Jurist Specialists in Forest and Environmental Law, Various locations At Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( FAO )


Legal Specialists in Forest and Environmental Law

Job advertisement : Jun 22, 2023

Publication cancellation date : Jul 9/2023, 21:59:00

Organizational Unit: LEGN

Job type : Temporary work

Requirement Type: Consultants / PSA ( subscribers to personal service agreements )

Grade Level: N / A

Main location : Various places-Various places

Duration: Between three and six months

Position Number: N / A

FAO seeks to ensure gender, geographic and linguistic diversity among its staff and its international consultants, in order to serve the Member States of the Organization in the best possible way in all regions.

  •  FAO is committed to achieving diversity in its workforce in terms of sex, nationality, origin and culture.
  •  Women, nationals of under-represented or under-represented Member States and persons with disabilities with the necessary qualifications are encouraged to submit their applications.
  •  All persons working for FAO must comply with the highest standards of professional integrity and conduct and uphold FAO’s values.
  •  FAO, as a specialized agency of the United Nations, applies a zero tolerance policy for conduct incompatible with its statute, objectives and mandate, in particular sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.
  •  All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
  •  All requests will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

Organizational framework

The FAO Legal Office ensures that FAO activities are carried out in accordance with its Constitution and the other Fundamental Texts of the Organization, consistent with its status as an intergovernmental organization of the United Nations System, and that its relations with governments, organizations and individuals be sustained on a sound legal basis.

The Legal Office Development Law Service ( LEGN ) provides legal advisory services to governments on food and agriculture and natural resources ( including forests, land, water, fisheries and aquaculture, plants, animals, food, forestry, wildlife, environment, climate change and biodiversity ), as well as general agricultural issues ( institutions, trade, economic reform ).

LEGN is expected to need external specialists to help provide legal technical support for various FAO projects and other activities in the Latin American and Caribbean region, in particular projects focused on forest law and environmental law, among others. This support will be carried out in close coordination and collaboration with the FAO Forestry Division.

The purpose of this call for expression of interest is to identify duly qualified specialists who can be invited to make short-term assignments for LEGN. This call is addressed to Jurist Specialists to support LEGN’s work in the areas listed in the Technical Skills below. Depending on the needs of the Service, the specialist can be located in the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean ( Chile ), subregional or country offices in the Latin American and Caribbean region, or work from home. Functions can cover a number of activities, or be dedicated to a specific project or other activity. Although this vacancy focuses on supporting LEGN activities in the Latin American and Caribbean region,selected candidates may be considered for assignments in other regions.

Candidates who have already been informed of their inclusion in the LEGN list of specialists ( roster ) do not need to resend their application to this call for expressions of interest. Those who have responded to previous calls are recommended to resend their requests, if they wish to be considered in this call.

Apart from this call for expression of interest, individual vacancy announcements can be issued for specific tasks when deemed appropriate.

Hierarchical dependency

The Jurist Specialist reports to the Head of LEGN and / or the LEGN Jurist Officer based on RLC.

Field of specialization

Legal research, drafting of regulations and legal advisory services to governments in the Latin American and Caribbean region in the areas of:

  •  Forest and environmental law, with an emphasis on regulations on the elimination of illegal logging, promotion of reforestation and the conservation and legal and sustainable use of forests in light of international law, in particular the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, among others.
  •  Implementation of technical cooperation projects with legal components, such as projects to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation ( REDD + ) and projects financed by the Green Climate Fund.
  •  Governance responsible for land, fisheries and forest tenure, in particular to support the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Land Tenure, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security; and related global instruments and commitments.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of each selected Jurist Specialist will be defined in the Terms of Reference for the specific assignment. Specialists working with LEGN are usually called upon to provide advice to contribute to the progressive development of national legal systems, to review draft bills, participate or lead legislative drafting projects, analyze, evaluate and explain various alternative laws, legal systems or legal approaches. The specialist will carry out his tasks within the FAO Results Management framework for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the FAO on Gender Equality.

Jurist Specialists will work under the general supervision and guidance of the Chief Legal Officers, but are expected to perform tasks with technical independence, in accordance with the terms and delivery dates established in its Terms of Reference. The nature of the tasks and responsibilities that will usually be assigned to them are:

  •  advise countries on the possibilities of legislative assistance;
  •  review relevant policies and laws;
  •  carry out gap analysis in relation to international legal instruments;
  •  provide legal technical advice;
  •  prepare draft laws and regulations;
  •  prepare project concept notes and design projects involving different relevant technical units, as well as FAO regional, subregional and national offices;
  •  prepare, review and update work plans;
  •  represent LEGN in internal and external meetings, perform field missions, provide training and other capacity development activities and inform the Head of LEGN and the designated LEGN officer of the results achieved;
  •  carry out capacity development activities and provide support and legal assistance in the development of project products;
  •  review the work of national or junior staff, and provide contributions and technical reviews and approvals of their work and reports made by them;
  •  prepare materials, conduct legal investigations, prepare legal notes, reports and written advice; and
  •  prepare or contribute to legal publications and analyzes.


Minimum requirements

  •  University degree in Law, postgraduate studies in forest law, environmental law or other relevant specialization for consulting.
  •  At least five years of relevant legal work experience
  •  Practical knowledge ( C level ) of Spanish and limited knowledge ( B level ) of English or French ( or Arabic, Chinese or Russian ). For PSA only one level C language can be required.

FAO core competencies

  •  Results-based approach
  •  Teamwork
  •  Communication
  •  Building effective relationships
  •  Knowledge exchange and continuous improvement

Technical / functional skills

Applicants must clearly indicate their specific technical expertise in their application, particularly in the areas of forest law and biodiversity, environmental law or water law, as highlighted above. Desirable knowledge in international law, particularly linked to the areas described.

Selection criteria

  •  Degree of knowledge and experience in legal issues related to forest law and environmental law in the Latin American and Caribbean region;
  •  Degree of experience in developing national legislative and regulatory measures to implement international agreements, codes, guidelines or other instruments;
  •  Ability to carry out legal investigations and analyzes;
  •  Ability to write clear and concise reports and write legal texts, legislative and regulatory instruments;
  •  Degree of experience of different legal systems and work and residence in different countries, including developing countries and countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region;
  •  Work experience with international or regional organizations or other entities in a relevant field;
  •  The experience of working and living in low or middle income countries is an advantage.

It is noted that all candidates should adhere to the Organization’s values of commitment to FAO, respect for all and integrity and transparency.


  •  FAO does not charge fees at any stage of the recruitment process ( application, interview, processing ).
  •  Incomplete applications will not be taken into account. If you need help, contact: Careers@fao.org.
  •  Applications received after the expiration of the application deadline will not be accepted.
  •  We inform you that FAO will only consider academic degrees or credentials obtained from a teaching institution included in the World Database on Higher Education, which is a list maintained by the International Association of Universities ( IAU ) / UNESCO. The list can be consulted at: www.whed.net/
  •  For information about other job opportunities visit the FAO Employment Website: http://www.fao.org/employment/home/es/.


PRESENTATION OF REQUESTMENTS If you want to apply, go to the FAO Recruitment Website ( Employment in FAO ) and complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be taken into account. Only applications received through the contracting portal will be considered. We advise candidates to submit their application sufficiently in advance of the expiration of the term. If you need help, contact: Careers@fao.org.




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