Call for Expessions of Interest:

Update and Revision of the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises  (Phocoena phocoena L.) in the North Sea

Closing date: 8 August 2022

 

The ASCOBANS Secretariat is welcoming Expressions of Interest (EOI) from organisations or individuals to review and update the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena L.) in the North Sea (or the “North Sea Plan”).

Background

Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena, Linnaeus 1758) are widely distributed in shelf waters of the temperate North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans and in some semi-enclosed seas, such as the Black and Baltic Seas. The North Sea is an important habitat for harbour porpoises in the North East Atlantic. Harbour porpoises are exposed to a number of anthropogenic pressures and various populations are recognised as threatened or endangered in several international conservation instruments.

The ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena L.) in the North Sea (North Sea Plan) is a result of a collaborative effort organised under the auspices of ASCOBANS. It is the culmination of a series of scientific initiatives and meetings over several years, starting in 2002. The 5th International Conference for the Protection of the North Sea (Bergen, Norway, March 2002) called for a recovery plan for harbour porpoises in the North Sea to be developed and adopted. Germany volunteered in 2003 to draft a conservation plan within the framework of ASCOBANS and in association with Range State Norway. The North Sea Plan was adopted by ASCOBANS Parties in 2009.

Since 2011, annual meetings of the North Sea Group have been held. This is the plan’s Steering Group, composed of representatives from the environment and fisheries sectors of the countries surrounding the North Sea as well as NGO and fisheries organisation representatives. The North Sea Group’s task is to evaluate progress in development and implementation of the Plan (specifically with regards to each of the actions defined in the Plan), promote and coordinate the implementation of the Plan, gather information on its implementation and the results obtained, and make recommendations for actions to the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee. The plan is subject to regular periodic review, as laid down in section 4.1.3 of the plan itself. At its 9th Meeting (January 2021, online), the North Sea Group agreed that a review of the North Sea Plan was due.

Aims of the contract

Building on the existing North Sea Plan, the recent recommendations and comments of the North Sea Group, the regular Progress Reports, as well as various scientific publications relevant to harbour porpoise conservation in the North Sea region, and in close consultation with the Members of the North Sea Group and the ASCOBANS Secretariat, a draft revision of the North Sea Plan should be developed.

The draft is to follow the guidance and template for the development of ASCOBANS Species Action Plans provided in attachment.

The first draft should be reviewed and refined by the 11th Meeting of the North Sea Group (NSG11, 31 January - 1 February 2023), and the second draft to be produced by 31 March 2023, in advance of the 28th Meeting of the Advisory Committee (AC28).  Ultimately, it is planned that a formal adoption of the revised North Sea Plan by the 10th Meeting of the Parties (MOP10) will take place in 2024.

Deliverables

The scope of the work will include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following tasks:

  1. Review existing material and research results, such as:
    • The existing North Sea Plan, and for comparison the other three ASCOBANS Species Action Plans[1]
    • Reports and recommendations of the 8th, 9th, and 10th Meetings of the North Sea Group
    • Progress Reports on the North Sea Plan
    • Relevant recent publications in scientific journals
  1. Prepare a detailed draft version of the North Sea Plan (Draft 1), following the “Guidance for the Development of ASCOBANS Species Action Plans” and in close consultation with the North Sea Group and the ASCOBANS Secretariat (in writing, on individual chapters of the draft and/or the entire document)
  1. Present the draft to the 11th Meeting of the North Sea Group (31 January - 1 February 2023) and following this meeting, prepare a revised version (Draft 2), again in consultation with the North Sea Group and the ASCOBANS Secretariat, by 31 March 2023. 

Timelines

Draft 1 should be submitted to the ASCOBANS Secretariat for circulation by 31 December 2022, i.e. no later than four weeks in advance of NSG11.

Draft 2 should be submitted to the ASCOBANS Secretariat by 31 March 2023.

Required Profile and Qualifications

The ASCOBANS Secretariat welcomes EOIs from organisations or individuals with substantive proven experience and capacity to provide the required output as described above. In particular, the organization or individual should:

  • Have proven experience in delivering international publications aimed at managers and policy makers, and/or development of national and/or international conservation plans and strategies
  • Be internationally recognised with proven expertise in producing key environmental impact and/or species conservation and strategy documents for policy makers
  • Have proven knowledge of small cetacean conservation issues, in particular be deeply familiar with the situation in the North Sea region, and be well-connected in the North Sea region in order to ensure the required expert advice
  • Have a good understanding of the mandates and work of ASCOBANS
  • Have excellent communication skills in English (other official languages spoken in ASCOBANS Party countries are an advantage).

