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Scientific and Technical Support Officer

Vacancy #:   432
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organization:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Director, Science and Policy
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   01 January 2013
Type of contract:   Max-term (36 months)
Closing date:   26 September 2012
The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Ramsar Convention is independent of the United Nations system of environmental treaties and reports only to its own Contracting Parties, or Member States. The Secretariat operations are administered by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Ramsar Secretariat provides scientific, technical and policy advice to the Contracting Parties to the Convention including supporting and facilitating the work of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), the Convention’s subsidiary body charged with preparing scientific and technical reports, reviews, advice and guidelines to support implementation of the Convention.

The role of the Scientific and Technical Support Officer is to enhance the Secretariat’s capacity to provide technical support to the work of the STRP, and to provide advice on other scientific matters. This post is designed to provide this capacity and support over the period of the establishment of the new STRP and its development and implementation of its 2013-2015 work plan. Following its first full meeting (STRP17) in February 2013, the Panel will determine the type and pattern of support it needs during this cycle, and terms of reference for this support will be further reviewed in the light of the Panel’s decisions.

The STRP’s work is guided by its approved modus operandi (adjusted by Ramsar COP11 in Resolution XI.18) and its priority work themes for the 2013-2015 period (affirmed by Contracting Parties in COP11 Resolution XI.17 include: communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); inventory, assessment and ecological indicators; Ramsar site designation and management; wetlands and ecosystem services; and Ramsar, wetlands and other sectors: human health, climate change, water resource management, agriculture and poverty eradication. The Convention’s upcoming review of the delivery, uptake and implementation of scientific and technical advice and guidance to the Convention (mandated by COP11 Resolution XI.16) is also relevant to the future work of the STRP and to this post.

The Ramsar Secretariat’s working languages are English, French, and Spanish. The working language of the STRP is English.

The Convention Secretariat, which currently comprises 21 employees, is co-located with the world headquarters of IUCN in Gland (near Geneva), Switzerland.
The main focus of the work of the Scientific and Technical Support Officer will be to provide support to the STRP and the Secretariat in the implementation of the STRP’s Work Plan.

In particular, the Scientific and Technical Support Officer will:

1. Provide day-to-day assistance to the Deputy Secretary General in supporting the implementation of the STRP work plan, including establishing and running contracts with expert consultants at the request of the STRP.

2. Work with, and provide advice to, STRP’s expert Working Group leads and specific task leads in the further development and implementation of the STRP Work Plan.

3. Work with Secretariat regional teams and STRP members to develop enhanced interaction with, and inputs from, STRP National Focal Points and Ramsar Administrative Authority Focal Points to the work of the STRP and on other scientific and technical Convention issues.

4. Support the Deputy Secretary General in the preparations for, and running of, STRP meetings and workshops, both in Gland and elsewhere.

5. Review, as appropriate, draft materials prepared by the STRP, and ensure and manage appropriate external peer review of such materials.

6. Facilitate the preparation by STRP of Scientific and Technical Briefing Notes and Ramsar Technical Reports, and oversee their finalization.

7. Compile, edit and issue periodic STRP Newsletters.

8. Keep the STRP Portal and Support Service Web site maintained and updated.

9. Assist the Regional teams and other Secretariat staff on technical and scientific matters.

10. Represent the Ramsar Secretariat and STRP at relevant meetings.

11. Seek opportunities for increased synergy with IUCN and the Convention’s other International Organization Partners in relation to the scientific and technical priorities of the Convention.

12. Undertake other duties, as required, with the agreement of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General.
  • The principal qualities required are enthusiasm and a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development issues, specifically issues related to wetlands and water management.

• Previous involvement with one or more Ramsar Convention processes and bodies at national level or international level (e.g. Ramsar Secretariat, Scientific and Technical Review Panel, Standing Committee, Conference of Contracting Parties) is a strong advantage.

• Fully fluent written and spoken English. A good knowledge of Spanish is a particular advantage; knowledge of French is an advantage.

• Experience of data and information management, including software applications. Experience in the development and maintenance of on-line databases and Web site technical software applications is an advantage.

• Experience and ability in networking within multi-cultural environments, with a wide range of scientific and technical experts and with in-country wetland conservation and wise use practitioners.

• A University degree (preferably a post-graduate degree) in a subject relevant to environmental management, wetland conservation and/or sustainable use.

• A minimum of 4 years’ professional experience in wetland-related research and/or conservation implementation and/or policy, at least one of which should be at the international level.

• Inter-personal skills, including the ability and willingness to work as a team member within the Ramsar Secretariat.
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 86'330 to CHF 107'913, 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). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

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IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

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