Maritime Boundaries Adviser

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The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Geoscience Division has three technical work programmes: Geoscience for Development, Water and Sanitation, and Disaster Reduction. Its services to Pacific Community members include assessments of the potential of ocean and onshore mineral resources, maritime boundary data collection, coastal protection and management, geo-hazard assessment, and technical advice and assistance in the areas of water, waste-water, sanitation, disaster risk management, mapping and surveying (including GIS and remote sensing) and natural resources economics.

The role – the Maritime Boundaries Adviser is responsible for the coordination of surveys, determination of maritime boundary baselines, assessment of archipelagic status, definition of the maritime outer limits, and the technical determination of shared boundary solutions for Pacific Island countries (PICs) in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Additionally, the Maritime Boundaries Technical Adviser will analyse data to define the outer limits of extended continental shelf claims in accordance with Article 76 of UNCLOS, and will be instrumental in building capacity in maritime boundary development in the region. The Adviser will also maintain the regional boundaries database: the Pacific Islands Regional Maritime Boundaries Information System (PIRMBIS). Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • provision of technical advice and support to Pacific Community member countries and the development of their maritime boundary technical solutions in accordance with the legal/technical provisions of UNCLOS;
  • provision of technical advice and support to Pacific Community member countries and the development of their respective extended continental shelf claims;
  • continued maintenance of the PIRMBIS database, which contains the confidential data and information on maritime boundaries development in the Pacific Islands region;
  • provision of ongoing capacity building and training of members’ boundary technical teams through the planning and coordination of regional training workshops, provision of attachment training and regional liaison with country technical teams and international partners; and
  • provision of technical support, advice and assistance on the SPC Petroleum Databank and the MMAJ/JICA (Metal and Mining Agency of Japan/Japanese International Cooperation Agency)

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the Job Description provided.

Key selection criteria


  • A degree (preferably postgraduate) in GIS, cartography or a related field.

Technical expertise

  • At least five years of expert knowledge in the use of geospatial tools and techniques in relation to the delineation and delimitation of maritime boundaries
  • Expert knowledge and understanding of UNCLOS provisions (as they apply to the development of maritime boundaries in PIC environments)
  • Working knowledge of the legal and geophysical potential and constraints in developing extended continental shelf claims
  • Firm understanding of spreadsheet and database principles
  • Strong PC-based computer skills, and knowledge of applications and software, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Access), Adobe (Photoshop), and GIS-based programmes (MapInfo, ArcGIS, ERDAS, QGIS, Geocap and Geo Calculator)
  • Ability to lead and coordinate projects and multi-disciplinary in-country team outputs
  • Relevant technical experience in remote sensing, computer-based graphics and mapping applications
  • Good understanding of the working environment in PICs
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills in English (written and oral)

Language skills

  • Proficiency in English, with a working knowledge of French would be an advantage.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Cross-cultural skills and ability to work with team members from diverse cultural background.

Salary, terms and conditions 

Required starting date – Immediate

Contract duration – Until 31 December 2019

Remuneration – The Maritime Boundaries Adviser is a Band 9 position within SPC’s 2017 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,132-2,665 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 6,225-7,781 (USD 2,963–3,704; EUR 2,695–3,369). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji are subject to income tax.

Benefits for international staff employees based in Fiji. SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

Application procedure

Applicants must apply online. 

For your application to be considered, you are required to provide us with:

  • an updated resume;
  • contact details for three professional referees;
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position; and
  • responses to all screening questions.

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.