View Vacancy - Biodiversity and Oceans Officer

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Policy & Political roles)
Climate Diplomacy

Main purpose of job:

The British Embassy is seeking to recruit a new Biodiversity and Oceans officer on an initial 6 months period and then an open-eded contract modality. The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating the British Embassy Colombia work on Biodiversity and Oceans, including programming and bilateral collaboration in international settings, and support the Environmental Policy Lead in advancing an overarching nature agenda within the UK-Colombia Partnership for Sustainable Growth.

The successful candidate will be expected to manage, under supervision of the Environmental Policy lead, a broad and demanding new portfolio to promote biodiversity and oceans protection in Colombia, and promote their links to the climate change agenda. The top priority will initially be contributung to the formulation of new potential programming in Colombia related to oceans and plastics, and foster billateral collaboration in key policy developments and international negotiations, including COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and COP19 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The job holder will continue delivering on current activities related to the nature agenda within the international climate change process, including the Global Oceans Alliance and 30X30. The role includes active engagement to foster action in tackling Illegal Wildlife Trade, following up on the II High Level America’s IWT Conference.

Finally, as a member of the Embassy, they will be expected to play an active role in the corporate life of the Embassy. This could be as a member of the Local Staff Association or by getting involved in one of the many ad-hoc corporate initiatives the Embassy is promoting.

Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:

  • Support engagement with officials in the Colombian government on policy and operational elements to deliver UK global priorities on biodiversity and oceans. This will include lobbying, advising and supporting engagement between senior officials (including the Heads of Mission) and Ministers.
  • Advice London-based HMG colleagues on local sensitivities and Colombia’s priorities for different Environmental Multilateral Agreements, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES, UNEA, among others. Provide briefing for ministers and senior officials as required. 
  • Support colleagues in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the formulation of new potential programming in Colombia related to oceans and plastics.
  • Support the Environmental Policy lead in advancing an overarching narrative for Nature within the UK-Colombia Partnership for Sustainable Growth, including the identification and promotion of synergies between the UK and Colombia’s policies, as well as relevant programming funded by the UK in Colombia.
  • Support UK efforts to tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade and protect biodiversity by promoting the IWT Challenge Fund and the Darwin Fund in Colombia and encourage activities/policies in country to protect biodiversity.
  • In coordination with other teams in the Embassy (science and Innovation, DIT, ICF), leverage UK supported programmes/projects in Colombia to promote a nature positive economic development, based on the principles embedded within the Dasgupta report on the Economics of Biodiversity.
  • Manage Ministerial and official visits from the UK in Colombia. This could include planning and advising on visit agendas, coordinating with media colleagues, and supporting in events.
  • Play an active part in the corporate life of the Embassy, including where relevant as a member of Embassy committees to maximise the overall well-being of staff.
  • The jobholder will be expected to manage his or her own administrative tasks within the Economic, Climate and Science team.
  • To fulfil requirements of performance appraisal process, including setting a career development plan; and to identify and attend opportunities to improve existing skills and/or develop new ones

Resources managed (staff and expenditure):

Travel, entertainment and small projects budget


Essential on arrival: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field, for instance, Public Policy, Public Administration, International Relations, Environmental Science or relevant work experience in a relevant field
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience working in a strong, collaborative team environment for an organisation in a relevant field, for example, working for/with national or regional government, international organizations or agencies, preferably on multilateral affairs.
  • Strong understanding of international sustainability, oceans and biodiversity, with relevant experience (at least 2 years) including from university and/or preferably from previous professional work experience.
  • Knowledge or experience on programme/project management and formulation.
  • Good network of contacts with a wide-range of stakeholders both internally and externally: national and local government, private sector, NGOs.
  • Experience of managing diverse and senior level relationships.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to communicate effectively with a broad range of people both orally and in writing; good judgement to inform decisions and provide advice.
  • Sound judgement and ability to determine work priorities, work methods and budget allocations.
  • Must have the legal status to work and live in Colombia


  • Knowledge of financial / budget management principles or previous financial management experience.
  • Master’s Degree in a relevant field.
Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Delivering at Pace, Communicating and Influencing, Working Together
15 August 2022
Executive Officer (EO)
Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Latin America and Spanish speaking Caribbean
British Embassy
3 October 2022
3 April 2023
Employees who are not liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary, eg some non-local national staff and some spouses or partners of UK diplomatic staff, will have their salaries abated by an equivalent amount. 

The role provides opportunities to travel both within Colombia to monitor the implementation of UK funded projects and to the UK to meet with key stakeholders.

The successful candidate will be able to access learning and development opportunities with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s International Academy. Subject to funding, there may also be opportunities to take external courses related to the role.

The British Embassy Network offers a strong benefits package.  This package includes generous vacation and leave time, flexible working patterns, and enriching learning and development opportunities.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.