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Programme Assistant - Ecosystem Resilience and Spatial Planning

Vacancy #:   6733
Unit:   Ecosystem Programme
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga, Spain
Reporting to:   Programme Manager - Ecosystem Resilience and Spatial Planning
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   A2
Expected start date:   01 March 2024
Type of contract:   Indefinite
Closing date:   18 February 2024
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was founded in 1948 and brings together over 1,4200 members (States, government agencies, NGOs and affiliates) and more thansome 15,000 scientists and experts from over 160 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. Its mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. IUCN has approximately 1,000 staff, most of whom are located in its regional and country offices, and at its Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from qualified women and men.

The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN Med) was established in 20021 in Málaga, Spain, bridging gaps between science, policy, management and action in order to conserve nature and accelerate the transition towards sustainable development in the Mediterranean. IUCN Med is responsible for implementing the North Africa and Mediterranean Programmes of IUCN, which aim to address biodiversity loss and climate change impacts. It is structured in six strategic lines, among which the Ecosystem Resilience and Spatial Planning strategic line (ER&SP). IUCN Med operates in a matrix structure; therefore the strategic line interacts with other teams within IUCN Med and across other teams in HQ and within EUCANA hub (Europe, Central Asia and North Africa Hub).

The ER&SP strategic line aims to safeguard and enhance ecosystem multi-functionality and integrity by promoting biodiversity conservation, integrating into spatial planning, changing practices and influencing decision-making. The strategic line covers primarily terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, with special areas of focus including protected areas, forests and urban areas, and is responsible for:

- Area based conservation, including governance, planning and management of Protected and Conserved Areas, OECMs;

- Mainstreaming of Nature-based Solutions, in particular ecosystem restoration approaches, in terrestrial and coastal ecosystems.

- Informing sectoral policies and practices in urban and spatial planning, tourism, and forestry, among others;
Under the oversight of the Ecosystem Resilience and Spatial Planning Programme Manager and the supervision of the respective project managers, the ER&SP Programme Assistant will support the implementation of the project porfolio of the strategic line. The Programme Assistant will be assigned to the project GBMF-IUCN Partnership for the Green List, the Interreg EURO MED GreenList4MMPAs,and other projects, and will be responsible for the following:

1) Administrative and communications support:

- Maintain smooth operation of administrative functions related to the programme and projects;

- Draft and support monitoring internal agreements, consultancy contracts, implementing agreements.

- Develop communications content at a project or programme level, including drafting press releases and articles, social media content, and coordinate internal and external communication.

2) Technical support and project implementation:

- Drafts technical papers, policy briefs and other technical documents;

- Supports development of capacity building activities and the organizations of workshops or events;

- Conducts data analysis and interdisciplinary research, managing databases and platforms;

- Supports the delivery of project activities and follows up project implementation progress;

- Supports the drafting and review of project financial and technical reports.

3) Relationship building and programme development:

- Identifying and building relationship with different partners, stakeholders and IUCN members and Commissions;

- Liaises and facilitates linkages between existing and potential partners, involved in different projects and proposals, ensuring consistent information flows between all interested parties;

- Support the preparation of competitive proposal according to IUCN goals and donors’ requirements, including the administrative and technical sections.


The Programme Assistant will report to the Ecosystem Programme Manager, while technical supervision will be done by the respective project managers. In the future, reporting line could be adjusted according to changes in the organization of the IUCN Mediterranean Office.

PLEASE NOTE: The above Job Description contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However, in an ever-evolving organisation 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 job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of a staff member’s responsibilities, the Job Description should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • Education

University degree in environmental science, engineering, economics or policy, biology, forestry, or other relevant disciplines. . Post-graduate studies in conservation, natural resource management and related fields will be valued.

Experience & Technical Skills

At least 3 years of experience in a similar role, preferably in an international context;

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Knowledge of French and Spanish, and other Mediterranean languages will be valued;

Proficient IT user of standard office software and cloud-based applications;

Experience in collaborating international projects, ideally from EU funding programmes with multi-partner consortia;

Understanding of natural resource management, area-based conservation, protected areas management effectiveness, ecosystem restoration, climate adaptation and Nature-based Solutions ;

Knowledge of global and Mediterranean environmental and sustainability issues, ideally on terrestrial and coastal ecosystems;

Strong analytical and communications skills in the context of projects, programmes and policy influencing.

Other Skills

Team player, with ability to work collaboratively in a multicultural environment;

Strong relationship-building skills / demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with donors, partners, and stakeholders;

Ability to work in a fast-paced and changing environment, adapting to changing priorities;

Openness to learning and incorporating feedback.
The minimum gross annual salary for this position is EUR 26'710. 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: https://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 around 16,000 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.