Vacancy announcement -- Ramsar Science Support Officer
RAMSAR CONVENTION SECRETARIAT
Post title: Scientific & Technical Support Officer
Work percentage: 100%
Duty station: Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to: Deputy Secretary General for Science and Communications
Starting date: as soon as possible after 1 March 2007
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 which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use 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 Convention presently has 153 Contracting Parties (member countries), which have so far designated some 1634 wetlands around the world, covering more than 145 million hectares, for the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
The Ramsar Secretariat, hosted by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) in its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, provides the secretariat services to the Convention's Contracting Parties for the operations and implementation of the Convention.
The Ramsar Secretariat provides scientific, technical and policy advice to the Convention's Contracting Parties including supporting and facilitating the work of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), the Convention's subsidiary body charged with preparing scientific and technical reports, reviews and guidelines to support implementation of the Convention.
The STRP's priority work themes for the 2006-2008 period are: inventory and assessment; ecological indicators; wise use and ecological character; water resource management; Ramsar site designation and management; wetlands and agriculture; wetlands and human health; communication, education and public awareness (CEPA); and development of national and regional expert networks.
The Scientific & Technical Support Officer is a new post in the Ramsar Secretariat, created to enhance the Secretariat's capacity to provide technical support to the work of the STRP and advice on other scientific matters.
The Ramsar Secretariat's working languages are English, French, and Spanish. The working language of the STRP is English.
The main focus of the work of the Scientific & Technical Support Officer will be to provide support to the STRP in the implementation of its Work Plan.
In particular, the Scientific & Technical Support Officer will:
1. Provide day-to-day assistance to the Deputy Secretary General for Science and Communications in supporting the implementation of STRP work plan, including establishing and running contracts with expert consultants at the request of the STRP.
2. Work with, and provide advice to, STRP's expert Working Group leads and specific task leads in the further development and implementation of the STRP Work Plan.
3. Lead, with Secretariat regional teams and STRP regional network members, in developing enhanced interaction with, and from, STRP National Focal Points.
4. Support the Deputy Secretary General for Science and Communications in the preparations for, and running of, STRP meetings.
5. Review, as appropriate, draft materials prepared by the STRP.
6. Keep the STRP Support Service Web site maintained and updated.
7. Provide technical support, including reviewing Information Sheets on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS), to the Secretariat, as appropriate.
8. Provide technical support to the Secretariat in the preparations for, and running of, the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP).
9. Undertake other duties, as required, with the agreement of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General for Science and Communications.
Selection Criteria and Qualifications
1. The principal qualities required are enthusiasm and a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development issues, specifically issues related to wetlands and water management.
2. A University degree (preferably a post-graduate degree) in a subject relevant to environmental management, wetland conservation and/or sustainable use.
3. A minimum of 4 years' professional experience in wetland-related research and/or conservation implementation, at least one of which should be at the international level.
4. Experience of data and information management, including software applications. Experience in the development and maintenance of on-line database and Web site technical software applications is an advantage.
5. Fully fluent written and spoken English. A good knowledge of Spanish is a particular advantage; knowledge of French is an advantage.
This post is offered in the first instance until 31 December 2008. Subsequent renewal of the post will be subject to budgetary decisions made by the 10th Conference of the Contracting Parties (November 2008).
Applications should include:
a) An application letter in English of no more than two pages, briefly describing the suitability of the candidate for the post in relation to each of the selection criteria and qualifications listed above.
b) A maximum one-page statement on the applicant's interpretation of the main scientific and technical challenges facing the Convention.
c) A curriculum vitae.
d) The names/contact details of three referees, including one recent employer.
E-mail applications are preferred. They should be sent only to the following address before 19 January 2007: E-mail: email@example.com
The schedule for the selection process is as follows:
a) Applications are due by 19 January 2007. All applications will be acknowledged.
b) Short list for interviews: those applicants who are shortlisted for interview should be informed of this by 6 February.
c) Interviews will be carried out at the Ramsar Secretariat on 19-20 February 2007 - applicants should be prepared to be in Gland on those days if called.
d) Final decision will be communicated not later than 28 February 2007.
e) Starting date will be as soon as possible after 1 March 2007.
Conditions of service
While the Convention on Wetlands is fully recognized by the international community as an intergovernmental agreement, its Secretariat is currently under the special circumstance of being administered by The World Conservation Union (IUCN) and shares the premises provided to both IUCN and the Convention by the Government of Switzerland, located in Gland. However, the Ramsar Secretariat is under the authority of the Standing Committee of the Convention and ultimately of its Conference of the Contracting Parties.
Legally, Ramsar Secretariat staff are IUCN employees, and their contracts are governed by the IUCN Global Human Resources Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for Expatriates, Conditions of Service for Switzerland, and Swiss labor law. IUCN does not have the status of an intergovernmental organization under a host country agreement in Switzerland: consequently, IUCN must obtain a Swiss work permit for non-Swiss staff. IUCN and Ramsar staff do not have diplomatic immunity or international civil servant (UN) status.
This position is graded at level P1 in the IUCN Position Evaluation System. Depending upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate, the remuneration will be a minimum gross salary of CHF 80,640 per annum before tax and deductions for statutory social security schemes in Switzerland and contributions to a second-pillar pension scheme.
The following additional benefits are provided: full accident insurance and a fixed contribution for health insurance (for the employee only, not his/her family); a salary entitlement in case of illness or accident; a family allowance if applicable. Expatriate entitlements include the possibility of an education allowance; a home leave travel allowance; and installation and repatriation costs. These entitlements are governed by the Guidelines and Procedures for Expatriates.