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Programme Officer, Knowledge Products and Policy Support

Vacancy #:   325
Unit:   Biodiversity Conservation Group
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Species Programme Office, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Reporting to:   Global Director - Biodiversity Conservation Group
Work percentage:   100%
Function group:   P2
Expected start date:   01 September 2012
Type of contract:   Indefinite
Closing date:   06 February 2012
The adoption of the Strategic Plan (The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity) and its 20 Aichi targets at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s tenth meeting in Nagoya, October 2010, was a key step forward in charting a course to conserve biodiversity for 2020, and one in which IUCN played a major role in developing. Now there is an urgent need to support the implementation of the Aichi targets. The draft IUCN Programme (2013-2016) is underpinned by the targets of the Strategic Plan.

Knowledge and information on biodiversity provide an essential underpinning for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. The Biodiversity Conservation Group, comprising the Global Species (GSP), Global Protected Areas, and World Heritage Programmes as well as the Invasive Species Initiative and TRAFFIC is the IUCN base for IUCN’s area-related ‘Flagship Knowledge Products’ including the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the World Database on Protected Areas. It is now moving ahead to develop a new global standard to support the process of consolidating the criteria for identifying sites of global biodiversity conservation significance, essential for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. These are known as ‘Key Biodiversity Areas’. Together with the developing IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (led by the Ecosystem Management Programme and the Commission on Ecosystem Management) these knowledge products aim to provide critical and unique information, available nowhere else on earth on the status of species and ecosystems (and by extension genetic diversity) to inform the use and conservation of the land and sea. To this end, work is underway to link these knowledge products to improve conservation on the ground and influence global and national policy.

IUCN has developed a new business model to inform IUCN’s Programme and income generation priorities; IUCN knowledge products form one of the priority ‘business lines’. To complement the ongoing work on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the World Database on Protected Areas (together with UNEP WCMC), a high priority has been placed on the development of the KBA standard, support the development of a database to hold the information and subsequently work to identify KBAs (with other IUCN components as appropriate) and support their conservation.

The Programme Officer will report to and work closely with the Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group, given that this work spans the work of all constituent Programmes of the Group, and indeed will involve working with IUCN globally. The incumbent will also work closely with other staff working on area-based knowledge products notably the GSP Red List Unit, the Programme Officer, Conservation Planning, based in the Global Species Programme, Cambridge, UK and also with the joint IUCN SSC (Species Survival Commission) - WCPA (World Commission on Protected Areas) Protected Areas and Biodiversity Task Force to support the technical deliverables of the position on sites of global biodiversity conservation significance.

The Biodiversity Conservation Group hosts the IUCN focal points for five of the six biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (the Ramsar focal point sits with the IUCN Global Water Programme). IUCN, through close collaboration between the Members, Commissions, and other parts of the Secretariat, notably the Global Policy Unit, the Biodiversity Conservation Group informs, supports implementation, and monitors progress towards achievement of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
(% of time allocated per month)

Fundraising and project development (40%)

1. Lead/support fundraising activities and project development related to the area-based knowledge products with a priority on key biodiversity areas.
2. Develop project proposals to support the development and application of the consolidated criteria for identifying sites of global biodiversity conservation significance to identify, conserve and manage key biodiversity areas, working closely with the Programme Officer, Conservation Planning.
3. Develop project proposals /support the development of projects to integrate the flagship knowledge products.

Knowledge products (10%)

4. Contribute to the development of a strategy for the integration and inter-operability of the IUCN flagship knowledge products including: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas, World Database on Protected Areas, Protected Planet, Global Invasive Species Database, and Red List of Ecosystems.
5. Support the development of a strategy for sharing, managing, and disseminating data concerning sites of global biodiversity conservation significance (IUCN KBA data management strategy) in discussion with current and potential data custodians within and outside IUCN).

Policy influencing (20%)

6. Identify and coordinate critical policy influencing opportunities in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other biodiversity-related conventions for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and biodiversity indicators, as well as Key Biodiversity Areas. An emphasis will be on Strategic Goals B, C and D of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, but the work will link to all 20 targets.
7. Support the development and implementation of IUCN policy positions for the CBD and other biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements to influence policy negotiations relevant to implementing the Aichi targets for the establishment of KBAs.
8. Help demonstrate the contribution and importance of IUCN’s knowledge to the emerging Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Communications, capacity development and outreach (15%)

9. Support outreach work for IUCN’s area-related knowledge products (including events at the 2012 World Conservation Congress).
10. Act as the IUCN Headquarters focal point on technical issues related to KBAs and their link to the other knowledge products, and act as an internal champion to explain, promote and highlight the KBA approach in project design.
11. Support or lead, as appropriate, the development of publications emerging from the process that demonstrate the link between IUCN generated knowledge and its utility for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the biodiversity-related Conventions.

Coordination (10%)

12. Cultivate opportunities for exchange and collaboration with custodians of data related to IUCN 'Flagship Knowledge Products' including IUCN Red List partners, e.g. BirdLife International and Conservation International.
13. Ensure regular exchange between the work of this position and the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group units and programme staff in other relevant parts of the IUCN Secretariat.

Programme planning, Strategy Development and budgeting (5%)

14. Support the Biodiversity Conservation Group Directorate work planning, budgeting, reporting and monitoring requirements.
  • At least 5 years’ work experience at a professional level.

• Masters Degree or equivalent in Ecology, Biology, Geography or a relevant field.

• Excellent command of written and spoken English; demonstrated ability for report writing and ability to communicate complicated technical issues to a wide range of audiences and cultures. (French or Spanish language proficiency an asset.)

• Demonstrated international policy knowledge and experience and success including effective development and dissemination of position papers and influencing delegations prior to and at international meetings;

• Knowledge and experience of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, the 20 Aichi Biodiversity targets and biodiversity indicators;

• Demonstrated fundraising experience and success including development and management of projects; liaising and maintaining relationships with donors of various types;

• Demonstrated strong project planning and project management experience, including financial management and monitoring and evaluation, and in formulating and implementing field projects and programmes;

• Ability to take initiative, exercise good judgement, think laterally and resolve complex issues in a dynamic and changing environment;

• Ability to explain the work in simple terms with a creative approach to communications in developing materials to support the work;

• Willingness to speak in public, organize and on occasion chair meetings and conference calls, communicate regularly to IUCN stakeholders;

• Demonstrated writing skills, in particular as regards the need to develop communications and publications;

• Deep understanding of, and passion for, biodiversity conservation;

• Familiarity with IUCN’s knowledge products; knowledge of systematic conservation planning techniques;

• Familiarity with IUCN resolutions, policies, strategic and programme planning documents;

• Willing and able to travel internationally on a regular basis.
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from GBP 38'281 to GBP 47'851.

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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About IUCN

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.