Reports to: CAR Country Director
Location: Bamingui-Bangoran National Park
Country Program: WCS CAR
Start date: October 2021
Position Type: Fulltime
Application deadline: 30 September 2021
Key Internal Relationships: Chad Country Director; CAR Field Operations Manager; Transhumance Manager; CAR Deputy Country Director / Political and Institutional Relations Landscape Manager
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 contributing significantly to people and wildlife’s security. The region’s savannas, forests, and wetlands support key populations of endangered elephant, northern giraffe, lion, eland, chimpanzee, gorilla, 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, including developing new program activities in Ethiopia. We work actively to support protected area management and wildlife law enforcement, local livelihoods, develop conservation-security partnerships, enhance anti-trafficking activities, and implement our policy and scientific programs.
WCS has recently launched the Chad program, the most recent of the Sudano-Sahel Region’s country programs, mainly focused on developing a landscape approach in the Chari Central Basin. WCS Chad works directly with the WCS CAR and WCS Cameroon programs to integrate the Chari Basin’s transboundary landscapes into a long-term multi-faceted program that includes park management, law enforcement, community engagement, and land-use planning and management.
In CAR, WCS has recently launched a private-public partnership program with the federal government to manage the Northeaster 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 CAR.
The Conservation Manager plays the lead role in developing, managing, and implementing the WCS’s landscape-based conservation strategy for the CAR Nord-East Protected Areas Complex and Chari Basin’s transboundary landscapes. They provide strategic support to the CAR Country Director to develop and oversee conservation plans and initiatives in alignment with the CAR and Chad program goals and budgets.
This is a full-time position based in the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park with frequent travel and activities throughout the north-eastern CAR’s landscape and the Chari Central Basin.
Duties and responsibilities:
Conservation & Law Enforcement
• Support for regulation, management, and cross-border control to address threats to Protected Areas and biodiversity in the north-eastern CAR’s landscape and Chari Central Basin.
• In coordination with the CAR Field Operations Manager, develop law enforcement strategy for the Chari Basin’s transboundary area.
• Partner with the Chad, CAR, and Cameroon teams to implement anti-poaching transboundary strategies.
• Implement strategies to prevent transhumant pastoralists from entering the core protected areas, prioritizing approaches based on awareness-raising and community engagement.
• Develop strategies to control and surveil cross-border incursions from Chad and Sudan, and prevent poaching of key species such as elephants, lions, bongo, giraffes, among others, within the Chari Central Basin’s and north-eastern CAR’s landscape.
• Use tech-based tools like camera traps and other means to map and monitor poacher’s access routes to the core protected areas.
• Establish a wildlife monitoring strategy for WCS CAR and WCS Chad.
• Establish training programs for park rangers, community scouts, and officers on biodiversity topics; and develop species distribution and density studies.
• Initiate a camera-trap-based monitoring program for terrestrial vertebrates in collaboration with WCS’s specialists and partners.
• Develop and manage the wildlife database for the CAR and Chad program and ensure reliable methods to collect, organize and report data.
• Produce and supervise a photo library using results from camera traps, and aerial, river, and ground missions.
• Develop assessments and studies about biodiversity, quantity and quality of fish caught in target fisheries, and fishing drivers in the Chari Central Basin and north-eastern CAR’s landscape.
• Create fishing zones to protect spawning and nursery areas in target rivers.
• Develop scientific and outreach publications to raise awareness for wildlife and its conservation status in north-eastern CAR and Chad.
• Lead and coordinate any project related to wildlife monitoring.
Land use management
• Support integrated and concerted territorial management in north-eastern CAR’s landscape and cross-border areas, including the Chari Central Basin.
• In coordination with the Landscape Manager and the Land-use Planning Coordinator, update and operationalize existing land-use schemes and territorial agreements in north-eastern CAR’s landscape and cross-border areas and promote new land-use schemes agreements as appropriate.
• Support and supervise the development of management plans for the north-eastern CAR’s protected areas.
• Analyze and identify opportunities for developing community-engagement schemes such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (including REDD+) in the north-eastern CAR’s landscape and cross-border areas.
• Support the implementation of conservation tools associated with community management, such as Conservation Agreements or Conservancies.
• Support the development of an environmental and socio-economic model for the north-eastern CAR’s landscape, including the Chari Central Basin.
• Promote good local governance and innovative actions among sedentary groups in the Chari Central Basin landscape to increase productivity and sustainable financing sources.
• Lead rehabilitation and management of fish stocks involving communities of the north-eastern CAR and Chari Central Basin.
• Develop a participatory model with identified fishermen associations to improve fisheries management.
• Conduct and supervise tree-planting pilot projects associated with high economic and environmental values in the Chari Central Basin landscape.
• Design strategies for environmental awareness in coordination with Chad Country Director, CAR Country Director, CAR Deputy Country Director, Landscape Manager, Transhumance Manager, and communication specialists.
• Work with international, national, and local staff and organizations to raise awareness for wildlife conservation, sustainable natural resource management, conflict resolution, and strengthen WCS’s landscape approach.
• Work closely with senior staff and advise on development priorities to frame WCS’s interventions in health, human rights, and education, among other crucial components.
Strategies and work plans
• As a senior member of the WCS CAR & Chad Program Team, participate in strategy meetings and required tasks to help ensure the program’s operations.
• Work with the WCS Chad and WCS CAR staff and directors to ensure high effectiveness and efficiency in work plans, reporting, budgeting, logistics, and accountability.
• Master’s degree or higher in natural resources management, environmental or conservation management, development studies, or in relevant fields
• Proven experience working on wildlife management, conservation, and natural resource management issues in Africa with international organizations (10+ years) in the community.
• >5 years working experience in Wildlife Law Enforcement in Africa
• Demonstrated ability and experience influencing policy, with ability to strategize, problem solve, and challenge diplomatically.
• Strategic programme management skills, with the ability to adapt and prioritise in a fast-moving and challenging environment.
• Excellent written and oral communications skills with the ability to analyze and synthesize technical information, and present in a compelling manner to political and lay audiences.
• Proven experience with conservation oriented planning in the context of corridors and protected area buffer zones.
• Commitment for wildlife conservation.
• Proven experience in capacity building of partners.
• French and English language fluency required; familiarity with languages and culture of CAR will be an advantage.
• Proven ability and comfortable with living and working in a multicultural environment in isolated areas, under difficult field conditions.
Significant work experience in CAR, knowledge of Central Africa and Sudano-Sahel environmental and political issues.
Interested candidates who meet the above qualifications should apply by emailing an application letter together with their CV and the names and contact information of three references to: [email protected] by 30th September 2021 deadline.
Please include « Conservation Manager » in the subject line of your email.
In addition, please note that all candidates must also apply online via the WCS career portal at: http://www.wcs.org/about-us/careers
WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are 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
The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on age, color, disability, gender identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations
Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.