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Salonga National Park Director (interim)

We are looking for a dynamic and committed Park Director to support conservation efforts.


 
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has embarked on an ambitious, field-based conservation programme across the Congo Basin. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), WWF is active in several landscape sites, including the over 60,000 km2 Salonga landscape, encompassing the Salonga National Park (SNP), the second largest tropical forest park in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a critical refuge for bonobos and forest elephants. In addition to its importance for biodiversity conservation, this humid forest region is a major carbon sink and source of other ecosystem services including water provisioning.
 
The Salonga program takes an integrated conservation approach with a consortium of NGOs, government, community, and academic partners. Key conservation strategies include: protected area management; community land use planning; law enforcement and species conservation; community-based natural resource management and livelihood improvement mostly through small-scale sustainable agriculture and community forestry.
 
Effective protected area management is a cornerstone of WWF’s conservation efforts in the DRC, in close partnership with ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, the Protected Areas Authority in DRC). New, creative perspectives and strategies are needed to effectively manage protected areas in this challenging social, economic, cultural, and logistical environment.
 
WWF and ICCN have signed a new partnership agreement to manage the park and support riverine communities with financial support from KfW, the EU, USAID as well as funding from WWF itself. The Salonga Program is led by a Management Unit under the coordination of the Park Director.
 
The Management Unit works closely with partners inside and outside of the park to effect real conservation results. The Park Director position supervises WWF and ICCN staff working in biomonitoring/research, finances and administration, infrastructure development, logistics and community development work. Law enforcement activities are solely managed by the ICCN deputy director, supported by an external partner (Chengeta Wildlife) to provide additional expertise and training. The Park Director collaborates with partners inside and outside the park to advance the park objectives, including an independent partner (Jurec) implementing a complaint mechanism and overseeing human rights-based approaches. The Park Director also supervises the project managers for community development work in the buffer zone.
 

Location: Monkoto (Salonga landscape in the Democratic Republic of Congo)

 
Duration:  2 years with possibility of extension.
 
 
 
  1. Major duties and responsibilities
 
     Provides strategic leadership
To achieve conservation results, guided by the shared vision for the Park partnership for protected area management (management plan development, implementation, and adaptive management); law enforcement through ICCN Eco guards; ensuring communities have a voice in Park management, community-based natural resource management; institutional strengthening and training; policies and legislation; regional networking; and project monitoring.
 
     Park oversight and coordination 
  • Plan, direct and oversee park activities in accordance with the annual work plan, budget and contractual agreements.
  • Develop work plans and budgets for approval by WWF, partners, the Salonga steering committee, and other participating agencies.
  • Mobilize and coordinate with government and non-government partners, donors, communities and other stakeholders in the Park to work towards a common vision while also supporting synergies with the landscape management.
  • Oversee program planning to strengthen progress towards objectives (e.g. strengthen park management).
  • Ensure the organization of regular meetings of the Salonga landscape consortium and community coordination committees (CoCoSi).
  • Represent the park internally and externally, e.g. at donor events.  
 
     Park management implementation
Manages the park and its management unit (SNPMU) using a participatory, adaptive management approach. Ensures that management systems are established, and oversees the administration of the management plan and related program/projects. Supervises activities. With support from WWF, ensures that project(s) are in compliance with donor regulations. Illustrative responsibilities include:
  • Ensure adherence to the Environmental and Social Safeguards framework and risk mitigation plan by all actors in park management activities.
  • Develop and implement together with stakeholders the annual operational plan.
  • Coordinate the park infrastructure development that includes roads, patrol stations, offices, logistic equipment, Eco guard equipment, communication means like internet, VHF, speed boats, aircrafts etc.
  • Enhance the protection of the Park by opening new landing runways, new stations well equipped in solar power, generators, internet and all important transport means depending on the geographical setting of the area.
  • Coordinate inclusive land use planning activities.
  • Use field experience to inform policy advocacy at local and national levels.
  • Promote communication with key stakeholders from local to global scale as far as Salonga is concerned.
  • Support capacity building and institutional strengthening of local partners, for land use planning and wildlife monitoring.
 
     Coordination of rural development projects in the buffer zone
  • Ensure project managers for rural development projects are fulfilling their mandates.
  • Review periodic project reports submitted to donors.
  • Chair regular meetings of all project managers and partners working in the Salonga landscape to ensure coordination and information-sharing.
  • Coordinate private sector (forest concession) engagement with WWF Forest Program.
 
     Administration/Financial management 
With the direct support of the manager of finance and administration, contribute to the development of project budgets for approval, technical and financial reporting, and monitoring of expenditures against budgets for Park activities.
 
  1. Profile
 
Required qualifications:
  • Advanced university degree in an appropriate field (conservation/environment/natural resource or park management/forestry/terrestrial ecology),
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience working in conservation, or development organizations,
  • Project management experience in Africa or elsewhere is strongly desired.
 
Required skills and competencies:
  • Strong working knowledge of park management and what it takes to effectively manage a large-scale park. Understanding of forest and wildlife ecology, and natural resource management principles is important.
  • Very strong leadership skills, with an ability to inspire confidence in team members, colleagues, communities and donors. 
  • Depth and breadth of knowledge of biomonitoring in forested environment and law enforcement procedures.
  • Clear understanding of community-based natural resource management and rural livelihood issues.
  • An ability to generate innovative solutions to complex issues, incorporating past experiences, multiple sources of information, and an appreciation of the viewpoints of all stakeholders.
  • Experience in engaging with private sector partners.
  • Strong administrative and financial management skills and excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent people and project management skills to handle complex, multi-faceted projects, negotiate, and resolve conflicts.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills in French and a good command of English. Experience working with government officials and donors.
  • Ability to live and work in remote and difficult conditions.
  • Ability to live in a multicultural context and acceptance of local values.
  • Adherence to WWF’s behaviours, which are: Strive for impact, listen deeply, collaborate openly and innovate fearlessly. 
  • Adherence to WWF’s values, which are: Courage, Integrity, Respect and collaboration.
 
How to apply: Interested candidates should email a cover letter (with at least 3 references) and curriculum vitae to: recruit-wwfdrc@wwfdrc.org , with the mention: - Salonga National Park Director by January, 31 2022.
Thank you in advance for your interest in this position. Please note that only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted for follow up. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
Female applicants are encouraged. WWF is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce
 

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