Based in the coastal town of Fort Dauphin in the southeast of Madagascar, this post will provide specialist knowledge and experience within a team of National and International staff working on pilot reforestation corridors between fragments of the remaining southeast littoral forests.

The successful candidate will lead on developing a reforestation plan and support with the coordination/management of project activities for SEED’s habitat corridor project, ensuring the project methodology fits within global and local conservation best practice. They will assist in developing an effective monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks, develop training resources and support the development of a sustainable community natural resource strategy. The reforestation and conservation specialist will travel regularly between SEED’s office in Fort Dauphin and SEED’s Conservation Research Camp in Sainte Luce, where the project is based.

This exciting post would suit a forester with a Masters degree in a relevant field and experience in implementation of similar reforestation initiatives, preferably in Madagascar or a similar developing country context.

Title: Forestry Specialist

Timeframe: 12 months extendable

Probationary period: 3 months

Contract: Full-time

Remuneration: Contribution towards flights, Insurance, and local stipend (covering accommodation and basic living expenses)

Reporting to: Head of Project Development (Environment, Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods)

Primary responsibilities

  1. Extensive desk-based research into international best practice of corridor reforestation activities in the context of Madagascar specifically – involving lessons learnt from previous projects and organisations.
  • Collaborate with and support national staff to ensure project delivery marries international best practice into the local context, whilst predicting challenges and barriers to success.
  • Provide technical expertise and develop the activity plan for all habitat corridor reforestation activities.
  1. Develop a community-led, long-term and sustainable management strategy in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders.
  2. Work with the project team to develop a long-term strategy for SEED’s reforestation work in the Sainte Luce Littoral Forest.
  3. Identify needs and develop content for on site evaluation and learning opportunities for project staff.
  • Work with SEED’s Conservation Research team to develop and implement the project’s monitoring and evaluation activities, analysis and dissemination.
  • Support the Conservation Research team to manage the on-site seedling nursery and coordinate seed collection activities.
  • Support the Project Development team in writing and editing progress reports for donors and stakeholders.
  1. Any other tasks that the Head of Project Development or Head of Department deems necessary within the broad remit of the role.

Essential Specifications:

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  • Masters (or BSc with relevant experience) in Forestry, Botany, or another relevant subject.
  • Experience (2 years) of reforestation projects, preferably in Madagascar or another developing country.
  • Have the ability and desire to build capacity and share skills across cultures.
  • Have the ability and desire to work with teams from different economic and cultural backgrounds and across multiple language barriers.
  • Experience of or capability to work with translators.
  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a multicultural and multilingual team.
  • Have passion and motivation for the work and to enthuse staff and volunteers
  • Experience of contributing to reports for external donors and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to SEED’s ethos and approach and be a good ambassador for SEED at all times.
  • Have passion, curiosity and motivation for the job and the ability to enthuse others.
  • Demonstrate proven ability to recognise and appropriately deal with challenging situations and possess excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and comfort with increased social and professional responsibility, working at all times with cultural sensitivity and respect.
  • Demonstrate the ability, social skills and confidence to give clear guidance and support to other members of the team in respect of the philosophy and procedures of SEED in order to protect both their safety and the reputation of the NGO.
  • Be punctual and be able to work to tight deadlines in an organised manner and to a high standard.
  • Have a flexible and patient attitude.
  • Willingness to learn Malagasy.
  • Successful candidate will need to be equipped with their own laptop computer (non-tablet) and tent.

Desirable Specifications 

  • Experience in corridor reforestation specifically is highly desirable.
    • French/Malagasy language skills.
    • Completion/willingness to complete CBT motorbike training before arrival in Madagascar.
    • Emergency First Responder (or equivalent) certified.
  • Experience of living and working in at least one developing country, preferably in sub -Saharan Africa.

Application procedure

Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter outlining how their skills and experience match the requirements in the role description criteria to Lisa Bass by email at [email protected] Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Long-listed applicants will have an initial informal chat with Madagascar based staff and short-listed applicants will then be offered a face-to-face interview with the London team in-person.

More information on the work of SEED Madagascar can be found at www.madagascar.co.uk

Project background:

Across Madagascar, 90% of original littoral forests have been lost due to human activities. Fragmentation and degradation of littoral forest, an ecosystem considered a national conservation priority, continues to endanger the survival of numerous species. Lemurs inhabiting Madagascar’s unique southern littoral forests are threatened with extinction by habitat loss and destruction as a consequence of unsustainable logging and community dependence on the remaining natural resources. Furthermore, the prospect of extensive international mining exploitation continues to undermine the security of the species’ long-term futures. These pressures are ever-present in the Sainte Luce littoral forest (SLLF) and directly threaten the local populations of four lemur species; the southern woolly lemur, (Avahi meridionalis, EN), the red collared brown lemur, (Eulemur collaris, EN), Anosy mouse lemur (Microcebus tanosi, DD), and Thomas’ dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus thomasi, DD).

Project Ala aims to increase viable lemur habitat inside a recently protected area, reuniting discontinuous lemur sub-populations through the joining of formerly continuous patches of littoral forest. SEED Madagascar (SEED) will construct four habitat corridors between isolated forest remnants and the S8 North forest fragment, reconnecting lemur habitat. The corridors will be strategically placed so that they require minimal labour or material input to significantly increase the viable habitat.

SEED will ensure a holistic approach to forest and lemur conservation by working closely with key stakeholders and local communities to build capacity for safeguarding the SLLF. Through training workshops, regular stakeholder meetings, a community education programme, and collaboration with the regional Ministry of Environment, SEED will support the community to produce and implement a long-term Forest Threat Mitigation and Management Strategy to sustainably manage natural resources and the SLLF.

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Research Programme (SCRP) will also conduct vital long-term research on population abundance, distribution and geographical range of the target lemur species and other indicator species to evaluate corridor effectiveness. Research will contribute to national and international best practice in habitat corridor conservation work, as well as inform SEED’s long-term aim: to regenerate degraded littoral forest in the Sainte Luce region and tackle issues of deforestation in order to both preserve the unique biodiversity in the SLLF and support sustainable, community-led Natural Resource Management.