Development Assistance Officer named for Ramsar
In mid December 1999, the Ramsar Bureau invited applications for the new position of Development Assistance Officer being established in the secretariat, on the basis of a decision of the Standing Committee at its meeting in late November. The aim of this post is to strengthen the working relations of the Convention with multilateral and bilateral development assistance institutions in order to generate a more significant flow of funding to developing countries and countries in transition for wetland conservation and sustainable use. The intention is not to raise funds for projects administered by the Ramsar Bureau but to generate a more significant flow of funding in support of the Convention's Mission through other existing channels and mechanisms. An exception could be the Ramsar Small Grants Fund mechanism, which requires replenishment every year.
By the deadline of 29 February, the Bureau had received over 120 applications. Six highly qualified candidates from Belgium, Cameroon, France, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom were interviewed by a panel composed of senior Bureau staff and the Chair of the Subgroup on Finance of the Standing Committee, Mr. Karen Jenderedjian (Armenia). Each of the interviewed candidates was invited to present a "tentative work plan" for the first year of work, should he/she be offered the job. The six tentative work plans were extremely interesting and rich in good ideas and initiatives.
The Secretary General is very pleased to announce that the interviewing panel was unanimous in the decision to offer the position to Mr Alain Lambert, a national of Belgium born in 1960.
Mr Lambert has an MSC degree in International Law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and another in Environmental Economics from Wye College in the University of London. Formerly Chief of the UNIDO field offices in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil successively, he became Donor Relations Officer in 1994 at IUCN headquarters in Switzerland. Since May 1997 he has served as Senior Environmental Officer in Brazil for DFID, G7 Pilot Programme to Conserve the Amazon. He speaks and writes French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese all very well. Mr Lambert is married with three children.
It should be noted that when Mr. Lambert takes over his assignment on 1 August 2000, the title of the post will be changed to better reflect the seniority and significance of the post.