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Director, African NCS Roadmap

Organization

Conservation International

Department

Not Specified

Organization URL

Job Location Type

IN_OFFICE

Job Location

Gaborone, Botswana    Nairobi , Kenya    Antananarivo, Madagascar    

Applicant Location Requirements

No Applicant Location Requirements Specified.

Application Deadline

Until Filled

Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork, and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, biodiversity, and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples, and local communities to help people and nature thrive together.

POSITION SUMMARY

This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya, with consideration for a highly qualified candidate based in South Africa, Botswana, or Madagascar.

The climate emergency is already here. The average temperature on Earth has now risen 1.2°C above preindustrial levels and there is a 50:50 chance of exceeding 1.5°C within the next five years. Avoiding this threshold and the corresponding acceleration of economic and societal disruption will require solving one of the world’s paramount climate challenges: the destruction of nature from unsustainable agriculture, forestry, and other land uses.

Conservation International’s (CI) Exponential Roadmap for Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) lays out how we can achieve netzero greenhouse gas emissions from terrestrial ecosystems – from both natural and working lands – by 2030. It comprises eight distinct “action tracks” focused on the protection of natural ecosystems, climate-smart management of working lands, and natural ecosystem restoration. Together, these tracks hold the potential to mitigate 13.1 Gt of greenhouse gas emissions annually. CI is now engaged in a multi-million-dollar NCS Roadmap Initiative, to mainstream the global goal of a net zero land sector and both inspire and help deliver the innovations necessary to overcome bottlenecks for exponentially scaling investment in NCS. A core element of the theory of change lies in demonstrating the viability of the global Roadmap framework at regional (and finer) scales, through its flexibility to meet regional needs and contexts. Africa, which holds more than 2 Gt of annual NCS mitigation potential and, crucially, is home to hundreds of millions of people who are highly dependent on the natural and working lands they steward for their livelihoods and ultimate survival, represents an immediate opportunity for an African-led NCS Roadmap to focus on African priorities, helping drive equitable and sustainable development while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Working closely with partners and local institutions, the African NCS Roadmap Director will support the design, delivery, and dissemination of the African NCS Roadmap and its associated outputs (thematics, data analyses and syntheses, policy guidance, case studies, spatial planning tools, etc.) across an anticipated 18-month window prior to launching the Roadmap at COP30 in Belem, Brazil, in November 2025. The NCS Roadmap Director will support CI’s Africa Field Division (headquartered in Nairobi), and the Center’s for Natural Climate Solutions, and the Moore Center for Science (both based in the US) to work closely with Africa-based partners and research institutions. The role will couple a unique blend of technical analysis and coordination around NCS, with coalition-building, fundraising, and communications. Working with a diverse, interdisciplinary team both in-region and around the world, the African NCS Roadmap Director will enable a consultative process across the continent, gathering input and priorities from policymakers, scientists, communities, and the private sector – in close collaboration with core Roadmap partners, Future Ecosystems for Africa (FEFA) and Oppenheimer Generations Research & Conservation (OGRC) – to produce an actionable African NCS Roadmap that delivers on the continents development priorities, along with its extraordinary NCS potential. As such, the African NCS Roadmap Director will have experience leading and managing complex, multidisciplinary initiatives, and inspiring trust through being grounded in science, while also being a visible and effective communicator about the urgent need for action. This work will position the Roadmap Coalition as thoughtful leaders and partners of choice in protecting, managing, and restoring nature, and forms a core part of CI’s fight to reach net zero emissions from the land sector by 2030.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Science and Technical Leadership

Manage – in collaboration with core Roadmap partners – the regionalization and resulting evolution of the global NCS Roadmap’s framework to align with Africa’s values, contexts, and needs, for example, to emphasize sustainable development, livelihoods, and biodiversity priorities.
Lead, support, and/or coordinate the identification and development of highest priority scientific analyses and/or syntheses necessary to underpin the African Roadmap’s science-to-action framework.
Liaise with CI’s global and regional teams working on topics vital to the African Roadmap’s development, including quantification of the non-carbon benefits of NCS implementation, Indigenous Peoples and local communities’
engagement; and the science of ‘scaling’ on-the-ground implementation.
Partnerships

