Project Specialist for Forest and Biodiversity

Project Specialist for Forest and Biodiversity

Type of offer:
Job opportunity

The Project Specialist will be based in the UNDP CO. He/she liaise with the PMU for the Ecotourism project in the DoT, MoICE under a full NIM mode and lead coordination of the NBSAP project with the key partners namely National Biodiversity and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, MoENR under a DIM mode. The project will be implemented with Responsible Agencies identified by the PMU in respective project landscapes.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Portfolio Manager, Environment and Energy, UNDP. He/she will be responsible for successful management of the projects by coordination with and working closely with the implementing partners in the Department of Tourism (PMU established at DoT) for the Project Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Tourism Development in Bhutan NBSAP) in coordination with National Biodiversity Center and the Department of Environment and Climate Change for the Global Biodiversity Early Action Support and National Biodiversity Strategic and Action Plan (NBSAP) in fulfilling the responsibilities and tasks of the position.

He/she will also work with other agencies that are actively involved in fulfilling the broader objectives of mainstreaming biodiversity and tourism into sustainable development in Bhutan and Biodiversity Strategic and Action Plan. As part of the country office programme team, he/she will support policy development, capacity building and strategic planning for new programme areas within the programme team, while ensuring consistency of CPD priorities. S/he will also support exploration of new areas of cooperation and work, including with the advancement of strategic partnership, resource mobilization and expansion of the country portfolio. S/he works in close collaboration with other policy and programme portfolios and the Operations Team to ensure a collaborative and harmonized joint UNDP programme. Cross-cutting coordination with CO Communications, Gender and other relevant experts will be required to increase the impact of the development interventions. The Specialist develops innovative solutions while ensuring oversight and compliance with UNDP rules, regulations, and policies. S/he manages partnership building and resource mobilization.

The Project Specialist ensures effective oversight of programme management, accountability, and achievement of the CPD results within the assigned outcome. The incumbent works in close collaboration with Bangkok Regional Hub, UNDP HQ, staff from other UN Agencies and national partners from the Government, civil society, and donors through multilateral and/or bilateral arrangements.

The overall key duties and accountability are as follows: Ensure the projects are implemented in compliance with programme and operations policies and procedures (POPP) and quality assurance standards as outlined in the approved Project Document.

  •  Ensures annual work planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of assigned portfolio in line with requirements (e.g., budget revisions, approval of CDRs, etc.).
  •  Provides quality assurance of the entire cycle of projects to meet the requirements of UNDP and the GEF/donors.
  •  Exercises and effectively manages transaction approval for development projects as delegated in line with the established internal control framework and ensures appropriate separation of duties is in place and maintained throughout the project cycle.
  •  Ensure strategic oversight of planning, budgeting, implementing and monitoring of the projects, tracking use of financial resources in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
  •  Manages clearance measures (incl. tracking of NIM advances/reimbursements, liquidation of NIM advances, clearance of FACE forms, escalating and advising the CO Management on timely remedial actions required).
  •  Identify and utilise opportunities for the project to achieve greater impact and synergies through partnership as well as through seeking collaboration across UNDP’s programmes/projects.
  •  Support PMU and Project Manager with oversight of the project’s technical activities and provide programmatic support and solutions.
  •  In coordination with the Project Management Unit and CO, Organize Technical Advisory Committee / Project Board meetings at least twice a year to present progress, issues and risks of the project and seek an approval from the Board for the Annual Work Plan.
  •  Preparation of periodic Annual Performance Report (APR) in close collaboration with PMU to be submitted to UNDP and donor agencies.

Leads provision of top-quality advisory services and facilitates knowledge building and management.

