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Intern/Assistant to the Senior Regional Advisor for the Africa Region

Vacancy #:   5185
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organization:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Deputy Secretary General
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   -
Expected start date:   01 February 2020
Type of contract:   Max-term (12 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   03 November 2019
BACKGROUND
The Convention on Wetlands, also known as the “Ramsar Convention” from the name of the city in Iran where it was signed in 1971, 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 was the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific critical ecosystem.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides some administrative services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties for the operations and implementation of the Convention.

The Secretariat initiated a regional internship programme in 1997 which allows four interns to assist the respective Senior Regional Advisors in their day to day work within the Secretariat. The tasks will rarely involve field work. Exceptionally interns could be asked to visit projects or participate in meetings abroad. There will also be opportunities to attend international meetings held in Geneva and to become acquainted with other international agencies based there.

With an upper age limit for applicants of 30 years old, the post offers an opportunity for young graduates to become acquainted with the workings of an intergovernmental treaty dealing with the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Candidates should be prepared to provide services for a period of at least 12 months. The assignment will be subject to a two-month probationary period. After six months of service, the Secretariat may offer an intern an extension of up to twelve months, i.e. for a maximum period of 24 months' service.

The intern will report to the Senior Regional Advisor for Africa.

CONDITIONS

The Ramsar Secretariat will provide for each intern:

- a return train or air ticket from and to a previously-agreed point of departure, using the most economical fare available (return fare offered only up to three months after end of the intern's tenure in the Secretariat);
- monthly remuneration, from which the rental of a Ramsar studio apartment* is deducted, as well as roughly 18% for statutory Swiss social security and unemployment schemes and for pension and internal tax. Interns “take home” a net salary of approximately CHF 2,000.- per month;
- CHF320 gross per month as a contribution towards his/her premium for medical insurance coverage. Swiss health insurance is mandatory and linked to the work permit. It will be organized immediately upon arrival. International health insurance coverage is usually not accepted.
- a half-price tariff ticket on the Swiss railway system, to allow travel at reasonable cost on the Swiss rail network;
- a subsidized mid-day meal in the IUCN cafeteria;
- IUCN applies for work permits (and if required an entry visa to take up employment in Switzerland);
- Working hours: 40 per week;
- Leave: 25 days per year.

* the Ramsar Secretariat rents and equips studio apartments at a short distance from the office; Notes: (1) Interns do not have the choice of living elsewhere, since they are rented on a permanent basis for the purpose of providing accommodation for interns. (2) Owing to the type of accommodation, level of salary, and Swiss health insurance and residency conditions, candidates should be aware that it is not possible for interns to bring members of their families to live with them during their internships.
JOB DESCRIPTION
1. Evaluating data sheets ("Ramsar Information Sheets") and preparing related documentation to accompany the designation process of Ramsar Sites and their updates;
2. Enter, review and validate data in RSIS (Ramsar Sites Information Service ) as requested, particularly for Article 3.2 cases.
3. Evaluating/assessing project proposals for the Convention's Small Grants Fund programme and monitoring projects over their cycle, maintaining contact, checking reports and results;
4. Dealing with the conservation and sustainable use issues of wetlands in the respective region and particularly assisting with the procedure concerning adverse changes in the ecological character of Ramsar Sites (Art 3.2);
5. Maintaining routine contacts with governments of Ramsar member and non–member countries, as well as with national NGOs and international partner organizations and other relevant bodies in the respective region;
6. Promoting use of the mechanisms for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands that have been developed under the Convention, especially the technical guidelines related to the work on Ramsar Information Sheets, and the development of management tools;
7. Contributing to the preparation of regional meetings, annual meetings of the Ramsar Standing Committee and the triennial Conference of the Contracting Parties;
8. Assisting in activities related to spreading the 'Ramsar message' to governments, decision-makers, the media, the private sector, and the public at large (e.g., the World Wetlands Day initiative) and participating in other events, and possibly delivering presentations;
9. Dealing with routine administrative work, such as preparing correspondence, sending faxes, making photocopies, assisting with bulk mailings, translation;
10. Preparing/Drafting procurement documents (Contracts, etc.) for Ramsar Advisory Missions (RAM) and Ramsar Regional Initiative (RRIs), in line with respective region.
11. Occasionally collating and analyzing information on technical and policy issues related to wetland conservation and sustainable use, as required by the Strategic Plan 2009-2015 and the work plan of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) (copies of both documents available upon request and on the Ramsar Web site).
REQUIREMENTS
  • Candidates should be nationals of an African country and have lived most of their lives in that region.

• Ability to work in English and French is essential for this internship.

• A university degree (preferably a post-graduate degree) in a subject relevant to wetland conservation and sustainable use, such as geography, biology, hydrology, marine sciences, natural resources management, land use planning, or anthropology/sociology.

• Experience of field work in wetland subjects will be a clear advantage.

• Well-developed computer skills (Word for Windows, Excel, e-mail) and ability to perform routine secretarial tasks efficiently (typing in particular).

• The principal qualities required are enthusiasm and a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use issues.

• The upper age limit for applicants is 30 years old
APPLICATIONS

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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