Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning Specialist

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
San José, Costa Rica
Position Type: 
Full-Time
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
Spanish

EXPIRED

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Result of Service

2. Objective and scope of the consultancy:

The main objective of the position of Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning Specialist is to contribute specifically to the execution of the following activities included in the project:

1. Activity 2.1.2, included in Output 2.1: Elaborate 12 risk assessments in rural and urban cantons exposed to different climatic processes containing climatic and socio-economic information, and basis to discuss adaptation measures.
2. Activity 2.1.3 included in Output 2.1: Review the strategic, medium and short-term plans (including regulatory and land use plans of INVU, SETENA, and ICT) of 20 pilot cantons using the risk assessments elaborated in 2.1.2 to identify opportunities for the promotion and the integration of adaptation options. The reports will consider gender integration into the plans. Updated regional development plans that integrate adaptation priorities at the regional level will serve as a basis for the identification of entry points for adaptation.
3. Activity 2.2.3 included in Output 2.2: Facilitate participative processes for local governments to analyze available climate and socioeconomic information (including gender) and prioritize and select adaptation measures and institutional arrangements to include adaptation initiatives in municipal development plans. The process will ensure meaningful participation of women and ethnic minorities.
4. Activity 2.2.4 included in Output 2.2: Provide orientation and training for municipal staff on adaptation planning, tailoring communication according to different stakeholders and using gender criteria.
5. Activity 2.3.1 included in Output 2.3: Identify institutional arrangements for elaboration and future implementation of local level development plans through participatory processes that ensure equal participation of men and woman and meaningful inclusion of ethnic minorities.
6. Activity 2.3.2 included in Output 2.3: Provide technical assistance to municipal governments to elaborate municipal development plans that effectively integrate sectoral adaptation priorities.
7. Activity 2.2.5 included in Output 2.5: Develop local-level awareness-raising campaigns for the private sector together with business organizations on the aspects mentioned in Activity 2.2.4. Ensure communications tailored to different stakeholders, including ethnic minorities.
8. Activity 3.1.1, included in Output 3.1: Improvement of the National Meteorological Institute (IMN)’s methodology for territorial risk assessments, considering lessons learned, the evaluation of capacities of municipal staff and integration of gender analysis.
9. Activity 3.1.2 included in Output 3.1: Prepare and disseminate territorial risk assessments for remaining cantons. Ensure communications tailored to different stakeholders (including ethnic minorities.

For the effective implementation of the aforementioned activities, the Technical specialist in institutional strengthening and coordination will perform the following tasks:
1. Provide technical oversight and support to the teams of consultants leading the second round of improvement of the IMN’s methodology for territorial risk assessments, considering lessons learned, the evaluation of capacities of municipal staff and integration of gender analysis.
2. Assist the National Project Coordinator in developing the development of Terms of Reference for the execution of activities 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.1, 2.3.2, and 3.1.2. and the identification, selection and recruitment of consultants.
3. Provide technical oversight and support to the teams of consultants leading the elaboration of risk assessments containing climatic and socio-economic information in all cantons of Costa Rica (activities 2.1.2 and 3.1.2).
4. Provide technical oversight and support to teams of consultants who will conduct the following activities in the 20 pilot cantons:
a. Conduct a review of the strategic, medium and short-term plans (including regulatory and land use plans of INVU, SETENA, and ICT) of pilot cantons using the risk assessments elaborated in 2.1.2 to identify opportunities for the promotion and the integration of adaptation options (2.1.3).
b. Facilitate participative processes for local governments to analyze available climate and socioeconomic information (including gender) and prioritize and select adaptation measures and institutional arrangements to include adaptation initiatives in municipal development plans. The process will ensure meaningful participation of women and ethnic minorities (2.2.3)
c. Identify institutional arrangements for elaboration and future implementation of local level development plans through participatory processes that ensure equal participation of men and woman and meaningful inclusion of ethnic minorities (2.3.1).
d. Provide technical assistance to municipal governments to elaborate municipal development plans that effectively integrate sectoral adaptation priorities (2.3.2).
5. Conduct activities 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.1, and 2.3.2 in two pilot cantons with the support of a Training and Capacity Development Specialist.
6. Provide technical advice and support to the Training and Capacity Development Specialist during provision of orientation and training for municipal staff on adaptation planning, tailoring communication according to different stakeholders and using gender criteria (2.2.4).
7. Provide technical advice and support to the Training and Capacity Development specialist in developing local-level awareness-raising campaigns for the private sector together with business organizations on the aspects mentioned in Activity 2.2.4, ensuring communications are tailored to different stakeholders, including ethnic minorities (2.2.5).
8. Prepare materials relevant for project activities as may be required.
9. Participate in technical dialogue and strategic planning meetings held with national government institutions and other key stakeholders to ensure project strategies and activities are aligned to country projects and outcomes, as requested by the National Project Coordinator.
10. Provide support in the review of project deliverables and any other relevant duties within his/her technical competence, as requested by the National Project Coordinator.

1. Provision of technical oversight and support for the delivery of an updated version the National Meteorological Institute’s methodology for conducting climate risk assessments; including lessons and recommendations to deliver information to municipal staff groups according to their capacities.

