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Head, Nature-Based Solutions

Vacancy #:   6096
Unit:   Nature-based Solutions (NbS) Management Hub
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Deputy Director General - Programme
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   M1
Expected start date:   01 December 2022
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   18 October 2022
IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) is a leading programmatic area of work for IUCN. It refers to actions addressing key societal challenges through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of both natural and modified ecosystems, benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being. NbS have significant, but currently underutilised potential to help address global challenges such as climate change, human health, food and water security, natural disasters and biodiversity loss. The IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions, launched in July 2020, provides a standardised approach to the design of effective NbS projects that are ambitious in scale and sustainable, creating a shared language for stakeholders and facilitating innovative partnerships.

IUCN has currently multiple teams working on NbS related topics. The Coordinator and the small task team will form the IUCN NbS Coordination Hub. The team will ensure that all activities fall under a single coordinated institutional strategy that optimise the institution’s leadership and profile on the issue. Therefore, this position is designed to develop and coordinate activities associated with NbS, including the development of a certification scheme to assure the application of NbS, ensuring that they come together in a strategic and coherent manner. The NbS Coordination Hub will work to optimise, harmonise and further enhance IUCN’s established leadership, recognition and reputation on the subject area, build and ensure coherent external partnerships and facilitate and support the growth of IUCN’s portfolio, based on agreed upon NbS business lines with both the public and private sector.

This role will be critical in coordinating the day-to-day functions of the NbS Coordination Hub, as detailed in the next section. Additionally, through the French Framework Patnership between IUCN and France, The French Development Agency (French: Agence française de développement, AfD) has been working with IUCN to finance and technically support work on NbS. Through the Coordination Hub, this position will have a specific role to further build collaborations between IUCN and AfD on NbS.

1. NbS coordination for a programmatic approach
a. Develop and finalise an NbS institutional strategy, supported by key internal stakeholders and describing specific operational pillars.

b. Develop, execute and manage an operational plan and yearly workplans for IUCN to expand its work on NbS through mainstreaming the concept and use of the standard within the organisation’s portfolio.

c. Provide technical oversight and quality assurance to all capacity development related initiatives on NbS, including internal trainings, briefing sessions and trainings done via the IUCN Academy

d. Provide technical leadership to ideas, concepts, projects and portfolio development across the institution

e. Provide regular updates to senior management about the progress

2. Facilitate IUCN-AfD collaborations on NbS
a. Design and lead engagements to mainstreaming and upscaling of NbS in AfD’s work, globally

b. Supervise staff for quality assurance for the development, piloting and delivery of 2 financial screening tools, as part of IUCN-AfD collaborations

c. Identify and leverage opportunities for joint (IUCN-AfD) advocacy on NbS, including through webinars, events at international gatherings and workshops

d. Technically support the growth of AfD’s Group portfolio on climate change and biodiversity by contributing to mainstream NbS at centre and regions/countries offices operational level

e. Showcase AfD’s contributions to the topic of NbS through group trainings and professional courses, including those offered by the IUCN Academy, with an aim to further strengthen partnership with IUCN

3. Growth of IUCN’s NbS portfolio development and service provision through pursuing resource mobilisation opportunities
a. Working with the Assurance team, the Knowledge Management and Library Team, and the Global Communications Unit, develop and implement a marketing and communication strategy to enhance IUCN’s visibility and profiling on NbS, with the aim to facilitate fundraising opportunities and maintaining IUCN’s leadership role globally

b. Identify and approach new donors to establish IUCN’s leadership to secure resources for setting up IUCN’s NbS services in close coordination with the Strategic Partnership Unit of IUCN. Provide consistent strategic engagement with existing NbS donors and framework partners on NbS.

c. Pursue and unlock new funding opportunities for NbS coordination, technical service provision and portfolio expansion with public and private donors, financiers and investors

d. Working with the Assurance team, carry out a market study to assess which business sectors and existing schemes are the most likely to embrace the offer provided by IUCN for NbS related services and products.

4. Institutionalising NbS
a. Provide support for the effective working of the International Standards Committee (ISC) for the IUCN NbS Standard

b. Support the Deputy Director General – Programme in representing IUCN secretariat on the ISC, as needed

c. Work with the Office of the Legal Advisor to establish institutional frameworks for protecting IUCN’s intellectual property related to NbS

d. Support the reporting of NbS results and impacts, working closely with IUCN’s Programme Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit

e. Manage communications and relationships with relevant IUCN members, commissions and partners for NbS, especially in view of joint opportunities for action

f. Technically support the Conservation Management Assurance Team in the promotion and rollout of IUCN’s 3rd party certification scheme on NbS

g. Further enhance the relevance and develop the global leadership of IUCN in NbS, according to emerging global issues and opportunities and according to IUCN’s institutional values and mandate

5. Staff management
a. Provide day to day supervision of the NbS team, including management of performance, wellbeing and workflows

b. Working with relevant internal stakeholders advise on prioritisation of NbS activities and manage their delivery within timelines and budget allocations

c. Matrix manage staff in other teams who are working on NbS through their own thematic scope

Core Competencies
• Transparency: Able to build trust and contribute to informed and responsible decision making by carrying out the work of IUCN in a transparent manner; provides clear guidance to ensure that objectives and desired measurable results are understood by members of the team.
• Inclusiveness: Understands and accepts cultural diversity, and provide a tolerant, positive and supportive working environment that fosters respect for diversity, demonstrates ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
• Professionalism: Promote the organization’s interests, objectives and values in a diligent and professional manner.
• Accountability: Takes responsibility of individual and collective actions, promotes the IUCN One Programme approach.

Functional competencies
• Adheres to IUCN core values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, Professionalism and Accountability;
• Excellent interpersonal skills and a strong team player with proven communication and diplomacy with the ability to work effectively with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
• Highly motivated and results-oriented individual;
• Demonstrated ability to work with limited supervision to prioritize tasking and manage workflow in a high pressure environment;
• Must be a proactive individual who is able to energize and motivate teams;
• Committed to continuous learning and proactive and mature attitude towards self-development;
• Be willing to undertake frequent travel (max. 40% of working time).
  • Advanced graduate degree in a science related area.

• At least 15 years’ work experience in managing and coordinating projects, primarily in the conservation or sustainable development field, in more than one country of which at least half that period should involve practical field-based implementation of at-scale activities

• An established leadership and senior management track record extending over a period of 5 years or longer, including evidence of being able to develop influential, high level regional or international policy networks

• Previous experience in sustainability standards and certification schemes is an advantage.

• Proven experience in working with business entities.

• Skilled convenor of actors from different sectors of society.

• Strong track record on fundraising with public and private entities.

• Fluency in spoken and written English as well as French required.

• Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Office package and internet.
The gross annual salary for this position is between CHF 134'355 and CHF 167'944, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.