35th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee

21/02/2007

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CONVENTION ON WETLANDS (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
35th Meeting of the Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 14-16 February 2007

Report of the Management Working Group

Tuesday, 13 February 2007,15:00-18:00

Chair: Uganda, Mr Paul Mafabi, Chairman of the Standing Committee
Members: Chair COP8 SC (excused), COP8 SC Vice-Chair (Y. Rajabkhah), COP9 SC Vice-Chair (J. Bowleg), COP8 Finance Chair (Excused), COP9 Finance Chair (H. Raffaele), COP8 STRP Chair (excused), COP9 STRP Chair (absent), Secretary General, China, Japan, Malawi, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Switzerland, Viet Nam, Syria, BirdLife International, WWF International

1. Establishment of mechanisms for Transitions between COP's

The Management Working Group proposes that Standing Committee recommend to COP that a mechanism to have a Transition Committee, formally constituted and with an agreed agenda, meet following the COP and the first Standing Committee meeting of the new triennium. Members should be the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Subgroup on Finance for the new and the most recent triennium, with Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General(s) ex-officio members, providing the reporting. The Transition Committee should be chaired by the incoming chair of SC.

This Transition Committee should meet immediately after the first SC meeting following COP, or the following morning if that meeting is a late evening one.

2. Management of the Secretariat

The MWG recommends to SC that it note the agreed staff action plan amongst Secretariat staff, and that 3-monthly updates on the plans implementaton be provided to the Chair, Vice-Chair and Chair FSG.

The MWG also recommends SC agree that IUCN should be advised that the Chair of the Standing Committee should be considered an Ombudsman for the Secretariat staff, in cases where an urgent independent intervention is sought to resolve difficult staffing Issues.

The MWG recommends SC note the issue of Secretariat staff remuneration and conditions of service, including training needs, to be included in considerations presented to COP in the budget context.

3. Proposed staff changes in the Secretariat

The MWG discussed this issue without reaching consensus.

One possible consideration is that a post of Chief, Regional Affairs be established until 28/02/08, to be filled by the most senior of the Senior Advisers. SC 36 should be presented with a case for keeping this establishment of this post, or a further re-organization of senior staffing posts.

This post will work closely with the SG and DSG in managing the business of the Secretariat.

Alternatively, the work pattern of the DSG and other senior staff should be revised to take account of the real situation and needs of the Secretariat's work, pending a further review to SC36.

A post, at P1level, be established until 31/12/08, but with a review after 12 months of the performance of the post. This post will support regional activities of the Convention, and provide help in the preparation of the COP.

Terms of reference for the P1 post are attached.

4. On-going issues

The MWG advises SC that, in the absence of other direction from SC, it will keep on its agenda the following items for further consideration and report to SC36

  • Role of Parties in selection of new Secretariat staff;
  • Refinements of the Secretary General Performance Agreement, including the input into this process by staff and others;
  • Monitoring and encouraging joint actions with lOP's;
  • Ensuring some contact during the year between Parties and the Secretariat staff.

Annex

Terms of Reference (DRAFT)

Ramsar Convention Secretariat

Regional Affairs Officer

DUTIES

The main focus of the work of the Regional Affairs Officer will be to provide support to the Secretariat's regional teams in their advice and guidance on national and regional implementation of the Ramsar Convention to Contracting Parties and other stakeholders. This includes the provision of guidance and training to the temporary regional assistant advisers (interns) and particular support to their work on Ramsar sites and project administration matters.

During the fixed term, this position will provide support to the regional team that provides the Chief, Regional Affairs, in order to compensate for its lowered capacity to focus on this particular region, as a consequence of the other duties of the Chief, Regional Affairs.

In particular, the Regional Affairs Officer will be involved in the following national and regional level tasks:

1. Develop and maintain regular contacts with the Administrative Authorities of Contracting Parties, NGOs and international partner organizations to the Convention in a particular region.

2. Assist Contracting Parties in the designation and management of Ramsar sites, and their drafting of wedand policies and strategies.

3. Facilitate accession to the Convention by countries which are not yet Contracting Parties.

4. Assist with technical reviews of projects and the administration of regional funding initiatives operated through the Secretariat.

5. Participate in the organization of Ramsar regional and subregional meetings as appropriate.

6. Support the implementation of regional initiatives.

7. Undertake other duties, as required, with the agreement the Deputy Secretary General for Regional Affairs

REQUIREMENTS

1. The principal qualities required are enthusiasm and a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development issues, including 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 environmental conservation, of which at least one must be at the international level.

4. Full ability to work in English and Spanish; a working knowledge of French is an advantage.

Post duration

This is a fixed term position until 31 December 2008, pending a review after 12 months.

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