Estimated Duration

Six months. The period covered by this contract extends from the day of signature of the contract until 31 March 2023 at the latest.

 

The ASCOBANS Secretariat is looking forward to receiving EOIs by 8 August 2022 (extended deadline).  Please include a technical proposal, a financial offer, and the relevant CV(s). Please send your EOI to the ASCOBANS Secretariat by email: ascobans.secretariat@ascobans.org.

[1] Four Species Action Plans are currently in place within the framework of ASCOBANS. They can be accessed at http://www.ascobans.org/en/documents/action-plans.
 

 

Call for Expressions of Interest:

Coordination of the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan  for North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)

***Closed 29 July 2022***

 

The ASCOBANS Secretariat is welcoming Expressions of Interest (EOI) from qualified organisations or individuals to provide coordination of the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan for North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin as soon as possible, for one year initially, as outlined below.

Background

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 (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.

Aims of the contract

Building on the work already undertaken, and under the supervision of the Secretariat, the individual or organization 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:
    • Review progress under the Common Dolphin SAP and produce Progress Reports;
    • Review the Actions of the Common Dolphin SAP and develop proposals for amending them, if deemed warranted, prior to the Steering Group meeting;
    • 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;
    • 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;
    • 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
    • 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;
    • 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.

Expected outputs

Progress reports on the implementation of the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan for North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin, and other reports as appropriate.

Required Profile and Qualifications

The ASCOBANS Secretariat welcomes EOIs from organisations or individuals with substantive proven experience and capacity to provide the required activities and outputs as described above. In particular, the organisation or individual should:

  1. Have significant 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;
  2. Have experience in producing key environmental impact and/or species conservation and strategy documents for policy makers;
  3. Have excellent communication skills in English (other official languages spoken in ASCOBANS Parties are an advantage);
  4. Be able to establish and maintain relations and to represent ASCOBANS positions in different fora; and
  5. Have good understanding of the mandates and work of ASCOBANS.

Estimated Duration

Approximately 75 days over 12 months (including meetings).

 

The ASCOBANS Secretariat is looking forward to receiving EOIs from organizations or individuals by 29 July 2022, 09:00 CEST.  Please include a technical proposal, a financial offer, and the relevant CV(s). Please send your EOI to the ASCOBANS Secretariat by email: ascobans.secretariat@ascobans.org.


 

An internship at the ASCOBANS Secretariat provides a good opportunity to gain experience in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment, as well as in the day-to-day functioning of an Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) Secretariat.

The ASCOBANS Secretariat offers interships to qualified university graduates or students, enrolled in a tertiary course of study, interested in gaining experience in the areas of:

  • Biology
  • Environmental and political sciences
  • Law
  • International studies
  • Any other area related to the work of the Secretariat

Internship - Areas of Work

Interns are supervised by the ASCOBANS Coordinator, supporting her with particular tasks. Some examples are:

  • Assistance with preparations and servicing ASCOBANS meetings or workshops
  • Research in preparation for reports, documents or publications
  • Assistance with outreach and education, incl. the annual International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise (IDBHP)
  • Dealing with website content
  • Other support to the day-to-day operations of the Secretariat

Internship – Facts

Depending on places available, the ASCOBANS Secretariat offers internships for a period of 3 – 6 months, beginning at any time. The Secretariat is located at the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany.

Internships are not remunerated – all expenses must be covered by the intern or a sponsoring Government or institution. Written confirmation of enrolment in an appropriate health insurance scheme and in an university must be provided in advance.

Internship – Requirements and Application Procedure

Students should:

  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’ s level or equivalent), or be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent  or higher), or have graduated with an university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation
  • The working language of the Secretariat is English; full ability to work in English (written and spoken) is required. Knowledge of further languages spoken in the Agreement Area is an asset
  • Interns should have standard computer skills (Microsoft Office)
  • Interns need to agree with the scope of tasks before the start of the internship

Internships at the ASCOBANS Secretariat are advertised at the UN Careers Portal. Interested candidates can also find further information about internships at the UN Environment Program website

For further information contact the ASCOBANS Secretariat at ascobans.secretariat@ascobans.org.