National Forest/Biodiversity/Perennial Crop Specialist

  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Master's Degree   Kabul, Afghanistan Full Time 1328
Date Posted:Sep 29, 2019
Closing Date:Oct 13, 2019
Work Type:Full Time
Number of Vacancies:1
Functional Area:Agriculture
Salary Range:1947 - 2335 USD monthly
Years of Experience:7 - 10 Years
Contract Duration:Not specified
Extension Possibility:Yes
Contract Type:Service Contract
Probation Period:3 months
Required Languages:Dari,Pashto,English

About Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:


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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Job Summary:

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.

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 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 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.

Reporting Lines / Supervision Received/Exercised:

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative in Afghanistan, direct supervision of the Senior Technical Advisor (STA) and National Project Manager (NPM), in close collaboration with counterpart authorities and other national and international staff, the incumbent will closely collaborate with the other Project Task Force (PTF) members, FAO staff and national project government counterparts and technical departments in MAIL/GD-NRM; 

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.

Skills Required:

 Problem-solvingOffice Packages (MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint)writing skillCapacity DevelopmentGIS

Provinces to travel:

Skills Description:

Work Experience:

  • At least 7 (seven) 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.

Required/Technical 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.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Key Functions/Results:

In order to achieve the project objectives, the NF/B/PCS will be responsible for the following activities:

Project Planning and Implementation:

  • 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:

  • Perform any other duty as required by STA and National Project Manager. 

Job Location:

Afghanistan, Kabul



  • Master’s degree in forestry/MRM and Horticulture/NRM with bachelor’s degree in agriculture and forestry. A PhD degree would be preferable.

This job is expired


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