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Swimways Technical Project Assistant

  • Wetlands International - Europe
Application Deadline: December 14, 2023
  • Wetlands International - Europe
Application Deadline: December 14, 2023
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To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to:


Established in September 2013, Wetlands International – European Association (Wetlands International Europe) is the single network organisation in Europe bringing together NGOs whose shared mission is to inspire and mobilise society to safeguard and restore wetlands for people and nature. Wetlands International Europe has 12 members from across Europe. Our ambition for the period 2020-2030 is to upscale action to safeguard and restore wetlands, collaborating with multiple partners and mobilising a wide range of actors to transform whole landscapes and sectors. Our access to cuttingedge science, combined with our understanding of EU policies, the on-ground experience from our members, partners and their networks, in addition to our own global network, makes us a credible and effective advocate for improving European policies and practices.

We operate a growing Secretariat, with our key priority to raise the voice of our members in Europe, share knowledge, improve policies and build capacity among stakeholders. For more information, please consult


In 2022, Wetlands International Europe, partnering with the IUCN, World Fish Migration Foundation, and UNEP WCMC, launched the Trans-European Swimways Network as a visible flagship to protect migratory freshwater fishes in Europe. This Network is working to address the alarming loss of migratory freshwater fishes in Europe, building on the extensive experience of the flyway conservation approach to migratory waterbirds, in order to foster international and cross-sector cooperation. It will also improve scientific knowledge and guidance to strengthen EU policies and help shape new policies such as the proposed Nature Restoration Law to ensure effective river and habitat restoration. In 2023, the TransEuropean Swimways Programme was released, and work began on developing Swimways of European Importance (SEI) based on the best available data.

The Swimways Technical Project Assistant will support the development of SEI and the identification of key restoration opportunities. The intern will create useful outputs from this data analysis and map SEI in order to inform policy recommendations to European countries and the European Commission.


The Swimways Technical Project Assistant will support Wetlands International Europe’s team in carrying out the actions of the Trans-European Swimways Programme, by carrying out literature reviews, data gathering, data management, and

Supporting roles and responsibilities may include:

Identify Swimways of European Importance

  • Assisting the project team in developing criteria to identify SEI based on the draft global Swimways criteria;

  • Applying criteria against the existing species occurrence, economics, and recreational data;

  • Conducting literature searches on SEI;

  • Analysing and mapping SEI to create various useful outputs for decision-makers;

  • Identifying key restoration opportunities for breeding or feeding habitats required for population recovery.

Identify critical barriers on SEI

  • Reviewing the status of barrier inventories in the EU and identifying gaps;

  • Identifying critical barriers impeding fish migration or reducing spawning in the EU;

  • Identifying river sections with threatened migratory species currently protected from alien species by barriers.

Develop knowledge on fish passes

  • Conducting a literature search on the efficacy of fish passes;

  • Producing a policy briefing on the topic to promote effective solutions for fish migration.


Inside Wetlands International

Working with the Wetlands International Europe team and the Wetlands International Communications Team including colleague in the global office. The postholder will report to the Communications Officer.

Outside Wetlands International

Partners, donors, members and other key stakeholders.


  • An good command of written and spoken English;

  • Knowledge of aquatic ecology, particularly around freshwater fish;

  • Strong ICT skills (GIS and data management skills, in particular R and SQL);

  • Capacity to work both independently and within a team;

  • Ability to work in an international, multi-cultural NGO environment;

  • Active interest in EU nature and water policy processes.


  • Only applicable to students. His/her educational institute should be able to provide an Internship agreement to be signed among the three parties;

  • Part time or full-time (full time =36 hrs/week);

  • Reimbursement of a maximum of 450 EUR/month, based on 36 hour week. The Intern will be asked to register hours and submit a monthly expense claim;

  • Contract duration: minimum of 6 months;

  • Location: Remote working, but based in Belgium/The Netherlands The Intern should be willing to work occasionally from the office and attend meetings in Brussels and/or Ede (NL);

  • Start date: January 2024.


Applications should include a covering letter summarizing the applicant’s suitability for the position and a detailed CV.

Applications should be sent by email to marking your application with “Swimways Technical
Intern” in the subject line.

Deadline for applications is 14 December 2023.

Early application is strongly encouraged.

Interviews will take place 19-21 December 2023.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Apply now

Apply for this job

To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to:

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