WCS recruits 01 Park Director, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo (RoC)
Location: Bomassa, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park HQ, Republic of Congo
Reports to: WCS Congo Country Director
Start date: January 2021
Position type: Full-time
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.
Republic of Congo Program Overview:
Over the past 25 years WCS Congo has been the government’s principle conservation partner, assisting the Ministry of Forest Economy (MEF) in managing wildlife and its habitat in several of the country’s national parks, reserves, and protected area buffer zones. Within these sites WCS is developing and implementing actions for effective wildlife protection; community based natural resource management; ecological monitoring; scientific research; and environmental education. The program is the largest in WCS’s global portfolio and reports to the Regional Program for Central Africa and Gulf of Guinea. WCS Congo’s current portfolio of programs includes the management of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park through a Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Congo, wildlife management in the substantial buffer zones of the Park, co-management of Lac Tele Community Reserve, a national program to support reform of marine conservation and resource management and a substantial policy support program to the central government in Brazzaville.
The Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park (NNNP) covers more than 4,000 square kilometers of intact contiguous lowland rainforest in northern Republic of Congo. The forest is part of the larger Sangha Tri-National Forest Landscape inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is a stronghold for important populations of large mammals, including forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees. The park also contains forest clearings that offer a window into the lives of shy forest wildlife, creating fantastic opportunities for tourism development and conservation science.
Created in 1993, the NNNP and its buffer zone have benefited from more than 25 years of collaborative management between the Congolese Government and WCS to emerge as one of the most successful protected areas for the conservation of wildlife in Central Africa. In October 2014, WCS signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Ministry for Forest Economy (MEF), for the long-term management and financing of NNNP, creating the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation as the Park management entity under a 25-year agreement.
We are seeking a Park Director with protected area management experience to ensure the effective protection and conservation of NNNP and its wildlife while helping to develop world-class tourism and improve economic and social benefits to the surrounding community and the government of the Republic of Congo.
The Park Director will provide strategic and operational leadership and be responsible for all aspects of park management including ranger deployment and wildlife protection, community liaison, research, tourism development, fundraising and reporting, communications. The job includes managing senior staff, developing strong relationships with government partners, partner agencies and organizations, as well as managing a significant budget and ensuring smooth day to day running of the Park. The Park Director is accountable to the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation Board.
The Park Director is based in the field, living permanently on-site at the park headquarters, Bomassa. The team is composed of between 200 – 300 staff organized in 5 Departments (Administrative and Finance Unit, Conservation and Biodiversity Service Department (including Law Enforcement), Research and Monitoring Department, Community Development, Logistics Service) with a Departmental Lead assigned to each. The annual operational budget is more than $4 million and set to grow substantially through a new tourism development initiative launched this year.
The NNNP Park Director will deliver on the following principal responsibilities in full coordination with, and supported by, the WCS Congo management team and the WCS Central Africa Regional team:
- Financial and operational responsibility for all Park activities encompassing all departments of law enforcement, administration and finance, logistics, research and community development.
- Implementation of the Park’s management plan
- Preparation and implementation of Park annual work plans and budgets
- Recruitment and management of all personnel, including regular liaison with Heads of Departments
- Ensure that all contracts and agreements related to the Park are followed
- Ensure timely reporting of all grants covering the Park, and in compliance with donor regulations to WCS, donors and the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation Board
- Implementing the directives of the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundations’ Board of Directors
- Building and maintaining relationships with Government, community and private sector partners, and other key stakeholders around the Park
- Liaison with the Board of Directors of the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation
Experience / Training
Significant experience of protected area management (at least 5 years)
- Experience in large project management, personnel management and administration
- Experience managing international donor-funded projects, with multiple project partners and diverse project elements preferred.
- Efficient at coordinating multiple resources to get things done, multi-tasking, problem-solving and solution-oriented.
Strong technical, logistical and financial management of projects (planning, budgets, implementation, monitoring and evaluation).
Knowledge of African conservation issues.
- A Master degree (or higher education level) in conservation, natural resource management, or other relevant field experience in African conservation.
- Proven experience of working in Africa, with experience of Central Africa highly preferred.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Proven managerial, leadership and team building skills.
- Demonstrated high-level competency in writing and editing of professional reports and other written products.
- Fluency in French and English language required
- Proven ability and comfortable with living and working in a multicultural environment in isolated areas, under difficult field conditions.
How to apply
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply by emailing a detailed application/cover letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include “WCS Park Director” in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
Application Deadline: 16 November 2020, at 10 am Congo time
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.