Regional Community Conservation Coordinator at Wildlife Conservation Society

Director, Okapi Wildlife Reserve at Wildlife Conservation Society

Position: Regional Community Conservation Coordinator

Location: Kigali, Rwanda with travel around the region

Reports To: Regional Director

Collaborators: Regional Program Management Team

Start date: Immediate
Duration: Full-time contract


The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City, USA, working to save wildlife and wildlands and to meet global challenges in over 60 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the world’s oceans. WCS believes that conservation of nature and natural resources is essential to life on earth, the future of humanity, and the wellbeing and cultural identities of Indigenous Peoples and traditional and local communities.

Program Overview

The Central Africa and Gulf of Guinea program is one of the largest of WCS’s 13 Global Regional Programs, spanning Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, and Gabon. This is a rapidly growing program with a diverse and expanding portfolio of donors, partners and projects. The region presents a set of complex conservation challenges to biodiversity and their habitats and WCS field programs are addressing these through a number of initiatives including protected area management, community engagement, sustainable livelihoods, policy reform and sustainable financing. WCS recently formally established its regional hub in Kigali, Rwanda which hosts a growing team of technical specialists and regional management to support our country programs and field offices.


The overall objective of the Regional Community Conservation Coordinator is to lead the region in the implementation of a rights-based approach to conservation while ensuring an enabling environment for strengthening the role of communities in conservation solutions. This position will work within the WCS regional framework, and under the guidance of the Regional Director, will closely collaborate with global thematic teams Right Communities, Forests Climate and Marine.

Leadership & Program Development

  • Provide leadership and guidance on the development and implementation of community conservation initiatives across the region using a rights-based approach
  • Encourage a culture of adaptive and innovative problem solving in community conservation teams throughout the region
  • Contribute to project proposal development to reflect and advocate for initiatives that promote inclusive and rights-based community conservation approaches
  • Contribute to technical report writing to ensure community conservation activities are accurately and appropriately reflected
  • Build country program capacity on rights-based community conservation approaches, and support the involvement of community conservation teams throughout the region
  • Work with country program, regional and global staff to encourage new or refined approaches and research involving communities around protected areas that specifically address conservation threats.

Technical Support & Program Implementation

  • Work closely with site managers and community conservation teams in the region in the development of community conservation strategies, or where strategies already exist, assess and update them as necessary.
  • Provide technical support and guidance in key thematic areas, including but not limited to:
  • Natural Resource Management
    • Support field teams in the development of NRM plans that are in alignment with sustainable conservation objectives and a rights-based approach that involves the full and meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
    • Where relevant, assist site-based teams in implementing a step by step process to set up zoning and management plans in and around protected areas throughout the region, utilizing consent and FPIC principles as necessary.
  • Governance
    • Provide guidance to community conservation teams on designing, implementing and supporting inclusive and effective governance structures in the communities where we work.
    • Support teams to ensure that resource users are actively engaged in decision-making activities with the incorporation of local institutions, customary or traditional practices, and local knowledge systems.
  • Livelihood and Socio-economic activities
    • Work with site programs to incorporate a participatory and inclusive approach to livelihood and socio-economic activities, ensuring that livelihood programming reflects the diverse needs and interests of men and women from local communities, as stated by them
  • Indigenous Peoples & Conservation
    • Provide insight and guidance on incorporating the unique traditional ecological knowledge and skill sets of Indigenous Peoples in the areas where we work
    • Working with field teams, set up effective mechanisms and innovative systems for the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples (men, women, youth) in all of our conservation programming
  • Social Science
    • Develop action plans for effectively incorporating conservation social science into community conservation activities throughout the region
    • Support community conservation teams in the application of qualitative and quantitative social science techniques to improve conservation outcomes, including data analysis
  • Lead on the development or facilitation of training materials, including providing input for the content of the training materials regarding the themes listed above.

Qualification Requirements

  • Post-graduate degree in social or environmental sciences a background in social and cultural anthropology is an added advantage)
  • 5 to 10 years’ field experience with international organizations in Africa working on community-based conservation and natural resource management
  • Proven ability at designing and delivering research related to the human dimensions of conservation in international development contexts
  • Proven ability to contribute to capacity building activities
  • Knowledge of social safeguards and/or social science in the context of conservation
  • Demonstrated experience successfully working with diverse groups of people such as those of different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English and French and additional local languages an advantage
  • Proactive, resilient, team-oriented, creative, and ambitious work ethic
  • Willingness to live in a multicultural environment.

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through this linkby June 30, 2023.

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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