UN Associate Programme Officer

Organizational Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for ‘sustainable development’. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD). The Convention establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. This post is located in Montreal, Canada. Under the overall guidance of the Executive Secretary and the direct supervision of the Environmental Affairs Officer – Marine and Coastal Biodiversity the incumbent will be responsible for the following functions:


1) Maintain and update, in consultation with IT experts, the prototype repository and information sharing mechanism for ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs) which was developed pursuant to paragraph 39 of decision X/29;
2) Update and repackage, according to specific training needs, the EBSAs training manual and modules, which was developed pursuant to paragraph 40 of decision X/29, and organize the EBSA training workshops, as needed;
3) Provide technical support to the organization of training workshops, within the framework of the Sustainable Ocean Initiative, that can contribute to sharing experiences related to integrated management of marine resources and the implementation of marine and coastal spatial planning instruments, facilitate the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity, and may address other regional priorities;
4) Provide technical support to the organization of EBSA regional workshops to be convened by the Secretariat, pursuant to paragraph 36 of decision X/29, by identifying, collecting, collating, analysing and synthesizing, in close consultation with relevant experts and workshop participants, marine and coastal biodiversity data sets and information relevant to the application of scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs) at regional and global scale;
5) Provide technical support to the organization of an expert workshop on marine protected areas to be convened by the Secretariat, pursuant to paragraph 76 of decision X/29;
6) Identify specific elements for integrating the traditional, scientific, technical and technological knowledge of indigenous and local communities, and social and cultural criteria and other aspects for the application of scientific criteria for the EBSAs identification;
7) Provide technical support to the preparation of the following reports by facilitating relevant scientific inputs from Parties and relevant organizations as well as compiling and synthesizing information in consultation with relevant experts: a report on the progress made in the implementation of the specific work plan on coral bleaching; a synthesis report on the impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine biodiversity; a synthesis report on the use and experiences of marine spatial planning;
8) Support the work on the preparation and finalization of documents and information papers for submission to the CBD Conference of Parties as well as other meetings and conferences, including assisting in following up on decisions of these meetings upon the request of the Executive Secretary;
9) Support the Programme Manager in the lead in cooperation with other UNEP administered MEAs on marine and coastal biodiversity issues;
10) Perform any other related duties.


Professionalism: Ability to understand complex issues, analyze them and develop solutions; ability to work under pressure and to use limited time and resources effectively; flexibility to adapt rapidly to changing situations; ability to ensure that the highest possible quality outputs are produced.


Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; 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.


Ability to speak and write 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.


Advanced university degree in administration or related field and a first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.

Work Experience

At least two years of professional and progressively responsible experience, including experience at the international level in the field of sustainable development or environment related programmes, public administration and environmental conventions. Experience in organization of meetings a requirement.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of French or another UN language is desirable. Assessment Method Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position will include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. This position is funded for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension.
1. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. Online applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.
2. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgment within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please send an email to recruitment@unon.org, quoting the job opening number in the subject header of your email.

United Nations Considerations

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

No Fee