Job Opening

Posting Title: Coordinator of the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan for NE Atlantic Common Dolphin
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: BONN
Posting Period: 28 October 2022 - 03 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-187860-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

High-quality technical coordination of the implementation of the ASCOBANS Common Dolphin SAP.

Work Location


Expected duration

12 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS) is an intergovernmental treaty that promotes close cooperation amongst Parties with a view to achieving and maintaining a favourable conservation status for small cetaceans in the ASCOBANS Area.

The short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis; hereafter referred to as the common dolphin) plays a key functional role within the ecosystem as a top predator. Its population in the North-East (NE) Atlantic is facing ever-increasing anthropogenic pressures, the most significant of which is bycatch. Also of importance are chemical pollution and noise disturbance. In 2015, the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee noted the need for monitoring the North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin population. In 2016, Parties to ASCOBANS adopted Resolution 8.4 Conservation of Common Dolphins, requesting the Steering Group to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for the Common Dolphin in the eastern North Atlantic with the aim of restoring the population to a favourable conservation status.

The ASCOBANS Species Action Plan for North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin (Common Dolphin SAP) is a result of a collaborative effort organised under the auspices of ASCOBANS. A draft Common Dolphin SAP was first presented at the 24th Meeting of the Advisory Committee in 2018, and it was adopted by ASCOBANS Parties intersessionally in 2019. Since then, its Steering Group has met twice. The relevant resolution was amended at the 9th Meeting of the Signatories in 2020 (Res.8.4. (Rev.MOP9)).

At the 26th Meeting of the Advisory Committee (November 2021), Parties included coordination of the Common Dolphin SAP to the list of initiatives to be prioritised, and allocated funding that is sufficient for part-time coordination functions.

Building on the work already undertaken, and under the supervision of the Secretariat, the individual or organisation providing technical coordination should undertake the following tasks:

1) Coordinate efforts among Parties and stakeholders to deliver the SAP, identifying synergies and opportunities for efficiency savings, including:
a. Review progress under the Common Dolphin SAP and produce Progress Reports;
b. Review the Actions of the Common Dolphin SAP and develop proposals for amending them, if deemed warranted, prior to the Steering Group meeting;
c. Review the action points and/or recommendations from the previous meeting of the Steering Group and develop new ones in advance of the meetings of the Steering Group;
d. Review latest available information on common dolphin bycatch, and the trialling and implementation of bycatch mitigation techniques, from the fleets operating in the NE Atlantic;
e. Report on updates, if any, in regional information on life history parameters (e.g. age structure, age at sexual maturity, reproductive information) health and nutritional status, diet, pollutant levels, and causes of mortality for common dolphin in the area covered by the SAP, ensuring synergies with other fora;

2) Provide technical support on behalf of ASCOBANS to
a. the ICES WGBYC and ICES WGMME and other relevant fora (e.g. OSPAR, the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, fisheries management Advisory Councils), as appropriate;
b. meetings of the Regional Coordination Group which will develop the regional implementation of the Data Collection Framework (DCF), assuming any meetings are organised and contribution is feasible;

3) Upon request of the ASCOBANS Secretariat, produce relevant reviews and reports and provide technical support to meetings and attend these, if required; and

4) Provide advice on appropriate funding mechanisms for the long-term implementation of the SAP and support fundraising efforts.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Post-graduate degree (Master’s) in zoology, marine sciences, or closely related field. PhD is considered an advantage.

Experience: Minimum five years of relevant experience. Substantive proven experience and capacity to provide the required activities and outputs as described above. In particular, experience in marine nature conservation as well as understanding of the political and legal context and of scientific issues concerning common dolphin conservation in the NE Atlantic.; experience in producing key environmental impact and/or species conservation and strategy documents for policy makers; good understanding of the mandates and work of ASCOBANS.

Language: Excellent communication skills in English are required (other official languages spoken in SAP range states are an advantage).

Skills: Able to establish and maintain relations and to represent ASCOBANS positions in different fora.

No Fee


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