Senior Policy Officer - Marine



Job Type



Charity / Voluntary, Environmental / Conservation



Senior Policy Officer (Marine) - RSPB Northern Ireland
Reference: JUL20226160
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Salary: £33,600.00 - £37,275.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance

We are looking for an experienced policy advocate who understands and can influence the policies that drive changes in the marine environment that impact on biodiversity, both positively and negatively. You will provide thought leadership, be well respected in this field and you will have strong advocacy, communication, and campaigning skills.

About Role
Northern Ireland is globally important for a range of seabirds and other marine species. How we manage our seas in the coming decades will play a central role in halting declines in nature and combat climate change. Offshore wind deployment is increasingly seen as an important aspect of NI’s future energy mix, and yet it presents significant risks for seabirds when poorly developed, delivered, and managed. At the same time, Northern Ireland will be developing its first seabird conservation strategy and momentum is building for a more effective and comprehensive network of marine protected areas. This role will allow the successful candidate to work across all these key issues and more.

The Senior Policy Officer (Marine) will work with policy staff across the four UK countries, specifically working with the Head of Land and Sea Policy in RSPB NI to lead the development of our overarching policy positions, helping to develop and coordinate our advocacy on marine policy issues and ensure their effective implementation. The role will involve advocacy on marine and fisheries policy with a focus on the NI Assembly and relevant NI government Departments, working closely with the NI Marine Task Force, as well as providing information, advice, and support to other staff internally on marine policy issues.

Duties include:

  • Monitor external policy developments at the appropriate geographical level (devolved country/UK/EU/International) to identify relevant marine policy issues and advocacy targets to further RSPB strategic priorities.
  • Identify and facilitate the delivery of relevant marine policy research to inform RSPB policy positions.
  • Be responsible for the development of RSPB marine policy positions in consultation with relevant internal colleagues in order to advocate them to decision makers and inform policy related RSPB communications.
  • Identify, target and advocate RSPB marine policy effectively to relevant external audiences (including government, business, NGOs) through presentations, attendance at conferences appropriate use of social media, etc to further RSPB marine policy advocacy objectives.
  • Be responsible for the production of marine policy reports, consultation responses and briefings.
  • Gather evidence to influence the development of Northern Ireland’s first Seabird Conservation Strategy to ensure it is robust and ambitious.
  • Build and maintain effective relationships with marine stakeholders, including senior government officials, other NGOs, academia, and business in order to build optimum conditions for successful advocacy for RSPB marine policy positions.
  • Proactively share information with colleagues about relevant marine policy developments to ensure an informed and consistent approach to marine policy advocacy across the RSPB.
  • Lead the development and delivery of projects, internally and with relevant external partners to further RSPB’s marine policy advocacy objectives.
  • Lead RSPB input to development of marine-related partnership funding bids.
  • Work closely with colleagues to develop and deliver campaigns and communications material that effectively further RSPB ‘s marine policy advocacy objectives.
  • Provide support to Operations, especially Reserves with marine/seas/seabird interests and/or projects.
  • Provide support and expertise to casework on marine related proposals.
  • Show marine policy leadership including in other work areas / functions.

What we need from you

We are looking for a professional, persuasive, and engaging individual with an excellent understanding of current marine policy. They should have the skills and personality to be able to bring together a dynamic coalition of marine stakeholders, inc. fishing industry, NGO’s, coastal communities, and others to build, shape and advocate for new marine policies which are good for people and good for nature.

  • Experience of working in a policy or advocacy role to influence the development of government policy
  • Experience of advocating policy effectively to external audiences (including government, relevant businesses, NGOs) to further specific policy and advocacy objectives.
  • Knowledge of marine policy at international, EU, UK and NI level
  • Knowledge of EU, UK and NI Institutions relevant to the role
  • Ability to monitor external policy developments and horizon scan for relevant issues and opportunities
  • Excellent understanding of marine policy in a European, UK and specifically Northern Ireland context.
  • Ability to write reports, consultation responses and concise policy briefings to support advocacy efforts.
  • Excellent communication, writing and negotiation skills.
  • Ability to develop policy positions and to communicate effectively to a range of audiences, including politicians, farmers, and the public.
  • Ability to work as part of a team to deliver a project and achieve shared objectives and outcomes/
  • Experience of working with others to develop and deliver a shared vision or set of proposals
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas and proposals to a variety of audiences in a concise and clear way
  • Proven ability to build and maintain effective relationships with external stakeholders.

Closing date: 23:59, Sunday 28th August 2022

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer.

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