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The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is a ground-breaking international NGO at the forefront of efforts to save the endangered wildlife of the Sahara and the Sahel. SCF has been instrumental in establishing one the biggest protected areas in the world in Niger, reintroducing the addax and scimitar-horned oryx to Chad, and implementing a recovery program for the planet’s largest bird, the North African ostrich. SCF is also the leading convener and voice for conservation of Saharan wildlife.
SCF was founded in 2004 in response to the silent crisis of extinction facing the large bird and mammal fauna of the Sahara and the Sahel. It focuses on the conservation and restoration of some of the worlds most endangered birds and mammals, together with the vast desert habitats needed for their survival. SCF’s projects include the creation and management of protected areas, the reintroduction of species, wildlife inventory and monitoring, and the training of African professionals working to protect desert biodiversity.
Through its publications, website and social media, SCF is a powerful voice for the Sahara, raising awareness and support from a diverse array of partners for one of the most poorly-known regions of the African continent, highlighting the need for conservation of some the planet’s most fascinating and uniquely-adapted plants and animals.
The Sahara Conservation Fund is the only international NGO exclusively dedicated to the conservation of the wildlife of the Sahara and the Sahel. SCF draws its support from a broad constituency of government partners, international agencies, the zoo community and private foundations.
At a pivotal time in its development, SCF is recruiting an experienced, dynamic and resourceful conservationist to manage a new program, funded by the European Union (ECOFAC VI Program for Central Africa), to support the management and governance of the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve in central Chad. The reserve is home to the hugely successful Oryx Reintroduction Project and harbours significant populations of the critically endangered Dama Gazelle, the vulnerable Dorcas Gazelle, as well as other conservation-dependent species, such as large bustards and vultures, and a diverse community of birds and small carnivores.
At almost 78,000 km2, the reserve is one of the world’s biggest and is composed of arid and sub-arid grasslands, interspersed with several large and well-wooded wadis. It is also home to a vibrant community of mainly Arabic-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralists; people who need to be fully integrated and participate in the development of lasting solutions for the reserve’s governance and management of its natural resources.
The position offers a unique opportunity to lead a ground-breaking initiative to conserve and restore a whole community of Sahelian large mammals and birds, whilst finding solutions for the sustainable management of the space and natural resources required for their survival. The job will benefit from and help grow synergy between efforts to improve management of the reserve and initiatives to restore and grow populations of key species, such as the oryx, addax, dama gazelle and ostrich. The program will help take monitoring of these species and their habitats to a new and more valuable landscape level.
The Program Manager will be supported by a locally recruited team, comprising Deputy Manager, Administrator, Head of Monitoring and Information, Head of Outreach and Awareness, and relevant support staff. Backstopping and technical support as required will be provided by SCF from its European base in France. Strong synergy will exist with the SCF-implemented Oryx Reintroduction Project, also located in the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve.
The project headquarters and main duty station for the Program Manager is the small, provincial town of Arada (N15.02° E20.66°) in the Wadi Fira region, where housing and office space will be provided. The Program Manager position is immediately available.
Salary and benefits are commensurate with skills and experience and fall within the general framework of the international NGO conservation sector.
- Lead and manage the EU-funded “Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Project” (POROA in French);
- Develop a strong working relationship with the reserve’s key stakeholders, including the administration, community and religious leaders, technical services and relevant non-governmental workers;
- Mobilize support, both locally and at national levels, for the identification and implementation of appropriate measures to successfully manage and govern the reserve;
- Build and develop an effective and representative reserve co-management unit;
- Build a positive, solutions-orientated relationship with the main operators involved in the agricultural, livestock and pastoral development sectors in the reserve, for example the European Union, the World Bank and the Swiss Development Corporation and the relevant government authorities;
- Maintain strong coordination with the Chad delegation of the European Union in N’Djaména, the regional technical assistance unit based in Libreville, and other program resources;
- Participate in relevant EU and project coordination and technical meetings;
- Build and maintain strong linkages with other authorities and projects with conservation activities in the reserve, such as the Chadian Wildlife Department, the EAD Oryx Project, and the EU-funded, Chad-Niger transboundary conservation initiative;
- Maintain strong links and coordination with SCF backstopping and resource staff in Chad and Europe;
- Recruit required staff in accordance with the project proposal and budget and national regulations;
- Supervise relevant project staff both on-site and in off-site support locations;
- Assist project staff develop and implement their respective work programs;
- Ensure the project is managed and implemented in accordance with EU regulations and guidelines;
- Develop and monitor annual workplans for the overall project and project staff, and help oversee on-job and other forms of training;
- Produce or oversee the timely production of required technical and financial progress reports;
- Oversee project communications, awareness-raising activities, and local development initiatives;
- Participate in relevant conferences and symposia to present and represent the program;
- Assist in the search for supplementary sources of funding to support the project’s goals and long-term future;
The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:
- Proven effectiveness in achieving conservation goals in a complex, multi-sectoral and multi-cultural environment;
- Proven experience in the management of similarly large and complex programmes;
- Excellent understanding and commitment to finding solutions to conservation challenges through community outreach and involvement;
- Demonstrable ability to effectively lead, manage and mentor staff;
- Experience in working in the Sahel or Sahara would be a distinct advantage;
- Knowledge of and sympathy for transhumant pastoral systems;
- Excellent communications and networking skills;
- Strong willingness to live and work in a remote, rural setting;
- Fluency in both French is essential, with English would be an extraordinary advantage, and a knowledge of Arabic highly desirable;
- Experience with similar EU-funded conservation programs;
- Patience, diplomacy and a pragmatic approach to working in the field.
If you are interested in this unique challenge and feel you have the skills, experience and enthusiasm required please contact John Watkin, CEO of the Sahara Conservation Fund, by email at [email protected].
The Sahara Conservation Fund is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of age, race, creed, colour, national origin, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality or sex.