WCS International Job Vacancy: Marine Program Senior Technical Advisor - Libreville, Gabon

Program Background
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is the largest and longest-serving conservation NGO in Gabon, having worked in the country for over 20 years. WCS started by supporting pioneering studies of forest ecology that resulted in a negotiated settlement between the government and foresters that ended illegal logging inside the Lopé Wildlife Reserve. The political capital and experience gained during this negotiation in turn catalyzed the launching of a country-wide evaluation of the most intact areas of forest. This formed the basis for the creation in 2002 of a network of 13 National Parks selected to represent all major ecosystems and covering 10% of the country. In 2003, at the request of the Government of Gabon, WCS Gabon significantly expanded its operations to support the Government with a range of issues from policy development to capacity building.

WCS Gabon has more than 10 years of marine conservation experience. During this period, WCS has performed regular missions to improve knowledge about sea turtle and whale populations, and defined priorities to protect these endangered species. Since its formation, WCS has collaborated with the Presidential Initiative “Gabon Bleu” to define marine priorities and MPAs and for the management of artisanal and industrial fishing. In November 2014, the President of Gabon announced Gabon’s commitment to create a network of new marine parks and no-take fishing zones covering over 23% of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The creation of this new network of marine protected areas presents a unique opportunity to establish sustainable use of marine resources in the country. WCS' unrivalled field presence and in-depth institutional experience in conservation and management, combined with a reputation for providing impartial and rigorous technical assistance, means our support is increasingly solicited by private industry and different branches of government such as the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Fisheries.

Position Objectives
The Marine Program Senior Technical Advisor will be responsible for the leadership and management of the Marine Program of WCS Gabon. S/he will ensure integration of WCS Gabon’s Marine Program with WCS’ Global Marine Program and Gabon Bleu. The Marine Program Senior Technical Advisor will be involved in a broad portfolio of activities but with particular focus on planning and implementing marine conservation strategy in Gabon. The Senior Technical Advisor position is based in Libreville with frequent visits to the country’s coastal areas. The position will report to the WCS-Gabon Country Director and will work closely with Gabonese government bodies, WCS’s Africa Program, and WCS’s Global Marine Program. The position is expected to work particularly closely with the Gabon Bleu program of the Gabonese government to ensure good communication and integration of activities and ensure that WCS Marine program objectives are fully aligned with the government strategy.

Principal responsibilities

Management, including:
  • Lead, develop and ensure daily operations and coordination of the WCS Gabon Marine Program in collaboration with governments, partners, and collaborators
  • Develop and manage a portfolio of marine projects based on WCS’ 2020 strategy and the Gabon Bleu initiative
  • Ensure fundraising efforts and lead on associated management of grants.
  • Ensure general management relating to all general operations of the program, including those relating to logistics, human resources and capacity building, ensuring effective external and internal communications, and representing the Gabon Marine program nationally and internationally
Planning, including:
  • Contribute to strategic plans, annual work plans and budgets, and project planning under leadership of WCS’ Gabon Program, and in collaboration Global Marine Program, and Africa Program as well as the Gabon Bleu initiative and other key partners
  • Provide technical support and guidance to specific initiatives including the implementation of the government’s representative systems of marine protected areas
Finance and fundraising, including:
  • Support project fundraising activities by sourcing potential donors and developing proposals to secure funding for the Gabon Marine Program
  • Manage and monitor project expenditures and budgets and ensure reporting and justification of expenditures following WCS procedures and criteria set by donors
Research and Monitoring, including:
  • Collect and review marine information and data relating to the Gabonese marine environment
  • Identify information gaps and collect relevant data and information to fill these gaps, as needed
Qualification requirements:
  • Masters degree or PhD and experience in marine biology and resources management
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience, preferably in the area of marine conservation, preferably in Africa
  • Demonstrable experience in project management and implementation, including managing large budgets, staff, and liaising with government
  • Previous experience and technical competency with one or more of a range of marine conservation issues would be valuable. Key areas of interest include: GIS and marine spatial planning, marine enforcement, fisheries stock assessments, market chain analyses, marine mammal research, marine policy, and capacity building through training programs
  • Proven ability to work with national and local organizations.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to undertake scientific field work.
  • Experience working in Africa
  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal. English & French required.
  • The position is based in Libreville with some travel to the program’s sites within the country and may require some travel within the region and abroad.
  • Applicants should be committed to conservation and to the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
How to apply:
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by sending an application letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three referees to the addresses below not later than 31 July 2016. Please include “WCS Marine Program

Senior Technical Advisor, Gabon” in the subject line of your email.

Send to: gabitsi@wcs.org with a copy to africaapplications@wcs.org (file size should be limited to under 500kb)