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National Forest/Biodiversity/Perennial Crop Specialist


About Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The mandate of FAO

The mandate of FAO in Afghanistan is to support agricultural and environmental rehabilitation and assist the country to become a food secure and self-reliant nation in accordance with the principles of the National Development Framework of the Afghan Government.

the development agenda belongs to the people of Afghanistan
the private sector is the principal instrument of economic growth
decision making is participatory and community-based
investment in human capital is essential
donor-funded activities must sit within the sector framework
The objective of the Organization is to improve livelihoods for all sections of the rural community based upon economically viable activities – food production, off-farm employment and trade - social cohesion and sustainable use of natural resources.

FAO works with three counterpart ministries – the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. The FAO Representation is based in Kabul with regional offices in Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif and Faizabad and subregional offices in Bamyan, Farah, Ghazni and Kunduz.

Job Summary

Organizational Setting:

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL)’s mandate is to restore Afghanistan’s licit (non-opioid) agricultural economy by helping farmers increase production and productivity; by managing and protecting Afghanistan’s natural resource base for sustainable growth; by improving rural agricultural infrastructure and irrigation systems; and by expanding agricultural markets and developing human resource capacity. The goal is to reduce poverty throughout Afghanistan and assure food security for all. Thus, agricultural growth initiatives and policies are increasingly focused on enhancing the productivity of agricultural products that have a comparative advantage over opioids through improving value chains for these products.

The General Directorate of Natural Resources Management (GD-NRM) of MAIL offers services in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and they promote community-based NRM initiatives so that local communities can benefit from natural resources in a fair and equitable way. The mission of the General Directorate of NRM is restoration, protection, and conservation of forests, rangelands, natural vegetation and ecological areas. They are doing this by introducing prudent use approaches and mechanisms, by training communities in watershed management and soil conservation, by combatting desertification and improve ecological balance. Ideally this will all result in reduced natural disasters, healthy environments, agriculture and livestock sector development and food security.

FAO assistance in Afghanistan achieves its objectives through capacity development and direct project implementation in four specific areas of FAO’s technical expertise:

 Better governance through improved capacity for policy planning, land reform, decentralization, and management of common natural resources;
 Fostering expansion of irrigation and field water management;
 Intensive agriculture for surplus commercialization, value chains development, and job creation;
 Supporting vulnerable farmers for improved food & nutrition security, resilience, and emergency response to natural and man-made disasters and climate change.

Climate Change, Gender and Capacity Development are cross-cutting issues across FAO Afghanistan’s Country Programme Framework, and several projects in the CPF focus specifically on these issues. Women, for example, are empowered to have access to productive resources especially through specific projects aimed at transferring technology to female-friendly agricultural businesses. Similarly, climate change adaptation is tackled through Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) projects, improved governance of common resources, or the promotion of renewable energy.
The main objective of the project, “Community Based Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Afghanistan” is to support the GD-NRM of MAIL in integrating community-based approaches to Sustainable Land Management/Sustainable Forest Management (SLM/SFM) in Afghanistan in order to promote biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and rangeland productivity.

The key outputs of the project are: i) enhanced capacity of national and sub-national government institutions for SLM/SFM; ii) enhanced capacity of local communities in Badghis, Bamyan, Ghazni, Kunar and Paktya Provinces for developing and implementing community based SLM/SFM plans; iii) improved management of 10,000 ha of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) and 20,000 ha of other forest types to increase biodiversity conservation; iv) improved management of 200,000 ha of degraded rangelands in order to reduce land degradation, increase biodiversity conservation; and, v) improved knowledge to inform planning and implementation of SLM/SFM practices.

FAO holds the ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the project, the delivery of the planned outputs and the achievement of the expected outcomes. The project will be managed and implemented by FAO and directly executed by MAIL and its partners. MAIL/GD-NRM is the lead implementing agency for the project and other line ministries such as the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), the Independent General Directorate of Kuchi (IDGK) and Kabul university will be part of the project steering committee and will be closely involved in the project implementation cycle as per the Project Document and Government Cooperation Project Agreement signed with MAIL.

