Regional Officer (Oceania)

Suva, Fiji 🇫🇯

The Convention on Wetlands, also called the Ramsar Convention, 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 treaty, adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971, embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance, to ensure the “wise use”, or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories, and to cooperate with neighboring countries for the conservation of shared wetlands and their biodiversity.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat, hosted by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, provides the secretariat services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties (signatory countries) for the operations and implementation of the Convention. Among the Secretariat staff of 23 persons, four regional teams provide specific support to the Ramsar Contracting Parties in Africa, the Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe. Each of the regional teams is made up of a Senior Regional Advisor and an Intern/Assistant. The Africa and Oceania regions each have an additional Regional Officer but the latter is out-posted in the Oceania region and reports to the Senior Regional Officer for Asia-Oceania who is based in the Secretariat headquarters.

Ramsar Contracting Parties in the Oceania region are presently Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.


The main focus of the Regional Officer – Oceania will be to strengthen the capacity of the Asia-Oceania regional team to deliver stronger support to the Contracting Parties and other stakeholders in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in the Oceania region.

The Regional Officer – Oceania will report to the Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania (SRA for Asia-Oceania), and will work to support the Contracting Parties in Oceania in their implementation of the Convention at the national and regional levels. The responsibilities of this position include:

Direct support to Oceania Parties to implement the Convention:

– Working with Oceania Contracting Parties and partners, such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and other regional organizations, to develop funding proposals for projects that would support the implementation of the Convention in the region;
– Strengthening communication with Oceania Contracting Parties and networking with national NGOs and international partner organizations and other relevant bodies in Oceania, so as to provide a stronger voice on wetland issues affecting the region;
– Supporting the conservation and wise use of existing Ramsar Sites in Oceania including assisting with site documentation, and the identification and designation of new Ramsar Sites;
– Supporting use of the mechanisms for conservation and sustainable use of wetlands that have been developed under the Convention, and the development of new mechanisms and tools;
– Maintaining effective communication between Oceania Parties and the Secretariat by bringing their views, experiences and needs regarding the implementation of the Convention to the attention of the Secretariat and especially the SRA for Asia-Oceania.

Direct support to Ramsar Secretariat administering implementing of the Convention in Oceania:

– Contributing to activities related to spreading the ‘Ramsar message’ to governments, decision-makers, the media, the private sector, and the general public (e.g. World Wetlands Day) and participating in other events, delivering presentations where appropriate;
– Contribute to the organization and implementation of relevant meetings of the Convention, e.g. the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP) and Pre-COP meetings;
– Conducting regular follow-up on all Ramsar Sites on Article 3.2, Article 2.5 and Montreux Records;
– Maintaining regular contacts with, and providing information to non–Contracting Parties concerning the Ramsar Convention, so as to encourage and support their accession to the Convention;
– In consultation with the Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania, support opportunities for cooperation between Ramsar Parties in Oceania and Asia, for example Coral Triangle Initiative and International Partnership for Blue Carbon;
– Participating in the work of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat as far as possible through long-distance communication and regular reporting to the Senior Regional Advisor for Asia-Oceania.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small Secretariat such as Ramsar, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee’s responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.


• At least 5 years work experience in the social, economic and environmental aspects of wetlands conservation, preferably within the Pacific islands region;

• Demonstrated capacity to develop knowledge of the workings of international biodiversity conventions, in particular the Ramsar Convention, its work in the Oceania region, and its linkages with the other biodiversity conventions;

• Demonstrated experience in participatory methods of programme and project development, fundraising, project management and implementation, including monitoring and evaluation, financial management, grant proposal and report writing;


• Fluency in English with excellent written and verbal communication skills including high level of presentation and inter-personal skills, with proven ability to synthesize information and communicate effectively to multiple audiences especially in the Oceania region;

• Demonstrated advisory and analytical skills including high level of planning, priority setting, organizational, coordination, analytical, problem-solving and facilitation skills, and time management;

• Demonstrated ability to work within a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team environment with sound experience in establishing and maintaining effective relationships with a diverse group of people including different levels of government, NGOs and community groups;

• Have a flexible approach to work and ability to build teams and to work across programmes.


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).

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