Climate change is no longer an issue of the future—it is one of the greatest threats humanity is facing today. C hanges in seasons, more frequent and intense storms, severe flooding, heat waves and droughts are already being observed, resulting in harm to ecosystems and the people that depend on them. As a result, addressing climate change is essential to Conservation International (CI) achieving its mission of safeguarding nature for the human well-being.
The Director, Climate Change, will be responsible to lead, plan and implement innovative solutions to address the climate change challenges Africa is facing today. Working within the framework of CI’s Africa strategy as well as CI’s institutional Climate Change strategy, this position will be an integral member of CI’s team in Africa.
The Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) is an African-led initiative for sustainable development, initiated in 2012 by African Heads of State. GDSA’s objective is “to ensure that the contributions of natural capital to sustainable economic growth, maintenance and improvement of social capital and human well-being are quantified and integrated into development and business practice”. Conservation International has been given the delegated responsibility of undertaking the executive functions of acting as the Secretariat which currently serves 12 member states.The Director, Climate Change will be a core team member of the GDSA Secretariat and will work as a trusted advisor to support / guide member states to achieve their commitments under the Paris Agreement, including their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will involve working with CI’s global teams in unlocking finance for implementation of these commitments through various funding options including the Green Climate Fund.
The Director, Climate Change will lead and guide the CI Africa team / partners / GDSA member states to:
- help mitigate climate change through the conservation and restoration of high-carbon forest ecosystems, including through addressing the drivers of deforestation; and the protection and restoration of coastal ecosystems (blue carbon).
- support the adaptation of vulnerable populations to climate change through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems that are critical for resilience to the impacts of climate change to help communities’ capacity to adapt and ensure the continued provision of ecosystem services upon which they depend including the implementation of climate-smart agriculture
- operationalize CI’s climate change strategy in the region, enabling CI to both directly, and as a catalyst, achieve specific contributions to global efforts on nature-based solutions for mitigation and adaption
- Duties are performed under the general direction of the Executive Secretary of the GDSA. The Director, Climate Change may be based out of any of the CI offices in Africa – Botswana (GDSA Office, Gaborone), Kenya (Nairobi), South Africa (Cape Town), Madagascar (Antananarivo), Liberia (Monrovia).
GDSA Secretariat (40% of time)
- Work with GDSA member states in an advisory capacity to support member states in achieving their commitments to the Paris Agreement and the SDGs
- Review current status of member states’ climate change (UNFCCC) commitments and inform member state priorities and implementation plans to address gaps and integrate nature-based solutions for climate in policy, in selected GDSA countries, with the objective to increase proliferation of nature-based solutions into NDCs, NAPs, SDGs, and regional efforts
- Facilitate and lead GDSA engagement on climate change by dedicated outreach and activities on climate change and sustainable development, working with key contacts in GDSA countries and facilitating/organizing meetings and workshops aimed at increasing capacity in climate change issues,
- Assess key areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation intervention and approach for GDSA related to current, and future, mandates and programme portfolios.
- Work with subject matter experts across CI to facilitate and lead engagement and uptake of nature-based solutions for climate policy and sustainable development across the GDSA including fundraising
- Represent CI and the GDSA at external meetings with partners, donors, foundations, government officials, as appropriate.
Africa Division (40% of time)
- Lead as technical advisor to all CI’s strategic programs and country led projects relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- Identify and advise on concrete opportunities for enhancing climate change considerations into CI’s regional strategic programs (Vital Signs, etc), and collaborate with program directors to implement relevant activities;
CI Climate liaison (20% of time)
- Serve as a Liaison and internal focal point representing the Africa Field Division in the Climate Change Core Team in support of CI’s institutional climate change strategy, working closely and directly with the division head and positioned to respond to climate change issues on behalf of the division in a timely and decisive manner.
- Develop a synthesis/summary report of all climate-driven and climate-relevant programs, activities, research, partnerships, progress, and priorities within the division informed by consultations with each relevant team in division.
- Socialize the climate strategy priorities, messaging/communications and activities with relevant staff within the division.
- Contribute to climate change fundraising efforts.
PEOPLE AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
- Fully accountable for managing external funds and ensuring compliance with donor requirements and CI policies, where applicable
- Fully accountable for the climate change activity budget.
- Advanced degree in natural science, climatology, and/or environmental sciences or related field
- Minimum of 7 years working experience at a senior management level, in climate change adaptation and mitigation; further experience in programme management and/or policy making, sustainable development and community based activities would be an added advantage
- Demonstrated experience in developing climate change adaptation and mitigation projects and programmes and fundraising proposals.
- Proven ability to work well across cultures and within and across organizations; working experience in Africa would be a distinct advantage.
- Not less than 3 years supervisory experience.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Excellent analytical skills.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
- Fluency in English; working knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an added advantage
- Typical office environment but may require working in remote Africa locations.
- Ability to work extended and irregular hours
- Frequent travel, generally not less than 40%.
- Flexibility in work schedule to accommodate time differences with HQ and the region.