Forestry Officer (Remote Sensing)

  • Location:
  • Salary:
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Agricultural, forestry and fisheries, Geography and cartography
  • Deadline:


Organizational Setting
The Forestry Division (NFO) leads FAO’s work in promoting sustainable forest management and providing leadership on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of forestry, including its contributions to poverty reduction and food security and nutrition. It liaises with Member Nations, civil society and the private sector in aspects ranging from development of effective forest policies to forest conservation and management issues and strengthens the role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Division also collects analyses and disseminates information on the world’s forest resources and on the production, trade and consumption of wood and non-wood forest products.
The National Forest Monitoring team (NFM) supports FAO Member Nations on all aspects of forest monitoring; providing reliable information for national forest and land use related policy development, planning and sustainable management, as well as aiding them to fulfil international reporting requirements under the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Under the Paris Agreement, the NFM Team supports countries on technical issues related to National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS), National Forest Inventory (NFI), as well as the development of cost effective and reliable Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) processes and the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF). The NFM Team develops and maintains Open Foris (a set of tools and guidance supporting forest and land use monitoring), as well as developing and maintaining the System for Earth Observation Data Access, Processing and Analysis for Land Monitoring (SEPAL) an easy-to-use online platform offering anyone, anywhere, unparalleled access to satellite data and super-computing power.’

The post is located in the National Forest Monitoring team (NFM) within the Forestry Division (NFO) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines
The Forestry Officer (Remote Sensing) reports to the Senior Forestry Officer/Team Leader of the National Forest Monitoring team, under the supervision of the Forestry Officer (SEPAL) and the overall guidance of the Director, NFO and under the technology guidance of the Digitalization and Informatics Division (CSI). The incumbent will work closely with the Decentralized Offices, Forestry Division (NFO) forestry experts and with other relevant FAO units.’

Technical Focus
The technical focus of this position will be to support the development of the FAO System for Earth Data Access, Processing and Analysis for Land Monitoring (SEPAL) and the broader forest and land use monitoring work of the Forestry Division, while ensuring technical linkage with other FAO teams and partner organizations within the context of FAO’s Strategic Framework and in alignment with the Organization’s Policy on Gender Equality.’

Key Results
Research, technical analysis and project related services to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.

Key Functions
•    Researches and analyses technical, social, economic, environmental, institutional, and technology related information, data and statistics and/or related policy issues to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.
•    Produces a variety of technical information, data, statistics and reports as well as input for technical documents and web pages.
•    Provides technical support/analysis to various assessments, studies and initiatives and provides technical backstopping to field projects.
•    Collaborates in the development of improved/updated tools, systems, processes and databases.
•    Participates on multi-disciplinary teams, and/or leads working groups/teams collaborates with other divisions and agencies on work groups and committees and promotes best practices.
•    Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development activities within Members such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials, on-line tools.
•    Promotes knowledge sharing and best practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations.
•    Supports resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions
•    Supports and coordinate the development of the SEPAL platform through application development in Python, R, and Google Earth Engine (JavaScript and/or Python APIs).
•    Reviews and analyses optical and/or radar geospatial datasets to create useful information products for forest and land monitoring.
•    Provides technical direction capable of keeping SEPAL at the forefront of geospatial data processing.
•    Responds to country requests for technical support, and provide in-country capacity development.
•    Supports the development of didactic material and documentation for SEPAL.


Minimum Requirements
•    Advanced university degree in forestry, natural resource management, remote sensing or a related field.
•    Five years of relevant experience in applying remote sensing to forestry and land monitoring.
•    Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of one of the other official FAO languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
•    Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
•    Demonstrable knowledge of forest monitoring, especially in the application of earth observation data for detecting and monitoring deforestation, forest degradation, and forest restoration.
•    Extent and relevance of experience in-country capacity development for forest and land monitoring.
•    Demonstrable skills in functional application of Python and/or R, and Google Earth Engine for geospatial analysis.
•    Functional programming experience in Python and/or R, Google Earth Engine (JavaScript API, Python API).’
•    Familiarity with developing applications using, at least, Jupyter in order to facilitate use of SEPAL by novice users of geospatial data.
•    Ability to write technical documentation capable of guiding users of SEPAL through basic/sophisticated geospatial analyses.
•    Demonstrable ability to write elegant Python and Google Earth Engine code will be considered an asset.
•    Knowledge of cloud computing and machine learning will be considered an asset.
•    Ability to present procedures, results, and supporting reasoning to a general audience will be considered an asset.