Programme Officer (Freshwater)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Cambridge, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is looking to recruit a full-time Programme Officer. The position will be based in the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit (FBU) of the IUCN Global Species Programme, in Cambridge, UK. The primary remit of the FBU is to comprehensively assess the status of the world’s freshwater biodiversity in order to rapidly expand the taxonomic and geographic coverage of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ( and to inform conservation strategies and management decisions. The assessment is being conducted in partnership with organizations with demonstrated experience and expertise in biodiversity assessment, in particular the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). The priority taxa being assessed are freshwater fishes, molluscs, dragonflies and damselflies, and selected aquatic plants worldwide, adding these to existing assessments of freshwater mammals, birds, crocodiles, freshwater crabs, shrimps and crayfish, turtles and amphibians to provide a relatively comprehensive picture of the state of life in the planet’s freshwater biodiversity.

In addition to the core work of the species assessments the FBU is implementing a number of other projects focused on: identification of important sites of freshwater biodiversity (Key Biodiversity Areas); the importance of freshwater species to people’s livelihoods; ecosystem services provided by freshwater species, and; climate change impacts on freshwater species. The Programme Officer will be expected to input to aspects of these projects.

The Programme Officer will be responsible for coordinating projects and assisting with projects that will involve: liaison with project partners and contracted species experts, data input, quality control and analysis, and will reporting on results of the FBU’s portfolio of ongoing and future projects. The Programme Officer will also have responsibility for other activities of the FBU as they arise. He/she will be required to lead in the facilitation of biodiversity training and review workshops overseas.

• Lead on coordination of projects and donor reporting as required.
• Lead on diverse aspects of the ongoing freshwater species Red List assessment work, including: collation of information for preparation of draft species assessments and digital species range maps (GIS); quality and consistency checking of completed assessments and; liaison with species experts contracted to assist with the assessments.
• Facilitate at regional species Red List assessment and review workshops, including: assisting species experts in application of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria to freshwater species; data entry and editing within the IUCN Species Information Service database (SIS); presentation on the workshop methodologies and objectives, and; assistance with organization of the workshops.
• Conduct spatial analysis (GIS), such as for production of species richness maps, for input to project technical reports and scientific papers.
• Coordinate work relating to the identification and analyses of Freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). This will include: liaison with species experts to collate the necessary information for KBA designation and delineation; facilitation of data collation from experts at KBA stakeholder workshops, and; analysis of KBA data sets for input to technical reports and scientific papers.
• Maintain regular communications with SSC species experts involved in the Red List and KBA assessments.
• Provide general assistance for the everyday running of the FBU. This will at times include development of funding proposals, organization of meetings, and attendance at programme meetings.

In addition to duties specific to the Cambridge Office, the Programme Officer may also collaborate with Global Species Programme staff in Gland, Switzerland and Washington, USA and members of the Species Survival Commission.

 • Applicants should have, as minimum:
• A higher degree (MSc or PhD) in Conservation Biology or related field.
• Proven experience in project management.
• Excellent knowledge of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.
• Excellent knowledge of site based conservation planning approaches such as Key Biodiversity Areas.
• Experience in application of Systematic Conservation Planning software, such as Marxan.
• High proficiency in the use of computer software, particularly databases such as MS Access, and Excel.
• Proven skills using GIS.
• Strong editing and writing skills in English.
• Excellent communication skills.
• Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

In addition to the above requirements, the following skills and experience would be advantageous:
• Oversees work/travel experience.
• Demonstrated proficiency in statistical analyses and programming languages such as “R”.
• A solid knowledge and understanding of freshwater ecology.
• Skills in web design, use of HTML, etc.
• Fluency in French and/or Spanish.
• Peer reviewed publications.

• Applicants must be eligible to work in the United Kingdom.


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.

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