Site Manager, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Organization: WCS - Wildlife Conservation Society
- Location: Congo DRC
- Grade: Mid level - Mid level
- Democratic Governance
- Managerial positions
- Natural Resource Management
- Closing Date:
Location:Tshivanga, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Reports To:KBNP Director
Start date: Immediately
Duration:Minimum 2 years
The Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) extends across 600,000 ha; represents a unique example in Sub-Saharan Africa of an area protecting rare wildlife and plant assemblages transitioning the full gradient from dense lowland forests to Afro-montane forests. Its high species diversity and endemism merited its inscription on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1980. The KBNP, together with the surrounding Oku community forests contains approximately 60% - and by far the largest single population - of Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri); an endemic subspecies of gorilla found only in eastern DRC. The Park is a reservoir for ecosystem services for local communities as well as the surrounding towns and cities.
KBNP also sits adjacent to some of the highest human population density areas in the DRC, and faces severe pressures on its biodiversity and natural resources. At the same time the significant tourism potential and natural capital of the KBNP provide real opportunities to provide significant co-benefits for both biodiversity and local communities and Indigenous Peoples.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been active in the KBNP for more than 20 years, working closely with ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) – the government agency responsible for protected areas and wildlife - in its management. In April 2022, WCS and ICCN signed a 10-year management agreement that delegates management authority of the KBNP to WCS. This mandate is implemented through a Park Management Unit (PMU) that is the executive body in charge of all day-to-day management activities and personnel in the KBNP. The Reserve Director is a WCS-appointed position in charge of the PMU.
KBNP is today at a critical crossroads, and the new management agreement provides a significant opportunity with which to address the escalating threats to its wildlife and forests, and capitalize upon its potential.
WCS is seeking a highly experienced manager in the role of KBNP Site Manager who can provide day-to-day coordination and oversight at the Park HQ to ensure that all aspects of the Park management including ranger deployment and wildlife protection, community liaison, research, tourism development, fundraising and reporting, communications, M&E, and capacity building of the KBNP staff are moving together as one team under the auspices of the Park Director.
The position will be accountable to and direct support the Park Director and the Park Management Unit in delivering tangible results across all operational departments in delivering on the KBNP five year strategy.
The job requires a solution-oriented coordination approach to ensure smooth, efficient and accountable day-to-day operations.
The Site Manager is based permanently on-site at the KBNP headquarters in Tshivanga, South-Kivu Province.
Candidates will need to clearly demonstrate they have the necessary management experience, leadership, communication, and inter-personal skills with which to coordinate and achieve expected results in such a large and complex project operating in a remote, challenging and insecure area.
- Ensure the smooth running and coordination of the KBNP day-to-day operations across all departments including anti-poaching, research and ecological monitoring, community conservation, logistics, M&E, operations and finance and administration
- Ensure strong collaboration with the KBNP Program Manager and the Heads of Department to plan, prepare and deliver weekly and monthly implementation plans.
- Support relevant Heads of Department and facilitate coordination with the WCS Operational Office in Goma and other program staff to deliver procurement and other operational plans on time.
- Facilitate field missions by VIPs/donors/partners to KBNP
- Support the KBNP Program Manager in facilitating the transmission of relevant data, metrics and other field information across different departments, as needed for the preparation of donor reports and proposals
- Following the Park Director instructions, ensure good planning and coordination of logistics and preparation materials for major partner and stakeholder meetings (e.g. CoCoSi and Board Meetings)
- As requested by the Park Director, provide official representation to, and actively build and maintain relationships with, provincial and national Government, community partners, donors and other key stakeholders in the KBNP
- Ensure compliance of all park operations to Standard Operating Procedures and Interior Regulations of the KBNP
- Provide day-to-day mentoring to all field staff and support the KBNP Program Manager and Heads of Department as appropriate in the preparation of staff recruitment and staff performance plans according to the Interior Regulations
- As requested by the Park Director, participation in field operations and activities for the KBNP
As the position will take on a wide range of management skills and field experience in conservation, WCS will consider candidates with:
- At least 5 years of field project management experience
- Leadership skills and demonstrated experience in coordinating and managing a large and diverse team
- Practical decision-making skills in a high-risk environment
- Prior leadership experience positions in complex, multicultural and remote environments
- Excellent communication and negotiating skills
- Fluency in French and good knowledge of English required. Knowledge of Swahili is a distinct advantage
- Previous experience with international conservation organizations
- A business background or in another professional sector is desirable
- Experience in protected areas or equivalent natural resource management context desirable
- Commitment to the values and mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society
Attributes that will make you stand out
- Excellent team building, communication and solution-oriented skills in a remote and challenging environment
- Strong sense of collaboration and committed work ethic to achieve accountable conservation outcomes
- Passion for wildlife conservation
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the application tab below before April 30, 2023.
WCS is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and are looking for future team members who share this same value.
Competitive salary commensurate with experience