Wildlife Conservation Society Vacancy: Conservation Finance Specialist – Bronx, NY, United States

Posting Job


April 3, 2016

Expired Job


July 12, 2020



mission is to save wildlife and wild places and that constitutes a
long-term commitment that requires a major human and financial
investment in priority sites around the world.  By
developing diverse financial options, the WCS Conservation Finance team
aims to achieve long-term financial sustainability for the management
of these sites, while simultaneously creating new investment and
revenue-generating opportunities for communities who depend on natural
resources to satisfy their economic needs.

programs seek the financial diversification needed for successful
conservation outcomes by developing market approaches and creating
economic incentives directly linked to those conservation outcomes. We
assist people and governments in choosing development approaches and
investments that benefit wildlife and wild places and ensure long-term
sustainability and stability. We invest in business plans, feasibility
studies, long-term funding mechanisms, new markets, and other innovative
approaches to ensure generation of much-needed revenue for sustainable
conservation programs.

developing market-based approaches, WCS creates an essential link
between its conservation activities and the local and regional economies
where it works, gaining greater support for conservation by local
communities and government leaders. Identification and development of
these mechanisms take time, but these efforts are essential to the
success of WCS’ mission to save wildlife and wild places around the

Part of this effort
involves finding ways to integrate payment of ecosystem services into
broader conservation strategies affecting WCS landscapes and building
these long-term payment systems into country-level conservation
initiatives both in the terrestrial and marine environments.

is a growing demand for conservation finance services around the globe
and WCS is seeking a professional to support implementation of projects.

These duties will include the following: 

  • Development of conservation finance strategies and plans   Countries around the world face a serious shortfall when it comes to protected area finance.  Government
    budgets are insufficient to meet the costs of conservation, and
    protected area managers and conservationists need to explore potential
    sources of revenue that can contribute to reducing the shortfall.   WCS
    carries out national and local conservation financing assessments from
    which strategies are developed that identify specific actions and
    programs for increased revenue flows to conservation.   In
    this position the program officer will have responsibility to support
    country programs, and sometimes to lead, in the development of protected
    area and landscape finance strategies and recommend actions plans for
    implementation of the most feasible strategies.  One
    strategy will be developed for Madagascar marine conservation areas
    while the potential exists to develop a similar strategy for Belize.  Development
    of these strategic approaches and putting in place implementation plans
    that connect sources of funds with protected area managers, small
    businesses and farmers and local communities will form an important area
    of work. 
  • Payments for ecosystem services:  WCS is involved with projects that aim to   create
    markets for ecosystem services as part of a virtuous circle where
    public and private sector buyers (demand side) offer financial and
    non-financial payments to individuals, groups, government managers, etc.
    (sellers/supply side) in exchange for a negotiated supply of ecosystem
    goods and services.  These payments provide the suppliers with incentives to conserve and deliver the desired levels of goods and services.   Part
    of the position will involve helping to develop mechanisms for linking
    these good and services, especially projects involved in creating prices
    and markets for water resources.    The
    work will involve working with WCS country programs to design and
    implement deals that result in ecosystem service payments that deliver
    services and helping to create the monitoring necessary to ensure their
    consistent delivery.  A main focus
    of the work in this field will be in Malawi, in the Shire watershed as
    part of efforts to generate resources for a newly formed conservation
    trust.   Opportunities exist
    currently in other African countries and will be developed and the
    potential to expand to support work in other geographic regions where
    WCS works.
  • Protected area business planning.  WCS works with protected area authorities to support the management of protected areas.   Generally, even when management plans exist there is limited financial planning to accompany these management plans.    Creation
    of business plans that look at both revenue-generating options as well
    as cost savings from more efficient management will be carried out for
    two newly established marine parks in Madagascar.   The business planning work will go hand-in-hand with the work on conservation finance strategies.
  • Development of new conservation finance program opportunities.   The
    program officer will explore new project opportunities in the area of
    conservation finance, including preparing grants and developing
    relationships with donors.  Working
    with the Markets team and with WCS country programs, the program
    specialist will generate project ideas and develop country-level,
    regional-level or global grant proposals to generate resources for the
    program.   New opportunities for
    innovative financing for conservation will also be explored through
    WCS’s collaborative work through the Conservation Finance Alliance.

Position Requirements: 

is seeking a professional with a degree in business, finance, economics
or a related field and with at least 5 Years implementing projects in
developing countries.

successful candidate will have experience in developing payment for
ecosystem services projects or other means of delivering sustainable
flows of finance to achieve conservation objectives.

Experience in business planning, including planning for multiple benefits is necessary.

in spoken and written English is a requirement and the ability to
communicate in either French and/or Spanish is highly desirable.

The position will require extended travel, mostly to Africa but could include other destinations where WCS operates.

The position will report to and work within the conservation markets team of WCS’s Conservation Science and Solutions program.  Ideally,
the position will be in WCS’s global headquarters in New York City, but
other key international hubs for WCS will be considered.

send a cover letter
and CV with the subject line “Conservation Finance Specialist [your
name]” to conservationsupport@wcs.org
Closing Date: 30 April 2016
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