Ecologist- Advisor - ( Terrestrial Ecologist)

Job Summary

Applications are invited from qualified persons for the above vacant position.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Mid level
  • Experience Length: 7 years

Job Description/Requirements

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.  


Position background

UNOPS undertakes various projects that require Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and one of the components in this process is the Biodiversity and Ecological Assessment. To comply with various other policies on Natural Habitats, impacts determination on flora and fauna species found in the project area, resulting from rehabilitation/construction works and operation.

The biodiversity assessment study shall therefore include any necessary management actions to protect identified terrestrial species, together with a full monitoring plan, including monitoring parameter, monitoring methodology, monitoring frequency, personnel and reporting requirements. The ecological management and monitoring requirements shall be included as a part of the ESMP in a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) and in the Operational and Maintenance Manual of the project thereafter.

Under the overall supervision of the KEMC Technical Service Manager, the Ecologist Advisor ( Terrestrial Ecologist) will give his/her technical expertise as required to support the activities of the unit.

Functional Responsibilities

Study Objectives
The objectives of the study are to:

  • Collect, collate and compile comprehensive baseline information on the terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Determine the significance of terrestrial ecological impacts caused by the project, taking direct, indirect and cumulative impacts into consideration, and to recommend any mitigation and monitoring that should be included in the infrastructure works and operations to mitigate negative impacts and enhance potential benefits; and
  • Develop a Biodiversity and Ecological Management Plan for the affected project sites.
Scope of work
To arrive at tangible and measurable ecological impact of the project area and the subsequent management and monitoring requirements, for inclusion in the project ESMP, a two step assignment will have to be conducted:

1. Biodiversity Screening
The project area shall first be screened for potential terrestrial biodiversity risks and impacts
In this respect, the Specialist Ecologist is tasked to:
  • Conduct baseline terrestrial ecological screening and record the type of flora and fauna species in the respective project areas and type of habitat.
  • Additionally, bring out the IUCN conservation status of the identified species; exotic species; species that could be both exotic and invasive, clearly bringing out the type of habitat where these species exist.
  • Support the UNOPS Environmental Specialist to complete a biodiversity screening checklist.
2. Biodiversity Assessment
For project areas for which the screening reveals the presence of vulnerable, endangered and/or critical flora and fauna species, which may include the fauna species habitats, a detailed terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecological Assessment will be conducted on the project site.

In this respect, the Specialist Ecologist is tasked to:
  • Conduct baseline survey on terrestrial ecology (fauna and flora) and describe the baseline conditions of the same for each of the sites (if more than one site).
  •  In bringing out the IUCN status of flora and fauna species found in each of the project areas, clearly identify flora and fauna species that are listed in such sensitive categories as vulnerable, threatened, endangered or endemic. For each species identified as such, propose appropriate remedial measures to avoid further decline and/or destruction of the same species in their respective locality/habitats. The Specialist will further define in each case, species that may be at a critical stage of extinction (critically endangered species) and appropriately outline remedial measures to protect such species from extinction.
  • Identify both positive and negative indirect effects of the proposed project on terrestrial species; and the impact on the ecosystem of a possible increase in populations that may arise as a result of improved economic activity in the area during and after construction.
  •  Describe management actions and monitoring required to ensure biodiversity is preserved in areas where high risks of impacts are observed and finally develop a Biodiversity Management Plan to be implemented for monitoring purposes.
NOTE:
  • Habitats identified in the respective project area of influence for fauna should be clearly and appropriately described (e.g. Forest reserve, Game Management Area, etc).
  •  In the case where Critical Habitats are identified, make reference to OP 4.04 and indicate actions to protect, restore or improve conditions to reduce impact on biodiversity, consistent with this safeguard policy.
  • Impact identification should include both positive and negative impacts taking into consideration the nature of impacts.
  • In addition to proposing appropriate mitigation measures against identified impacts, submissions should be made on how positive impacts may be enhanced.
Deliverables
  • Description of the identified terrestrial ecosystem in the project area to form the baseline conditions of each project site, if more than one project site, and a report for each shall be required. 
  • For each of the project area for which a Biodiversity Assessment has been undertaken : Updated baseline description; and a comprehensive Biodiversity and Ecological Management Plan. The management plan should include the potential impacts and respective mitigation measures of the identified aquatic ecosystem in the project area.
Impact of Results

The results of the work of the terrestrail ecologist will provide key input into the completion of the ESMPs and designs of the infrastructure involved in the project . The results will ultimately impact on the construction/rehabilitation works of the proposed project and ultimately on their effectiveness and safety.


Education
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Biology, Zoology, Geology, Forestry, Environmental studies or any other relevant discipline is required;
  • University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) with a combination of 2 additional years of relevant professional experience in Biology, Zoology, Geology, Forestry, Environmental studies or any other relevant discipline may be accepted in lieu of the advance university degree.
Experience
  • At least seven (7) years of experience in ecosystems is required;
  • Minimum of two (2) years experience in the Africa region will be required;
  • Expertise in provision of ecological baseline studies in the development of environmental and social impact assessments for various projects will be an asset;
  • Knowledge of Geographical Information System Mapping (GIS) will be an asset;
  • Experience with International organisations will be an added advantage.
Languages
  • Full knowledge of the English working language is required

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