Senior Regional Advisor for Africa to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

 The Convention o­n Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Ramsar Convention is independent of the United Nations system of environmental treaties and reports o­nly to its own Contracting Parties, or Member States.

The Secretariat operations are administered by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Ramsar Convention Secretariat currently comprises 20 employees.

While the Convention o­n Wetlands is fully recognized by the international community as an intergovernmental agreement, its secretariat is under the special circumstance of being administered by IUCN and is co-located with the world headquarters of IUCN in Gland (near Geneva), Switzerland. However, the Ramsar Secretariat is under the authority of the Standing Committee of the Convention and ultimately of its Conference of the 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.

The incumbent will be offered an initial 3-year contract, subject to a three-month probation period. The following 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.

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. 

Status: Open (currently receiving applications)
Vacancy #: 164
Unit: The Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Location: Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to: Secretary General
Work percentage: 100%
Function group: M
Expected start date: 01 May 2010
Type of contract: Max-term (until 31 December 2012)
Closing date: 09 March 2010

The Senior Regional Advisor for Africa is the lead officer in the Ramsar Convention Secretariat responsible for advising o­n and supporting the strategic development and effective implementation of the Ramsar Convention o­n Wetlands o­n the African Continent.
The main responsibility of the position is to provide expert and authoritative advice and assistance to Contracting Parties in the region o­n policy, technical, and scientific issues related to the implementation at the national and regional levels, in the context of global issues.
The Senior Regional Advisor must have a global and regional understanding of wetland-related issues and must develop, maintain and present a clear understanding of the Convention’s operations and priorities, and of wetland-related issues and priorities in his/her region.
As the official representative of the Secretary General in the Africa region, the Senior Regional Advisor is responsible for maintaining a high and professional profile with governments in the region, partners, donors and other stakeholders.
The Senior Regional Advisor has line management responsibility for the Intern/Assistant Advisor for Africa and works closely with subregional initiatives in the region.
Postgraduate qualification in an aspect of natural or social science related to wetland conservation and wise use. 
A minimum of 12 years’ professional experience in environmental conservation and sustainable use / sustainable development issues, preferably related to wetland ecosystems, of which at least five years should be international experience in the relevant region. 
Demonstrated spoken and written fluency in English and French. 
Demonstrated capacity for innovative and strategic thinking and ability to provide leadership in dealing with complex issues. 
Demonstrated fundraising, budgeting and programme planning ability. 
Demonstrated ability to integrate the perspectives of the biological and social sciences and a commitment to working in interdisciplinary teams. 
Exposure to and knowledge of major wetland conservation issues, both policy and field related. 
Familiarity with the work of the main regional and global institutions, including NGOs, dealing with environment and development issues. 
Well-developed computer skills and ability and willingness to perform the duties of the position in a fairly independent manner, with limited assistance from support staff. 
Strong inter-personal skills, with demonstrated ability to understand and operate within multicultural environments, and with the range of cultures within the region. 
Should be an African national, with extensive work and living experience, preferably in different parts of Africa. 
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 138’080 to CHF 172’600, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. 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). To access the official vacancy webpage in the IUCN Human Resources system please click here

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website:

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was founded in 1948 and brings together over 1,100 members (States, government agencies, NGOs and affiliates) and some 11,000 scientists and experts from 181 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. Within the framework of global conventions IUCN has helped over 75 countries to prepare and implement national conservation and biodiversity strategies. IUCN has approximately 1,100 staff, most of whom are located in its regional and country offices while some 150 work at its Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from qualified women and men.

Updated on 2/17/2010 11:11:30 AM.