Swimways Coordinator

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In 2022, we will launch a Trans-European Swimways Network as a visible flagship to protect migratory fish and catalyse reaching the EU Biodiversity Strategy’s targets on restoring threatened fish species to favourable conservation status, and restoring 25,000 km target for free-flowing rivers. We will do this in partnership with the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, the World Fish Migration Foundation, and our member organisations. This exciting new initiative aims to identify, protect and restore a network of swimways for migratory fish such as the European Eel that will raise the profile of fish migration to connect fish, rivers, and people across borders in Europe, with science, policy, and communications components.

The Swimways Network will help us address the alarming loss of migratory freshwater fish in Europe. Building on our extensive experience with the flyway conservation approach to migratory waterbirds, we will use migratory fish as a way to foster international cooperation, while improving scientific knowledge and guidance, to strengthen EU policies and accelerate their implementation, Including better Integration of the water directives with the Birds Directive, Habitats Directive, and European Eel Regulation.

Part-time: 18 hours per week with a possibility to increase the number of hours if funding allows.
Location: Must be based in the Netherlands or Belgium.
Contract Duration: Until end of 2024 with possibility of renewal if funds are available.

Purpose of the role

The Swimways coordinator will support the development, launch, and promotion of the Swimways Network through technical and advocacy work, integrating the approach into EU policies and stimulating on-the ground actions.

Responsibilities and tasks

Programme and network development

  • Develop the Trans-European Swimways Network.
  • Organise relevant workshops and other networking events.
  • Promote the Trans-European Swimways Network.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships related to the Trans-European Swimways Network including working closely with relevant members of Wetlands International Europe.
  • Identify and manage funding opportunities and develop project proposals related to the Trans-European Swimways Network.


  • In collaboration with the Freshwater and Biodiversity managers, assess EU and European policies relevant for the Trans-European Swimways Network and advocate for the inclusion of the swimways considerations into such policies.
  • Represent Wetlands International Europe in relation to swimways.

Working relations

INSIDE Wetlands International: The Swimways coordinator will work under the supervision of the Biodiversity Programme Manager. S/He will work closely with the other team members and in particular with the Freshwater Manager as well as with the Members of Wetlands International Europe.

OUTSIDE Wetlands International: The job holder will work closely with the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit and with the World Fish Migration Foundation. In addition, S/He will work closely with partner organizations of the Trans-European Swimways Network, the scientific community, donors and any other relevant partners in our wider network. S/He will also liaise with Wetlands International Global finance and resource development team when needed.


The Swimways Coordinator has a good knowledge of migratory freshwater fish and experience with networking, communications, and advocacy. S/He is a proactive person that can work as a constructive member of a team with minimum supervision both within and outside of the organization. S/He is an organized and structured person able to prioritize and used to work with tough deadlines. S/He is capable to write clear and consistent reports. S/He is Curious & creative and with a good sense of humor and possesses an understanding of and empathy with the aims and objectives of Wetlands International Europe.

Essential education and experience

  • Higher-level education preferably with a background in freshwater ecology or fisheries.
  • At least three years of relevant experience in advocacy and networking.
  • Experience with project planning and development.
  • Experience working with EU and government institutions will be an advantage.
  • Experience working with non-governmental organisations will be an advantage.

Core competencies

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English. Working knowledge of French or Spanish will be an asset.
  • Strong ICT skills. Good GIS and data management skills are an asset.
  • Extrovert personality.
  • Good communication and negotiations skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills with attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Capacity to work independently and within a team.
  • Ability to work in an international, multi-cultural NGO environment.
  • Active interest in current environment and development matters.

Job Offer

  • Part-time job, 18 hours per week with a possibility to increase the number of hours if funding allows.
  • Salary: Competitive salary, dependent on experience.
  • Contract duration: Until the end of 2024 with a possibility of renewal if funds are available.
  • Location: The selected applicant will have to be based in the Netherlands or Belgium. Only candidates willing to relocate or with work permit in these countries will be eligible.
  • Start date: a.s.a.p.

How to apply

Applications should include a covering letter summarising the applicant’s suitability for the position and a detailed CV. Applications should be sent by email to [email protected]

Please mark in the subject: “Swimways Coordinator”. Questions about the vacancy and/or procedure can also be sent to this email address.
Interviews: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Deadline for submission of applications 29th April.