Salary: Negotiable, depending on skills and experience
Start Date: 1 October 2017 (or sooner if possible)
Duration of Contract: 31 December 2020
Location: This post is based in Monrovia, Liberia with regular field travel, and international travel as required.
There is growing consensus that donor-based finance is insufficient to tackle many of the problems faced by society. The continued decline in biodiversity and the resulting loss of ecosystem services is no exception. With the pressure on threatened species and habitats rapidly increasing there is a need for significant additional financing for conservation work. This requires innovative operating models in order to respond adequately to the global conservation challenge with the speed and scale required to halt significant further loss.
Funder preferences are evolving and increasingly focused on these innovative operating models. There is a demonstrable shift in interest towards performance/outcome-based funding and in supporting enterprise models for achieving impact, through ‘Venture Philanthropy’. There is also an increasing pool of ‘impact investors’, seeking investments that deliver social and environmental impacts, in addition to varying levels of financial return.
With this backdrop, the Conservation Finance & Enterprise programme addresses the related challenges of establishing long-term, sustainable funding models for conservation initiatives; strengthening local and global incentives for conservation; and the urgent need for greater recognition of biodiversity and ecosystem services values within the global economy. The team has a vision where access to sustainable economic opportunities drives positive conservation outcomes by enabling and motivating local and global actors to enhance protection of threatened habitats and species.
Working closely with local partners, FFI’s Africa Programme currently operates in 14 countries in West, Central, East and Southern Africa, and is implementing a range of projects focused on species and habitat conservation, biodiversity planning, protected area management, institutional development and capacity building, sustainable use and community-focused wildlife management initiatives.
Liberia is home to large remaining intact sections of Upper Guinean Forest rich in endemic and endangered species not found elsewhere. These forests are at risk from extreme and immediate threats, such as slash-and-burn agricultural expansion, mining, plantations and poaching. Liberia is the Africa region’s biggest sub-programme of work,and has been central to FFI’s West Africa programme since 1997, supporting re-establishment of capacity for natural resource management throughout Liberia’s recovery from years of civil conflict. More recently, communities that were returning to their ancestral lands have been faced with further challenges to their livelihoods presented by the biggest outbreak of Ebola virus to date. Recognising how vital the country’s forests are for its people to thrive, FFI continues to support sustainable livelihoods that work in harmony with biodiversity conservation using multiple science-based, best practice approaches, and at landscape level.
The Liberia Government made a declaration in 2006 to put aside 30% of its forest for a protected area network (PAN) in 2006. To date, less than 4% of the PAN has been officially gazetted to formal protected status. The Wonegizi project site sits on the Liberia-Guinea border and is a key example of a critical transboundary forest found within a proposed protected area that is unable to offer the practical protection required whilst addressing the needs of local communities. With previous funding from the Norwegian Development Agency (Norad), FFI has been working at the site since 2010, with the aim to create Liberia’s first REDD+ pilot, integrated with protected area management.
FFI is seeking a qualified candidate to manage a substantial project funded by Norad. The project is one of the most ambitious agricultural extension and transformation programmes undertaken by FFI to date, and will pioneer innovation in the long-term financing of conservation efforts in Liberia. At its core is a focus on uniting the conservation and development agendas within and around an area of significant importance for biodiversity – a substantial area of the remaining Upper Guinean Forest ecosystem in Liberia.
The vision and impact of the project extends beyond the immediate project area, and informs the development of national policy processes that support replication of community and biodiversity-centred approaches to forest conservation throughout the country. The project illustrates a truly cross-cutting and collaborative approach to delivery, both within FFI and with partners and stakeholders in Liberia. Within FFI the Conservation Finance & Enterprise and Liberia Programmes provide strategic and operational leadership. With such a complex project, core to its success will be the collaborative nature by which it is managed and delivered. In particular, working across the Conservation Finance & Enterprise and Liberia programmes, the Project Manager will need to ensure the project is delivering on a range of priorities within the organisation, with a strong focus on building internal and external relationships through trust and cooperation.
You will have strong technical skills in relevant aspects of conservation and sustainable land-use management and/ or sustainable agriculture, and have a strong proven track record in managing large-scale sustainable development or conservation projects, with requisite operational, project, grant and financial management skills. Strong leadership and people management skills are essential to the role to ensure a professional and motivated team that delivers effectively against project aims, objectives and timelines. You will excel in working across a diverse and dispersed team of technical specialist building positive relationships. In particular you will establish good working relationships with relevant Government of Liberia partners, including Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Liberia Lands Authority (LLA) as well as other government institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture.
This position is based in FFI’s office in Monrovia, Liberia with regular domestic travel to Lofa County as needed, and international travel as required (including regular travel to FFI’s head office in Cambridge, UK). In return, the role offers the opportunity to work within a ground-breaking and entrepreneurial organisation, at the forefront of global conservation.
Please view the following document for further details of the positions and how to apply:
The closing date for applications is Sunday 3 September 2017 (UK time)