Purpose of this vacancy announcement:

FAO is looking for qualified national staff fill the position of National Forest/Biodiversity/Perennial Crop Specialist. This position will support the work of the GEF-funded “Community-Based Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Afghanistan” project. The post is located in Kabul with frequent travel to provinces.

Reporting Lines / Supervision Received/Exercised:

The National Forest/Biodiversity/Perennial Crop Specialist (NF/B/PCS) is under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative/Budget Holder in Afghanistan, and under the general guidance/supervision of the Project Chief Technical Advisor (CTA). The incumbent directly reports to National Project Manager and technically to the Lead Technical Officer (LTO) in the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP), Bangkok, Thailand. The incumbent will closely collaborate with the other Project Task Force (PTF) members, FAO staff and related technical departments in MAIL/GD-NRM.

Key Result:

The project activities are implemented successfully, timely and effectively in conformity with the objectives of the project. The incumbent is responsible to develop his/her work plan upon joining the duty and based on SMART planning standards and according to project objectives.

Key Objectives:

The project activities are implemented successfully, timely and effectively and conform to the objectives of the project. The incumbent is responsible for developing her/his work plan upon joining. The plan must be and based on SMART planning standards and according to project objectives.

Job Details

Date Posted: 29 Oct 2018 Reference: VA NO. FAO/KBL/PRJ/SC/20-2018
Closing Date: 12 Nov 2018 Work Type: Full Time
Number of Vacancies: 1 Gender: Any
Functional Area: Agriculture Open Ended: NO
Nationality: Afghan Salary Range: 1947 to 2335 USD
Contract Type: Service Contract Years of Experience: 7 Year(s)
Contract Duration: 12 Year(s) & 0 Month(s) Extension Possibility: Yes
Probation Period: 3 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

Identify areas where High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) occur in Kunar and Paktya through technical and community consultations;
Guide biodiversity assessments in identified areas in Kunar and Paktya, focusing on threatened and rare species as well as economically valuable species;
Develop technical guidance for provincial staff to help communities manage HCVFs in a manner that provides sustainable socio economic benefits while conserving ecosystem functioning;
Identify areas to establish community nurseries and woodlots through community participation;
Identify species’ that can be used as fuelwood and building materials, through expert advice and community consultations;
Develop technical guidance for project staff/partners to help them and local communities establish nurseries and woodlots;
Develop plans for and oversee the rehabilitation and restoration of 10,000 ha of HCVFs in selected areas to provide habitat for threatened, endangered and rare species;
Develop plans for and oversee the rehabilitation and restoration of 20,000 ha of non-HCVFs in selected areas;
Provide technical assistance and coordination on: sustainable land and forest management criteria and indicators, land use, land use change and forestry sectors (LULUCF) and Reduction of Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) activities;
Integrate forest and land management plans and carbon monitoring plans into the project;
Provide input into the development of alternative livelihood options such as agroforestry programmes and value addition for non-timber forest products.

Project Monitoring and Reporting:

Monitor forestry-related sections of project progress as agreed in the Annual Workplan/Budget (AWP/B), and provide remedial actions such as adjusting activities as necessary, speeding up implementation in case of delays, and organizing monitoring missions, if required;
Manage and monitor forestry-related risks initially identified and submits new assessment of risks as they arise to the Project Steering Committee (PSC) for decisions on possible actions if required;
Work closely with the NPM and NPD and Kabul-based management staff to report on indicators;
Build upon the forestry section of the project documentation, as well as the project’s M&E plan the Project Inception Report, meeting/workshop reports, biannual progress reports, gender/youth assessments, the annual GEF Project Implementation Review (PIR), GEF Tracking Tools, co-financing reports, and the terminal report;

Partnership Building and Knowledge Management:

Maintain regular, reliable and transparent contact with the FAO Country Office and the National Project Director (NPD) on project implementation issues;
Develop and maintain relationships with counterparts in the country to ensure their adequate and timely technical inputs to the project and ensure their co-financing contributions are provided within agreed terms;
Working with communications staff, clearly and effectively communicate about, share information about and promote the project to partners, stakeholders, and the FAO national office;
Maintain a good network with local stakeholders;
Build strategic partnerships and synergies to enhance the impact and sustainability of Project outcomes;
Represent the Organization at project meetings and events, identify strategic partnerships, advocate for best practices, increase/improve forestry policy dialogue and develop and negotiate effective working relationships and agreements with national stakeholders.

