Description

Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar, with travel to field sites
Department, Division: East Africa, Madagascar, and Western Indian Ocean (EAMWIO)
Reports to: Forest Carbon Technical Advisor, WCS Madagascar
Coordinates with: Regional Nature-based Solutions Advisor, EAMWIO

Background

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.
Madagascar is considered one of the “hottest” of biodiversity hotspots, with extremely high species diversity and staggering rates of endemism – the island is home to more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity over only 0.4% of the world’s land area. Home to more than 112 endemic lemur species, 90% of these lemur species are now threatened with extinction, and almost a third are Critically Endangered.
WCS has been active in Madagascar since 1993 and works to ensure the long-term conservation of the country’s unique biological diversity, focusing on activities in our priority landscape/seascapes. We achieve this through terrestrial and marine protected area management, engagement with local communities to support them to become effective stewards of natural resources, environmental education, and a program of applied conservation science.
WCS’s interventions are focused on the MaMaBay (Masoala, Makira, Antongil Bay) Landscape/Seascape program in the northeast of Madagascar with interventions in and around Makira Natural Park, one of Madagascar’s most important sites for threatened and endemic wildlife. The Park has the highest diversity of lemurs of any protected area in Madagascar, and the highest number of endangered primate species of any protected area on the planet, as well as the highest diversity of palm species in Madagascar, and more than 100 endemic amphibians recorded from the site.
Whilst the project’s climate and biodiversity value is clear, local communities play an equally important role, with the project supporting communities in the buffer zone to obtain devolved management rights to forests through the Gestion Contractuelle des Forêts de l’Etat process. To date, 87 communities have been granted management rights.
Although the project remains active today, implementing a full range of forest and biodiversity conservation and community support, the project’s last VCS/CCBS verification was for the 2009-2013 period. The Government of Madagascar announced its intention to pursue an FCPF jurisdictional REDD+ approach, which temporarily paused VCS/CCBS verifications at Makira Natural Park.
With a new jurisdictional program under development, with the potential for nested projects within a jurisdictional framework, verifications of Makira Natural Park are anticipated to restart, first for the pre-jurisdictional program period, and later within a nested framework for the post-FCPF period.
WCS is also supporting the development of other REDD+ projects under VCS and CCBS in Madagascar outside of the MaMaBay landscape.

Position Overview

The REDD+ and Government Liaison Advisor is a key role focused on supporting the government of Madagascar in the development and implementation of a jurisdictional and nested REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program. This role will also involve assisting in developing and implementing WCS and partner REDD+ projects across Madagascar.
The REDD+ and Government Liaison Advisor will collaborate with and be supported by a range of internal and external stakeholders, including the global and regional WCS REDD+ team; landscape-based field teams and managers; technical support teams (e.g. GIS/remote sensing team); senior WCS Madagascar management team; local to national government authorities; Validation and Verification Bodies (VVBs) and the Verra Secretariat; project investors and credit buyers.
The position will report to the WCS Forest Carbon Technical Advisor. They will collaborate closely with the Regional Nature-based Solutions Advisor and senior WCS Madagascar staff including the MaMaBay Landscape Director, Social Safeguards Advisor, and Conservation Director.
The REDD+ and Government Liaison Advisor will be part of an established and expanding team of REDD+ specialists in WCS and part of a dynamic and committed WCS Madagascar team. This position comes at an exciting time for the WCS Makira REDD+ project, and for REDD+ in Madagascar in general, with the opportunity to bring significant benefits to local communities and to support the conservation of some of the world’s most important and threatened biodiversity.

Key Responsibilities

Government collaboration and capacity sharing

  • With government partners, support the development and implementation of a jurisdictional program that values project-based REDD+ through a nested approach.
  • Act as a focal point and liaison between WCS and government partners for all REDD+ matters.
  • Support improvements of the political, jurisdictional, institutional, and financial frameworks necessary for effective governance of REDD+.
  • Provide technical assistance for the development of national and regional REDD+ strategies and action plans and ensure the value of project-based REDD+ is represented.
  • Work closely with government officials to support the understanding and implementation of national REDD+ strategies and their contribution to the 2030 vision for Madagascar.
  • Coordinate with relevant stakeholders to integrate REDD+ into national policies and frameworks.
  • Facilitate capacity-building and training workshops for government personnel and stakeholders.

Project support and management

  • Support the technical development and implementation of specific REDD+ projects within Madagascar.
  • Provide technical expertise in areas such as carbon accounting, and ensure compliance of biodiversity and community engagement programs, working with social safeguards teams.
  • Support the development of project documentation for validation and verification.
  • Support validation and verification processes including site visits by validation and verification bodies.
  • Ensure inclusion of forest carbon project development and implementation in relevant work planning and funding proposals.
  • Provide capacity building of WCS staff as needed.

Stakeholder engagement and partnership development

  • Build and maintain relationships with government, NGOs, and private sector entities related to REDD+.
  • Facilitate inclusive and participatory approaches in REDD+ project planning and implementation.
  • Promote knowledge sharing and best practices among various stakeholders.
  • Represent WCS’ interests to the Government of Madagascar and other REDD+ stakeholders.

Reporting and communication

  • Prepare regular reports on program and project progress for government and donors as required.
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders, ensuring transparency and accountability.
  • Represent WCS’ REDD+ program in regional, national, and international forums as required.
  • Ensure the WCS global REDD+ team is informed of any relevant developments, challenges, and opportunities.

Required qualifications and skills.

  • A master’s degree in environmental science, Forestry, Climate Change, or a related field, or a bachelor’s degree with demonstrated professional experience.
  • Four years experience in REDD+, carbon markets, climate change mitigation, or related fields.
  • Understanding of international carbon markets and jurisdictional and nested standards.
  • Proven experience in program and project management, ideally in Madagascar.
  • Familiarity with the political, social, and environmental landscape of Madagascar.
  • Fluency in Malagasy, and professional-level English or French
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a multicultural team.

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through this link. We review received applications on a rolling basis

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.

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