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Coordinator, Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet)

Vacancy #:   706
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organisation:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), Tour du Valat, Camargue,, France
Reporting to:   Mediterranean Wetlands Committee
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   -
Expected start date:   01 February 2018
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (11 months)
Closing date:   05 January 2014
The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and of wetland biodiversity and services. It is the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific critical ecosystem.

The Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides some administrative services for the Convention.

The Mediterranean basin is rich in wetland ecosystems of great ecological, social and economic value. Yet these important natural assets have been considerably degraded or destroyed, mainly during the 20th century. The MedWet Initiative is a concerted long-term collaborative regional initiative under the global Convention on Wetlands, signed in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. The Initiative is guided by the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com) which brings together 26 governments from the region, the Palestinian Authority, the European Commission, the Barcelona and Berne Conventions and international NGOs and Mediterranean wetland centres (www.medwet.org).

Through a series of major international projects, MedWet has developed since 1993 methods and tools for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland ecosystems, and implements them in many countries. In addition, it has established a solid network of collaboration within the Ramsar Convention, bringing together most of the major stakeholders in the region. The programme and activities of the MedWet Initiative are prepared with the support of a MedWet Secretariat. The Secretariat was initially based in Rome (1993-1996), then for many years in Athens (1997-2013), and will relocate in 2014 to the Camargue (France), using office space provided by the Tour du Valat research centre for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands.

The MedWet Secretariat operates under the authority and supervision of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee and its Steering Group. It consists of the MedWet Coordinator and other Secretariat staff, according to the programme needs and available resources. The Coordinator has overall responsibility for the effective functioning of the Secretariat.

The MedWet Coordinator is the central person to drive and to support the MedWet Initiative. S/he leads the Secretariat and provides support to the members of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet’s scientific and technical network of experts and institutions), the Steering Group and other MedWet partners. S/he is responsible for the efficient and timely preparation of regular meetings of the Committee and Steering Group in cooperation with specific MedWet members and partners.

S/he must have a global and regional understanding of wetland ecosystems, environment- and development-related issues and must develop, maintain and present to external partners a clear understanding of the operations and priorities of the MedWet Initiative and of wetland and water-related issues in the Mediterranean region, operating under the global Convention on Wetlands. S/he is responsible for maintaining a high professional and inspiring profile with governments in the region, partners, donors and other stakeholders.


The main responsibilities of the MedWet Coordinator are to:

1. serve the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com) and the Steering Group as its Executive Secretary and to make sure that its decisions are promptly and faithfully carried out;

2. catalyse activities in favour of the conservation and wise use of Mediterranean wetlands, within the framework of approved work plans, including in particular the Agadir Commitments;

3. provide support and a platform for exchange of know-how and information to Mediterranean water and wetland-related projects, to facilitate synergies between a number of specific wetland-related projects supported by the MAVA Foundation in the Mediterranean, and to encourage the involvement of the MedWet/Com members in their execution in an equitable manner;

4. organise and direct collaborative work, in a coordinated and complementary way with the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory, operated and further developed for MedWet by the Tour du Valat research centre;

5. guide the MedWet Secretariat and ensure that it operates efficiently. In particular, select, train and supervise the Secretariat staff and guide their work, including individual annual performance appraisal reports to be submitted to the MedWet Steering Group;

6. manage prudently the finances of the MedWet Secretariat, limiting expenses to the income possibilities, and guarantee a balanced budget, with proper accounting and allowance for contingencies;

7. draft the MedWet Secretariat annual work plans and submit them for approval to the Steering Group;

8. report fully and accurately on progress of work and the financial situation on a three-monthly basis to the Steering Group;

9. represent the MedWet Initiative in national, regional or international fora in consultation with the Chair of the Steering Group.

