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Programme Associate, Biodiversity and Society (PSA)

United Nations University


Posted over 30 days ago...

Join the United Nations University's mission for global sustainability and biodiversity conservation as a Programme Associate


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No salary declared 😔

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5-53-70, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

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Expires at anytime

The United Nations University (UNU) is a beacon of knowledge, aimed at resolving the world’s most urgent global problems. For over 40 years, UNU has been a leading think tank generating policy-relevant research across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The university prides itself on its diverse research team, extensive global partnerships, and commitment to creating a positive impact. The UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) in Tokyo, a part of the UNU system, focuses on sustainability in its broadest sense, engaging in research and development activities in collaboration with a robust international network.

Role Summary:

  • Facilitate operations for the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI).
  • Coordinate and support capacity development programmes related to biodiversity and society.
  • Assist in the implementation and facilitation of research projects and outreach activities.
  • Provide administrative support related to the Biodiversity and Society (BDS) programme.

Role Requirements:

  • A Bachelor's or Master's degree in biodiversity, environment, development, social sciences, or related fields.
  • At least 5 years (with Bachelor's) or 2 years (with Master's) of relevant experience.
  • Experience in organizing conferences and logistical arrangements is preferred.
  • Excellent command of both English and Japanese.
  • Proficiency in computer and organizational skills, with an ability to manage multitasking and deliver timely results.

Application Process Details:

  • Complete the UNU P11 Form and provide a motivation statement.
  • Respond to position-specific questions.
  • Submit applications through the provided apply link by the deadline.

About UN University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU's work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals' full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe. For more information, please visit

About Institute (UNU-IAS)

UNU-IAS is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information please visit

BDS is an Academic Programme of UNU-IAS, which implements activities to promote Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) by enhancing academic excellence. Based on the research outputs, the programme contributes to the achievement of biodiversity-related global goals such as Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). It also facilitates capacity development and peer learning based on accumulated experience and knowledge on SEPLS, such as developing Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review (SITR) book series, promoting other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) and assisting Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to promote landscape approaches through the process of revision and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) to contribute to the GBF and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also provides operational support for the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) as its secretariat, in a fair participatory manner and through a multi-stakeholder engagement process.


Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and under the direct guidance and supervision of the Programme Manager of the Biodiversity and Society (BDS) programme, the Programme Associate will be responsible for the following duties:

1. Support operational work on the Secretariat of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI);

  • Conduct smooth operation of the IPSI Steering Committee meetings, including coordinating with members concerned both internally and externally on from planning, scheduling, to dealing with agendas on IPSI membership application and IPSI collaborative activities, among others, following the IPSI operational guidelines;
  • Manage and handle IPSI membership application, IPSI collaborative activities application, and daily communication with members and others to strengthen the network;
  • Provide support for holding the IPSI global conferences and other events organised and collaborated by the Secretariat, in its planning, scheduling, and coordination with members concerned both internally and externally;

2. Support the capacity development programme related to the BDS programme;

  • Plan and implement the Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM), including necessary contractual procedure and management of the progress in cooperation with the contractor and practitioners if appropriate;
  • Contribute to the SDM project selection process and the Executive Board meetings to discuss its selection;
  • Assist in the dissemination of SDM projects information through the website and newsletter, aiming for amplifying the effectiveness of overall SDM project;

3. Assist in implementation and facilitation of research projects related to the Satoyama Initiative;

  • Assist in the development of research projects, such as the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review (SITR), engaged in logistical and administrative arrangements for its smooth compilation;
  • Provide logistical and administrative support for organizing outreach activities for research results;
  • Cooperate with other international organizations for Satoyama Initiative to permeate effectively;

4. Assist in administrative activities related to the BDS Project;

  • Assist in travel arrangements, contracts, procurements, and related payments;
  • Assist in providing logistical support for preparation, organization, and follow-up of conferences, meetings, and other public events;
  • Assist in daily communications within UNU-IAS and with partners related to project operations; and

5. Perform any other duties as may be assigned or required by the Programme Manager.

Key performance indicators

  • Timely and quality development and implementation of BDS projects
  • Timely and quality administrative and logistical support for BDS projects
  • Timely, complete and accurate documentation
  • Quality and level of communication with partners related to the project operation



  • Inclusion — take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity
  • Integrity — act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards
  • Humility — demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others
  • Humanity — act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet


  • Connect and collaborate — build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and plan — seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver results with positive impact — hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and develop — pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and innovate — demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

Education and certification:

  • Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in the area of biodiversity, environment, development, social sciences, or a related field


  • Bachelor’s degree with 5 years or Master’s degree with 2 years of progressively responsible experience in a related area. Work experience in international organizations or promoting major international initiatives is an asset.
  • Familiarity and interest in current issues on biodiversity conservation and biocultural diversity approach.
  • Have knowledge and experience in coordinating and organizing conferences, logistics and financial arrangements.
  • Knowledge of the UN governance structure will be considered an added advantage.
  • Good computer and organizational skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multi-task and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results.
  • A good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency both in English and in Japanese are required.
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under a national PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary in the range of JPY413,167 - 456,417 commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Expected start date: 
As soon as possible

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 Form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

    You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline:
28 May 2024 (UTC)


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special Notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised. UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply. UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

If you have supervisory function you need to have awareness on gender related issues.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam Warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


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