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Head of Nature-based Solutions

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location England (Yorkshire & Humberside) - UK, England (North East) - UK, England (North West) - UK, England (West Midlands) - UK, England (East Midlands) - UK, England (East Anglia) - UK, England (South West) - UK, England (South East) - UK, England (South Central) - UK, England (London & Greater) - UK, UK - Flexible - UK
Salary Additional Information £55,000 to £75,000 per annum
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 20/03/2023
Company Name UNEP-WCMC
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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Job Title: Head of Nature-based Solutions

Team: Nature-based Solutions

Reporting to: Head of Operations

Job Reference: AD1393

Start date: June 2023

Salary: GBP 55,000 to GBP 75,000 per annum, depending on skills and experience

Contract: Permanent, Full-time

Location: The post holder will be expected to reside in the UK. We have a flexible hybrid working policy in place, for further details, please email recruitment@unep-wcmc.org. We are usually able to offer visa sponsorship to the preferred applicant.

Job Description

To lead development and delivery of work on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) at UNEP-WCMC[1], working with colleagues from across the organization, and directly managing a diverse team of natural and social science professionals under one of UNEP-WCMC’s four ‘Impact Areas’.

To support the provision of authoritative, clear and well-presented insights, knowledge and data on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their role in supporting climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation and people’s health and well-being. To ensure that this information is synthesised and presented in ways that enable decision-makers to make informed, evidence-based decisions on adoption implementation and scaling of NbS. Key audiences for this work include decision makers in national and sub-national governments, financial institutions and private sector organisations, as well as intergovernmental agreements and processes and civil society.

To lead the development and effective delivery of a portfolio of high-quality projects at the science-policy interface that contribute to achieving the mission and strategy of UNEP-WCMC. The current portfolio includes: work on NbS for climate change mitigation, particularly support to countries preparing for and implementing REDD+, both on securing multiple benefits and on effective application of social and environmental safeguards, as well as the mitigation value of managing and restoring ecosystems other than forests; synthesis of experience, decision support and monitoring and evaluation of Ecosystem-based Adaptation; and emerging work on nature for health and well-being including through OneHealth approaches. The Head of Nature-based Solutions will help shape the future strategic direction of this work.

To oversee development of increased understanding across teams at UNEP-WCMC of the growing importance of Nature-based Solutions and their relevance to the different stakeholders and contexts UNEP-WCMC supports, as well as barriers and enablers for their uptake, and incorporation of these concepts more broadly in the Centre’s work.

Reporting to the WCMC Head of Operations, and under the oversight of the UNEP-WCMC Director and Deputy Director, the Head of Nature-based Solutions will be a member of the Senior Management Team, the wider Leadership Co-ordination Team and contribute to strategy implementation, budget and business planning, pipeline development and impact reporting at organisational level.


Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Coordinate activities under the NbS Impact Area and ensure its integration with the wider work and strategy of UNEP-WCMC including external and internal communications.
  • Work with Heads of Impact and Innovation Areas and Focal Initiative Coordinators to develop strategic thinking that enables the Centre to expand its niche and impact in relation to NbS.
  • Support, and expand, an effective network of external relationships with donors, clients and collaborators and donors, through a proactive approach to pipeline development and project delivery, to extend UNEP-WCMC’s leveraged impact on scaling up and effective use of NbS.
  • Seek new partnerships, both internally and externally, for joint activities and projects focusing on development , analysis and synthesis of information and of tools.
  • Ensure a high standard of quality for all NbS-related outputs from the Centre design and quality assurance.
  • Provide oversight and management through the whole project cycle for all projects within the NbS Impact Area through effective delegation and team coordination and support.
  • Manage directly, or by delegation, all staff within the NbS Impact Area to ensure the NbS Team is a happy, thriving and productive team, with staff welfare at its core.
  • Identify staffing and capacity development needs and in conjunction with the People Team, lead recruitment and staff development processes, including annual performance development reviews and monthly goal setting.
  • Oversee annual budgeting and monthly budget reviews for the NbS Impact Area and take responsibility for performance and expenditure.
  • Convene regular team meetings ensuring effective communication and coordination with staff working on projects linked to the Policy ‘Innovation Area’
  • Participate in the regular WCMC Senior Management and Leadership Coordination Team meetings, and in other and ad hoc management and strategic meetings, as required. Where appropriate participate in other Centre level management groups
  • Represent the Centre externally at relevant meetings and events (noting that this is not a UN staff position, but will work in collaboration with UNEP at the Centre).
  • Ensure adherence to, and implementation of, WCMC's policies and procedures.


Person Specification


  • Essential: Masters degree in biological sciences, geography, ecology, environmental sciences, economics, social sciences or similar.
  • Desirable: Postgraduate degree in a field related to biodiversity, environmental sustainability, economics or international business.




  • Working at the science/policy interface in fields relevant to Nature-based Solutions.
  • Developing successful funding proposals on topics related to NbS.
  • Developing and maintaining alliances and partnerships relevant to NbS.
  • Working collaboratively and effectively with practitioners, policy makers and/or academics in fields relevant to NbS.
  • Working with agencies and organizations operating internationally.
  • Managing and developing a team of professionals in an organisational setting.
  • Proven success in planning, managing and implementing portfolios of projects and strategies using a team approach.


  • Experience of developing good working relations with key decision makers at national and international level.
  • Experience of leading the development of useful science-based information and materials for decision-makers.
  • Specialist knowledge in relevant technical areas, such as ecosystem services assessment and modelling, landscape ecology, land use planning, environmental health, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience working in a language other than English and with partners from diverse cultural backgrounds.


  • Strategic thinking and vision.
  • Critical thinking and constructive scrutiny of concepts and ideas.
  • Ability to build and maintain strong professional and collaborative relationships, and to deal effectively with any challenging situations that arise.
  • Strong skills in planning and management of people, budgets and resources to deliver high quality and effective outputs and impactful outcomes.
  • Excellent project and portfolio management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and communication ability (written and spoken) and willingness to make presentations to international audiences.
  • Leadership and motivation of a team to achieve desired outputs.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, with fluency in another UN language highly desirable.

Other Relevant Information

The successful applicant will be based at the UNEP-WCMC office in Cambridge, UK, but will be required to travel to engage with partners and funders in other countries and regions.




If you are looking for a rewarding and motivating post, we want to hear from you.

Please complete our application form and send it together with your 2 page CV and a short covering letter through this link. We screen candidates based on skills and experience and not their personal details.

 Please do not include a photograph on your CV, and note that any applications which include a photograph may be automatically rejected.

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