Conservation Policy Officer

Job Category

Job Location

Expiration Date

31 Dec 2021

We are looking for a conservation policy officer to join our EU Policy Team in Brussels.

We intend to offer a three-year full-time contract.  At the time of publishing this vacancy, we can guarantee a two-year part-time contract at 40% FTE (full-time equivalent), with the remaining 60% (and a three-year contract instead of two) being subject to the outcome of an EU funding call. 


Founded in 1992, EAZA is the world’s largest regional zoo and aquarium association. Driven by our vision of “progressive zoos and aquariums saving species together with you”, we enable the collaboration of more than 400 Members (zoos and aquariums, national zoo federations and other organisations) in 48 countries in the areas of population management, animal care, conservation, education and research. This is facilitated by the EAZA Executive Office based at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam.

Our responsibility as a standard-setter in modern zoo practice is recognised in the text of the EU Zoos Directive. As an NGO, we are actively involved in biodiversity policy, advocating for ambitious and effective legislation for protecting nature. On the European level, this is coordinated by our EU Policy Team based in Brussels.

We are currently defining our contributions to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The successful candidate will play an important role in supporting this goal including involvement in the EAZA21+ Campaign that will focus on the following three themes of the post-2020 biodiversity framework that are the most relevant to EAZA zoos and aquariums: 

  • Conservation education. Reconnecting people with nature, teaching them about the value of biodiversity, and empowering them to be more sustainable in their lifestyles, is a field in which the authors of the biodiversity framework expect zoos and aquariums to contribute the most. High-level officials from the CBD, CITES or the EU have confirmed this many times in the past years. Which best practices can EAZA build on to strengthen this role further?
  • Species conservation. This is a unique focus of the EAZA community, and our Members have rich expertise to add to the success of the post-2020 framework. Already today, global and European species action plans are taken into account in the EAZA Ex Situ Programmes (EEPs) and the Regional Collection Planning. How can EAZA be even more involved,  in particular with European species action plans, and with available funding sources, e.g. EU LIFE?
  • Wildlife trade. Wildlife trade and use is a policy area in which EAZA has been increasingly more active, with conservation campaigns and work in CITES and in EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. In the post-2020 framework, what is the role of EAZA and our Members in contributing to the goal of ensuring that wildlife is only traded and used legally, sustainably and ethically? 

The successful candidate will report to the EU Policy Manager and will closely collaborate with colleagues in other departments of the EAZA Executive Office.  

Job Description

This role will focus on three main areas:

  • EAZA21+, a two-year internal campaign in which EAZA Members are defining their role in the post-2020 framework and EU Biodiversity Strategy (
  • Opportunities for aligning EAZA’s ex situ and in situ conservation work with the conservation goals of species listed in Birds and Habitats Directives
  • Implementation of EAZA-sponsored IUCN resolutions on songbird- and tiger trade towards ensuring trade is legal, sustainable and ethical.

Duties and Responsibilities

EAZA21+ campaign (40%)

  • Organisational support for the EAZA21+ campaign:
  • support with planning, execution and evaluation of workshops and webinars;
  • support with member communications;
  • processing of conclusions and compiling reports;
  • member of the campaign team that oversees the organisation of work
  • Assist in developing the evidence base for our policy work via monitoring and analysing of relevant policy developments at EU level

Aligning ex situ and in situ work for European species (30%)

Support the Conservation and Population Management team in their activities towards assessing ex situ conservation needs for species listed on the EU Birds and Habitat Directives and planning for appropriate  ex situ action as part of a one plan approach to species conservation. Activities include:

  • Keeping overviews of documents ex situ needs and ongoing actions.
  • Provide input for the Regional Collection Plan (RCP) workshops that cover European species.
  • Help progress the implementation of ex situ conservation activities for European species as are indentified in recently published RCPs efor example the Terrestrial Invertebrate RCP and Freshwater Teleost RCP.
  • Develop communications for internal and external audiences on this topic.

Support of EAZA’s activities in IUCN (30%)


  • Contribute to various ongoing tasks of the EU Policy Team.
  • Where relevant, support activities of other departments of the EAZA Executive Office, assist with preparations related to conferences and other general tasks in the office.
  • Support the dissemination of relevant information to EAZA Membership through existing EAZA communication channels

Required Qualifications and Experience

The successful candidate will have the following attributes:


  • University degree in a related discipline such as zoology or biology, or equivalent higher education qualification or proven experience in the subject area
  • Knowledge of the functioning and institutions of the European Union
  • Good knowledge of nature conservation and the EU- and global biodiversity policy
  • Excellent database skills and ability to process and analyse large amounts of data
  • Ability to carry out administrative and organisational tasks
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and quickly familiarize yourself with new topics
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Experienced user of Microsoft Office software, email and internet
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work across multiple cultures
  • Affinity with EAZA’s mission and vision


  • Experience of working with a membership-based association
  • Experience with developing effective questionnaires
  • Ability to produce effective communications using a variety of different media
  • The ability to speak Dutch, French or another European language

Working Arrangements

We are offering you:

  • A place of work in Brussels with possibility of partial teleworking and occasional work travel
  • An opportunity to get an insight into biodiversity conservation policy and EAZA’s contributions
  • A fixed-term two-year employment contract under Belgian law for 40% or 100% full-time equivalent, depending on an EU funding call the results of which will be announced in late 2021
  • Competitive salary and employee benefits

You should be an EU national or hold an EU work permit. From time to time it will be necessary to work at weekends and outside normal working hours.

Applications and Recruitment Procedure

If you are interested in this post, please apply by sending a CV and cover letter for the attention of Tomasz Rusek to with the subject line “Conservation Policy Officer – Your Name”. Important: please state whether you are interested in the 100% or 40% FTE contract or both.

All applications received will be acknowledged by a return email. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Application deadline: 31 December 2021

Online interviews will take place at a date to be arranged in January 2022.


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