Point 5 above refers to the tasks of the MedWet Secretariat which are to:

i. facilitate collaboration among MedWet members and projects and proactively seek to use the expertise and resources of Mediterranean wetland centres and other MedWet member institutions in order to catalyse the development of projects and programmes;
ii. act as the secretariat for the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee and the MedWet Steering Group;
iii. assist MedWet member states and national entities in the implementation of the commonly agreed work plan, the Agadir Commitments and similar implementation plans, including inter alia drafting projects, facilitating services and operational contacts with funding institutions in order to mobilise resources for implementation;
iv. propose to the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee for approval and thereafter manage an indicator system for monitoring the implementation of the commonly agreed plans and the results achieved;
v. identify and actively promote the involvement of Mediterranean stakeholders in the implementation of these plans;
vi. organise meetings of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee, the MedWet Steering Group and the Scientific and Technical Team;
vii. administer the MedWet budget and prepare audited annual financial reports for Steering Group approval, and multi-year budget and financial reports for approval at each meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee;
viii. prepare and submit three-monthly implementation reports to the Steering Group;
ix. assure dissemination of information related to projects (activities, results, plans and programmes, funding opportunities etc.);
x. synergise the efforts of the wetland centres and other members of the MedWet network and the Ramsar International Organisation Partners in their promotion of the Initiative;
xi. identify opportunities to foster cooperation among and between MedWet/Com members, Ramsar Site managers, NGOs, and other regional initiatives and institutions, and disseminate them at the appropriate level in a timely manner; and
xii. undertake other actions as allocated by the MedWet/Com and the MedWet Steering Group.


The position of MedWet Coordinator corresponds to an executive managerial post. S/he has to lead the secretariat and the initiative successfully during a three-year (2014-2017) development period, resulting in a stable position and wide recognition of the initiative and its secretariat, as a basis for future work during the subsequent years. The MedWet Coordinator is appointed, based on a proposal by the MedWet Steering Group, in consultation with the MedWet/Com, and with the endorsement by the Ramsar Secretary General.


The incumbent will be offered a renewable contract, subject to an initial probationary period, according to French law. The performance of the MedWet coordinator is evaluated on an annual basis by the MedWet Steering Group. Based on the proposal by the Steering Group, the contract will be renewed in consultation with the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee.

The incumbent will be an employee of the French not-for-profit MedWet association, governed by the MedWet Steering Group.


A salary and social benefits commensurate to French labour laws and usual benefits are offered to the successful candidate, depending on experience and qualifications, and in line with the salaries paid in the local market (annual gross salary in the range of 47,000-54,000 EUR, subject to compulsory French social security deductions and income tax).
  • A track record of enthusiasm, pro-active engagement and interpersonal skills to advance issues of environmental concern and sustainable development with different stakeholders and potential partners.

• Postgraduate qualifications in an aspect of natural, legal or social sciences related to wetland conservation and sustainable use.

• A minimum of 12 years’ professional experience in environmental conservation and sustainable development issues, preferably related to wetland ecosystems, of which five years should be international experience in the Mediterranean region.

• Demonstrated capacity for efficient management of work units in terms of staff management, programme planning, project management, administration, budgeting and financial reporting.

• Demonstrated capacity for innovative and strategic thinking and ability to provide leadership in dealing with complex issues.

• Demonstrated pro-active approach to develop programmes of work and projects and to create, maintain and further develop partnerships and collaborative work.

• Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to understand and operate within multicultural environments and to lead small teams effectively.

• Demonstrated ability to integrate the perspectives of environmental and social sciences and a commitment to work in interdisciplinary teams.

• Exposure to and knowledge of major wetland conservation issues in the Mediterranean, both policy and field-related.

• Familiarity with the work of the main regional and global institutions, including NGOs, dealing with environmental and development issues in the Mediterranean.

• Demonstrated spoken and written fluency in English and French. Other Mediterranean languages, especially Arabic, would constitute a clear advantage.

• Well-developed computer skills and ability and willingness to perform the duties of the position in an independent manner with limited assistance.

• Extensive living and work experience in the Mediterranean region.

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: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

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