Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Position: Principal Officer for Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Deadline: December 23, 2012

Interestingly enough, the Convention on Biological Diversity is searching for the Principal Officer for the Secretariat in Montreal! I haven't looked at the organizational structure recently, but it appears to be the director for the Secretariat. Presumably, the position does not require specific legal skills, but that is clearly a desired set of qualifications.  Should be of interest to a senior environmental lawyer in the natural resource field.

For the listing on the UN jobs website, see this webpage:

Some Key information:


a) Develop and maintain a plan for the Secretariat’s support to mainstreaming the strategic plan with relevant organizations internationally to advance its implementation, monitoring, assessment and review; b) Coordinate programmes within the Secretariat to promote the implementation of the strategic plan of the Convention at the national, regional and global levels; c) Liaise with out-posted regional UNEP staff to promote implementation of the strategic plan and monitoring of the Aichi targets; d) Liaise with other organizations within and outside of the United Nations system to facilitate contributions to the implementation of the Strategic Plan and contributions to the UN Decade for Biodiversity; e) Oversee the preparation and ensure quality of reports for presentation to senior management, the Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI) and the Conference of the Parties (COP) on the assessment and review of the implementation of the strategic plan; f) Analyze scientific, technical and policy developments relevant to the implementation of the Strategic Plan and prepare proposals for additional activities; g) Ensure follow-up action to relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties and other bodies of the Convention related to the strategic plan and Aichi targets; h) Act as focal point in the Secretariat for national focal points and partnership with development agencies externally; i) Lead, organize and/or participate in substantive discussions, meetings, and conferences and represent SCBD in those meetings; j) Establish and maintain inter-linkages and partnerships with partners internationally to enhance synergy and integration of biodiversity in their programmes; k) Establish external contacts and partnerships with governments and international agencies for the purpose of planning, approving and improving collaboration and coherence in mainstreaming biodiversity; l) Determine priorities and the allocation of resources for the effective completion of outputs and in ensuring their timely preparation and high-quality standards; m) Manage staff performance to ensure ongoing professional development and continued learning; n) Report to the Executive Secretary, donors and the intergovernmental bodies of the Convention on budget proposals, programme performance and programmatic/substantive issues; o) Oversee the recruitment of staff, including short-term staff and consultants; p) Manage, guide, develop and train staff; foster teamwork and communication among staff and across organizational boundaries; q) Participate as a member of the Management Committee of the Secretariat; r)Liaise with all stakeholders for their inputs into the preparation of the GBO; s) Ensure the timely production of the GBO; t) Lead in the Secretariat-wide coordination for the production of the GBO, u) Perform other related duties as requested by the Executive Secretary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental sciences, sciences, natural resources management, environmental law, international law or related area. A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


At least 15 years of progressively responsible experience, including in the field of environment and sustainable development or related area is required. Profound management experience including resource management in human resources and financial management, as well as experience in programme and project planning and analyses is required. Experience in strategy setting and implementation as well as international negotiations is required. Work experience in senior officer assignments in an international organization is highly desirable.

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