professional Full-time
Job Expired 15 Jul 2022
Expired
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description

Result of Service

This report will inform consultations with Parties to the CBD, on the intention of strengthening/establishing financial products for accelerating nature-based priorities to realize the new global biodiversity targets set through the global biodiversity framework.

Work Location

Home-based

Expected duration

The consultant will work for 4 months from the date of signature. The consultant can either be home-based or based in the UNEP’s offices in Geneva, Switzerland. If home based, the consultant’s time zone needs to allow for frequent exchanges with stakeholders in different geographical areas across the globe.

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". Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UNEP's Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The consultancy will be located in UNEP / Ecosystems Division / Nature for Climate Branch (NFCB) and will report to the Head, Climate Finance Unit (CFU), Nature for Climate Branch (NFCB), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“The Kunming Biodiversity Fund … should jump-start an urgently needed conversation on biodiversity finance. Our planet needs not just another set of targets on paper, but their actual fulfillment.” - President Xi Jinping, CBD COP 15 (October 2021).
Biodiversity and ecosystems are the very fabric of life on earth. Their health and vitality are critical for human’s survival and for addressing many of the goals from climate change to sustainable development. However, biodiversity has declined by over 65% over a short span of 50 years . Protecting and restoring biodiversity has never been more important and critical.
However, the financial resources currently available, both through domestic budget and ODAs, are insufficient to protect and restore biodiversity (BIOFIN, 2019). The current global budget for biodiversity conservation is USD $76 billion, while the amount needed for effective biodiversity conservation is over 10 times what is available . Although, private sector could play an important role in bridging this gap, the sector’s investment in biodiversity historically remains chronically low at USD $8.2 billion. Certain regions such as Africa, receive even disproportionately small amount (USD $482 million in case of Africa), while hosting biodiversity and ecological processes of global importance.

There could be potential to establish biodiversity focused blended finance mechanisms to unlock private capital to contain biodiversity loss. Existing blended finance mechanisms targeted for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have not yet reached the anticipated scale and structure to deliver on SDG 15: Life on Land. So far, blended finance approaches have not fully integrated ecological considerations critical for biodiversity outcomes nor have they fully adapted to the context where conservation actions are most needed. For example conservation activities in African countries often involve complex ecological process on mosaic of different land uses and ownerships.

Tools such as development guarantees, blended finance and tiered capital structures could offer significant potential if adapted structurally and contextually.

Workplan
Overall Objective of the Consultancy

The main objective of the consultancy is to scope out the potential options, target themes and operating and governance structures for public-private biodiversity financing options, including but not limited to an accelerator fund which can be applied strategically to increase the proportion of private finance and growth capital for biodiversity-related activities, in support of implementing the post 2020 global biodiversity framework. For the avoidance of doubt, the consultant should analyse various financial structures and recommend the right legal structure for pre-selected countries. The focus of the document will be global with one or two regional case studies highlighting how the options will unlock capital in those regions and how the legal structure of the financial product should be adapted to the selected regions. Further in this document the term “financial product” will by a synonym for various financial structures which can structured to enable and accelerate nature-based priorities. These could include, but are not limited to funds, LLCs, SPVs.

This consultancy will involve three areas of work: a) Identify realistic and tangible options for attracting public - private finance towards nature-based priorities by leveraging public and concessional capital through biodiversity assets at national, regional and global levels, and b) review and recommend governance structures for the financial products and risk mitigation and yield enhancement arrangements to maximise the bankability of nature-based priorities/projects and promote broad investor interest; c) suggest legal and governance options for financing based on the new post 2020 global biodiversity framework through financial products. The financial product will be structured/customised for a selected region with the potential of global rollout. The findings will be presented in a concise report which will inform the transition from concept development to piloting and proof of concept through to attracting scalable finance.

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Qualifications/special skills

Competency:

Professionalism: Knowledge of project development and planning; Excellent coordination, organization and planning skills, with the ability to work under pressure; Focus on impact and results; Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Demonstrates thoroughness and looks for ways to improve and promote quality and applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality; Manages competing demands and changes approach or methods to suit the situation.

Planning and Organizing: Ability to identify priority activities and assignments, handle multiple activities and projects concurrently and make necessary adjustments as required; Ability to foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning; Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; Uses time efficiently; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions and is objective even when dealing with stressful situations.

Teamwork: Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; Ability to lead and gain assistance and cooperation of others in a team endeavor; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.

Academic Qualifications: The consultant should have a Master’s degree in economics, finance or other areas, relevant to the subject of the assignment. A Bachelor’s university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: • Minimum 10 years of experience in the fields of finance, private sector development, development finance, innovative finance and impact Investment or sustainable finance is a requirement
• Practical experience in the areas of transactional structuring and implementation / banking with a focus on sustainable finance or fund management and other areas relevant to the assignment¿¿
• Practical experience in the field of development and sustainable finance with a focus on biodiversity/nature projects
• Global experience of working on innovative biodiversity finance and project bankability
• Understanding of biodiversity concepts such as landscape approach, keystone species, and ecological connectivity
• Experience of working in the Africa/Global South

Language: English is the working language of UNEP. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset (especially French). The consultant must have excellent listening and communications skills. Demonstrable experience in writing top-notch communication material and delivering convincing talks is an advantage.

No Fee

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.

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