Chief of Section – Ecological Science

Paris, France
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Chief of Section – Ecological Science

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Domain : Natural Sciences – Ecological Science

Post Number : SC 129

Grade : P-5


Primary Location : FR-Paris

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Salary : 108 309 euros (Annual Salary)

Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : October 20th, 2018

Overview of the Functions of the Post

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General, Natural Sciences (ADG/SC) and the direct supervision of the Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, the incumbent as Chief of Section, will be responsible for defining section priorities and translating those into programmatic and thematic strategies, design and activities, lead and manage the staff of the Section in the achievement of priorities, relevant policy development, locate and engage resources, maintain and pursue partnerships and identify and promote cross-sectional, divisional and programmatic work. The incumbent will support the Director in the organisation of statutory meetings of MAB/ICC and other events related to the EES Programme. In particular, S/he will be responsible for:


Provide intellectual leadership and guidance to the Section in order to develop, drive and ensure the delivery of the expected results stated in the C/4, C/5 on consolidating and further expanding the implementation in particular the recommendations of the Lima Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves (2016-2025), in accordance with the recommendations of the MAB/ICC in order to deliver visible, timely and high quality results to Member States. The incumbent will also lead the design of relevant strategies, policies, objectives and deliverables as well as define priorities and agenda for staff of the Section in order to deliver the implementation of work plans and the achievement of related outcomes of MAB activities for ecological sciences and policy advice on biodiversity issues and to contribute to the achievement of SDGs.

Programme Design and Management:

Lead the organization of intergovernmental meetings, studies or other activities linked to the work of the MAB-ICC in the future to collate, synthesize and target MAB contributions to specific global events and their follow up activities. Enhance active participation of countries that do not have established biosphere reserves. Lead the implementation of the Sultan Qaboos Price for Environmental Conservation and ensure the proper functioning of the financial requirements. Be the focal point for the work on inter-regional groups set up by the MAB-ICC to address specific issues such as MAB contributions as other relevant themes and issues recommended by the MAB-ICC.

Knowledge and Expertise Sharing:

Facilitate dialogues across expertise and throughout networks, discussing emerging trends, application of best practices and innovative pathways to achieve SDGs. Co-operate with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and other appropriate in-house units to promote the use of UNESCO sites with twin WH and biosphere reserve designations to benefit from UN-REDD and REDD+ and other climate change linked financial mechanisms.

Representation and Policy Advice:

Represent the Section and Programme in MAB-ICC internal and external networks, such as universities, agencies, organizations and ministries as well as UNESCO related Networks of Biosphere Reserves, and MAB Chairs and category II Centers. Actively network and advise to create synergies, strengthen and identify key partnerships and to obtain funding and increased visibility for the programme. Establish and pursue alliances on cross organizational and sectional issues and develop working frameworks and systemic approaches to increase capacity. Create new networks covering sub-tropical and temperate ecosystems particularly within the context of climate change and sustainable development. Provide leadership in the development of concept notes and policy positions.

Resource Mobilisation:

Seek and explore resources mobilization opportunities liaising with Donor Member States’ authorities to improve financing of MAB Networks and to strengthen the financial support to the MAB Programme, including engaging potential donors with projects plans which could attract support. Develop new partnerships, particularly with emerging economies and with the private sector. Supervise the entire funding process, including developing and writing proposals, validating progress reports and ensuring the timely implementation and completion of project/programme activities.

Required Qualifications


Advanced University degree (Master or equivalent degree) in the field of Ecological and/or Environmental Sciences.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in international cooperation in Environmental Sciences research, education and outreach, of which at least 5 (five) years acquired at international level;
  • Relevant professional experience in networking and building partnerships, advocacy, and resource mobilization;
  • Proven capacity to organize and carry out research and training and in project conceptualization, formulation, implementation and evaluation;
  • Managerial experience.

Skills and competencies

  • Sound judgment and decision-making skills;
  • Confirmed ability in planning and setting up training courses;
  • Proven ability to prepare high quality documents and reports; established international publication record;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, manage, motivate and supervise staff and teams and to maintain effective working relations in a multicultural environment;
  • Good IT Skills including knowledge of office software.


Excellent knowledge of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.

Desirable Qualifications 


PhD or equivalent degree in Environmental Sciences.

Work Experience

  • High level university research/teaching experience and/or service in developing countries.
  • Experience within government in the environmental sector.
  • Working Experience in an international and multicultural environment, preferably with international scientific organizations.

Skills and competencies

Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and /or the UN system.


Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish).

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