Duration: 2 years (renewable depending on funding)
Supervisor: Madagascar & Western Indian Ocean Regional Director
The Southern Western Indian Ocean (SWIO) region is a global hotspot for chondrichthyan biodiversity, possibly second only to Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle in terms of species richness, endemism, and evolutionary distinctiveness. Sharks and rays play a significant role in the SWIO, providing food security and local livelihoods to vulnerable coastal communities who are highly dependent on the cash income and protein intake provided by small-scale fisheries, including sharks and rays.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is present throughout the SWIO region with country program offices in Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya. WCS’s marine conservation actions in the region are growing, with shark and ray conservation a particular focus of future efforts. To date, WCS has been strongly involved in regional policy discussions around shark and ray conservation and to complement this work we are now seeking a Shark and Ray Conservation Officer to coordinate, advise on, and collaborate with country offices to implement technical, field-based shark and ray conservation projects in the region.
Overview of Post
The successful candidate will be based in the SWIO region, ideally in one of WCS’s country programs with active marine programs (Madagascar, Tanzania or Kenya). He/she will work closely with the regional director, the country directors, and staff in New York marine program to plan, implement, provide advice on, and monitor WCS’s conservation activities. He/she will focus on building capacity within marine teams – particularly field based teams - within country programs to carry out shark and ray conservation work. He/she will also contribute to the development of a WCS regional action plan for shark and ray conservation and to fundraising activities. He / she will also represent WCS in regional forums and meetings related to shark and ray conservation as needed. The post is a long-term consultancy position for an initial period of 2 years, and is renewable based upon performance and availability of financing.
Roles and Responsibilities
1. Strategic Planning
• Liaise with country directors, MWIO regional director, and NY marine program staff to develop a global objective and 5-year action plan for WCS’s approach to shark and ray conservation in the SWIO.
• Develop a consolidated monitoring and evaluation framework to measure the impact of WCS’s shark and ray conservation work in the SWIO.
• Develop brief 3 monthly reports documenting progress against the achievement of the workplan including obstacles to its implementation.
2. Technical Support to Field Teams
• Work directly with country directors to lead and/or advise on technical implementation of projects on the ground in WCS’s sites.
• Undertake needs assessment of field teams in country program offices and identify capacity building requirements.
• Based on best available science and in collaboration with WCS scientists, develop or adapt harmonized methodologies for ecological data collection, landings and catch monitoring, and data analyses to be used by WCS field teams throughout the region.
• Undertake on-the-ground training of field teams in shark and ray conservation including ecological data collection methods, landings and catch monitoring and data analyses methods, options for field-based conservation action, community engagement methods etc.
• Collaborate with WCS staff to identify priority research themes related to shark and ray conservation and assist in developing partnerships with international and national research institutes working on shark and ray conservation.
3. Project Management and Monitoring
• Work with country teams to prepare consolidated workplans for implementation of projects in the region and coordinate and/or advise on monitoring of activity implementation.
• Lead preparation of technical progress reports for regional projects for sign-off by country and regional directors prior to submission to donors.
• Contribute to preparation of technical progress reports for country specific projects.
• Liaise with financial management teams to develop financial progress reports as necessary.
4. Representation in Regional Forums and Meetings
• As requested by the MWIO regional director and country directors represent WCS in regional technical forums and meetings around shark and ray conservation.
• Identify new fundraising opportunities for shark and ray conservation.
• Contribute to the preparation of financial and technical proposal development.
• Develop communications materials (factsheets, social media content, press releases) to provide donors and potential donors with information on the work being carried out by WCS in the region.
• PhD or Masters in marine conservation, with a specialization in shark and ray conservation including socio-economic aspects of shark and ray exploitation in developing countries.
• 3- 5 years professional work experience including work experience in the SWIO region.
• Excellent understanding of marine conservation issues, and in particular issues facing sharks and rays, in the SWIO region.
• Demonstration of an evidence-based approach to conservation.
• Knowledge of Government, NGO and donor partners working on shark and rays issues in the
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Fluency in English essential and professional capacity in French and/or Kiswahili desirable.
Interested candidates should send their CVs and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with copy to email@example.com before 12 May 2017.