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International Legal Consultant 39 views

Job Expired
International Legal Consultant 

Job Posting  : 19/Feb/2023

Closure Date : 13/Mar/2023, 3:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit: NFO

Job Type : Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition: Consultant
Grade Level: N/A

Primary Location  : Home-Based

Duration: 8 months (with possibility of extension up to 11 months)
Post Number: N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentialit

Organizational Setting

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are collaborating on a 5-year project: Global Transformation of Forests for People and Climate: a focus on West Africa. The project is implemented by FAO in partnership with ECOWAS, with financial support from Sida, and is key to accompany the implementation of the ECOWAS Convergence Plan for the Sustainable Management and Use of Forest Ecosystems in West Africa, which was adopted in 2013.

The project’s objective is to strengthen decision-making on forests and land management across West Africa by improving knowledge of forest dynamics, strengthening legal forestry frameworks, and demonstrating and sharing the best community-based forest practices across the region. It is expected that sharing lessons learned and best practice will take place within the region as well as globally.

Building linkages with REDD+ has been considered as key, together with the need to adopt a community-based approach and highlight gender considerations, in light of the new policy developments in the countries. As such, the legal work in centred on the major drivers of deforestation and land degradation affecting the forest cover and forest-related transboundary issues. .

Currently, legal gap analysis are ongoing in seven countries of the ECOWAS region; five in the Upper Guinea Forest Ecosystem (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) and two in the Sahelian region (The Gambia and Sénégal). The seven selected countries share common concerns related to the transformation and conversion of forest lands to other land uses, due to an expanding and uncontrolled demand on natural resources, and due to forest fragmentation (World Bank 2015). The lack of cooperation and common regulations among the bordering countries is considered a major threat for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources and for the restoration of rapidly degrading ones.

The project will support bordering countries to build consensus on transboundary concerns related to natural resources and forests and on how to address them, for instance, through the adoption of harmonized, homologated and/or multi/bilateral agreements aiming to promote consistency among national laws or to implement regulatory frameworks, with the involvement of local communities and relevant stakeholders.

Reporting Lines

The consultant will work under the overall supervision of the coordinator of the FAO Subregional office for West Africa, and the direct supervision of the forestry officer, REDD+ legal matters (FAO Headquarters), and the legal officer (FAO Representation in Senegal), in close collaboration with the country offices and in consultation with relevant national counterparts.

Technical Focus 

The consultant will support the delivery of Project specific outputs taking the lead in the development of two normative products:

1.    A comparative legal analysis focusing on forest related frameworks of prioritized countries within ECOWAS. Specifically, the  analysis will be based on seven legal country reports produced by national legal consultants centred on legal provisions required to protect forests, reduce  deforestation and related carbon emissions. These reports  were prepared in the framework of the project in close consultation with stakeholders at the national and sub-regional level (e.g. ECOWAS focal points, government interlocutors and relevant local institutions public, private, IGOs, NGOs, community and decentralized organizations) implicated in the planning and management of forests, natural resources and the environment. The reports also contain relevant information on major drivers of deforestation and land degradation, and take into consideration a community-based approach and forest-related transboundary issues affecting more than one country within the ECOWAS region.
2.    A guiding document aiming at “strengthening decentralized forest governance in the Upper Guinea Rainforest Ecosystem” based on four out the seven prioritized countries under the legal component. The guiding document will highlight existing and potential local forest governance instruments to reinforce the active participation of local actors and vulnerable groups in decision-making processes that affect the sustainable management of forests.

Tasks and responsibilities

In close collaboration with the project team/other stakeholders as agreed with the supervisor, the consultant will:

•    Plan, organize and capture information from meetings with the national legal consultants to take stock & learn from the development of the seven legal country reports.
•    Undertake further research on the forestry legislation and deepen where appropriate the analytical legal considerations, in light of relevant regional and international forest related instruments.
•    Work in close collaboration with the project wildlife expert to identify the main gaps and weaknesses related to institutional frameworks and law enforcement mechanisms aiming to combat forest crimes, as well as the types of responses needed to bolster or develop institutional capacities at national and sub-national levels.
•    Draft the comparative legal analysis (maximum 50 pages + references), taking stock of the key points, gap analysis and recommendations contained in the seven legal reports, in consultation with key national and regional stakeholders, and following the FAO style (references/headings/writing style).
•    Develop the guiding document aimed at “strengthening decentralized forest governance in the Upper Guinea Rainforest Ecosystem” based on four country cases from the seven countries prioritized under this component. The guiding document will highlight existing and potential local forest governance instruments to reinforce the active participation of local actors and vulnerable groups in decision-making processes that affect the sustainable management of forests (max 20 pages + references).
•    Develop a work plan for the two normative products, including the description of the products, the methodology and the timeline;
•    With the support of the FAO expert legal team, develop a detailed outline aiming to structure the contents of the comparative legal analysis and of the guiding document.
•    Integrate / respond to all the comments made by the supervisor, FAO legal team and other relevant stakeholders in the final version of the comparative analysis.
•   Any other duty agreed upon with the supervisor and contributing to the achievement of the successful implementation of the assigned tasks.


Minimum Requirements:

•     University degree in Law, with speciality in international law or forestry, environmental or related areas, including political sciences.
•    At least five years of experience in the forestry sector, working on enforcement/policy/institutional/governance/matters.
•    Working knowledge of English and French are required.

FAO Core Competencies:

•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Selection Criteria:

•    Experience in analysing legal texts and developing quality legal papers.
•    Extent and relevance of experience in forestry/environmental legal matters, including institutional and governance aspects.
•    Good knowledge/experience of the West African region concerning the management of forests and related legal frameworks.
•    Interpersonal skills in working with the government and multi-disciplinary stakeholders.
•    Demonstrated good analytical and writing skills.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


  • FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • For more information, visit the FAO employment website
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
•  We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact:


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