Natural Resources Management Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th July, 2019

Job Description

Organizational Setting

Upon request from the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, represented by the Ministry of Irrigation, Water Resources Management and Disaster Management of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will provide technical assistance for the strengthen water governance processes in Sri Lanka, so that they are better prepared to ensure food security and to adapt to climate change, water scarcity and increased competition for water resources in an equitable and sustainable manner..

Reporting Lines

The incumbent will work Under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative, direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme) and the Water Resources Officer (CBL) and in close coordination with Administrative Section of the FAO Representation, the Land and Water Division (CBL) and the Land Tenure team (DPSL) and in close collaboration with other Government counterparts, the Lead Technical Officer, Lead Technical Unit in FAO HQ.

Technical Focus

Natural resources management, Hydrology, Agricultural science, Soil and water resources, Environmental management or policy, Environmental law

Tasks and responsibilities:

Responsibilities and Duties:

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative, direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme) and the Water Resources Officer (CBL) and in close coordination with Administrative Section of the FAO Representation, the Land and Water Division (CBL) and the Land Tenure team (DPSL) will assist in the development and implementation of the KnoWat project.

Technical expertise. In close collaboration with the Water Resources Officer, the incumbent will contribute substantially to the implementation of the KnoWat project:

  • Based on the findings of the KnoWat project, contribute technical inputs to water accounting, auditing and tenure assessments and formulate policy advice for natural resources management (NRM) studies and strategies in the agricultural and rural development sector;
  • Contribute technical inputs to operational activities towards improved responses to environmental challenges affecting natural resources and food security, such as climate change, migration and land degradation.

Ensure that capacity needs assessments are undertaken and that adequate training programs and skill development are put into place; develop training material, organise and run training workshops in coordination with the technical division at headquarters and the regional office of FAO;

  • Provide guidance to consultants, carrying out WA&A and tenure assessments, and review their work;
  • Provide technical inputs and advice to the design of new projects and programmes, as relevant.

Data collection. Under the guidance of the Water Resources Officer, the incumbent will carry out the following tasks:

  • Collect data to calibrate and validate the remote sensing data;
  • Conduct interviews and surveys for WA&A studies and water tenure assessments;
  • Obtain additional statistical data on socio-economic, climate and hydrological aspects to complement KnoWat project;
  • Liaise with other relevant regional or national institutions for sharing of information, experiences and lessons learned.

Coordination. The incumbent will ensure close technical coordination with the other focus countries (Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Senegal) and headquarters, including:

  • Coordination meetings (including international travel);
  • Development of methodology;
  • Frequent exchanges on lessons learnt.

Focal point. The incumbent will act as focal point for the KnoWat project and for matters related to multidisciplinary natural resources management issues on water, land, agriculture and forestry.

Project management. The incumbent will ensure the timely and effective implementation of the project, including

  • Develop capacity development strategy and communication strategy in the country together with key stakeholders.
  • Coordination and communication with government counterparts, national partners and stakeholders as well as FAO colleagues;
  • Manage the selection and recruitment of expert consultants as needed;
  • Ensure gender-sensitive implementation of project, including gender disaggregated data, gender-sensitive analysis and gender balanced participation in workshops;
  • Ensure grievance mechanism is implemented, informing stakeholders of process and responding when needed.
  • Take care of logistical arrangements and other matters during missions and for workshops;
  • Prepare project mid-term reviews and project completion reports, Terms of Reference (ToR) of studies and consultancies, technical specifications for procurement;
  • Monitor and report on project-related expenditures.

Other duties. The incumbent will perform any other related duties as may be assigned by the FAO Representation or HQ technical divisions.


Minimum Requirements:

  • Education. A Master’s degree in natural resources management, hydrology, agricultural science, soil and water resources, environmental management or policy, environmental law or related disciplines;
  • Prior work experience. Minimum of seven (7) years progressively responsible experience in project management and analysis of natural resources challenges; development of natural resources management strategies and policies, especially for water. Experience with remote sensing/ GIS is desirable.
  • Job Knowledge. The incumbent should have experience and knowledge of the following:
  • Extensive knowledge of the theories, principles, and practices of conservation, management, protection, and sustainable use of natural resources, such as water, land and forestry.
  • Strong background and knowledge in natural resources issues and their inherently complex and dynamic hydrological systems as well as climate change and its implications on these systems.
  • Good knowledge of the concepts of water accounting, auditing and tenure as well as practical experience in conducting water resources assessments is a great asset.
  • Ability to organize and conduct trainings and technical workshops related to the sustainable use and protection of natural resources, ability to develop capacity building activities (logistics and content).
  • Comprehensive knowledge is required regarding country’s economics, politics, social and cultural characteristics (including customary land/ water governance), institutions, leadership, and development history. Broader knowledge of environmental issues in Africa/ Asia and in other regions of the world is desirable.
  • Experience in dealing with national governments, regional bodies and international organizations on natural resources and agro-environmental issues. Extensive knowledge of country’s environmental sector, including NGOs, government agencies, civil society organizations and business involvement.
  • Experience and skills necessary for facilitating collaborative approaches to management of shared natural resources, such as river basins, watersheds and large irrigation schemes.

Language: Strong written and oral proficiency in English is required; knowledge of local languages is an asset.

Nationality: Sri Lankan National


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