Land-use Planning Coordinator

WCS, Bamingui-Bangoran, Central African Republic
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Job Summary

Job Description

Reports to: Country Director / Northeastern Protected Areas Director

Location: Bamingui-BaNGOran National Park, Central African Republic

Country Program: WCS Central African Republic

Start date: March 2021

Position Type: Fulltime

Application deadline: 14th February 2021

Key Internal Relationships: Community Conservation and Livelihoods Coordinator; Field Operations Manager; Transhumance Manager; Deputy Country Director; Political and Institutional Relations Coordinator; Landscape Manager

Organization Background:

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 to contribute significantly to the security of people and wildlife. The savannas, forests, and wetlands of the region 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, South Sudan, with new program activities developing 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 to implement our policy and scientific programs.

CAR Program Overview:

WCS has recently launched a CAR program in partnership with the government of Central African Republic, CARThis 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 Northeastern CAR.

job Summary:

The Land-use Planning Coordinator will be responsible for developing activities aimed at land management, including participatory land use schemes, protected area management plans, local development plans, and WCS CAR geographic information systems management.

job Location:

This is a full-time position, based at Bamingui-BaNGOran National Park with frequent travel and activities throughout the Northeastern Protected Areas Complex.

Duties and responsibilities:

Land use management

  • Coordinate land-use planning activities with stakeholders, communities and the CAR government’s authorities, WCS scientists, and other partners, with the aim of integrating conservation concerns in overall land-use planning and zoning within the Northeastern Protected Areas and surrounding landscape.
  • Update, internalize and implement the Bamingui-BaNGOran's Land-use Plan (SDAT) for WCS program strategy and implementation.
  • Analyze and revise the current territorial divisions, while preserving and adapting some of the institutions and tools put in place.
  • Carry out actions needed for participatory design, adoption, and implementation of the land-use plan, in coordination with stakeholders and corresponding governmental bodies.
  • Organize, arrange, and facilitate local meetings, workshops, and other participatory processes with communities and local authorities, WCS staff, and other relevant partners to integrate community concerns into conservation and natural resource management, as well as into land-use planning processes.
  • Conduct researches, data collection and baseline data analysis on community-level socioeconomic factors, community relations, people-wildlife interactions, and traditional land-use patterns in the region, in coordination with the Community Conservation and Livelihoods Coordinator.
  • Work with international, national and local staff and organizations to raise awareness for wildlife conservation, sustainable natural resource management, and conflict resolution, and to address particular land-use management issues.
  • Promote capacity-building in local communities, local authorities, local associations, sub-contractors and staff.

Protected area management plans

  • Develop and implement the management plan of the Bamingui National Park and Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park.
  • Develop and implement management plans for the Wildlife Reserves of the Northeastern Protected Areas Complex in close coordination with the Ministry of Water and Forests.
  • Support in regular review and proper application of the Wildlife Code, Forest Code and Fishing Code, and ensure those are included in the Bamingui-BaNGOran's Land-use Plan, local development plans and protected area management plans.

Local development plans

  • Develop and monitor the different territorial / local development plans.
  • Integrate local development plans with conservation tools associated to community management such as Conservation agreements or Conservancies.
  • Integrate the value of nature into local development plans through the ecosystem services evaluation and mapping, emphasizing the importance of wildlife.

GIS services

  • Work with the WCS staff to integrate the socio-economic and land- use/tenure data with the relevant GIS databases to contribute to the overall natural resource, protected area, and zoning plans.
  • Cross-cutting support in the preparation of thematic maps requested by the Northeastern Protected Areas Director.
  • Supervise and build capacities for control room members on GIS data management.
  • Provide training, mentoring, and advise for the WCS CAR Program staff and assist in training and mentoring of national staff in land-use planning, data collection and analysis.

Strategies and work plans

  • As a senior member of the WCS CAR Program Team, participate in strategy meetings and required tasks to help ensure the program’s operations.
  • Work with the WCS CAR staff and Director to ensure high levels of effectiveness and efficiency in work plans, reporting, and budgeting, logistics, and accountability.

Qualification Requirements:

  • Master's degree or higher level of education in land-use planning, natural resource management, land tenure, or related field.
  • Proven experience working on land management, conservation, and natural resource management issues in Africa with international organizations (5+ years) in community.
  • Practical experience in developing land and resource management plans in rural settings, social science and land and resource tenure.
  • Knowledge of various methods and approaches for developing shared visions for land and resource management involving multiple stakeholders.
  • Technical expertise in GIS and land-use planning.
  • Proven experience in conservation-oriented planning linked to corridors and protected area buffer zones.
  • Efficiency at coordinating multiple resources to get things done; capable of working on multiple tasks at multiple levels and switching between them; able to foresee and plan around obstacles.
  • Commitment to wildlife conservation.
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of logistics and financial management for projects (planning, budgets, implementation, monitoring and evaluation).
  • Proven experience in building partners’ capacity.
  • 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.

Preferred Qualifications:

Significant work experience in CAR, knowledge of Central Africa and Sudano-Sahel environmental and political issues.