Expert - Mainstreaming Earth Observation data for global environmental projects

Partner UNEP GEF STAP
Job categories Environment
Vacancy code VA/2019/B5002/17545
Level ICS-11
Department/office ECR, VIEMCO, Water and Energy Cluster
Duty station Home based
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-3
Duration 6-8 months
Application period 14-Mar-2019 to 07-Apr-2019


Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.


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Routine data collection and analysis are essential to applying the analytic rigor to support evidence-based decision-making and adaptive management. Mainstreaming geospatial data in planning, implementing, monitoring and adapting GEF projects and programs will help achieve greater impact by increasing operational efficiency.

Over the past 5 years, the availability and accessibility of geospatial data has risen dramatically due to greater computational capabilities and the proliferation of open source and user-friendly, web-based platforms. Information derived from space-based Earth Observation systems is particularly useful for assessing and monitoring environmental change[1] and there are numerous potential applications of remotely-sensed data in GEF investments.

Several GEF Agencies, including the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Conservation International (CI) are already incorporating geospatial data and analysis into their programming, including through the development of platforms and tools such as the UN Biodiversity Lab, Collect Earth, Earth Trends, Spatial Agent, etc. The GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) is similarly using geospatial data to conduct impact evaluations for specific projects and for entire portfolios. For example, a 2015 IEO evaluation of protected areas recommended using geospatial technology to target GEF interventions more effectively. In addition, a 2016 GEF report on Biodiversity Mainstreaming concluded that, “Modest and targeted investments in spatial and land-use planning can be quite impactful and set the stage for future mainstreaming work.”


[1] For example, to protect, restore and promote: 1) sustainable use of terrestrial and marine ecosystems; 2) sustainably managed forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss; 3) assessment of forest and above ground carbon stocks; 4) land productivity and vegetation trend analysis; 5) land use/land cover change; soil organic carbon estimations; 6) land degradation trends; agricultural monitoring; 7) monitoring of water-related ecosystems; 8) mapping urban growth; and 9) monitoring air quality; monitoring marine ecosystem health and inshore water quality.


However, the uptake of geospatial data in the design, implementation and monitoring of projects and programs is by no means widespread in the GEF Agencies. And there is a new requirement for GEF-7 to include geo-referenced information and a map showing where a project is located.  

STAP intends to develop a guidance document to help GEF Agencies, in-country partners, and practitioners to mainstream geospatial information in developing, implementing and monitoring GEF programs and projects.

This will include:

(i)                  a scientific primer on geospatial concepts including Earth Observation, remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems to improve the understanding of these concepts, how they can be deployed in projects of relevance to the GEF, and to encourage their uptake in GEF-7 projects and programs. This section should provide GEF and non-GEF existing case studies and include references and sources of information for additional learning.

(ii)                guidance to help project managers fulfil the requirements under PART II: PROJECT JUSTIFICATION 1b) when completing their Project Information Forms (PIFs).[1] This information will take into account existing guidance provided by the GEF Portal, and will recommend additional, more detailed methods for collecting and displaying relevant geospatial information.

(iii)              signposting of geospatial data sets, data products, platforms and tools that are relevant to GEF-7 investments, with a focus on GEF-7 programming and performance indicators.

(iv)               recommendations to the GEF on how to mainstream remote sensing and other geospatial data to maximize global environmental benefits and enhance knowledge management.


The Consultant will develop a detailed outline of the components listed above. T...

Education: Advanced university degree in Geography, Environmental Econo...

Contract type: Lumpsum Contract level: ICS11  Contract duration: 6-8 month...

Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time Applications ...

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