Location: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Reports to: Africa Socio-Economic Advisor
Direct Reports: None
Start Date: 1 September 2021
Position Type: Full-time, 2-year renewable contract
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.
Hunting has been practiced by rural communities for thousands of years. It can provide food security and income, in addition to being a key part of some communities’ cultures. However, these communities grow, and/or have become increasingly connected to larger population centers because of the economic development factors such as roads construction. Wild meat has become widely commercialized in towns, cities, mining or logging camps, and when this happens, because of the sheer volume of animals removed from their wild habitats, hunting is no longer sustainable. In addition to biodiversity loss, the long-term impact is food insecurity, the loss of livelihoods and the loss of cultural identity, particularly for hunter-gatherers that depend on wildlife for their protein requirements and lifeways.
The Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Program aims at reconciling the challenges of wildlife conservation with those of food security in fifteen countries. SWM works to ensure that exploitation of wildlife by indigenous rural populations is only done sustainably and legally, whilst ensuring that there is enough protein for them to eat. This is done by increasing/ diversifying protein sources for the rural and urban populations. This initiative of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is funded by the European Union, with co-funding from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and French Development Agency (AFD).
WCS is one of the four implementing partners (the others are CIFOR, CIRAD and FAO), leading the projects in Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The program is structured around six key Results:
● R1: Institutional and legal framework
● R2: Sustainable management of wildlife, hunting and fishing
● R3: Supply of alternative protein
● R4: Consumption of wildmeat
● R5: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
● R6: Knowledge Management
Result 2 represents the core of the SWM program. Succeeding at sustainable hunting requires an understanding and implementation of good governance, community engagement, and the management of hunting systems. As the SWM program is new, and these sustainable hunting systems are new in the countries in which WCS partners with SWM, there is a need for a dedicated person to coordinate technical support to the WCS sites. Thus WCS is seeking a motivated individual as an R2 technical assistant to support the four sites managed by WCS in implementing the R2 activities, especially those where engagement with communities and hunters is required.
The R2 technical assistant responsibilities include, without being limited to:
● Coordinate a common vision within WCS-SWM on sustainable hunting and provide training on tools and protocols
● Support the understanding of, and implementation of, the SWM Hunting Guidance Document in each site
● Lead WCS on incorporating sustainability games and training of communities
● Develop other means of discussing sustainability at the community level
● Facilitate site support for developing and/or strengthening local governance systems, including when appropriate producing guidance documents, reviewing mission results and providing guidance on planning next steps
● Coordinate approaches for co-development of management and hunting rules
● Engage R2 team & site leads to develop and implement effective offtake monitoring systems
● Engage with WCS community conservation leads to develop approaches that encourage communities to appropriate and participate in wildlife monitoring using a variety of methods, including camera and small mammal traps, and community reward systems
● Conduct missions in the field as appropriate to support the implementation of the activities, work hand in hand with sites on community/hunter engagement for a deep understanding of the challenges in the different contexts, and evaluate the effectiveness of the activities implemented
● Ensure good practices and lessons learned are shared between sites
● Accumulate knowledge for WCS on sustainable hunting methods, and co-author publications and manuals on sustainable hunting governance and management.
The Technician will work in close collaboration with the WCS site coordinators and field teams, and the SWM WCS program management. Although the work is mainly dedicated to supporting the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea, support to other SWM sites is also possible, in particular when the topics addressed are relevant to several sites.
● Protocols and training manual for tools
● Mission and training reports
● Inputs to relevant SWM reports and workplans
WCS is looking for a candidate who:
● Has a master’s degree (or higher education level) in community conservation, international development, natural resource management, or other relevant field experience;
● Has experience working in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams;
● Has conservation field experience, working with communities and hunters in the field, and a strong understanding of governance and sustainability management is a plus;
● Has a sound understanding of the wildmeat sector, in particular in Africa;
● Has excellent written and oral communication skills in French; working knowledge of English; Lingala, Swahili or Malagasy is a plus;
● Understands and aligns with WCS work and values.
● Is willing to travel to field sites, up to 30% of the time
Interested candidates who meet the above criteria should submit their application (CV and cover letter with the contacts of three references) to AfricaApplications@wcs.org.
Please indicate « Sustainable Hunting Technician » in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
Deadline for applications: 31 July 2021
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.