Other Activities:
 Any other duties as required by the Organization

Expected Outputs:

Biodiversity assessments conducted in Kunar and Paktya provinces in line with project indicators;
Communities are taught about and supported to implement community-based sustainable forest management plans, in line with project indicators;
Nurseries and woodlots are established in line with project indicators;
HCVFs and non HCVFs are restored in line with project indicators;
The required number of households, as defined by project indicators, are benefiting from agroforestry, alternative energy sources and value addition for timber and non-timber forest products.
Technical reports are clearly developed and written, and delivered in a timely manner.


Required Skills:

Demonstrated ability to coordinate capacity-related elements of a large project;
Excellent interpersonal communications and coordination skills, and proven ability to work constructively with a variety of stakeholders to achieve common goals;
Deep knowledge about climate change and sustainable land and forest management issues in Afghanistan, including the political, institutional and socio-economic contexts;
Excellent writing skills;
Excellent knowledge of English and local languages, both spoken and written skills;

Other Desirable Skills:

Working experience with ministries, national institutions and the rural sector in Afghanistan;
Ability to effectively coordinate a large, multi-stakeholder project with results-based management;
Ability to deal with political, technical, and people management challenges, administer budgets and work effectively with all staff and with groups involved in the project;
Strong computer skills, especially in GIS-RS and MS Office applications, and proficiency in using internet search engines and other relevant online tools;
Experience organizing stakeholder meetings or workshops with national participants;
Experience in multi-stakeholder analysis, and in mobilizing or creating awareness about development projects;
Previous work experience with UN is an asset;
Familiarity with UN agencies and GEF procedures for project implementation is also an asset.


Quality-conscious: Focus on delivering work of the highest quality, and on contributing ideas to improve project processes;
Results-oriented: Focus on achieving high-quality and sustainable results, and delivering results on time to meet project deadlines;
Interpersonal Communication and Teamwork: Possess good interpersonal communication skills to ensure an atmosphere of teamwork and respond to suggestions in a professional manner;
Knowledge Exchange and Learning: Share knowledge and promote a learning culture within the office. Actively work towards continuing personal learning, and applying newly-acquired skills within the Office.



University degree (preferably Master Degree) in Forestry, Natural Resource Management and Environment, Ecology, Environmental Science, Agro-forestry and horticulture, or closely-related field. A PhD degree would be preferable.

Work Experience:

At least seven (7) years of relevant professional experience in forestry and biodiversity conservation, agro-forestry, climate change mitigation/adaptation and/or forest restoration/establishment, at least four (4) of which are in a multi-cultural office environment with an international NGO, Government of Afghanistan, or a UN Organization.

Job Location

Afghanistan - Kabul
AF AF 12


Bachelors Degree, Agriculture

Submission Guideline

Interested Afghan nationals should complete the FAO Personal History Form (PHF) and submit it along with their application letter and CV to the email address below, clearly mentioning the vacancy number and post title (National Forest & Biodiversity Specialist – FAO/KBL/PRJ/SC/20-2018) in the subject line of the email, otherwise your email will not be considered.

NOTE: Applicants who fail to attach the FAO Personal History Form (PHF) their Application will not be considered.

The above required documents can also be submitted in hard copy (in a sealed envelope, marked “Confidential” and clearly indicating the Vacancy Announcement number and position title) to: The Assistant FAO Representative (Administration), FAO Representation Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Jamal Mina, Opposite Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan.

The FAO PH Form can be downloaded using the following link:

The last date for receiving applications is 12 November 2018. Please note that applications received after closing


 Please make sure to sign the first page of your PHF.
 Do not forget to write the post title and VA number in the subject of your email.
 Regret letters will only be sent to interviewed candidates.
 Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency

Submission Email

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