Location: Manovo-Gounda-Saint-Floris National Park, Central African Republic
Reports to: WCS CAR program Country Director
Start date: April 2024
Position type: Full-time
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.
The Sudano-Sahel Region presents unparalleled opportunities for WCS to play a direct role in saving some of the last remaining intact wildernesses on the planet and contribute significantly to the security of people and wildlife. The savannas, forests, and wetlands of the region support key populations of endangered elephants, northern giraffes, lions, eland, chimpanzees, gorillas, bongo, and the second-largest antelope migration on the planet. Hundreds of bird species occur in the area, including the shoebill and the crowned crane. Communities also depend on the land for their livelihoods through pastoralism, agriculture, fishing, and hunting. WCS has a significant presence in the Sudano-Sahel region, with a strong conservation history and proven success in protected area management. WCS currently has conservation initiatives in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, and South Sudan. We work actively to support protected area management wildlife law enforcement, and local livelihoods, develop conservation-security partnerships, enhance anti-trafficking activities, and implement our policy and scientific programs.
Central African Republic Program Overview:
WCS has recently launched a private-public partnership program with the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) for the management of the northern CAR protected area complex. This is a multi-faceted long-term program entailing park management, law enforcement and community engagement within the Bamingui-Bangoran and Manovo-Gouda St Floris National Parks in Northeaster (MGSFNP. The CAR program is funded by various high-level donors with multiple ongoing projects overlapping, notably from the EU and UNESCO.
We are seeking a Park Manager with protected area management experience to ensure the effective protection and conservation of MGSFNP and its wildlife while helping to improve economic and social benefits to the surrounding community and the government of the CAR.
The Park Manager will be responsible for the operational and logistical management of the Manovo Gounda Saint Floris National Park and its surrounding protected areas, including infrastructure development and maintenance, fleet (vehicle/aircraft/boats / etc.) management, logistics, law enforcement, and conservation activities. This job is a full-time position based in the Manovo Gounda Saint Floris National Park.
Duties and responsibilities:
The MGSFNP Park Manager will deliver on the following principal responsibilities in full coordination with, and supported by the WCS CAR management team and the WCS Soudano-Sahel Regional team:
- Provide leadership to the Manovo Gounda Saint Floris National Park team, especially the leadership team, and collaborators, fostering staff motivation and high-quality performance to ensure the team achieves impact and promotes an inclusive work environment.
- Lead conservation, operations, and administration (including human resources) needs of the Manovo Gounda National Park.
- Manage and support the development of technical and financial reports related to the Manovo Gounda National Park, ensuring compliance with WCS SOP, donor requirements, legal contracts, and budgets.
- Train and manage a leadership team that will command and control anti-poaching and law enforcement operations (including the Control Room and ranger patrols).
- Coordinate operations with the Transhumance and Socioeconomic Development team.
- Facilitate communication between Park management team, across projects, and with headquarters in Bangui to keep the management team updated.
- Oversee personnel movement, flight itineraries, and communications with aerial staff.
- Build and maintain collaborative relations and platforms with the local authorities.
- Lead the Manovo Gounda Saint Floris regarding park and infrastructure management, conservation, operations, and administration (anti-poaching, monitoring, human resources, budgeting, reporting, etc.).
- Oversee that all field operations activities are conducted according to WCS policies and Standard Operating Procedures.
- Develop and implement an integrated, systematic field operations plan and budget aligned with the Northeastern CAR Protected Areas Program.
- Maintain a basic operational base well suited for warehouses, communications equipment, control room, a small workshop, accommodation facilities, offices, and additional areas as needed.
- Maintain all-weather access roads connecting the existing park road network to the operational base, and ensure the logistical backbone, particularly throughout the wet season.
- Any other duties as requested by the CAR Country Director.
- Implement the Action plan to withdraw the Park on the World Heritage in Danger
- Prepare and submit for approval, the Park annual work plans and budgets.
- Ensure that all contracts and agreements related to the Park are followed
- Ensure timely reporting of all grants covering the Park, and in compliance with donor regulations to WCS, donors.
- Build and maintain good relationships with local authorities and other local partners.
- A master’s degree (or higher education level) in conservation, natural resource management, or other relevant field experience in African conservation.
- Significant experience in protected area management (at least 5 years) in Africa, experience in Central Africa is highly preferred.
- Experience managing international donor-funded projects, with multiple project partners and diverse project elements preferred.
- Proven experience managing a dynamic team across different departments.
- Experience in wildlife law enforcement required.
- Practical skills and experience in developing infrastructure and monitoring systems.
- Initiative – must be able to get things done and solve problems with minimal support.
- French language fluency required. English and/or Sango skills are also desired.
- Good communication skills and strong team leadership.
- Proven experience in capacity-building relationships with partners.
- Proven ability to live and work in a remote multicultural environment under difficult field conditions.
- Excellent computer skills and various office applications.
- Demonstrated high-level competency in writing and editing of professional reports and other written products.
How to apply
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills, and experience, should apply through this link by February 29th, 2024.
Please send a detailed application/cover letter and a detailed CV. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
WCS is an equal-opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.