  •  Stays ahead of the curve with regard to developments and evolutions in areas related to biodiversity and eco-tourism, to adapt programmes, resource mobilization strategies, and advice to Senior Management accordingly.
  •  Ensures that UNDP remains a thought-leader in the areas of biodiversity and eco-tourism.
  •  Integrates evaluation findings, real-time monitoring data, and applied learning to adaptive programme and project management and policy advisory work.
  •  Leads capacity building of national counterparts for effective management and compliance with funding partner’s requirements within UNDP projects.
  •  Maintains effective network with development partners and Government at the national level and sub-national level and where necessary links up with the corporateGlobal Policy Network of UNDP and other international development actors.
  •  Ensure capturing and dissemination of lessons learnt including evaluation outcomes during project implementation and coordinate with the PMU and UNDP for wider dissemination.
  •  Facilitate the Project’s representation and/or participation in international knowledge networks to draw on and share best practice and lessons learned.

Contribute towards strategic partnerships development.

  •  Identifies strategic opportunities and leads engagement on potential joint programming with other UN Agencies and entities.
  •  Identifies diverse sources of funding and financing beyond the vertical funds to ensure a balanced portfolio, looking particularly at private sector opportunities, and other non-traditional sources.
  •  Ensures development and implementation of CO partnerships and resource mobilization strategies to achieve country programme outcomes related to Nature, Energy and Climate. Contributes to effective pipeline development in the Office in this area. Ensures effective and timely pipeline management through timely and accurate update of the pipeline management module in UNITY (corporate ERP system).
  •  Supports deployment of partnership strategies and related actions with a focus on programme portfolio development and the identification of sustainable and predictable funding/financing mechanisms for the implementation of the country programme, including but not limited to Environmental Vertical Funds (GCF, GEF and others).
  •  Leads and maintains strong partnerships with relevant development partners and government, UN Agencies, IFIs, government institutions, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, and civil society in the designated support areas.
  •  As part of the overall CO partnerships and communications strategy and action plans, develops new project concepts to ensure project documents and financing agreements are developed with high quality and in line with UNDP corporate rules and procedures.
  •  Ensures the preparation of analysis and research of information on partners, donor profiles, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for cost-sharing and initiation of new projects, active contribution to the overall CO efforts in resource mobilization.
  •  Leads engagement, networking and mobilization of experts of the international development community, government partners, UN Agencies, and prominent think tanks.
  •  Leads development of strategies for government co-financing in the Nature, Climate and Energy area.
  •  Ensures quality and timely donor reporting and adherence to the conditions and requirements of partnership agreements by programme teams and projects.
  •  Ensure, with support from the PMU, that technical outputs are reviewed to meet the highest technical standards and quality.
  •  Establish, maintain, and facilitate strategic dialogue between UNDP, project staff and Government officials at central and local levels, in project´s areas of work.
  •  Advocate UNDP with relevant stakeholders and build partnerships with donors, technical agencies and other development partners
  •  Provide inputs to UN coordination platforms and participate in meetings, as required.
  •  Assist CO in the resource mobilisation strategies through developing concept papers and systematic follow ups for resources.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Required Skills and Experience


  •  Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in the field of Community and Rural Development, Business Administration, Climate Change, Sustainable Development, Natural Resource Management, Environment and or other relevant disciplines is required, or
  •  A first-level university degree (Bachelor´s degree) in the areas mentioned above in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience, will be given due consideration in lieu of Master´s degree.


  •  Minimum of 7 years (with Master´s degree) or 9 years (with Bachelor´s degree) of progressive experience in natural resource management, ecotourism, biodiversity, climate change, rural development, policy analysis and relevant fields.
  •  At least 5 years’ experience in implementing donor funded projects will be an advantage.
  •  Proven experience and knowledge in dealing with national and international institutions, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
  •  Experience in global discourses on biodiversity, tourism and sustainable development. Knowledgeable on the country’s institutional framework and policies on climate change, forests, and biodiversity
  •  Familiar with global good practices about application of social and environmental safeguards.
  •  Excellent writing and communication skills.
  •  Experience in working and networking with technical/scientific agencies including other relevant stakeholders is an asset.
  •  Proficiency in using computer applications (word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, project planning, e-mail, etc.) is desired.
  •  Experience in working at the country level with a UN or International Organization is desirable.

Required Languages:

  •  Fluency in English and Dzongkha


Type: Job opportunity
Location: Thimphu, Bhutan
Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
Deadline: January 15, 2024
External website link: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1704752827091