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UN Environment Programme

UN Environment Programme

Software Engineering
Montreal, QC, Canada
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2023
Result of Service

As a result of this contract, various additional record functionalities of the clearing-houses will be greatly improved and enhanced.

Work Location

Remote - Home based

Expected duration

Six months

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational setting

The United Nations Environment Programme is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for 'sustainable development'. The Convention on Biological Diversity was

opened for signature in Rio in 1992. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and administered by United Nations Environment Programme. Its main tasks are to arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including

preparation of pertinent documentation, operation of the central node of the clearing-house mechanism, liaison and coordination with other international bodies and processes and, in close collaboration with these partners, the provision of technical support for the effective implementation of the Convention.


As a result of the migration, the new Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), launched in December 2021 (available at, has undergone a significant transformation in terms of its overall design, database infrastructure, quality of its search interfaces, ease with which records can be submitted and searched by users and many other new features.

In its decision CP-10/5, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol requested the Executive Secretary to continue to maintain and make necessary improvements to the Biosafety Clearing-House, including, in paragraph c), continuing to ensure information in the clearing-house is up-to-date.

Furthermore, at its recent twelfth meeting, held in Montreal, Canada, on 15-16 May 2023, the Informal Advisory Committee on the Biosafety Clearing-House made the recommendation, among others, to continue to develop the “Export” feature in the Search in order to make additional fields in each common format available; and enhance record maintenance functionality to support Parties in keeping their records accurate, complete and up to date.

The changes requested will also affect the ABSCH portal mainly as the BCH and the ABSCH are built on the same platform and also in accordance with the joint modalities of operation for the clearing-house mechanism of the Convention (CHM), the BCH of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the ABSCH of the Nagoya Protocol. The joint modalities of operation were endorsed at the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17-29 November 2018), and by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol in decision CP-9/2. Their purpose is to ensure consistency among the platforms and strengthen coherence and integration between the three main clearing-houses of the Convention, while preserving the specific functionalities unique to each clearing-house.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will work under the overall guidance of the Head of the Biosafety Unit and under the direct supervision of the Associate Information Systems Officer of the Information Technology (IT) team.

The consultant is expected to perform front-end development activities related to improving “Record functionalities” which will include:

  • Enhancing the Export function for pending common formats, which allow users to generate more comprehensive reports.
  • Enhancing “Record maintenance” functionality: develop a centralized mechanism to allow users to easily manage and maintain records in the clearing-house and, thus, improve the efficiency of Secretariat communications with Parties related to data quality and completeness.
  • Creating a new “Record Maintenance” tab in submit to allow users to manage the outdated linkages/references; record completeness by identifying to users the records that need immediate attention; and timeframe confirmation by allowing users to view all their records that have expired (or are near expiry) and need to be re-confirmed.

In performing the above activities, the consultant will be required to:

  • Participate in the design, development, testing, debugging, implementation and maintenance of key information services and applications software to meet the defined user requirements using standard development methodology and tools like Scrum and Agile.
  • Prepare technical specifications for these information services, when needed, and write technical documentation, whenever appropriate.
  • Provide operational support for analyzing and implementing system changes/upgrades.

This list is not exhaustive and will be updated regularly. Priorities and activities can vary and are set by the Associate Information Systems Officer of the IT team supervising the project in collaboration with the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) and the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House (ABSCH) Programme Officers.

Qualifications/special Skills

Completion of a University degree is required. Areas of study in Computer science, Information Communication Technology or related fields is desirable.

At least four years of experience in Web content publishing and information management is required.

Proven experience in the development of web applications, graphic design, and technical implementation of user interfaces in a web-based environment is required.

Experience with clearing-house and biosafety is desirable.


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required.
  • Ability to work independently or as an active member of a team is required.
  • Confidence in producing work across multiple platforms is required.
  • Able to align multiple strategies and ideas is required.
  • Able to multitask, prioritize, and manage time efficiently is required.
  • Solid understanding of the concepts of user experience (UX), user interface design principles and conceptual design is required.

Expertise level knowledge in HTML, CSS and JavaScript/TypeScript, knowledge of Bootstrap, AngularJS/Vue/React, jQuery and REST API, experience using Git is desirable.


Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Planning and Organizing: Ability to plan projects and activities, work to tight deadlines, and manage conflicting priorities.

Client Orientation: Ability to understand users' needs and to customize services and products accordingly, in order to provide user-friendly and ergonomic solutions that meet user requirements.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in reading, writing and speaking in English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is desirable.

Additional Information


Candidates are encouraged to include examples of related work with their application.

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No Fee