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Policy Officer Water and Rivers



About Wetlands International – European Association

Established in September 2013, the Wetlands International – European Association brings together 8 European NGO members, working together to raise awareness about wetland ecosystems and to advocate the sustainable use of wetlands for people and nature, in particular by linking science, policy and practice. Wetlands International – European Association is part of the global Wetlands International network, the only global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands such as lakes, marshes and rivers.

Wetlands International – European Association focuses on EU-level advocacy because, as one of the biggest economies in the world, as well as the biggest donor of development aid, the EU can act as a driver of wetland degradation or as an agent of change, rehabilitation and sustainability, domestically and around the world. The work undertaken by Wetlands International – European Association contributes and is complementary to the global Wetlands International strategy, summarised in the Wetlands International Strategic Intent 2015-2025.

The European Association has already been successful in establishing its networks and niche in the region and in stimulating joint activities and policy influence. The Europe Regional Strategy (2015-2025) sets out how we work as an organisation and the targets we have set for ourselves for the coming years. Important priorities include water management, river restoration, green infrastructure solutions, and fish migration (with e.g. the European eel as one of several flagship species). The aim is to improve the conservation of wild rivers and the restoration of degraded ones across Europe, as a means to enhance biodiversity and mitigate water-related hazards such as floods and droughts.

This is done by connecting EU and national policies with on-ground implementation projects to improve awareness and understanding, build capacity, or stimulate investments in innovative demonstration projects illustrating green infrastructure solutions. We also make use of policy opportunities such as the Fitness Check of EU directives on Water and the review of the Eel Regulation. A substantial two-year programme and work plan has been prepared and is budgeted from January 2018. We now seek to engage a temporary maternity leave replacement for the Policy Officer Water & Rivers, who can carry on the policy programme and connect it to on-ground experience across the region.

The Association applies the same terms and conditions of employment as the Wetlands International’s global Foundation. 

Purpose of job

Coordinate and represent the policy and technical programme on water management and river restoration of the Wetlands International – European Association.

Main responsibilities and duties

  • Coordinate three interlinked projects on the conservation of free-flowing rivers in the Mediterranean Basin and the reduction of impact of unsustainable water infrastructure, with a focus on compliance with EU water policies and international conventions;
  • Supervise a research project on river restoration in the Rhine basin;
  • Support the programme manager in activities in the frame of the Common Implementation Strategy for the Water Framework Directive, providing input on the knowledge and experience of the Wetlands International – European Association network, and feeding back information to the network;
  • Coordinate a publication on meeting flood risk management objectives using natural approaches in urban areas;
  • Support the members and develop (communication) activities for international events focusing attention on the importance of wetlands;
  • Support the programme manager in developing grant proposals;
  • Support the development of communication and media.

Profile of the candidate

The Policy Officer Water and Rivers will have hands-on experience and sound technical expertise (e.g. in water and river management) and will work effectively across sectors to promote policy change and improve practice in river and water management in Europe.

Essential skills and experience


  • Master level qualification in relevant fields such as environment or water management, eco-hydrology, freshwater ecology or civil water engineering;
  • Minimum 5 years working experience in rivers, water management and related policy fields;
  • Knowledge of river restoration issues and nature-based solutions for water management;
  • Demonstrable experience and achievements working in and advocating towards multi-stakeholder platforms and processes;
  • Understanding of EU policy frameworks and experience of national implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management in 1-2 countries;
  • Excellent social and project management skills; team player and facilitator and able to work independently;
  • Experience with grant writing;
  • An excellent command of written and spoken English.


  • Fluency in at least one or more additional European languages (e.g. German and/or French, Spanish);
  • Interest in working in an international multi-cultural environment;
  • Prepared to travel frequently internationally.

Job offer

  • Reporting to: European Programme Manager
  • Full-time position (36 hours per week) for 4 months starting mid-February 2019
  • Salary scale: Euro 2.600 – 3.400 Gross based on a full-time contract
  • Based Location Ede-Wageningen, the Netherlands (with frequent travel to Brussels)

How to apply

To apply for this vacancy, please send us a resume and an application letter indicating your motivation to Jozefa van der Veen, HR Officer ([email protected]). Please mark in the subject: “Application – Policy Officer Water and Rivers”. Questions about the vacancy and/or procedure can also be sent to this email address. The closing date is 8 January 2019.

The first round of interviews will be held on 21 January 2019. The second round of interviews is scheduled for 28 January 2019.


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