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Program Director for Niassa National Reserve

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City NNR Headquarters - Mbatamila, Niassa Province, Mozambique
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Company Name Wildlife Conservation Society
Contact Name
Telephone 7187411452
Website Further Details / Applications
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Introduction: In partnership, WCS and the National Administration for ConservationAreas (ANAC) co-manage the Niassa National Reserve in Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces of northern Mozambique. Niassa National Reserve is Mozambique’s largest conservation area with 42,000km2 of miombo, montane and riverine habitats that, with surrounding areas, support the largest remaining unfenced wild populations of large mammals in Mozambique.

Position Description: The Program Director for Niassa National Reserve works with the Reserve Warden to oversee, coordinate and improve the conservation and development of the Reserve. Responsible for planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and reporting on support towards the co-management of the Reserve. Protecting wildlife from poaching, coordinating and overseeing concession operators and ensuring that benefits from conservation flow to local communities and they support Reserve efforts are the key challenges.

Position Profile: This position requires a charismatic individual, with the ability to develop strong relationships at all levels and commitment to ensuring the cohesion and success of the Reserve Administration team.  With solid project management and conservation area experience, the individual has the discipline to use and embed best practice project management tools and confidently lead a diverse team.

Strategic Objective: This position will represent WCS in Niassa and Cabo Delgado and will work directly with the Warden in the interest of implementing the General Management Plan in accordance with the Management Agreement between WCS and ANAC to conserve the wildlife riches of Niassa National Reserve.

Place of work:          NNR Headquarters - Mbatamila, Niassa Province, Mozambique

Reporting to:            WCS Mozambique Country Director and, with the Reserve Warden, to the Niassa National Reserve Management Committee

Supervision:             Niassa National Reserve Management Committee

Advised by:              Niassa National Reserve Advisory Committee

Position type:          Full-time. Contract renewable dependent on performance

Conditions:               Terms and conditions of employment as detailed in employment contract

Expected travel:      The position is expected to travel as necessary within Niassa National Reserve and Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces, with some travel nationally and internationally, as required.

Executive Role:       Core member of the WCS Mozambique Senior Management Team.


1.        Core Duties       

This position is ultimately responsible for effectively and successfully:

  • Implementing co-management of NNR, in line with approved plans and policies.
  • Fulfilling the role of the WCS Program Director for Niassa, as outlined in the Management Agreement.
  • Ensuring effective management and operations structures, tools and procedures are in place to deliver strategies and plans.
  • Ensuring the success of NNR activities and team performance in reaching quarterly, annual and strategic goals.
  • Building a cohesive, multi-cultural team.
  • Leading tactical efforts to resolve issues and conflicts effectively.
  • Monitoring and managing risk in the Reserve.

2.        Responsibilities

Under the Co-Management Agreement, Program Director for Niassa National Reserve will share responsibility with the Reserve Warden in the following areas: 

-          Leadership (e.g., supervise all program and operations management teams, including assuming a mentoring, development and advisory role and ensure a positive working environment to maintain Reserve staff motivation and commitment).

-          Oversight of section camp operations and those of key Reserve Departments: Law Enforcement; and Conservation, Community and Tourism.

-          Performance management and reporting (e.g., monitoring and evaluation of outcomes, outputs, activities and staff) and adaptive management.

-          Planning (e.g., support the process to complete the Reserve 10-year General Management Plan and Annual work plans and submit to the Niassa National Reserve Management Committee for approval).

-          Administration and finance oversight and submit to the Niassa National Reserve Management Committee for approval, compliance and reporting for the Reserve).

-          Oversight of Operations and Logistics; Human Resources and Procurement to ensure that these services provide efficient and timely support for program activities.

-          Ensure that policies and standard operating procedures are complete, fit for purpose and in compliance with WCS, ANAC and donor requirements and best industry standards.

In addition, the Project Director has individual responsibility to WCS in the following areas:

-          Project Lead (e.g., for grants supporting Reserve administration and operations),

-          Project Director (e.g., Work with the WCS Mozambique Country Director to develop strong government relations, institutional strengthening and partnerships, as well as funding strategies in support of WCS’ conservation strategy in Mozambique)

-          Financial and administrative management (e.g., overall responsibility for WCS’ information assets, documents and records in the Reserve, and ensuring that cash management processes and policies are followed, with particular focus on petty cash processes)

Human Resources (e.g., supervise WCS staff), Reserve Management (e.g., ensure effective coordination of all NNR operations and develop an internal communications plan to ensure effective reporting and information sharing)

-          Additional responsibilities (and titles) may be assigned by WCS as necessary and appropriate for purposes of managing WCS-raised donor funds.

Core Competencies

  1. More than ten years of experience leading, developing, and managing conservation programs / large-scale projects, in Africa, particularly in conservation areas.
  2. Experience living in remote areas in Africa, preferably Lusophone Africa.
  3. Strong supervisory and team management experience, including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage performance of a multidisciplinary team.
  4. Skilled at building consensus with conservation partners and other stakeholders such as local government authorities, community leaders and concession operators.
  5. Demonstrated ability to independently initiate, structure, negotiate and manage complex high profile or sensitive agreements, and to resolve complex issues that involve multiple program areas.
  6. Excellent presentation and written/oral communication skills in English and Portuguese or Swahili language.
  7. Demonstrated experience in some or all of the following: community-based natural resource management, conservation science, counter-wildlife poaching and trafficking, business operations and compliance, project remediation, government and non-government contracting and grant making, government and legislative relations, ecosystem planning.
  8. Knowledge or demonstrated interest in current trends in conservation and natural resource preservation in Africa and Mozambique.
  9. Advanced university degree in an appropriate field is preferred.
  10. Flexibility, optimism, good humour, passion for excellence, resilience, patience and self-motivation are desirable characteristics.
  11. Demonstrated experience in MS Office, particularly Word and Excel.



Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by sending an application letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references to the addresses below. Position will stay open until suitable candidate is found. Please include “Program Director for Niassa National Reserve” in the subject line of your email. Send to africaapplications@wcs.org and jbampton@wcs.org . Candidates must also apply online via the WCS career portal by searching job title at: http://www.wcs.org/about-us/careers. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.

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