2. Terms of Reference developed for teams of consultants to elaborate risk assessments containing climatic and socio-economic information in all cantons of Costa Rica. Monthly Activity Report and invoice describing the activities carried out. Both duly approved by the UNEP Adaptation Programme Officer at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
3. Terms of Reference developed and approved by the UN Environment National Project Coordinator UN Environment for teams of consultants to conduct the following consulting services:
a. Conduct a review of the strategic, medium and short-term plans of 18 cantons using risk assessments to identify opportunities for the promotion and the integration of adaptation options (2.1.3).
b. Facilitate participative processes for local governments to analyze available climate and socioeconomic information (including gender) and prioritize and select adaptation measures and institutional arrangements to include adaptation initiatives in municipal development plans in 18 cantons. The process will ensure meaningful participation of women and ethnic minorities (2.2.3).
c. Identify institutional arrangements for elaboration and future implementation of local level development plans through participatory processes that ensure equal participation of men and woman and meaningful inclusion of ethnic minorities (2.3.1).
d. Provide technical assistance to 18 municipal governments to elaborate municipal development plans that effectively integrate sectoral adaptation priorities (2.3.2).

4. Provision of technical advice and support to the Training and Capacity Development Specialist during facility of orientation and training for municipal staff on adaptation planning, tailoring communication according to different stakeholders and using gender criteria (2.2.4). Monthly Activity Report and invoice describing the activities carried out. Both duly approved by the UNEP Adaptation Programme Officer at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
5. Application of activities 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 in two pilot cantons, with the support of a Training and Capacity Development Specialist. The following products must be produced for each of the two cantons:
a. Report on local plans, including identification of opportunities for climate change adaptation mainstreaming.
b. Meeting or workshop reports on participatory processes held for local governments held to analyze available climate and socioeconomic information and identify adaptation priorities and institutional arrangements for their effective implementation.
c. Updated municipal development plan that incorporates adaptation priorities. Monthly Activity Report and invoice describing the activities carried out. Both duly approved by the UNEP Adaptation Programme Officer at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
6. Provision of technical oversight and support to the team of consultants who will lead the completion of 82 cantonal climate risk assessments, in accordance with required quality standards and specified time and cost constraints (activities 2.1.2 and 3.1.2).
7. Provision of technical oversight and support to teams of consultants who will conduct activities 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 in 18 cantons and produce the following products for each canton:
a. Report on local plans, including identification of opportunities for climate change adaptation mainstreaming.
b. Meeting or workshop report on participatory processes held for local governments held to analyze available climate and socioeconomic information and identify adaptation priorities and institutional arrangements for their effective implementation.
c. An updated municipal development plan that incorporates adaptation priorities.

8. Provision of technical advice and support to the Training and Capacity Development specialist in developing local-level awareness-raising campaigns for the private sector together with business organizations on the aspects mentioned in Activity 2.2.4, ensuring communications are tailored to different stakeholders, including ethnic minorities. Monthly Activity Report and invoice describing the activities carried out. Both duly approved by the UNEP Adaptation Programme Officer at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
9. Relevant materials prepared for project activities, as required.
10. Participation in technical dialogue and strategic planning meetings held with national government institutions and other key stakeholders to ensure project strategies and activities are aligned to country projects and outcomes, as requested by the National Project Coordinator.
11. Provision of support in the review and revision of project deliverables and any other relevant duties within his/her technical competence, as requested by the National Project Coordinator.

Work Location

San Jose, Costa Rica

 

Expected duration

12 months.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. General Background of Assignment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global Environment.

UN Environment, through its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) located in Panama City, works closely with the 33 countries of the region - including 16 small island developing States -with a population of about 588 million people- to implement the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new Paris Agreement and the priority actions defined in the NDCs of the region. The office works to serve the needs of the region and its activities are integrated activities are integrated into the Medium-Term Strategy and the Programme of Work approved by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

In terms of supporting countries in the region attain the global commitments signed within the framework of the Paris Agreement, the Latin America and the Caribbean UN Environment Sub-programme on Climate Change aims at strengthening the ability of countries to move towards climate-resilient and low emission strategies for sustainable development and human well-being. In this framework, the UN Environment Sub-programme on Climate Change, through its Climate Change Unit leads and supports several initiatives oriented at designing, promoting and implementing innovative mitigation and adaptation solutions at the national and subnational level, and strengthening the transparency framework of the countries.

The expected accomplishment regarding climate change adaptation is that adaptation approaches, including the ecosystem-based approach, are implemented and integrated into key sectoral and national development strategies to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts. Furthermore, the UN Environment’s Sub-programme on Climate Change is also committed to ensure that cross-cutting issues such as gender equity and women empowerment are effectively integrated in the development of its tasks to guarantee an equitable development in line with its adaptation objectives.

In this context, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and UNEP have agreed on the implementation of the project Development of Sub-national Capacities for the Implementation of the National Adaptation Plan in Costa Rica, framed within the Readiness program of the Green Climate Fund.

