Technical Officer (GEF-International Waters)

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Rome, Italy
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Organizational Setting
FAO has been a partner Agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2006. The FAO-GEF portfolio - currently comprised of over 200 projects - is growing steadily as countries demand more of what FAO has to offer. As a GEF Agency, FAO works with member countries and partners to access GEF financing for strategic projects that help countries to conserve and sustainably utilize biodiversity while improving agriculture production, accessing value chains, reducing hunger and improving nutrition.
The GEF-7 Programme is aligned more than ever with FAO's core competencies and strategic priorities in the areas of sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry and land and water management.  FAO's GEF portfolio extends across all five of GEF's focal areas: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Land Degradation, International Waters, and Chemicals and Waste. The FAO GEF Coordination Unit (GCU) is located in the Climate and Environment Division (CBC) and is responsible for providing leadership and technical support to enable FAO member countries to access GEF financing to address critical challenges at the nexus between agriculture and the environment.  The GCU works closely with colleagues from across FAO's technical departments and decentralized offices to help member countries in developing projects for financing through the GEF Trust Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) the Least Developed Countries Fund (LCDF).
FAO is a specialized technical UN Agency, bringing unique technical knowledge, information and capacity to bear on one of the world's great challenges:  feeding 9 billion people while conserving the environment.  FAO's Fisheries Department (FI) helps countries sustainably manage freshwater, coastal and marine fisheries, ecosystems, and aquaculture resources.
The GCU provides the additional GEF specific technical know-how in GEF's International Waters focal area to leverage this capacity within FAO for the benefit of member countries and the global environment.  The role of the Technical Officer (GEF-International Waters) is to provide high quality technical knowledge of and guidance for GEF IW programming to FAO, countries, and other partners to support project development and implementation partners, primarily FAO country offices but also governments and other partners.
The post is located in the Climate and Environment Division, CBC


Reporting Lines
The Technical Officer (GEF-International Waters) works under the supervision of the Senior Coordinator, GEF Unit, and in close coordination with the FishCode Manager, FI.


Technical Focus
Identification, design, implementation support and monitoring of FAO-GEF projects and programmes and those of other environmental financing mechanisms. It includes strategic and policy work, with a focus on the nexus between global environmental challenges and sustainable agriculture, including climate change and resilience, land, water, fisheries, forestry, biological diversity and other environmental services.
Emphasis will be on coastal and marine ecosystems including Large Marine Ecosystems, fisheries, integrated coastal management, but will also cover freshwater and integrated water resources management.


Key Results
Provision of technical expertise for the development, approval and delivery of environmental investment projects for FAO member countries in accordance with FAO’s Strategic Framework, GEF Programming Directions, and country priorities.


Key Functions
• Provides technical expertise and project design guidance to project proponents in the identification, development and implementation of natural resource/environmental project proposals that address country priorities and further FAO and GEF (or other environmental funds) strategic objectives, programme priorities and operational policies and procedures;
• Contributes to the strategic programming of FAO's GEF work, and assists in coordinating GEF team work for respective region;
• Participates in, and potentially leads, multidisciplinary teams to assist governments and Decentralized Offices in the identification and formulation of natural resource and environmental management projects for financing by the GEF Trust Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) or other environmental funds;
• Ensures quality control at all stages of the GEF project cycle in line with GEF eligibility criteria and alignment with GEF Programming Directions;
• Coordinates the preparation and approval of project proposals and as required takes a lead role in drafting proposals;
• Assists in the management of the FAO-GEF portfolio, monitors and supervises implementation of assigned projects and makes recommendations for improvement;
• Keeps abreast of new developments and requirements in the GEF-managed and other environmental funds;
• Contributes to the preparation of the annual Project Implementation Reviews (PIR) and to FAO's reporting to the GEF Secretariat and GEF Council;
• Participates in the design and delivery of capacity development activities to FAO technical staff in headquarters and Decentralized Offices on the strategies, priorities and procedures, trends and issues related to GEF, adaptation and other environmental funds;
• Perform other related duties as required.


Specific Functions
• Serves in the lead technical role for FAO to develop support and develop robust portfolio of projects and programmes targeting the Global Environment Facility's International Waters Focal Area and multifocal area initiatives;
• Establishes and maintains trusted relationships within the GEF International Waters partnership;
• Establishes and maintains strategic understanding of and engagement with the GEF Secretariat and other key partners globally;
• Applies this understanding to inform a programmatic approach for FAO's global and regional and national initiatives in the GEF's  marine and water space;
• Leads the formulation and implementation of complex GEF programmes and projects, ensuring operational viability and due compliance with the Organization's policy standards and best practices, as well as convergence with GEF policies and priorities;
• Engages and establishes working relationships with relevant regional bodies including fisheries-related, river I/lake-related, economic commissions and financial institutions as well as Regional and Subregional Offices and with FAO Representations in order to build programmes and projects;
• Collaborates with GEF Unit colleagues to ensure projects are prepared effectively and efficiently within the 12 month project preparation phase from concept approval to project document submission and are managed efficiently to achieve key milestones throughout the entire project cycle in a timely manner, including start up, first disbursement and closure;
• Provides critical technical inputs to robust portfolio management and the maintenance of programme/project and portfolio information and FAO project information systems;
• Provides high quality products, inputs and support to meet the standards of the Project Implementation Reviews, Mid-term Reviews and Terminal Evaluations.



Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in fishery or marine sciences, economics, water resources management, or a related fields;
• Seven years of relevant experience in marine fisheries and/or fresh water resources conservation and sustainable use;
• Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement


Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable;
• Demonstrated ability to write and integrate information into coherent stories that form the core of compelling project proposals;
• Extent and relevance of experience in writing GEF projects focused on International Waters management, including freshwater and marine systems;
• Extent and relevance of knowledge of fisheries resources assessment/management tools and methods and freshwater resources management and in analysing related marine, fisheries and/or freshwater issues;
• Extent and relevance of experience in the use of participated and integrated (cross-sectorial) marine spatial planning and biodiversity and ecosystem based approaches to marine resources management, ecosystem assessment/management;
• Extent and relevance of experience in project preparation, results-based monitoring/supervision of multidisciplinary projects, particularly GEF projects;   
• Extent and relevance of experience with and knowledge of the procedures of GEF IW focal area;
• Ability to mobilize resources and build a GEF IW portfolio of projects working closely with FAO and GEF IW teams.