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Project Management Officer

Vacancy #:   186
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organization:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Senior Regional Advisor - Europe
Work percentage:   100%
Function group:   P1
Expected start date:   23 August 2010
Type of contract:   Max-term (6 months)
Closing date:   04 August 2010
The Convention on Wetlands, also known as the “Ramsar Convention” from the name of the city in Iran where it was signed in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity and services. It was the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific critical ecosystem.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat, hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, provides the secretariat services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties (signatory countries) for the operations and implementation of the Convention. Two of the 20 Secretariat staff work specifically in the fields of communication, education, participation and awareness.

Providing substance to the operational objective of Ramsar’s Strategic Plan “to pursue the involvement of the private sector in wetland conservation and to seek opportunities for private sector funding of wetland projects under Ramsar”, the Secretariat has maintained, since 1998, an innovative partnership with the Danone Group and its Evian Mineral Waters Ltd company in France. Based on the encouraging results of this partnership, in summer 2007, Danone and Evian signed an additional agreement with Ramsar to support an international programme focusing on the wise use of water resources (“Ecole de protection de l’eau”) and promoting hands-on approaches by local players involved in maintaining or restoring wetlands, promoting the well-being and active involvement of local communities living near wetlands and providing them with fair access to natural resources (projects terminating in 2011). In autumn 2008, the Danone Group created the “Danone Fund for Nature” and signed a tripartite agreement with the Ramsar Secretariat and IUCN to work jointly in support of projects to mitigate climate change through wetland functions and to reduce human poverty through biodiversity conservation. This is to be integrated into the new Danone “Livelihoods Fund” over 2011 and 2012.

In order to be able to cope with the increasing needs of administration, communication and coordination of the activities of field projects and the Danone-Evian supported outreach programme of the Convention (including activities related to World Wetlands Day), under these agreements, the position of a Project Management Officer was created in mid-2008. During 2010, the partnership programme between Danone-Evian and Ramsar was redefined and renewed for the period 2011-2015. Therefore, the Ramsar Secretariat needs the continued services of a dynamic, outgoing, diplomatic and organized person, to administer the ongoing activities and to prepare the future evolution of the partnership programme.

The major task of the Project Management Officer is to coordinate the partnership programme between Danone-Evian and Ramsar and to manage the implementation of projects developed under the partnership agreements outlined above. The incumbent maintains regular operational contact with the project stakeholders, project manager and senior management at Danone-Evian, thus assuring best exchange of information, knowledge and planning between the partners (Danone-Evian and Ramsar) and their respective subsidiaries (companies, Contracting Parties, etc.) and possible beneficiaries of grants.
1. Assure and maintain regular contact between the Ramsar Secretariat and the Danone Group and Evian Mineral Waters Ltd., including possibly other associated subsidiary companies, in order to coordinate the development and progress of the partnership programme.

2. Administer and manage the programme and assure the administrative and financial management of the programme and its field projects, in cooperation with the beneficiaries. Assure regular reporting (technical and financial) required by the different agreements to the Steering Group of the partnership (meeting twice per year).

3. Prepare information briefs, promotion and awareness texts for the needs of the partnership.

4. Contribute to the preparation of the annual World Wetlands Day materials by the Ramsar Secretariat and to the administration of the preparation and funding of specific products (posters, CDs, DVDs etc.).

5. Support the communication and outreach activities of the Ramsar Secretariat according to actual needs. Prepare information updates for the Ramsar website, and undertake such updates in coordination with the Ramsar webmaster.

6. Undertake other duties, notably supporting Secretariat staff in their communication and outreach tasks, according to the requirements expressed by the Secretary General.
  • The principal qualities required are enthusiasm and a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development issues, including issues related to wetlands and water management. The person should be an excellent communicator with a friendly personality.

• A professional diploma in a subject relevant to project and office management.

• Excellent drafting, writing and editorial skills in English. Oral skill in French required. Additional writing and editorial skills in French would be an advantage.

• Experience in project, programme and office management and administration, including software applications.

• A minimum of 5 years' professional experience in the fields of communication, promotion, project administration, or ideally a combination of these. Experience in environmental conservation, at international level, would be an advantage.
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 80'640 to CHF 100'800, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST).

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IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.