Report to: Landscape Manager
Location: Sena Oura National Park, Pala-Chad
Program: WCS Chad
Start date: As soon as possible.
Type of position: Full-time
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt U.S. organization founded in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical problems, developing science-based solutions and taking conservation action that benefits nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, a presence in over 60 countries and experience in creating more than 150 protected areas worldwide, WCS has gathered the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships needed to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, this knowledge is applied to solve the species, habitat and ecosystem management issues essential to improving the quality of life of poor rural populations whose livelihoods depend on the direct use of natural resources.
WCS program in Chad
In Chad, WCS has a long history of involvement in conservation, dating back to 2005. This includes aerial surveys of semi-arid areas, aerial inventories and support for elephant protection in Zakouma Park from 2006-2012, technical expertise contributions to the development of Chad’s National Elephant Action Plan in 2014, aerial wildlife counts in 2015, involvement in supporting the Government of Chad in the management of the Sena-Oura National Park (PNSO) as part of a neighbouring cross-border initiative with the Bouba-Njidda National Park in Cameroon from 2016 until today. More recently, in May 2021, WCS, in partnership with the EU and other partners, launched the Central Chari Basin Conservation Program known as “Ecosystème du Bassin Central du Chari: vers une approach intégrée du paysage (BC- Chari)”, covering landscapes between southeastern Chad, northern Central African Republic (CAR) and northeastern Cameroon. In recent years, WCS has worked with the Governments and Partners of Chad, CAR, and Cameroon to set up cross-border anti-poaching coordination systems (in particular, to combat well-organized elephant poaching).
The WCS Chad program is responsible for the representation, management, and administration of all WCS initiatives and activities in Chad, as well as for the proper coordination of cross-border activities. A national office has been set up in N’Djamena, with an administration and representation team that will expand over time.
The overall responsibility of the Community and Safeguards Coordinator is to lead the implementation of a rights-based approach to conservation, while ensuring an enabling environment for strengthening the role of communities in conservation solutions, through Sena-Oura National Park and bordering landscape.
- Lead the implementation of ongoing community conservation activities in close collaboration with the Sena-Oura Eco-development Manager and local civil society organizations.
- Document and report on community conservation and social safeguards activities promptly.
- Lead and manage the team under his/her responsibility, providing overall strategic direction for the community conservation program, technical input and mentoring of staff members.
- Develop and implement socio-economic research and monitoring systems and community conservation components of the Sena Oura Landscape program.
- Participate in the development of strategies to integrate and implement the community and socio-economic aspects of the Landscape.
- Implement community conservation and social safeguard frameworks and policies in close collaboration with the conservation department, the national team, and regional staff, following WCS standards.
- Design appropriate grievance redress mechanisms (GRM) and monitoring systems.
- Develop free, prior, and informed consent and community rights-based approaches to conservation.
- Design and deploy community conservancies.
- Train staff and partners in social safeguards.
- Deploy and monitor social safeguards across the landscape.
- Organize and facilitate local meetings, workshops, and other participatory processes, working with the conservancy, communities, and local authorities, WCS staff and other relevant partners to integrate community concerns into conservation, natural resource management and land-use planning processes.
- Design research, oversee data collection and analyze baseline data on socio-economic aspects, community relations, people-wildlife interactions, and traditional land-use patterns in the region.
- Provide training, mentoring and expertise to WCS Pala program staff and assist in training and mentoring the team in socio-economic data collection and analysis, community relations and engagement, and community sensitization/awareness methods.
- Coordinate and supervise WCS community conservation outreach teams.
- Work with staff and international, national, and local organizations to create awareness to promote wildlife conservation, sustainable natural resource management and conflict resolution, and address specific land use management issues.
- Advise on development priorities and work with other senior staff to plan and implement activities related to health, human rights, education, etc.
- Work with consultants and the WCS team to train, implement and monitor a community livelihoods program (including a small grants program) that is directly linked to conservation, natural resource management, conflict mitigation and climate change resilience.
- Promote capacity building of local communities, local authorities, local associations, contractors, and staff.
- Work with WCS staff to integrate socio-economic and land use/tenure data into relevant GIS databases to contribute to overall natural resources, protected areas, and zoning plans.
- As a senior member of the WCS Pala program team, participate in strategic meetings and tasks identified to help ensure the smooth running of the program.
- Work with WCS Pala staff and Landscape Manager to ensure work plans, reports and budgets, organization of logistics and budget responsibility for his/her section.
Job required qualifications.
- Master’s degree (or higher) in a relevant study of community conservation and natural resource management, wildlife management, etc.; technical knowledge of socio-economic research methodologies.
- Proven experience with international organizations in Africa (3 years or more) in community conservation and natural resource management.
- Effective in coordinating multiple resources to get things done; can work on multiple tasks at multiple levels and switch between them; can anticipate and plan around obstacles.
- Good technical, logistical, and financial management of projects (planning, budgets, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation).
- Proven experience in partner capacity building.
- Commitment to wildlife conservation.
- Proven management and team-building skills.
- Fluency in French and English requires knowledge of local languages an advantage.
- Proven ability and ease of living and working in a multicultural environment in remote areas, under difficult field conditions.
Significant professional experience, knowledge of environmental and political issues, and a solid reputation in Chad’s environmental community.
How to apply
Interested candidates with the above qualifications, skills and experience should apply via this link below by February 27, 2024.
WCS is an equal-opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and are looking for future team members who share this same value.