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Principal Consultant (French speaking) Cambridge, UK

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation (Terrestrial Ecology)
Salary Additional Information £40,000-£55,000 PA (Full time) + benefits (25 days’ holiday, work pension scheme, life insurance and flexible working opportunities)
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 04/09/2020
Company Name The Biodiversity Consultancy
Contact Name
Email recruitment@thebiodiversityconsultancy.com
Website Further Details / Applications
The Biodiversity Consultancy logo
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We are a consultancy specialising in biodiversity management. Our main base is in Cambridge (UK) and we have a growing number of consultants located in strategic sites around the world. We work with leading clients across many sectors with the goal of achieving an environmentally sustainable basis for development, by delivering practical solutions for managing biodiversity risk and achieving conservation outcomes. We advise on some of the most environmentally complex development projects in the world, across sectors, including renewable energy (particularly hydropower, wind, solar, and geothermal), extractives (mining and oil & gas), agriculture, infrastructure, consumer goods and finance.

Person specification

You are an outstanding individual who is able to take decisions and a strategic approach to designing and leading projects in diverse situations in both English and French. At the same time you are an adept team player, comfortably able to work within multi-cultural teams in different environments and countries. You have had a developing world focus in your work, and understand that human and biodiversity issues cannot be separated in such countries.

An ability to think creatively and put oneself in the shoes of our clients is critical. This capacity to understand our clients’ views, coupled with core ecological principles common to field-based conservationists is the making of a TBC consultant. You are politically savvy and able to communicate your ideas succinctly and clearly to non-specialists. You enjoy building good relations with colleagues working in nature conservation, renewable energy, mining, oil & gas, environment ministries, and multilateral and commercial banks. 

Self-motivation and rigour will be essential. Importantly, you will possess a strong analytical mind with the capacity to transform complex problems into brief, scientifically and politically defensible solutions. You have excellent writing skills, being able to digest, dissect and condense large amounts of information into readable, technically sound summaries. We need versatile communicators who can explain the value of our work, as well as write clear concise reports and papers.

You are probably already well-established within the field of consultancy or nature conservation. You now relish the opportunity to take a leadership role in providing support to our francophone and English-speaking clients as they seek to understand risks and opportunities and to design and implement good-practice mitigation of biodiversity impacts.


  • Technical project work for clients, and building capacity within client teams, including design and implementation of baseline surveys, ecosystem services reviews, impact assessment, design of mitigation, biodiversity offset feasibility and implementation, and monitoring & evaluation
  • Project management, consisting of technical design and critical review of projects, and ensuring timely delivery of on-budget projects to a high level of quality
  • Working as an advisor to financial lenders on whether a client is meeting their standards and, conversely, with the clients themselves to explain/negotiate what is required by these standards
  • Supporting and developing stakeholder engagement processes, both remotely and in-country, with government, civil society and industry
  • Direct negotiation and/or relationship building with industry, government, NGOs, international financial institutions and scientific institutions
  • Winning and undertaking work overseas by developing strategic and innovative proposals of work with new or existing clients, and in new and existing sectors, including using your own network
  • Screening new work opportunities according to TBC’s due diligence processes and succinctly communicating risks and opportunities to the senior team.
  • Speaking on behalf of TBC to maintain our careful line between pragmatism and rigour
  • Networking within the conservation movement and also with academics
  • Researching emerging technologies, policies and approaches as well as researching and presenting on new sectors and markets for TBC
  • Writing scientific or policy papers and other articles, dependent on client commitments
  • Managing interns and/or junior staff, i.e. personnel management in addition to project management
  • Recruiting, contracting and managing subcontractors
  • Other work, commensurate with the role.


Essential attributes

  • At least seven years’ practical experience in a relevant field, e.g. biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, socio-economic assessment or environmental consultancy
  • Significant field experience in developing/emerging economies (e.g. as a natural resource manager)
  • Familiarity with international biodiversity, ecosystem services, natural resource and livelihood issues, especially in the developing world
  • Solid, technical background and education in a biodiversity-related discipline, such as ecology, natural resource management and/or conservation. E.g. candidates bringing a specialist field expertise such as botany or marine science, an HCV specialist, conservation planner, ecosystem services specialist or protected areas and livelihoods expert, all with non-OECD focus, would be appropriate.
  • Experience of managing and delivering complex projects
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills, able to convince sceptical stakeholders
  • An acute understanding of human politics and institutional dynamics
  • Experience of supervising or managing individuals and/or small teams
  • A willingness to work with the private sector, understand their needs, and operate strategically within client organisations which might hold different core values
  • An ability to develop new business and maintain and strengthen existing relationships with individuals and organisations from a range of backgrounds.
  • An ability to provide intellectual leadership, creativity and simplicity to problem solving
  • Willingness and enthusiasm to travel globally and work in challenging environments
  • Positivity, self-motivation and teamwork
  • Familiarity with scientific publishing
  • A Masters, degree or other postgraduate qualification in a relevant discipline.
  • Proven ability to work in French.
  • Sufficient GIS skills (map making and basic analysis) to communicate with our GIS team.

Desirable attributes

  • Experience and expertise in restoration ecology
  • Proven ability to work in Spanish and/or Portuguese
  • A background as a field conservation specialist, understanding how to make conservation theory work in practice with communities and governments
  • Significant field experience in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and/or Latin America
  • Expertise in design and management of socio-economic assessments for conservation implementation
  • Experience of working in multi-disciplinary, multicultural international teams
  • Expertise in protected area design and/or management
  • Experience with designing conservation projects to meet socio-economic good practice standards such as Climate Communities and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) or similar
  • Experience in one of more of the following sectors: mining; oil and gas; renewable energy; infrastructure; agribusiness
  • Solid environmental (ecological) consultancy experience
  • Advanced GIS skills
  • PhD in an environmental or relevant social discipline (e.g. ecology, socio-economics or natural resource management).


Position details

  • Title: Principal Consultant
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Location: Cambridge, UK.
  • Part-time/full-time: Full-time (near full-time also considered)
  • Salary range: £40,000-£55,000 PA (Full time) + benefits (25 days’ holiday, work pension scheme, life insurance and flexible working opportunities)

Application details

Applications as early as possible. Deadline 04 September 2020: Send the following to recruitment@thebiodiversityconsultancy.com

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A one-page application letter explaining your interest in the job and showing clearly how you meet our job and person requirements
  • Two short and succinct (maximum four pages each) extracts of work that you have written within the past two years – preferably one in French.
  • Details of where you saw our job advert.


Interviews: Will be held by phone/Skype or in person.

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