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LIFE4BEST Project Officer

Vacancy #:   1423
Unit:   Global Protected Areas Programme
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   European Regional Office, Brussels, Belgium
Reporting to:   Director - Global Protected Areas Programme
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   01 December 2020
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (13 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   26 January 2017
IUCN was founded in October 1948 as the International Union for the Protection of Nature (or IUPN) following an international conference in Fontainebleau, and changed its name to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1956 with the acronym UICN/IUCN. It is composed of more than 1,200 member organizations, including 200+ government and 900+ non?government organizations, and it can count on almost 11,000 voluntary scientists and experts, grouped in six Commissions in some 160 countries.

IUCN has for many years played a central and critical role in supporting biodiversity?related actions in Europe’s overseas. Under the French Presidency it organised the 2008 Conference "the European Union and its Overseas Entities: Strategies to counter Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss” in La Réunion, and it has remained the principal driver of the follow?up to the Conference through the organisation of biannual Overseas Roundtable sessions and the co?organisation of the International Conference on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Guadeloupe in 2014. IUCN has set up, pioneered and developed a programme dedicated to the EU Overseas. This support and commitment has been critical to provide a strong and coherent framework, to develop actions that address the real needs of the EU Overseas and to ensure the mobilization, engagement and commitment of the actors in these territories. IUCN has been able to promote and echo EU Overseas issues at the international level as demonstrated by the specific recommendations adopted at the last two World Conservation Congresses in 2012 and 2016 on “Strengthening of European provisions for biodiversity in overseas entities” and “Financing for biodiversity projects in the European Union’s outermost regions and overseas countries and territories”.

IUCN is managing two grant facility funded by the European Commission dedicated to the OCTs with BEST 2.0+ project and the Outermost regions with LIFE4BEST-ORs Project “Supporting Biodiversity Action in the EU Outermost regions (BEST)”, a LIFE2018 Preparatory Project. LIFE4BEST-ORs is a pilot project aiming at promoting the conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the 9 EU Outermost regions.

LIFE4BEST-ORs objectives are:

1. To facilitate access to EU funds for actors in the nine EU Outermost Regions so as to unlock initiatives and potential in the fields of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of ecosystem services, including ecosystem?based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, as a basis for sustainable development.
2. To increase the capacity of these actors to access and effectively manage EU funds.
3. To increase the visibility of EU Outermost Regions as key contributors to the achievement of EU and global biodiversity targets and EU strategies.

The LIFE4BEST-ORs Project will be executed by IUCN in close coordination with the BEST 2.0+ Programme and the BIOPAMA Action Component.

The LIFE4BEST-ORs Project Officer, will play a key role in the daily management of the LIFE4BEST-ORS project activities and grants. He/she will collaborate in close synergy with the BEST 2.0+ project Officer, the Senior Grant Manager and the Senior Finance Officer for the organisation and the management of the LIFE4BEST-ORs call for proposal and grants management.

The position requires good communication as well as excellent organization skills to ensure that the Project is implemented and managed according to best practices. The LIFE4BEST-ORs will liaise with the rest of the BEST Secretariat team, BIOPAMA Action Component team, other relevant staff at IUCN Headquarters, particularly in charge of legal affairs and finances as well as with the partners.
The activities of the LIFE4BEST-ORS Officer will be related to:

1. The management and monitoring of the 2019 LIFE4BEST projects in close collaboration with the Regional focal points;
2. The management of the 2020 calls for proposals, including the support to the evaluation process in close collaboration with the Regional focal points, the preparation of the Board and Steering Committee information and meetings, the grant preparation and sign off;
3. The management and monitoring of the 2020 Life4BEST projects in close collaboration with the Regional focal points;
4. The reporting to the European Commission;
5. The communication activities highlighting the important biodiversity in the Outermost Regions and promoting the achievements of the LIFE4BEST projects funded through the 2019 and 2020 call for proposals.
6. The lessons learned of the LIFE4BEST projects and grants.


1. Provide administrative support to LIFE4BEST-ORs Secretariat staff;
2. Assist Senior Grant Manager in the daily project management, coordination of activities and reporting;
3. Monitor the sub-contract with the Regional Focal Points;
4. Ensure a smooth grant management cycle;
5. Update the dedicated LIFE4BEST-ORs portal, set up a project database and update the BEST Brochure with the new funded projects;
6. Liaise with sub-contracted external reviewers during the review process of applications;
7. Prepare and organize the LIFE4BEST-ORs Regional Advisory Committee meetings, in close collaboration with the Regional Focal Points, for reviewing the concept notes and full proposals;
8. Prepare the report LIFE4BEST-ORs Regional Advisory Committee to be submitted to the LIFE4BEST-ORs Board for the final selection decision;
9. Prepare, organise the LIFE4BEST-ORs Steering Committee meetings and elaborate swiftly the meeting reports;
10. Assist Senior Finance Officer in conducting due diligence checks of potential grantees and in screening budgets of the proposals;
11. Prepare grant contracts and consultant contracts, routine payments and expense claims;
12. Assist Senior Finance Officer in monitoring financial performance of the sub-granted funds;
13. Ensure reporting to the European Commission and elaborate the capitalisation document on the basis of the projects funded by LIFE4BEST-ORs Project;
14. Support the LIFE-4BEST-ORs projects monitoring in close collaboration with the regional focal points;
15. Prepare and take part when needed to the filed visits of the LIFE4BEST-ORs grants;
16. Curate the LIFE4BEST-ORs dashboard capturing the results of the LIFE4BEST-ORs projects and grants;
17. Prepare communication support and material as well as events;
18. Support the organisation of regional capacity-building workshops;
19. Ensure synergies and good collaboration with the BEST 2.0 + and BIOPAMA Action Component;
20. Provide logistical services and organize promotion meetings;
21. Carry out other administrative support from time to time as required by the Senior Grant Manager, such as: answer and screen telephone calls and answer queries with discretion, provide and search for information on request.
  • University degree in ecology and/or business administration or commercial/secretarial diploma;

• Minimum 5 years of work experience with progressively increasing responsibilities in project management and grant management (support to third parties);

• LIFE project management experience is a critical asset;

• EU Overseas and Outermost regions knowledge and experience is an asset;

• Sound administrative/coordination skills, including contract administration, logistical coordination and event preparation, monitoring and evaluation, travel planning and management of agendas, basic financial skills;

• Track record of working as a team member as well as independently, demonstrating the application of initiative in problem-solving and trouble-shooting, creativity and flexibility;

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;

• Ability to work in a multilingual and multicultural setting;

• Personal diplomacy and discretion;

• Thorough knowledge of modern office procedures and proven ability to work in MS Windows environment (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook);

• Excellent IT skills;

• Ability to cope with a varied workload and flexible working hours, and to work independently;

• Previous experience with an international NGO/multi-lateral or inter-governmental agency is an advantage;

• Fluency in written and spoken French and English 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/

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 1,300 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.

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.