Environmental Affairs Officer, P-3

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 06

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located in the Water Unit of the Transboundary Cooperation Section of the Environment Division (ENV) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), based in Geneva, Switzerland. The broad aim of UNECE's environment activities is to safeguard the environment and human health, and to promote sustainable development in line with the 2030 Agenda. Under the general supervision of the P5, Chief, Transboundary Cooperation Section, and the direct supervision of the P4, Environmental Affairs Officer and Secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), the incumbent provides support to servicing intergovernmental bodies and the implementation of the programme of work of the Water Convention with an emphasis on activities related to source-to sea management. The Water Convention aims to ensure the sustainable use of transboundary water resources by facilitating cooperation. The Convention has the protection of the marine environment among its objectives. The source-to-sea approach aims at connecting the ecosystems’ management and tackling maritime pollution at the source, upstream. Managing land, freshwater, coastal and marine resources holistically – from source to sea – is critical to protect the oceans, ensure conservation and restoration of ecosystems, and manage freshwater as well as land resources sustainably. Activities on source-to-sea management under the Water Convention aim to increase capacity of governmental officials and other stakeholders on the topic, identify and share good practices and develop guidance.


  • Support the implementation of the Water Convention’s programme of work in the area of source-to-sea management by:
    • Servicing the intergovernmental process to develop guidance material and publications on source-to sea management;
    • Supporting activities on source-to-sea management, including studies, global/regional workshops and trainings to raise awareness on the economic, environmental and social benefits of applying the source-to-sea approach and support its implementation;
    • Supporting activities to promote synergies between integrated water resources management, integrated coastal zone management and marine spatial planning;
    • Liaising and coordinating with beneficiary countries, basin organizations, regional seas conventions, donors and partner organizations, in the development and implementation of the activities;
    • Developing partnerships and identifying opportunities for partnerships and cooperation, as appropriate;
    • Developing detailed activity plans and budgets for their implementation;
    • Preparing and delivering substantive and strategic presentations;
    • Monitoring the implementation of the activities and ensuring their follow-up.
  • Undertaking other activities to ensure the achievement of strategic objectives of the Convention’s programme of work. Support the servicing of intergovernmental bodies under the Water Convention by:
    • Assisting in preparing for, servicing and following up to the sessions of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention and its subsidiary bodies by providing input to official documents and drafting informal documents and discussion papers;
    • Providing other support as necessary, including arranging consultancy contracts, grant agreements and other needed services, identifying and developing partnerships with donors, drafting project proposals, developing budgets and following up on their implementation;
    • Organizing and supervising implementation of activities by consultants and institutional contractors, ensuring that deadlines and objectives are met and finances used appropriately;
    • Managing relevant trust funds, preparing periodical financial and substantive reports and providing any other information requested by donors.
  • Planning and organizing capacity-building activities in support of implementation of the Convention and participating in relevant events organized by governments and partner organizations. Support the engagement of the Water Convention in global intergovernmental processes on water and sustainable development by:
    • Planning and organizing the contributions of the Water Convention to regional and global processes on water and sustainable development, including the annual meetings of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development and High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development;
    • Planning and organizing the annual contribution of the Water Convention to World Water Week, Day and the World Water Development Report;
    • Planning and organizing the activities of the Water Convention in relation to future United Nations Ocean Conferences and other relevant United Nations processes.
  • Supporting advocacy activities to promote transboundary water cooperation in different policy-related processes, in particular outside the water sector, including in the framework of the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition. Support the work in the area of communication and awareness raising by:
    • Identifying and proposing information opportunities, activities, approaches and platforms and partners to promote transboundary water cooperation and the Water Convention;
    • Preparing publications and other awareness raising materials on the Water Convention and transboundary water cooperation;
    • Managing the social media accounts of the Water Unit in line with United Nations social media policy;
    • Preparing other communication activities of the Water Unit (newsletter, website);
    • Presenting on the Water Convention and transboundary water cooperation at relevant regional and international forums.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of and ability to apply concepts in the area of environmental affairs or water management. Ability to write documents and reports, undertake research, analyse data and make recommendations. Professional competence in and knowledge of relevant multilateral environmental agreements and policies. 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 degree or equivalent degree) in environmental management, environmental policy, sustainable development, international law, international relations, economics, or related discipline is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree in the specified fields of studies.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in the area of environmental affairs, water management or sustainable development at international level is required. A minimum of one (1) year of experience in servicing intergovernmental processes in connection with multilateral environmental agreements is required. Experience in the application of the source-to-sea approach or in research on source-to-sea management is desirable. Experience in developing communication materials and campaigns on environmental or water issues is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French or Spanish is desirable.


Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate you saw this position on Globaljobs.org