Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS)

The Wildlife Conservation Society (“WCS”) is a New York not-for-profit corporation founded by statute in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society
Website:

Position

Head of Community Conservation _ WCS North Cameroon Program

Supervisor

Paysage Nord Manager, Deputy Manager

Location: Garoua (North, Cameroon)

Job Type: 1-year fixed-term contract, renewable if necessary

Internal collaboration :Various WCS North Cameroon program departments, various WCS Cameroon offices, Rights and Communities Regional Team, Rights and Communities Director - Africa

Expected travel: Regular travel in and around Faro, Bénoué and Bouba-Ndjidda National Parks as well as Waza

Wildlife Conservation Society works to safeguard wildlife and natural habitats through a rigorous scientific approach, and international environmental education program and the management of the world's largest network of urban wildlife parks. These activities contribute to changing people's attitudes towards nature, and aim to promote viable and sustainable interaction between people and wildlife on a local and global scale. WCS is committed to this work because we believe it is essential to the integrity of life on earth. WCS has been present in Cameroon since 1988, and since then has worked with the Cameroon government to create several protected areas and train numerous conservationist managers. Currently, the WCS Cameroon program is working on three main landscapes: the Takamanda-Mone Technical Operational Unit, the Mbam & Djerem National Park, and the Binational Complex of Bénoué, Bouba-Ndjida (Cameroon) and Sena Oura (Chad) National Parks.

In Northern Cameroon, WCS, in support of the Ministry in charge of Forests and Wildlife, is implementing activities aimed at conservation, stability and sustainable development in and around the North Cameroon Protected Areas landscape network, which constitutes a 3 Mha ecological continuum including the Faro, Bénoué (PNB) and Bouba-Ndjidda (PNBN) National Parks and 34 Zones of Hunting Interest, as well as the Waza National Park in the Far North Region. The North Cameroon landscape presents a challenging environment and faces a number of threats to its biodiversity and activities, including poaching, artisanal and sporadic mining. The candidate will be expected to be innovative in overcoming these challenges, and to implement a community-based approach aimed at reducing threats to the landscape's biodiversity and improving the well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities.

The overall objective of the Community Conservation Officer is to lead the implementation of the community conservation strategy and field team to achieve conservation results in the North Cameroon Landscape by creating an enabling environment for community conservation and supporting the implementation of a rights-based approach to conservation in North Cameroon.

Responsibilities

The Community Conservation Officer will work closely with the Landscape Manager and his/her deputy to implement the community conservation strategy for northern Cameroon. He/She will ensure a community-based approach based on reducing threats to natural ecosystems and biodiversity in the protected areas of Bouba Ndjidda NP and Bénoué NP by promoting and encouraging the well-being and sustainable development of peripheral communities. This will be achieved through the implementation of a community conservation strategy aimed at, among other things, promoting good territorial governance, capacity building and development to increase inclusion and participation in the management of natural resources by peripheral communities. He/she will also be responsible for developing income-generating activities and infrastructure development programs aimed at increasing the resilience of peripheral communities by encouraging the promotion of agro-pastoral activities, the extension and use of non-timber forest products and other forms of economic production linked to an equitable distribution of the benefits of conservation and compatible with the protection of the natural ecosystem and biodiversity, while strengthening and promoting an approach aimed at respect for human rights and gender inclusion.

Leadership and team management

  • Build and supervise an inclusive, multidisciplinary and diverse community conservation team and provide capacity building and mentoring to team members as required.
  • Foster a culture of participatory learning and adaptive problem-solving so that team members reflect on and design effective field interventions that deliver biodiversity outcomes.
  • Implement community conservation activities in close coordination with other WCS North Cameroon team departments.

Implementation of activities

  • Develop a community conservation strategy (as per responsibilities indicated), with input from other departments and partners as appropriate, to reflect the overall landscape strategy, and ensure adaptive implementation and monitoring of the strategy.
  • Collaborate with the Participatory Management and Ecodevelopment departments of PNBN and PNB, and the ZIC Amodiataires, to contribute to the implementation of park and ZIC management plans in the field of community conservation and development.
  • Collaborate with municipalities, sectors, Comités Communaux and Comités Riverains and traditional authorities in the area to promote implementation of the landscape conservation strategy.
  • Develop and implement mechanisms by which infrastructure projects, access to social services and economic development opportunities for local communities are provided on a performance basis.
  • Oversee all community conservation activities, strengthen community institutions and create a strong base of community support for conservation initiatives.
  • Ensure implementation of associated donor commitments within budget and on time.
  • Ensure that annual, quarterly and monthly departmental work plans are developed with the full participation of team members and stakeholders.
  • Ensure accountable and evidence-based project implementation.
  • Ensure a rights-based approach, including adherence to the principles of free, prior and informed consent.
  • Ensure that youth, women and marginalized peoples are well represented and deeply involved in activities at all levels.
  • Ensure sound design and implementation of socio-economic research, as required, with the support of technical staff.

External relations

  • Engage directly and spend time in local communities to facilitate project implementation, build relationships and address their needs and concerns.
  • Liaise and maintain productive relationships with national park partners on community development activities to harmonize approaches, avoid duplication of effort and ensure they are linked to biodiversity outcomes.

Reports and communications

  • Provide regular substantive input to progress reports to donors.
  • Contribute to the development of fundraising proposals for the community conservation portfolio.
  • Produce technical outputs such as natural resource management plans and specific analyses of best practices and lessons learned.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of a master's degree (BAC+5) in forestry or agronomy, social or environmental sciences
  • Minimum 7 years field experience with international organizations in Africa working on community conservation, natural resource management, or community development
  • Experience in managing the implementation of community conservation activities funded by major bilateral and multilateral donors
  • Proven ability to manage, motivate and train a team of field staff
  • Proven ability to develop work plans and budgets, and to produce project progress reports
  • Proven ability to design and conduct socio-economic research in international development contexts
  • Proven ability to work sensitively with diverse groups of people, such as those from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in French, English is an asset
  • Strong commitment to wildlife conservation
  • Proactivity, resilience, team spirit, creativity and ambition
  • Willingness to work in a multicultural environment

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the link by June 17, 2024, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis .

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.