Europe nationals: Intern/Assistant to the Senior Regional Advisor (Europe)
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 that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and 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 Ramsar Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides some administrative services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties for the operations and implementation of the Convention.
The Secretariat initiated a regional internship programme in 1997 which allows four interns to assist the respective Senior Regional Advisors in their day-to-day work within the Secretariat. The tasks will rarely involve field work. Exceptionally, interns could be asked to visit projects or participate in meetings abroad. There will also be opportunities to attend international meetings held in Geneva and to become acquainted with other international agencies based there.
With an upper age limit for applicants of 30 years old, the post offers an opportunity for young graduates to become acquainted with the workings of an intergovernmental treaty dealing with the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Candidates should be prepared to provide services for a period of at least 12 months. The assignment will be subject to a two-month probationary period. The Secretariat may offer an intern an extension of up to twelve months, i.e. for a maximum period of 24 months' service.
The intern will report to the Senior Advisor for Europe.
The Ramsar Secretariat will provide for each intern:
- a return train/boat or air ticket from and to a previously-agreed point of departure, using the most economical fare available (return fare offered only up to three months after end of the intern's tenure in the Secretariat);
- a monthly remuneration, from which the rental of a Ramsar studio apartment* is deducted, as well as roughly 18% for statutory Swiss social security and unemployment schemes and for pension and internal tax. Interns “take home” a net salary of approximately CHF 2,000.- per month;
- CHF 320 gross per month as a contribution towards his/her premium for medical insurance coverage. Swiss health insurance is mandatory and linked to the work permit. It will be organized immediately upon arrival. International health insurance coverage is usually not accepted;
- a half-price tariff ticket on the Swiss railway system, to allow travel at reasonable cost on the excellent Swiss rail network;
- a subsidized mid-day meal in the IUCN cafeteria;
- 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.
*The Ramsar Secretariat rents and equips studio apartments at a short distance from the office. Notes: (1) Interns do not have the choice of living elsewhere, since they are rented on a permanent basis for the purpose of providing accommodation for interns. (2) Owing to the type of accommodation, level of salary, and Swiss health insurance and residency conditions, candidates should be aware that it is not possible for interns to bring members of their families to live with them during their internships. Of course, holiday visits are possible with a tourist visa (at the cost of interns).
1. Evaluating data sheets ("Ramsar Information Sheets") and preparing related documentation to accompany the designation process of Ramsar Sites and their updates;
2. Entering data in RSIS (Ramsar Sites Information Service) database for new designations and updates;
3. Dealing with the conservation and sustainable use issues of individual wetland sites in the respective region and particularly assisting with the procedure concerning adverse changes in the ecological character of Ramsar Sites (Art 3.2);
4. Maintaining routine contacts with governments of Ramsar member and non–member countries, as well as with national NGOs and international partner organizations and other relevant bodies in the respective region;
5. Promoting use of the mechanisms for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands that have been developed under the Convention, especially the technical guidelines related to the work on Ramsar Information Sheets, and the development of management tools;
6. Contributing to the preparation of regional meetings, annual meetings of the Ramsar Standing Committee and the triennial Conference of the Contracting Parties;
7. Assisting in activities related to spreading the 'Ramsar message' to governments, decision-makers, the media, the private sector, and the public at large (e.g., the World Wetlands Day initiative) and participating in other events, and possibly delivering presentations;
8. Dealing with routine administrative work, such as preparing correspondence, sending faxes, making photocopies, assisting with bulk mailings, translation;
9. Occasionally collating and analyzing information on technical and policy issues related to wetland conservation and sustainable use, as required by the Strategic Plan 2016-2024 and the work plan of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) (both documents available on the Ramsar Web site).
• For this internship, candidates should be nationals of Europe and have lived most of their lives in this region.
• The Ramsar Secretariat’s working languages are English, French and Spanish. For the European regional internship excellent spoken and written English is a necessity, and French and/or Spanish would be a definite plus.
• The principal qualities required are enthusiasm and a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use issues.
• Interns should have a university degree (preferably a post-graduate degree) in a subject relevant to wetland conservation and sustainable use, such as geography, biology, hydrology, marine sciences, natural resources management, land use planning, or anthropology/sociology. Experience of field work in wetland subjects will be a clear advantage.
• Interns should also have at least one year's work experience in a relevant field.
• In addition, interns should have well-developed computer skills (Word for Windows, Excel, e-mail) and be able to perform routine secretarial tasks efficiently (typing in particular).
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: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/