Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet)
Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Duty station: Kifissia, Athens, Greece
Deadline for application: 15 August 2007
Starting date: as soon as possible after 1 October 2007
The Mediterranean basin is rich in wetland ecosystems of great ecological, social and economic value. Yet these important natural assets have been considerably degraded or destroyed, mainly during the 20th century. The MedWet Initiative is a concerted long-term collaborative regional initiative under the global Convention on Wetlands, signed in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. The Initiative is guided by the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee which brings together 26 governments from the region, the Palestinian Authority, the European Commission, the Barcelona and Berne Conventions and international NGOs and Mediterranean wetland centres ( www.medwet.org).
Through a series of major international projects, MedWet developed since 1993 methods and tools for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland ecosystems and implements them in many countries. In addition, it established a solid network of collaboration within the Ramsar Convention, bringing together most of the major stakeholders in the region. The programme and activities of the MedWet Initiative are prepared by a Scientific and Technical Team with the support of a Secretariat, based in Kifissia, Athens, Greece.
The MedWet Secretariat operates under the authority and supervision of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee and its Steering Group. It consists of the MedWet Coordinator and other Secretariat staff, according to the programme needs and available resources. The Coordinator has the overall responsibility for the effective functioning of the Secretariat.
The MedWet Coordinator is the central person to drive and to support the MedWet Initiative. S/he is leading the Secretariat providing support to the members of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee, the Scientific and Technical Team, the Steering Group and other MedWet partners. S/he is responsible for efficient and timely preparations of regular meetings of the Committee and Steering Group in cooperation with specific MedWet members.
S/he must have a global and regional understanding of wetland ecosystems, environment and development-related issues and must develop, maintain and present to external partners a clear understanding of the operations and priorities of the MedWet Initiative, under the global Convention on Wetlands, and of wetland-related issues in the Mediterranean region. S/he is responsible for maintaining a high and professional profile with governments in the region, partners, donors and other stakeholders.
Responsibilities of the MedWet Coordinator
The main responsibilities of the MedWet coordinator are:
1. To serve the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com) and the Steering Group as its executive secretary and to make sure that its decisions are promptly and faithfully carried out.
2. To catalyse activities in favour of the conservation and wise use of Mediterranean wetlands, within the framework of approved work plans, involving in their execution, in an equitable manner, the members of MedWet/Com.
3. To guide the MedWet Secretariat and to ensure that it operates efficiently. In particular, to select, train and supervise the Secretariat staff and guide their work, including individual annual performance appraisal reports to be submitted to the governing board of the Association.
4. To manage prudently the finances of the MedWet Secretariat, limiting expenses to the income possibilities, and guaranteeing a balanced budget, with proper accounting and allowance for contingencies.
5. To draft the MedWet Secretariat annual work plans and to submit them for approval to the Steering Group.
6. To report fully and accurately on progress of work and the financial situation on a six-monthly basis through the governing board to the Steering Group.
7. To represent the MedWet Initiative in national, regional or international fora in consultation with the Chair of the Steering Group.
Point 3 above refers to the tasks of the MedWet Secretariat which are in particular:
i. to facilitate collaboration among MedWet members and projects and proactively seek to use the Centres’ expertise and resources in order to catalyse the development of projects and programmes;
ii. to act as the secretariat for the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee, the MedWet Steering Group and the Scientific and Technical Team;
iii. to assist MedWet States and national entities in the implementation of the Multi-Year Work Plan, including inter alia drafting projects, facilitating services and operational contacts and relations with funding institutions in order to mobilise resources for the implementation of the MedWet Strategic Priorities and Work Plan;
iv. to propose to the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee for approval and manage an indicator system for monitoring the implementation of the Multi-Year Work Plan and the results achieved;
v. to identify and actively promote the involvement of Mediterranean stakeholders in the implementation of the Multi-Year Work Plan;
vi. to organise meetings of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee, the MedWet Steering Group and Scientific and Technical Team;
vii. to administer the budget of MedWet, and prepare audited annual financial reports for Steering Group approval and multi-year budget and financial reports for approval at each meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee;
viii. to prepare and submit six-monthly implementation reports, through the MedWet Secretariat governing board, to the Steering Group;
ix. to assure dissemination of information related to projects (activities, results, plans and programmes, funding opportunities etc.);
x. to synergise the efforts of the Wetland Centres and the International Organisation Partners in their promotion of the Initiative;
xi. to identify opportunities to foster cooperation among and between MedWet/Com members, Ramsar site managers, NGOs, and other regional initiatives and institutions, and disseminate them at the appropriate level in a timely manner; and
xii. to undertake other actions as allocated by the MedWet/Com and the MedWet Steering Group.
Selection Criteria for the MedWet Coordinator
1. Postgraduate qualifications in an aspect of natural, legal or social sciences related to wetland conservation and sustainable use.
2. A minimum of 12 year’s professional experience in environmental conservation and sustainable development issues, preferably related to wetland ecosystems, of which five years should be international experience in the Mediterranean region.
3. Demonstrated capacity for efficient management of work units in terms of staff management, programme planning, project management, administration, budgeting and financial reporting.
4. Demonstrated capacity for innovative and strategic thinking and ability to provide leadership in dealing with complex issues.
5. Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to understand and operate within multicultural environments and to lead effectively small teams.
6. Demonstrated ability to integrate the perspectives of environmental and social sciences and a commitment to work in interdisciplinary teams.
7. Exposure to and knowledge of major wetland conservation issues in the Mediterranean, both policy and field-related.
8. Familiarity with the work of the main regional and global institutions, including NGOs, dealing with environmental and development issues in the Mediterranean.
9. Demonstrated spoken and written fluency in English. Additional fluency in French, and possibly other Mediterranean languages being a clear advantage.
10. Well-developed computer skills and ability and willingness to perform the duties of the position in an independent manner with limited assistance.
11. Extensive living and work experience in the Mediterranean region.
Conditions of Service
The position of MedWet Coordinator corresponds to an executive managerial post, comparable to the position of a senior regional adviser in the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. The MedWet Coordinator is appointed by decision of the Ramsar Secretary General, with the participation of the MedWet Steering Group, and in full consultation with the MedWet/Com.
The incumbent will be offered a three-year contract, subject to a three-month probationary period. The performance of the MedWet coordinator is evaluated on an annual basis by a three member panel, consisting of the chair of the Steering Group, one representative of the Ramsar Secretariat and a member of the governing board of the MedWet Secretariat. Based on the proposal by the Steering Group, the contract can be renewed in consultation with the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee.
The incumbent will be an employee of the Greek not-for-profit association “MedWet Secretariat”. A salary and social benefits commensurate to Greek labour laws and usual benefits are offered to the successful candidate, depending on experience and qualifications.
Applications should include:
1. An application letter in English of no more than two pages, briefly describing the suitability of the candidate for the post in relation to the selection criteria stated above.
2. A maximum one-page statement of the applicant’s interpretation of the main challenges facing the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative in the coming years.
3. A complete curriculum vitae.
4. The names, e-mail and telephone contacts of three referees, including one recent employer.
Applications, mentioning the subjet “MedWet Coordinator”, should be sent by e-mail only to: firstname.lastname@example.org – before 15 August 2007.
Only the receipt of complete applications will be acknowledged. Candidates short listed for interview, taking place in early September, will be contacted individually.