Working closely with key partners from Future Ecosystems for Africa (FEFA) and Oppenheimer Generations Research & Conservation (OGRC), alongside CI’s Africa Field Division and CI’s Global Programs, continue to grow the African Roadmap coalition across the continent with influential actors in the land sector (public and private), and diversify the coalition across regions, language groups, sectors, and ecosystem types.
Represent CI in relevant national, regional, and global forums, and in conversations with governments, the private sector, and other influential stakeholders as needed.

Program Delivery and Communications

Manage and coordinate the African NCS Roadmap, from design to delivery, in close collaboration with key partners, ensuring program activities are on time, on budget, and on track for delivering the Roadmap’s objectives and obligations to funders.
Coordinate Roadmap workstreams ensuring effective collaboration among team members (internal and external), tracking of progress, and timely delivery of milestones.
Support high-quality donor reporting and communication of success stories as needed.
Support the development of a communications strategy to promote the African NCS Roadmap vis-à-vis key audiences, ensuring broad awareness and understanding of its goals and principles – both during its development and on its launch at COP30.
Advocate for the NCS Roadmap at relevant national and regional forums, presenting its value proposition and encouraging adoption by relevant stakeholders.
Liaise closely with colleagues in CI’s Africa Field Division to ensure the African Roadmap complements and supports CI’s African Regional Strategy.
Support fundraising efforts to enable the Roadmap to meet its most ambitious goals.

WORKING CONDITIONS

Work is performed in a typical office environment.
Local and/or international travel – up to 35% – may be required.
Flexibility in the work schedule (occasional night and weekend work) may be necessary in order to accommodate time differences between CI’s US-hub and the regions.
This is a fixed-term assignment, anticipated to begin in June 2024 and end in June 2026.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, climate science, international development, natural resource management, or a related field OR equivalent experience.
  • 7 or more years of work experience in managing complex conservation/development initiatives in Africa, with an emphasis on coalition-building, management of research projects, and fundraising.
  • 2 or more years of supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated deep understanding of the science/policy/implementation of natural climate solutions, e.g., carbon accounting; NCS project implementation.
  • Demonstrated ability to drive strategic initiatives, through both independent research and through leading/managing teams of researchers from diverse academic disciplines and across multiple institutions.
  • Clear aptitude for successfully interpreting and applying complex scientific information, data, models, and approaches to achieve practical results.
  • Proven track record in project management, including budgets, and supporting and enabling diverse teams to meet challenging deliverables on time and budget.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills in a fast-paced project or program management context with changing priorities and under minimal supervision.
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment and work well across cultures as well as within and across organizations.
  • Excellent English written and verbal communication skills, with an emphasis on effective science communication to a variety of different audiences.
  • Highly organized and a strong attention to detail.

Preferred

  • Masters/Ph.D. or related experience in a relevant, interdisciplinary subject area (e.g., sustainable development, conservation biology, natural resource management, etc.).
  • Expert-level knowledge of how to integrate quantitative and qualitative data in support of developing nature-based solutions to climate change.
  • Proficiency with statistical software (e.g., R, STATA, SPSS, SAS).
    GIS and spatial analytic skills.
    Supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated experience securing funds from public and private sources for research and implementation of environmental or development programs and projects.
  • Significant experience working directly with rural communities.
    Fluency in English with French, Portuguese, Arabic, and/or Swahili as an added advantage.
  • Proven ability to provide mentorship for junior colleagues to support the development of the next generation of NCS leaders.
  • To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.

Application Deadline: June 7, 2024 (11:49 PM EST)

Apply online or via email