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Chief Conservation Officer, WWF Zambia WWF


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Position title: Chief Conservation Officer, WWF Zambia

Reports to: Country Director, WWF Zambia

Supervises:  Thematic, and Landscape leads

Grade: B2

Location: Lusaka, Zambia

1. Country Conservation Strategy Priorities:

WWF Zambia will be launching its new and ambitious conservation strategy geared to deliver large scale landscape conservation impact at the landscape and system level to secure nature and deliver  benefits for a sustainable future for people in Zambia. The  program priorities  include working in close partnership with traditional conservation & non-traditional strategic partners i) to secure important  wildlife  and forest species and habitat in areas such as the Kafue Flats, the Upper  Zambia and shared transboundary the Zambezi  and Zambezi  – Okavango landscapes (that includes Kwando basin in Angola ii) to securing the Zambezi basin and promote sustainable water and energy security for the country in the face of climate change iii) limit large scale  biodiversity loss through promoting sustainable  investment  and environmental compliance of large scale agriculture, mining and infrastructure developments in the country.

2. Mission of the Department:

To ensure the development and implementation of the WWF Zambia Conservation Strategy to the highest standards and are 100% aligned to the WWF global conservation targets. Ensures effective planning and overall delivery of agreed conservation goals through  sound design, development and implementation of key programmes that together form a cohesive portfolio of WWF-Kenya’s conservation efforts; ensuring robust monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks are in place for all programmes and that these are regularly and effectively reported against to assess progress and demonstrate impact on habitats, wildlife and people.

3. Purpose of role:

  • To provide strong, and effective leadership, oversight and coordination of WWF– Zambia ’s conservation programmes.
  • Works closely with WWF Zambia Chief Operating Officer and SMT in the design and operationalisation  of the  WWF-Zambia’s  Strategic  plan and shared conservation priorities of WWF Zambia and its donors.
  • Provides leadership on the implementation of conservation risk management including embedding ESSF in conservation programs.
  • Leads conservation initiative design. Promotes and ensures the platinum standards of WWF Zambia conservation projects are implemented and monitored regularly.
  • Secures partnerships within and outside WWF International to grow  WWF Zambia grow in strength and influence.
  • The key accountability of this position is to deliver effective implementation of all conservation programmes using adopted conservation standards and application of best practices.

4. Major Functions

  • Leads conservation strategy design and roll out of initiatives to deliver the conservation strategy in a timely manner
  • Supports the development of comprehensive  and accurate conservation budgets  and support conservation  manpower planning
  • Works with COO to develop and monitor annual and quarterly conservation work plans
  • Leads WWF Zambia Conservation Strategy management through effective and efficient project implementation and development;
  • Ensures that the WWF Zambia Conservation Strategy evolves in line with Zambia conservation requirements and the WWF Global conservation priorities;
  • Provides advice and collaboration as appropriate to WWF project teams;
  • Promotes the vision and objectives of the WWF Zambia Conservation Strategy to external and WWF stakeholders, and participates in strategic partnership-building
  • Ensures that WWF Zambia technical standards and reporting requirements are met.
  • Ensures development, implementation and monitoring of conservation risk registers
  • Coordinates with Compliance and ESSF implementation with compliance manager
  • Supports advance joint planning and financial tracking with finance and operations  teams to support operational efficiency and compliance targets

5. Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leads the Ensures that a Conservation Strategy relevant to national policies, constituencies, and civil society, and aligned with the Global Programme Framework and the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Conservation Plan, is developed and implemented;
  • Plan and ensure alignment between conservation strategy outcomes, projects and qualified personnel, ensuring  new projects and staffing  are incorporated into a coherent conservation programme;
  • Oversees and proactively keep track of status of conservation  project  implementation and provides timely advice to  CD  and SMT
  • Promotes a results culture and mindset in the conservation program teams and facilitates staff mentoring and coaching
  • Proactively makes interim staffing plans to secure contracted projects
  • Develop and implements framework for coordinated action by projects in landscapes
  • Maximises activities for conservation impact by actively developing synergies  between thematic programs and partners
  • Directly accountable for excellent  project management  and  donor contract management through designated project staff and SMT leads  working with  COO, Finance Manager and Compliance Manager – ensures proper implementation of project start up and close processes
  • Works with relevant leads to ensure quality assurance in  the design and  implementation  of conservation and support processes
  • In collaboration with COO co- directs the development,  implementation and monitoring   of annual work plans with clear priorities for members of project teams, and oversees their effective and efficient implementation;
  • Ensures regular monitoring of conservation KPIs, milestones and risks so as to feed into the WWF and donor reporting systems
  • Facilitates standards and system for delivery of quality reports to  donor and WWF international  in required formats Develops and maintains a monitoring and reporting system for projects that ensures the very best practice in project management and that provides timely reports according to the formats and schedules of partners and Network;
  • Ensures appropriate and regular technical and other meetings for project staff;
  • Ensures strategic engagement with relevant international and national stakeholders on conservation and technical issues, including strong engagement on policy issues;
  • Promotes the vision and objectives of the WWF Zambia Conservation Strategy to government, donor, civil society, corporate, and WWF stakeholders at national- and international-level meetings, conferences, and fora;
  • Works closely with the Heads of other Departments in order to ensure the smooth functioning of all aspects of the Country Programme;
  • Develops and maintains a technical communications network for the support of projects and partnership within and outside WWF
  • Works with compliance manager to promote and ensure compliance to standards, both internal and external, for all projects and conservation activities;
  • Facilitates timely  consultation with  SMT, technical staff  and fundraising manager on financing  and sustainability needs of   existing projects
  • Provides direction and facilitates joint quarterly planning on fundraising priorities and coordinates  the  timely development and submission of project concepts and proposals  working with relevant teams and fundraising managers.
  • Supports learning and systematically facilitates sharing of best practises and lessons learnt across landscapes, programs and projects
  • Participates in Senior Management Team meetings and other activities, in support of the Country Director and other Heads of Department;
  • Performs other duties as requested by the Country Director and, in his/her absence, acts in his/her position.
  • Work on promoting WWF values and behaviours in conservation team processes
  • Promote, support and mentor quality financial and risk management by project  managers

6. Profile

Required Qualifications 

  • Advanced university degree in an appropriate field (conservation / environment / natural resource management marine / forest / freshwater / terrestrial ecology). Additional academic training or a degree in a management field would be a strong asset;
  • Proven track record in successfully developing, leading, and managing projects in the field of conservation, natural resource management, international development, and/or other related fields;
  • At least 7 years professional experience in a project management role, 3 years of which should be in the Eastern/Southern Africa region (preferably Zambia), with demonstrated success in managing multi-disciplinary teams; and
  • Knowledge of the international development and conservation community in Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as of relevant policy issues.

Required Skills and Competencies

  • Proven leadership and team management skills;
  • Skilled in negotiation, liaison, and in relationship and conflict management;
  • Strong skills in project planning, proposal writing, financing, management, implementation, and evaluation, and experience working with donors;
  • Strong organisational and analytical skills;
  • Strong vocational interest in nature conservation;
  • A working knowledge of financial management, especially of projects;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to network and to develop and maintain strong relationships at all levels, both internally and with local communities, government agencies, the not-for-profit sector, the scientific community, the business community, and the WWF Network;
  • Adaptable, flexible, able to take initiative and prioritize among competing demands
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills in English;
  • Adherence to WWF’s values, which are: Courage, Collaboration, Respect and Integrity

Supervisory Responsibilities

The Chief Conservation Officer is ultimately responsible for the supervision and management of all WWF Zambia projects and technical staff.  Direct day-to-day supervision will be exercised over the members of the project teams and other technical staff.  The Chief Conservation Officer will involve himself/herself as appropriate in the hiring, development, and evaluation of all WWF Zambia projects and technical staff.

Working Relationships

Internal Interacts with the WWF Zambia  project and technical staff on a daily basis, and as required coordinates and interacts with the NI teams, ecoregion teams, species teams, and WWF Eastern and Southern Africa, WWF International, and other WWF Network staff.

External:  Interacts with national governmental institutions, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, the media, donors, specialists / consultants, and other stakeholders, in collaboration with the WWF Zambia Country Director.

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 assigned as necessary according to organizational needs.

Applicants must send their CVs to our careers email: WWFcareers@WWFzam.org with subject line “Chief Conservation Officer” on, by or before 28th March, 2021.

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