Monday, May 17, 2010

Conservation Scientist

Conservation Scientist
Based in the Democratic Republic of Congo

ZSL has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2001 supporting the ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature), carrying out capacity building, training, park infrastructure rehabilitation, patrol/ranger support and socio-economic/ecological research and monitoring. ZSL is now leading a major new multi-partner €2.3 million project funded by the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) for three years beginning June 2010, to work with local communities in the Virunga-Hoyo region of Eastern DRC to develop multiple strategies to reduce rates of deforestation and forest degradation and create alternative sources of income, including carbon finance. The CBFF project will be complemented by a separate Darwin Initiative-funded project being managed by ZSL focused on conservation of the okapi across its range including the Virunga-Hoyo region.

The Conservation Scientist will carry out the evaluation of the socio-economic and non-carbon environmental co-benefits of the payments for ecosystem services and other components of the project. The postholder will be required to plan, execute and analyse detailed socio-economic surveys with households and communities subject to different project interventions and build this, alongside biodiversity and carbon emissions reductions data, into a model to evaluate the overall impacts of different carbon-focused components of the project for livelihoods and biodiversity. They will also be required to liaise with stakeholders and carry out desk- and interview-based research on similar projects in the region in order to evaluate the potential for PES/REDD projects to bring both social and environmental benefits under varying circumstances.

The postholder should have a postgraduate (preferably doctoral) qualification in conservation science, environmental economics, anthropology or a related discipline with a socio-economic focus, a strong research and analytical background (ideally with some modelling experience), experience of carrying out socio-economic fieldwork and managing and training field teams (preferably in central Africa), an understanding of rural livelihoods and forest conservation policy, excellent communication skills, good written and spoken English and a working knowledge of French (with Swahili and/or Lingala desirable).

The position will likely be based in Beni in DRC, with regular trips to Goma, Kinshasa and around the region for meetings and a significant proportion of time spent carrying out and/or overseeing field surveys. The postholder will report in the first instance to the CBFF Project Manager in DRC and ultimately the Programme Manager of ZSL’s Central, East and Southern Africa Conservation Programme in London. They will manage two Congolese Field Coordinators (coordinating socio-economic and biodiversity surveys respectively) and be supported by a Project Administrator/Logistician in DRC and a Project Administrator in London. The position will be available for three years from June 2010, with possibility of extension depending on funding. A base salary of €29,387 p.a., annual return flight from Europe to DRC, visa, insurance under ZSL’s group travel insurance policy and accommodation allowance will be provided. The position is to start as soon as possible.

Click here for a job description: Conservation Scientist Job Description (51 KB)

Applicants should send their CV and a covering letter detailing relevant experience and skills, making clear which position they are interested in and including a possible start date, to the HR Department (

Closing date for applications: Monday 31st May 2010

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