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Documentation Officer

Vacancy #:   501
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organization:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Deputy Secretary General
Work percentage:   100%
Function group:   P2
Expected start date:   05 August 2013
Type of contract:   Max-term (29 months)
Closing date:   14 April 2013
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, established in February 1971, is the multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) between governments of the world dedicated to promoting the conservation of wetlands and stemming their loss and degradation. The current 163 Contracting Parties (member states) to the Convention commit to achieving wetland conservation and wise (sustainable) use through local and national action and international cooperation.

The 22-person Ramsar 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 for the operations and implementation of the Convention. The Ramsar Secretariat’s official working languages are English, French, and Spanish.

The Documentation Officer works in the Secretariat’s ‘Communication Team’ which currently includes the CEPA Programme Officer, the Documentation Officer, the Communications Officer/webmaster, an Administrative Officer and an Administrative Assistant.

Conditions of service

The Convention on Wetlands is fully recognized by the international community as an intergovernmental agreement and its Secretariat is administered by IUCN. The Ramsar Secretariat is under the authority of the Standing Committee of the Convention and ultimately of its Conference of the Parties.

Legally, Ramsar Secretariat staff are IUCN employees and their contracts are governed by the IUCN Global Human Resources Policy, Expatriate Policy, the Conditions of Service for Switzerland, and Swiss labour law. IUCN does not have the status of an intergovernmental organization under a host country agreement in Switzerland: consequently, IUCN must obtain a Swiss work permit for non-Swiss staff. IUCN and Ramsar staff do not have diplomatic immunity or international civil servant (UN) status.

A competitive salary and benefits package is offered, including full accident insurance and a fixed contribution for health insurance (for the staff member only, not his/her family); a salary entitlement in case of illness or accident; a family allowance if applicable.
1. Copy-edit official documents*
• Copy edit English versions of all Convention official documents;
• Track the production flow of meeting documents before and during meetings of the Conference of the Parties and the Standing Committee;
• Prepare final documents and proceedings of meetings of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP) and of the Standing Committee for publication, web posting and distribution;
• Copy edit other documents in English (e.g. editorials and statements by Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General; World Wetlands Day (WWD) leaflets; one-off publications);
• Coordinate copy editing of French and Spanish translations of all documents;
• Head ‘documentation team’ at Standing Committee and COP meetings;
• Copy edit the Annotated List texts of Ramsar Sites (Wetlands of International Importance) to ensure this information is correct on both the web and Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS) website. Until the RSIS is redeveloped (by the end of 2014), manage the process for web listing of new Ramsar Sites and updates to existing Sites, including the definitive Site lists and the Annotated List.

*Official Convention documents include Diplomatic Notifications to Contracting Parties; Conference of Contracting Parties (COP) documents; Standing Committee documents; Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM) reports; official letters; Wise Use Handbooks; Ramsar Manual; Ramsar Technical Reports (RTRs); Scientific & Technical Briefing Notes; and Ramsar Exchange listserve messages.

2. Proof-read
• Proof-read official documents and other texts as required and coordinate proof-reading of French and Spanish versions.

3. Edit
• Carry out extensive editing of documents where required, including re-writing, abridging and re-structuring texts for greater readability and better logical sequence.

4. Supervise document translations into official Convention languages
• Maintain roster of external translators;
• Coordinate translators and translations of all Ramsar publications and official documents.

5. Design and layout official documents
• Handbooks, RTRs, Briefing Notes, Standing Committee and COP documents;
• Other specific publications, as needed.

6. Maintain and update official documents on the Ramsar website
• Post official documents on the web, in consultation with the webmaster (Communications Officer);
• Prepare and post web/email announcements of the designation of new Ramsar Sites and updates to existing Sites;
• Maintain web listing of Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM) reports and ensure hard copy maintained at the Secretariat;
• Track the common sites among World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves (UNESCO MAB) and Ramsar Sites; and provide webmaster with the information to update web.

7. Document writing
• Write Diplomatic Notifications;
• Write special focus speeches/statements, as necessary;
• Maintain and update Secretariat style guide, including managing and authorizing the use of the Ramsar logo.

8. Archive official documents electronically and on paper
• Review and oversee the archiving of paper and electronic official documents and audio recordings etc., working with the Administrative Assistant;
• Maintain web and J-Drive listing of Diplomatic Notifications.

9. Rapporteur meetings
• Rapporteur Standing Committee meetings (approximately one per year); and other meetings of official convention processes, when necessary.

10. General
• Liaise with Communications Officer on official documents re. branding and targeting;
• Provide back-up to the Communications Officer on other web tasks, as necessary;
• Undertake other appropriate tasks, when requested by the CEPA Programme Officer.
  • A minimum of 10 years' professional experience in a writing/editing field, of which at least four years should be in an international environment.

• A degree or postgraduate degree.

• Excellent spoken and written English (mother-tongue) is essential.

• Excellent drafting, writing and editorial/proof-reading skills in English for a range of styles of documents. A good knowledge of Spanish is a particular advantage; knowledge of French is an advantage.

• Meticulous attention to detail.

• Ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

• An excellent communicator who enjoys collaborating with colleagues.

• Commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development issues. Knowledge of issues related to wetlands and water management would be an advantage as would experience in environmental conservation, at international level.

• Experience in using desk-top publishing software such as Adobe InDesign.

• Basic web Content Management System skills, for uploading documents onto the Ramsar website.

• Experience or training in document archiving is an advantage.
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 96'160 to CHF 120'200, 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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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.