Marine Ecosystems Specialist

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Biology and Life Sciences, Maritime, Project Management
  • Deadline:



Open recruitment (advertised)

Advertisement end date:19/02/2024


Description of assignment title

Marine Ecosystems Specialist

Assignment country


Expected start date


Sustainable Development Goal

13. Climate action

Volunteer category

International UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity





24 months (with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments


Duty stations



Mission and objectives

Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the 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. UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP works through its divisions as well as regional, liaison and out-posted offices and a growing network of collaborating centres of excellence.


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional levels. 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. This position is in UNEP’s Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya, in the Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Unit (MCEU), Marine and Fresh waters Branch, Ecosystems Division. The Ecosystems Division is responsible for ecosystem management for human well-being, which covers biodiversity and ecosystem services, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, marine and coastal ecosystems, addressing the environmental causes and consequences of disasters and conflicts, adapting to climate change and a poverty and environmental initiative. The Marine and Fresh waters Branch coordinates UNEP’s water-related programmes and projects as stated in MTS and PoW and works in close partnership with other UNEP Divisions, MEAs, UN agencies, Regional Seas Programme, regional offices, research institutions, NGOs, and Governments to achieve internationally agreed targets. The Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit has a unique mandate that supports the protection, restoration and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems, sustainable blue economy transition, the implementation of Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) targets, and the ratification and implementation of the BBNJ agreement, among others. Projects and programmes underpinned by strong institutional and scientific networks and knowledge management platforms demonstrate best practices to conserve, restore and sustainably use the marine and coastal ecosystems as well as enhance ocean and sea governance. In addition, the projects and programmes aim to capitalize on UNEP’s normative work, support in advancing scientific understanding, and catalyze regional and multi-country cooperation, including through the Regional Seas Programme as well as its innovative approaches and tools for the sustainable management of coastal and marine ecosystems.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer and overall supervision of the Chief of the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks: • Manage projects on coastal and marine ecosystems conservation, restoration and sustainable use, including blue carbon, coral reefs, mangroves, sea-grass, etc. • Provide technical support in project implementation to executing partners, liaise and follow up with donors and partners. • Conduct field visits and monitor project progress, identify challenges and facilitate joint solutions with relevant partners. • Compile best practices, innovative and learning issues, and prepare communication and knowledge products for wider dissemination. • Support the development and review of project documents and proposals related to blue carbon, coral reefs, mangroves, sea-grass and others. • Support resource mobilization initiatives and partnership building on coastal and marine ecosystems conservation and restoration initiatives. • Draft standard legal instruments and terms of reference as required in the implementation of programmes and projects and follow up to obtain necessary clearances and approvals. • Provide technical support to UNEP’s collaboration with various partners, including the Global Fund for Coral Reef (GFCR), International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), CORDAP, WCS, and other partners. • Provide and collate data and information related to various reporting on activities of the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit, including IPMR, periodic progress and donors’ reports. • Organize and provide support to the organization of technical workshops related to the work of the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit and UNEP various events as re-quested. • Provide support to UNEP’s overall work and analyze the contribution of unit projects and activities to the UNEP’s Midterm strategy (MTS) and Programme of Work. • Perform other tasks as required. Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to: • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and taking an active part in UNV activities (for instance, in events that mark International Volunteer Day). • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country. • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities. • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc. • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers. • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service when-ever technically possible. Results/Expected Outputs • Successful delivery of projects related to blue carbon, coral reefs, mangrove and sea-grass work of the UNEP Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit; • High-quality periodic reporting on the work of the UNEP Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit, including IPMR, donors’ reports, projects mid-term and terminal evaluation reports • Development of project documents and proposals related to blue carbon, coral reefs, mangroves and sea-grass and resource mobilization; • Contributed to portfolio expansion through innovation and best practices • Knowledge and communication products prepared and disseminated • Analysis reports on the impact of the work of the UNEP Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit; • Workshop reports from technical workshops related to blue carbon, coral reefs, man-groves and sea-grass; • The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring and formal on-the-job training when working with (including supervising) national staff or non-governmental counterparts, including Implementing Partners (IPs); • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed

Eligibility criteria


27 – 80


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience

5 years of experience in marine and coastal ecosystems conservation and restoration is required. A minimum of 3 years of international experience in the design and implementation of projects and programs on environment and marine ecosystems is required. Work experience in the UN or other international organisations is required. Experience in project management, resource mobilisation, partnership building and projects and programme monitoring and reporting is desirable.

Area(s) of expertise

Development programmes, Energy and environment , Natural and life sciences

Driving license


English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in marine ecology, marine science, environmental science, natural resources management, programme management or other related field. PhD in a field related to marine ecology or marine science is an advantage.

Competencies and values

Accountability Commitment and Motivation Communication Ethics and Values Integrity Judgement and Decision-making Planning and Organizing Professionalism Respect for Diversity

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

The Republic of Kenya is an equatorial nation on the coast of East Africa, neighboring Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Indian Ocean. Kenya has two levels of Government; Nation-al Government and 47 sub-national Governments called Counties. Counties are further divided into sub-counties. Kenya is a multi-party state with Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Kenya’s population of more than 40 million is growing at an annual rate of 2.2%. The country’s GNP per capita estimated at purchasing power parity (PPP) is $975, and the GNP is growing at an average rate of 0.1% annually. More than 26% of Kenya’s people live below the international poverty line of $1 per day. Kenya’s main food crops are “maize, wheat, pulses, roots and tubers.” (FAO). Nairobi is a modern metropolitan city where most basic goods and services, health facilities, public transport, telecommunication and banking services and educational facilities are readily available. The city is widely connected through its main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the smaller Wilson Airport. Air transport is also available to many up country destinations. The city is home to some 3,000 UN personnel mainly attributed to the fact that it serves as the headquarters for both the UN HABITAT and UNEP. The socio-economic and cultural background of the immediate society the UNV would be living and working in is diverse and prevailing security conditions at the place of assignment is modest. The topographic and climatic features of the assignment location is highland cool and warm tropical climate

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy

This job has expired.