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Biodiversity Offsets Project - Project Director

Reference     (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors   Nature Conservation (Terrestrial Ecology)
Location   England (London & Greater)
Town/City   UK
Type   Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status   Full Time
Level   Mid Level
Deadline   14/08/2015
Company Name   Wildlife Conservation Society
Contact Name   Recruitment- Global
Telephone   718-220-5886
Website   Further Details / Applications
Also Listing:
IMPORTANT:  This Advertiser has requested that applicants MUST be National Residents / Valid Work Permit-holders.  Other applicants need not apply.


The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and  the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM) have provided WCS and its partner organizations a four-year, Euros 3 million grant to work in four countries on promoting biodiversity offsets:  Uganda, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Guinea.  The work in Guinea will enjoy additional support of Euros 600,000 from the MAVA Foundation (additional financing to be approved).   The grant will be provided to WCS in coordination with partners, Forest Trends which leads the BBOP project and Biotope, a French consultancy with experience working on ecological issues around the Globe.    The project aims to develop a process that will contribute to biodiversity conservation through policy engagement with the Governments of the respective countries and through active collaboration with the private sector. 

WCS is a US-based NGO founded in 1895.   WCS has a clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe.  With a commitment to protect 50 percent of the world’s biodiversity, we address four of the biggest issues facing wildlife and wild places: climate change; natural resource exploitation; the connection between wildlife health and human health; and the sustainable development of human livelihoods.

As part of its mission WCS actively engages with companies and with governments to support the adoption of best practices to ensure the protection of biodiversity.   This involves the adoption and application of the mitigation hierarchy in project planning and development and the compensation for residual impacts.  

The goal of the AFD/FFEM and MAVA Foundation funded this project is to contribute to the establishment and implementation of effective mechanisms to compensate for impacts to biodiversity and ecosystems to achieve "no net loss" or a “net gain” of biodiversity in Africa, generating additional funds for conservation.   The project will do that through five components: a) development of policy and a policy framework that supports achievement of no net loss of biodiversity, b) the development of processes for data sharing and the creation of metrics that can be used to measure attainment of no net loss, c) the establishment of implementation measures to deliver the offset, including the formation of legal and financial mechanisms, d) engagement with the private sector to promote best practices and gain lessons from implementation experience, and e) building capacity and increasing knowledge about offset implementation.    The latter will involve sharing lessons learned among the countries and diffusion of project results and experiences to a global audience to contribute to offset experience and best practice.   



The Project Director (PD) will be responsible for the management and oversight of the project and for the coordination and implementation of all project activities with the project partners.    Activities of the project fall within five specific components outlined above.


The PD will be responsible for completing works plans, liaising with the donors (AFD, FFEM, and MAVA Foundation), and ensuring that project goals are met across the four countries and the five components.    The PD will be based in the UK and will have two reporting lines – reporting to both the Director of WCS Europe who will provide direct supervision and administrative support, and to the Director of WCS’s Business and Conservation Initiative based in the US and who will be responsible for overseeing the programmatic aspects of the project.

The following represent the specific responsibilities of the Project Director.  Some of these responsibilities may be modified over time to reflect changing needs and circumstances throughout the life of the project.    Any such modifications will be agreed among the partners and the PD.


  1. Ensure the effective launch of the project in each of the four countries. The PD will help organize and lead the inception meetings in each country, meeting with stakeholders and coordinating with WCS country programs, Forest Trends and with Biotope to support implementation of the project;  
  2. Work with the various country programs and with WCS NY to recruit the country program managers who will be in charge of implementing the project at the field level.   Review candidates and participate in interviews either in person or remotely to ensure that candidates have the requisite capabilities.  Engage with project partners to validate candidate qualifications.
  3. Work with the staff in each country to support the development of annual work plans that will guide the project implementation process.  
  4. Organize the delivery of appropriate technical assistance to the country programs, coordinating with the partners to ensure that appropriate expertise is available when needed.   Where the technical team cannot provide the required technical assistance, the PD will work with the countries to support the recruitment of consultants to provide needed support.
  5. Prepare terms of reference and work with country programs to finalize contracts for all consultants.
  6. With project partners, support the development of training tools that will support capacity-building in each of the countries; work with the team to help in the development of effective web-based tools that project stakeholders can access. 
  7. Organize and participate in the mid-term evaluation workshop and the final evaluation workshop and prepare a report on the outcomes and lessons learned for submission to donors and posting to the project website.
  8. Develop content on biodiversity offsets for the Project and BBOP websites, including preparation of case studies and lessons learned that can be shared with the BBOP community of practice and the broader community in general.  
  9. Make connections with companies operating in the countries of interest to explore the potential for engagement.  In conjunction with the partners identify those companies willing to undertake monitoring following the BBOP Standard on Biodiversity Offsets.
  10. In conjunction with the WCS Director of Business and Conservation, and with country program directors, meet with donors to explore additional funding to expand project activities.
  11. Along with country directors in each country, oversee the performance of project country managers.
  12. Ensure timely project reporting to donors and maintain open communication with donors regarding project progress.
  13. Participate in conferences or events (webinars, in person meetings) to present on project activities and results.    Assist in the preparation of presentations for other members of the team.
  14. Oversee the implementation of the project budget and ensure compliance with all financial reporting requirements.
  1. Undertake activities as needed to ensure the implementation success of the project.
  1. Engage and coordinate with other organizations and projects working on similar initiatives, where such engagement/coordination will contribute to the success of the offsets project.
  2. Organize on an annual basis the global steering committee of the project with the project partners and the donors.  




The PD will have a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in Management, Public Policy, Geography, Environmental Science, Ecology or other related field.  The PD should have at least 10 years of project management experience as well as effective knowledge and experience on the application of the mitigation hierarchy and the planning for and implementation of biodiversity offsets in the field.   In addition the candidate should demonstrate experience in working on policy issues with government and be able to engage with government on the development of effective offset regulations.  Field experience, preferably working on offsets with companies, is also highly desirable.   The PD should be fluent in written and spoken English and French, with knowledge of Portuguese a benefit. 


Principal Criteria for Selection


The criteria for the selection of the successful candidate include:


  • Management Experience – the candidate will have demonstrated experience in project management including financial planning and budgeting as well as experience in supervising staff
  • Technical Expertise - the candidate should have knowledge of application of the mitigation hierarchy and implementation of biodiversity offsets including experience working with the private sector on reducing impacts and on environmental impact assessment in general
  • Policy Experience -  the candidate will have experience working with government ministries or agencies to develop and/or implement environmentally related policy
  • Language:  the candidate will be fluent in both English and French and will demonstrate excellent writing and communication skills
  • Capacity Building Experience:  the candidate will have experience in developing capacity building programs and in supporting training programs.   Experience working and engaging with a variety of stakeholders is also an important requirement for the position.
  • Field Experience:  -  the candidate will have demonstrated successful working experience in Africa
  • Education:   the candidate will have at least a Masters Degree in a relevant field (public policy, economics, ecology, geography, planning, etc.) as well as at least 10 years of relevant experience.





The submission deadline is fixed at 14st August 2015. Applicants must provide to WCS : 


-       a complete curriculum vitae,

-       a letter in which they explain how their profile matches the selection criteria,

-       the names and contact information, including email addresses, for three respondents.


The successful candidate should be available to begin work no later than September 2015, subject to the signature of the Financing Agreement between the Agence Française de Développement, the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial and Wildlife Conservation Society. 


All applicants are requested both to apply online at wcs.org (http//www.wcs.org/about-us/careers) and also to send a cover letter and CV to globalinitiatives@wcs.org

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