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Regional ESMS Specialist

Asia | Bangkok

  • Organization: IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Location: Asia | Bangkok
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2024-01-31

Regional ESMS Specialist

IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,300 Member organisations and the input of more than 16,000 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The IUCN Secretariat has offices located all around the world and is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.

Every four years, the IUCN membership adopts a quadrennial Programme that guides the work of the Union, especially that of the IUCN Secretariat. The Secretariat implements the IUCN Programme through a growing portfolio of over 400 projects across the world that are designed to respond to country, donor, and IUCN priorities. IUCN has put in place an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) to provide a systematic procedure to check IUCN projects for potential adverse environmental and social impacts and to assure that negative impacts are avoided or minimised to the extent possible while promoting positive impacts. The ESMS procedures and policies are explained in the ESMS Manual and in the ESMS standards available at

Currently the application of the ESMS procedures is assumed by the global ESMS Coordinator, but delegation of some of this work is intended to increase the ESMS’ performance, timely delivery and operational efficiency and to ensure the review is geographically closer to the projects and its stakeholder.
To achieve these enhancements, IUCN is hiring an ESMS Specialist for the Asia Regional Office, ARO. He/she will be responsible for the application of the IUCN ESMS policy on the project portfolio of the Asia and Oceania region. This position will contribute to the region’s leadership in safeguard quality assurance and will play a key role in improving IUCN’s ESMS practices and culture. It will require safeguard subject-matter expertise and experience as well as aptitude in advising and training on the need and benefits of safeguard application.
Major Responsibilities:

As the regional specialist for the application of the ESMS, this position is responsible for ensuring that ESMS procedures, standards and principles are applied on the regional project portfolio.

He/she will also build ESMS capacity in the region to enhance ESMS compliant project design and ensure effective implementation of the risk management strategies. This involves coaching and training of existing regional staff, project proponents and project managers (including external to IUCN) as well as supporting recruitment, onboarding and training of project ESMS officers.
This position provides safeguards expertise to support learning from ESMS application in support of further refining the system and increasing the system’s efficiency. She/he will monitor the application of safeguard tools in the region, distil lessons learned and support the global ESMS Coordinator in system development, refinements and learning.

This position will report to the Regional MEL Coordinator but will be guided technically by the global ESMS Coordinator.


Regional portfolio ESMS application
Application of ESMS procedures on the regional project portfolio, specifically:

1. Environmental and social due diligence at project design stage

• Screen projects on environmental and social impacts, define risk category, identify necessary impact studies and safeguard tools/plans;
• Advise proponents on stakeholder engagement during project design and implementation phase;
• Support proponents in contracting experts for environmental and social assessments; where issues are less complex, carry out targeted assessments and stakeholder consultation;
• Appraise the quality of final ESIA reports and environmental and social management plans (ESMP) and other safeguard tools;
• Ensure appropriate budgeting for ESMS activities;
• Conduct final compliance check and prepare ESMS clearance of projects.

2. ESMS support during project implementation

• Provide ESMS training for executing agency (EA) and relevant partners at project inception;
• Appraise any ESMS deliverables that are due in the inception phase;
• Support the EA in reporting progress on implementation of safeguard tools and compliance with all ESMS requirements;
• Contribute to annual project implementation reviews/ supervision missions and to the development of the ESMS specific aspects of the mid-term review and terminal review;
• Manage ESMS project data including entries to the Project Portal.

3. Grievance management and incident reporting

• Support the EA in setting-up a project-level grievance mechanism;
• Work with EA to solve grievance in line with IUCN’s three-staged grievance process;
• Maintain a register of grievance and report on progress solving grievances;
• Ensure timely reporting of incidents and implementation of corrective actions.

Build ESMS capacity in the region:

To enhance ESMS compliant project design and ensure effective implementation of the risk management strategies, it is essential to strengthen regional ESMS capacity.
This involves:

1. Train and coach regional staff on the ESMS to ensure not only consistent application but also pro-active integration of ESMS principles into project design;
2. Support the global ESMS Coordinator in the development of ESMS training materials and delivery of training sessions;
3. Contribute to the recruitment, hiring and on-boarding of new project ESMS officers in the region.

ESMS development, refinement, and learning:

Supporting the global ESMS Coordinator in system development, refinements, and learning.
This involves:

1. Capture lessons learned and feed-back from the EA and project stakeholders and suggest refinement and improvements of the system;
2. Contribute to enhancement of institutional processes to increase effectiveness of ESMS application;
3. Generate lessons on the ESMS application identifying good practices and synthesising these practices for dissemination;
4. Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

Please Note: The above TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However, in an ever evolving organisation such as IUCN staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular TORs. Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TORs should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.

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:

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 some 15,000 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.

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