Technical Adviser Biodiversity, Rome, Italy

Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Country: Italy

City: Rome, Italy

Office: FAO Rome

Closing date: Tuesday, 6 October 2020


Technical Adviser Biodiversity

Job Posting: 08/Sep/2020

Closure Date: 06/Oct/2020, 9:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : OCBC

Job Type: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition : Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)

Grade Level : N/A

Primary Location: Italy-Rome

Duration : Assignments from one to eleven months on a when-actually-employed basis

Post Number : N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization

Organizational Setting

The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Commission) provides the only permanent forum to discuss and negotiate matters specifically relevant to biodiversity for food and agriculture. The Commission aims to reach international consensus on policies for the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity, including genetic resources for food and agriculture , and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use. Since its establishment, the Commission has overseen global assessments of the state of the world’s plant, animal, forest and aquatic genetic resources, overall biodiversity for food and agriculture, and negotiated major international instruments. The Commission is supported by multiple subsidiary advisory bodies, including its Intergovernmental technical working groups on animal, aquatic, forest and plant genetic resources.

Since 2007, the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPOW) has guided the work of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. In the follow up to the Commission’s 17th Regular Session in 2019, the MYPOW foresees activities in the following workstreams and topics (see for additional information):

Global assessments and plans of action on plant, animal, forest and aquatic genetic resources and overall biodiversity for food and agriculture

Work plan on the conservation and sustainable use of micro-organisms and invertebrates for food and agriculture

Access and benefit-sharing for genetic resources for food and agriculture

Biotechnologies and their potential impact or implications on the conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic resources for food and agriculture

‚Digital sequence information‘ on genetic resources for food and agriculture

Climate change and the role of genetic resources for food and agriculture for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Nutrition and health and biodiversity for food and agriculture

Fund-raising for the implementation of the MYPOW covering all outputs and milestones

The purpose of this call is to provide the Secretariat of the Commission (OCBC) with a list of qualified candidates to enhance the Commission’s work.

The consultant will be based in FAO HQ or home-based. The consultant may be required to travel for meetings and field missions.

Reporting Lines

The incumbent will work under the overall supervision of the Secretary of the Commission and the direct supervision of the Commission officers, in collaboration with the Secretaries of the intergovernmental technical working groups and other technical units in FAO and/or FAO decentralized offices, as appropriate. When activities are carried out in countries, the consultant will be required to work in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, as well as the relevant FAO regional office .

Technical Focus

Supporting the policy process, implementation, further knowledge development, and training and dissemination activities of the Commission’s MYPOW through the provision of expertise in relevant aspects of the programme.

The consultant should be able to cover one or more of the activities / workstreams above and have expertise in the following:

Assisting in global policy processes, including expert consultations and intergovernmental meetings

Reporting on intergovernmental meetings, preferably in the field of genetic resources and biodiversity for food and agriculture

Preparation of pre-session documents for intergovernmental meetings

Experience in biodiversity and genetic resources for food and agriculture and related fields, including cross-sectoral matters

Tasks and responsibilities

The consultant will conduct an analysis of the information provided in various sources, and highlight the potential implications at national, regional and global levels, achieving one or more of the following tasks related to the topics / workstreams above:

Develop, write, technically edit and proofread pre-session and background documents, reports, publications and work plans, as lead author, on topics listed above.

Provide technical and logistical support to the Secretariat, for example by communicating with experts, National Focal Points and international organizations, and organizing internal (FAO) and external review process for documents.

Provide support to the Secretariat for the organization of technical and intergovernmental meetings and in the finalization of documents that may arise as a follow-up to such meetings.

Tags biodiversity climate change climate change adaptation continuous improvement genetic resources international instruments knowledge sharing natural resources social sciences transparency

Liaise with relevant FAO units and other organizations relevant to the assignment to obtain guidance and advice on specific elements.

Prepare concept notes and project proposals for donors.

Any other duties as required.

In your application, please specify specific workstreams and topics


Minimum Requirements

Advanced university degree (for Consultants)/ University degree (for PSAs) in agriculture, natural resources, social sciences, law, environment and/or economic sciences, nutrition or related field

One to four years of relevant experience for base level consultants, and at least five years of relevant experience for middle level consultants, in issues related to genetic resources and biodiversity for food and agriculture, including conservation, use and/or, access and benefit-sharing, as well as on activities related to the organization and management of inter-governmental and/ or technical meetings

Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two, or of Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs)

FAO Core Competencies

Results Focus



Building Effective Relationships

Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

Extent and relevance of work experience in genetic resources for food and agriculture

Extent and relevance of experience in the one or more MYPOW subject areas listed above

Demonstrated ability to formulate, draft and finalize clear technical and policy documents, guidelines and manuals, in English

Extent and relevance of experience in the organization and management of inter-governmental and/or technical meetings

Familiarity with global assessments and policy processes

Extent of k nowledge of developments in other relevant international fora and the capacity to conduct technical and policy analysis of on-going processes on biodiversity and genetic resources

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list If you are in possession of language certificate/s from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT), please attach the certificate/s when submitting the application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website


To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.

We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline

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