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Programme Officer: Knowledge Products and Policy Support

Vacancy #:   814
Unit:   Species Cambridge Unit
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Cambridge Office, Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Reporting to:   Global Director - Biodiversity Conservation Group
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 June 2014
Type of contract:   Indefinite
Closing date:   20 May 2014
‘Providing knowledge products’ is one of the four priority business lines in the IUCN Programme (2013-2016). IUCN aims to further develop and integrate its six ‘flagship’ knowledge products mobilized through IUCN Commissions, Members and Secretariat. These include The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and Protected Planet (World Database on Protected Areas); and the developing Red List of Ecosystems and Key Biodiversity Areas. Each of the knowledge products is fundamentally important in its own right. However, there is potential for them to deliver even more than is possible through each of the six parts individually. This post aims to support the development of the individual knowledge products as well as their integration.
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 is which IUCN played a major role in developing. 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, 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’. 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. A current priority has been placed on the refinement of the KBA standard and it’s subsequent implementation. Where possible and relevant the position will build links with the IUCN Regions to promote better use of and support for the development of the knowledge products.
IUCN’s knowledge products provide an essential information base for work to achieve the Aichi targets. This post will support the application of the IUCN knowledge products to the achievement of the IUCN Programme and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. It works to support the achievement of the Aichi biodiversity targets through helping to ensure that the knowledge products are both understood and utilized in relevant policy fora. There is currently a particular focus promoting the achievement of Aichi target 12: By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained which has clear links to The IUCN Red List.
The Programme Officer will report to and work closely with the Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group. 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, the IUCN Science and Knowledge Programme, 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 Key Biodiversity Areas.
The Biodiversity Conservation Group hosts the IUCN technical focal points for 5 of the 6 biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (the Ramsar focal point sits with the IUCN Water Programme) and works closely with the Global Policy Unit to support their implementation.
Knowledge products mobilized through IUCN
1. 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.
2. Contribute to the development and implementation of a strategy for the refining and implementation of the new standard for sites of global biodiversity conservation significance (IUCN KBA implementation strategy) in discussion with relevant partners.
Fundraising and project development (40%)
3. Lead/support fundraising activities and project development related to the area based knowledge products with a priority on key biodiversity areas.
4. Develop project proposals to support the development and application of the consolidated criteria for identifying sites of global biodiversity significance to identify, delineate, and document key biodiversity areas, working closely with the Programme Officer, Conservation Planning.
Policy influencing (25%)
5. 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 ensuring awareness and uptake of knowledge products. 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.
6. Support specific work to promote use of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a means of supporting achievement of Aichi target 12. This includes supporting the Friends of target 12 network.
7. Support the development and implementation of IUCN Policy positions for the CBD and other biodiversity-related multi-lateral environmental agreements to influence policy negotiations relevant to implementing the Aichi targets the establishment of KBAs.
Communications, capacity development and outreach (10%)
8. Support outreach work for IUCN’s area related knowledge products (including events at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress).
9. Act as the IUCN 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.
10. 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 (15%)
11. Cultivate opportunities for exchange and collaboration with custodians of data related to IUCN Flagship knowledge products include IUCN Red List partners, e.g. BirdLife International, RBG Kew, and Zoological Society of London.
12. 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 (10%)
13. Support the Biodiversity Conservation Group Directorate work planning, budgeting, financial management, reporting and monitoring requirements.
The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in an organization 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 job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee's responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.
  • At least 5 years’ work experience at a professional level.
• Masters Degree or equivalent in Ecology, Biology, Geography or a relevant field.
• Knowledge and experience of the knowledge products mobilized through IUCN.
• 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 relationship 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.
• 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).
• Ability to take initiative, exercise good judgment, think laterally and resolve complex issues in a dynamic and changing environment.
• The 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.

• All applicants must be eligible to work and live in the UK to be considered for this role.
The minimum gross annual salary for this position is GBP 38'281. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

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/

About IUCN

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 1,400 Member organisations and some 15,000 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.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.