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Programme Coordinator (KBA Expert)

Vacancy #:   5361
Unit:   IUCN Washington DC Office
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   IUCN Washington DC Office, Washington D.C., United States of America
Reporting to:   Director - IUCN Washington, D.C. Office
Work percentage:   80%
Grade:   SP
Expected start date:   01 June 2020
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (7 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   25 May 2020
At the 2004 World Conservation Congress, IUCN’s Members approved Resolution WCC 2004 RES 013 (https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/44299), which mandated a worldwide consultative process to agree a methodology to enable countries to identify Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), across terrestrial and aquatic environments. This process was led by SSC and WCPA over the subsequent years, culminating in approval of the “Global Standard for Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas” (https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/46259) by IUCN Council (Decision C/88/25), and in the launch of the KBA Programme and Partnership (http://www.keybiodiversityareas.org/kba-partners) at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawai‘i, USA.
A key mechanism established within the KBA Partnership Agreement is a Standards & Appeals Committee, which has the responsibility for maintaining the scientific integrity of the KBA Standard. Further essential functions necessary for the operation of the KBA Programme are the development of training materials to support users in implementation of the KBA Standard, and validation of sites proposed to the KBA Secretariat as meeting the Standard. A USA-based IUCN Member, Global Wildlife Conservation, is providing resources to IUCN in support of these functions. IUCN therefore seeks to recruit a KBA Expert.
The KBA Expert will deliver three distinct functions, all related to maintaining the integrity of the KBA Standards, across terrestrial and aquatic biomes. First, the KBA Expert will serve as Chair of the KBA Standards & Appeals Committee, the objective of which is to ensure that the intent of the KBA Standard is not compromised. In this role they will be functionally accountable to the IUCN SSC and WCPA Chairs. Second, the KBA Expert will lead development of a new KBA online training course, in collaboration with the KBA Technical Working Group, and advise on the KBA training programme in general. The position will have functional accountability to the Global Wildlife Conservation Executive VP, Science & Strategy, in this role. Third, the KBA Expert will undertake the validation of sites proposed as KBAs meeting the KBA Standard. In this role they will be functionally accountable to the KBA Secretariat. Given the location relative to that of Global Wildlife Conservation, the IUCN Member which is providing resources to IUCN in support of these functions, the KBA Expert position will be based out of the IUCN Washington DC office.
•Chair the KBA Standards & Appeals Committee, in which role the position is functionally accountable to the Chairs of the IUCN SSC and WCPA.
•Oversee and guide the process of developing and updating the “Guidelines for using A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas”, which are prepared by the KBA Standards & Appeals Committee with advice from the KBA Technical Working Group.
•Advise on the consistent interpretation of the KBA criteria and thresholds, key terms, delineation procedures, and other aspects of “A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas”, seeking input from the KBA Standards & Appeals Committee and Technical Working Group as appropriate.
•Provide regular updates on KBA Standards & Appeals Committee progress and challenges to the IUCN SSC and WCPA Chairs, and to the KBA committee.
•Develop, review and advise on training materials and approaches for using “A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas”, in collaboration with the KBA Technical Working Group and seeking input from the KBA Standards & Appeals Committee as appropriate.
•Lead development of an online training course for identifying and delineating Key Biodiversity Areas.
•Undertake the validation of sites proposed as KBAs through a partial secondment to the KBA Secretariat. This will entail confirming that KBA Proposals are correctly a) interpreting terms, species taxonomy, and ecosystem classification, b) applying the KBA criteria, thresholds, and delineation guidelines, c) completing required documentation, and d) completing necessary consultation.
•Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.
Please Note: The above TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However in an ever evolving organisation such as IUCN staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular TORs. Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TORs should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • PhD in conservation biology, ecology, or other natural sciences conservation-related field

• MSc in geography, development studies, or other social sciences conservation-related field

• Fifteen years of experience in conservation-related activities required

• Demonstrable expert knowledge of the KBA Standard

• Demonstrable experience of work spanning both terrestrial and aquatic biomes

• Demonstrable negotiating and leadership skills in convening teams to deliver complex projects

• Excellent organization and attention to detail required

• Excellent writing and communications skills required

• Demonstrated experience in publishing into the conservation-related scientific literature

• Experience in convening scientific and technical workshops, meetings, or conferences

• Excellent knowledge of the conservation-related scientific literature required

• Analytical skills including database development, GIS, programming useful

• Fluency in English essential; fluency in Spanish and French very useful

• Willingness to undertake some travel associated with the position, if required

• Experience of field conservation in the Global South important

• Passion for conservation essential

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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