The project is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of Costa Rica to the effects of climate variability and climate change through the creation of adaptive capacities. Specifically, the project has the objective to strengthen the country's capacity to integrate adaptation into regional and municipal planning, including the participation of government entities, the private sector, and civil society.

The project seeks to achieve its objective through:
- Strengthening existing planning frameworks at the regional and cantonal levels, by recognizing the crucial role of subnational authorities in adapting to climate change;
- Involving key stakeholders in the planning and implementation of adaptation at these levels;
- Producing cantonal risk assessments to identify adaptation needs, based on available and relevant knowledge, and a validated and efficient methodology;
- Creating institutional and technical capacity and promoting agreements at different levels;
- Developing adequate monitoring and reporting mechanisms for adaptation at the subnational level and linking them to the national metric system for climate change monitoring and evaluation.

To fulfill the objectives of the project, the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is recruiting a Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning Specialist, who will be primarily responsible for providing technical oversight and support to the project activities related to the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into planning processes at the municipal level, including the delivery of climate change risk assessments, as set in component 2 (Output 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.3.1 and 2.3.2) and Component 3 (Output 3.1.1 and 3.1.2) from the GCF funding proposal document. Additionally, the consultant will assist the National Project Coordinator and the Project Management Unit in the development and implementation of other project related activities, including attending national, regional and local meetings, as required.

The Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning Specialist will operate under the overall supervision of the UNEP Adaptation Programme Officer at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, he/she will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and other national consultants and government counterparts.

The Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning Specialist is expected to work over a 12-month period, from Monday to Friday,40 hours per week between 8:00am and 5:00pm. He/she will work in the Climate Change Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (DCC MINAE) in San Jose, Costa Rica. The consultant will also be required to travel around the country to engage in capacity building and technical assistance activities.

In terms of supporting countries in the region attain the global commitments signed within the framework of the Paris Agreement, the Latin America and the Caribbean UN Environment Sub-programme on Climate Change aims at strengthening the ability of countries to move towards climate-resilient and low emission strategies for sustainable development and human well-being. In this framework, the UN Environment Sub-programme on Climate Change, through its Climate Change Unit leads and supports several initiatives oriented at designing, promoting and implementing innovative mitigation and adaptation solutions at the national and subnational level, and strengthening the transparency framework of the countries.

The expected accomplishment regarding climate change adaptation is that adaptation approaches, including the ecosystem-based approach, are implemented and integrated into key sectoral and national development strategies to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts. Furthermore, the UN Environment’s Sub-programme on Climate Change is also committed to ensure that cross-cutting issues such as gender equity and women empowerment are effectively integrated in the development of its tasks to guarantee an equitable development in line with its adaptation objectives.

In this context, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and UNEP have agreed on the implementation of the project Development of Sub-national Capacities for the Implementation of the National Adaptation Plan in Costa Rica, framed within the Readiness program of the Green Climate Fund.

The project is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of Costa Rica to the effects of climate variability and climate change through the creation of adaptive capacities. Specifically, the project has the objective to strengthen the country's capacity to integrate adaptation into regional and municipal planning, including the participation of government entities, the private sector, and civil society.

The project seeks to achieve its objective through:
- Strengthening existing planning frameworks at the regional and cantonal levels, by recognizing the crucial role of subnational authorities in adapting to climate change;
- Involving key stakeholders in the planning and implementation of adaptation at these levels;
- Producing cantonal risk assessments to identify adaptation needs, based on available and relevant knowledge, and a validated and efficient methodology;
- Creating institutional and technical capacity and promoting agreements at different levels;
- Developing adequate monitoring and reporting mechanisms for adaptation at the subnational level and linking them to the national metric system for climate change monitoring and evaluation.

Qualifications/special skills

ACADEMIC:
¿ Must have a master’s degree or higher in climate change adaptation, natural resource management, development studies, environmental economics, social sciences or a closely related field.

PROFESSIONAL:
¿ A minimum of 7 years of relevant experience working with developing countries on climate change adaptation and development;
¿ Previous experience in climate change adaptation planning and conducting climate vulnerability and risk assessments;
¿ Demonstrated knowledge of development and adaptation policy and planning processes at the national, regional and subnational levels in Costa Rica; as well as familiarity with national agencies and other relevant institutions involved in climate change and disaster risk management;
¿ Experience in engaging with government institutions and other stakeholders at the national and subnational levels;
¿ Experience in project management, adaptive management, and monitoring and evaluation, preferably with a focus on climate change adaptation;
¿ Experience with international organizations will be an advantage as will be knowledge of UN Environment policies, procedures and practices.

LANGUAGE:
¿ Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish.

SKILLS:
¿ Excellent ability to facilitate technical discussions and participatory processes with multiple stakeholders in multicultural environments.
¿ Excellent technical leadership and understanding of climate change adaptation concepts, principles and policies. Ability to provide guidance on climate change adaptation, especially as it relates to development planning.

COMPETENCIES:

¿ Professionalism: Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions.

¿ 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

¿ Teamwork: Is able to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to achieve organizational goals and to take leadership when appropriate; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

¿ 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.