Context and Background
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has embarked on ambitious, field-based conservation programs across the Congo Basin. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), WWF is active in several landscape-scale sites, including the over 10 million ha Salonga landscape, encompassing Salonga National Park (SNP), the second largest tropical forest park in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a critical refuge for bonobos and forest elephants. The landscape program also works in peripheral community and extractive areas. In addition to its importance for biodiversity conservation, this humid forest region is of significant consequence for carbon storage and maintaining water supplies. The program takes an integrated conservation approach with a consortium of NGO, government, community, and academic partners. Key conservation strategies include: protected area management; land use planning; law enforcement and species conservation; community-based natural resources management and livelihood improvement; and forest certification.
Effective protected area management is a corner stone of WWF’s conservation efforts in the DRC, in close partnership with ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature), the national protected area management authority. New, creative perspectives are needed to effectively manage protected areas in challenging social, economic, cultural, and logistical environments. WWF and ICCN have agreed to implement an innovative form of Public Private Partnership management approach in forms of co-management to professionalise the management of the park while also improving the life standards of communities living in the landscape.
Responsibilities and main tasks
As part of the Salonga Program team, the Salonga Program Assistant will be involved in assisting the Salonga Park Director in the follow up of the work plan implementation. The position will also be in support for developing and implementing technical reporting, monitoring and evaluation as well as communication activities for Salonga National Park in close collaboration with Kinshasa based sectorial leaders (Communication Manager, Forest and Agriculture Coordinator, M&E…).
Partnerships and Reporting/Evaluation
- Support the Park Director in gathering data and information from various implementing partners working in and around the park for the UGPNS (Unité de Gestion du Parc National de la Salonga), Steering committee as well as for monthly, quarterly and annual reporting purposes.
- Support the consolidation of partners work plans to enhance the coherence and visibility of the Park management amongst various stakeholders.
- Support the organization of meetings of UGPNS staff and partners for activities coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
- Support active participation of PNS partners in all steps of the Programme Cycle Management and strengthening partners’ capacities in pre-identified areas.
- Contribute to advancing the Salonga co-management approach, notably through reinforcing a one team spirit between WWF and ICCN staff (team building activities, developing shared procedures/approaches …).
- Assist in the identification, establishment and coordination of other key strategic partnerships, including local/international implementing partners and academic/ research institutions.
- Coordinate the development and implementation of the monitoring & evaluation system for the Park with other partners and act as focal point for M&E for WWF and ICCN
Development and Fundraising
- Assist the proposal development and perusal of fundraising opportunities for the Salonga Program.
- Assist in the preparation of technical reports assuring compliance with technical reporting requirements, including the preparation of work plan and budget development.
- Act as the first line in the consolidation of the narrative reports from ISCO, Oxfam, WWF, WCS, MPI, ZSL and other partners. Compare it to the financial performance and submit to the Park Director for approval and submission.
- Assist the Salonga landscape team on other technical issues.
- Assist the Park Director in maintaining the Park coherence beyond different programs and donors investing in the area.
In full collaboration with WWF DRC and Germany Communication teams
- Support the implementation of Salonga communication strategy and related communication materials and initiatives
- Ensure with UGPNS staff that Salonga Website is fed with good stories emerging from the Park’s day-to-day life.
Conservation Planning and Administration
- Support that programmes are implemented in a consultative, participative, transparent gender sensitive and community / indigenous right based way including an emphasis on internationally accepted code of conducts.
- Assist in program oversight and coordination, implementation, and administrative/financial management as requested by Salonga Park Director.
- Assist in the development of operational plans and any other related needs for a timely submission to the donors.
Required Skills and Competencies
- Strong working knowledge of park management and what it takes to effectively manage a large-scale park. Understanding of forest and wildlife ecology, and natural resource management principles is important.
- Clear understanding of community-based natural resource management and rural livelihood issues.
- Strong administrative and financial management skills and excellent organizational skills.
- Strong knowledge and skills on Monitoring & Evaluation as well as reporting to various stakeholders
- Excellent people and project management skills to handle complex, multi-faceted projects, and to negotiate and resolve conflicts.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills in French and English. Experience working with government officials and donors.
- Ability to live and work in remote and difficult conditions.
- Ability to live in multicultural context and acceptance of local values.
- Adheres to WWF’s values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.
- Internal– Works closely with the Salonga Park Director, DRC Head of Conservation, Landscape Rural Development Manager, Salonga Administrator, other program managers in WWF DRC such as from the protected area and the forest and agriculture program as well as with the Salonga Program and Administration Officers in WWF Germany
- External – Works with major DRC implementation partners: Coordinates closely with a suite of international and national NGO’s and local communities involved in Salonga.
This job description covers the main tasks and conveys the spirit of the sort of tasks that are anticipated proactively from staff. Other tasks may be as necessary according to organizational needs.