Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General in the Department of Operational Support. The Environmental Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of the Environment Section (Senior Environmental Affairs Officer).
Under the direct supervision of the Senior Environmental Affairs Officer [DOS/OUSG/ENVS], the Environmental Affairs Officer will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring actions on environmental issues in field missions, chiefly supporting the missions in their participation in the global Environmental Management System [EMS] and coordinates with partners. Overall, the incumbent would help ensure field missions implement environmental practices to meet Environmental Policy and Strategy objectives and protect the health and safety of mission and local personnel and the reputation of the United Nations from the possible negative consequences of poor environmental management. The duties listed below are part and parcel of the EMS and coordinated tasks.
Within delegated authority, the Environmental Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
Policy and Guidance
- Participate in the drafting and/or review of various environmental guidance documents;
- Review environmental assessments and surveys of operations in the missions;
- Review missions' Environmental Action Plan (EAP);
- Assist in the review of all relevant UNHQ Policies, and providing inputs to mainstream environment in all guidance documents;
- Prepare various written outputs, e.g. input to communication materials, briefing notes and talking points for senior management.
Environmental Action Plan - Implementation
- Coordinate and monitor the implementation of the missions' EAP, including data collection and reporting;
- Maintain a record of environmental issues and actions thereon at the missions;
- Investigate complaints or reports of pollution, contamination, health hazards and other environment-related incidents;
- Submit periodic reports on environmental issues of the missions, to the Senior Environmental Affairs Officer including policy compliance status reports as required for the DPKO/DFS Environmental Policy;
- Recommend to the Senior Environmental Affairs Officer and management to undertake such measures as may be required to prevent or mitigate environmental problems;
- Advise relevant officers or offices on environmental issues arising from the assessments, studies and plans, including environmental information relevant to the operations of the Department and/or the missions.
Awareness and Training
- Undertake outreach activities and promote awareness on environmental issues;
- Liaise with DPO/DOS DPET Integrated Training Services to develop a strategy of environmental briefing to all mission personnel including police and military contingents during their induction training;
- Facilitate the network of Missions Environment Affairs Officers and Environmental Focal Points by sharing best practices and lessons learned from missions and/or organizations, and by managing the online Peace Ops Environment Community website.
Coordination and Partner Relations
- Provide support in liaising on environmental issues with Permanent Missions and member states and relevant United Nations bodies and agencies;
- Support the coordination and management of the DPO/DOS-UNEP partnership under the Rapid Environment and Climate Technical Assistance Facility (REACT);
- Participate in or lead field visits, including provision of guidance to external consultants and other parties and drafting mission summaries;
- Prepare DOS responses and inputs (and representing DOS as necessary) for interagency working groups on environmental/sustainability management established under the Environment Management Group (EMG) or the UN Secretariat Steering Group on Environmental Sustainability Management;
- Perform any other tasks required to support the DPO/DOS Environmental Policy for UN Field Missions and the environmental objectives.
- Professionalism: Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
- Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent degree) in environmental management, science, engineering, law or related fields is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in the environmental management field with a national government/administration, a large firm or international organization is required;
- Experience in coordinating environmental management in an international organization is desirable;
- Experience in supporting change management in a large organization and/or complex, strategic setting is desirable;
- Experience in project planning, evaluation or oversight of environmental compliance is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.
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