Job Vacancy For International Protected Area Management Expert – Ghana At Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Locations : Accra, Ghana & Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire with travel to Project Communities in SW Ghana
Duration : 60 working days over a maximum of 7 months (from September 2015)
Reports To :  Senior Forestry Officer, West Africa Team, FAO Regional Office for Africa (project Lead Technical Officer)

General Description Of Task(s) And Objectives To Be Achieved


•   The Project: "Development of a trans-frontier conservation area linking forest reserves and protected areas in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire" is a three year project being implemented to protect and conserve biodiversity in a network of forest reserves and shelterbelts in south-eastern Cote d'Ivore and south-western Ghana (herein referred to as Bia-Diambarakro Area). This Bia-Diambarakro area is a complex mosaic of forests, forest fragments and agricultural land (especially cocoa farms), with each of these areas managed for different purposes and subject to different tenure and ownership arrangements (i.e.. state, communal and private ownership of land and trees). The area is a priority landscape that provides habitat for a number of scattered elephant and other endemic or threatened species populations. The area is also an important landscape where people engage in subsistence agriculture with heavy dependence on wild animals for meat. The main threats to biodiversity conservation and sustainable land and forest management in the area are: agricultural expansion; perverse incentives to remove tree cover; hunting pressure; human-wildlife conflict; and weak capacity of local institutions to address the aforementioned issues.
•   Project Objectives: The project's Global Environmental Objective is to establish a viable and sustainable trans-frontier conservation area (TFCA) that links forest reserves and protected areas in and around Bia in Ghana and Diambarakro in Cote d'ivoire. Global benefits of the project will include improved biodiversity conservation in the protected areas and production landscape within the TFCA and reductions in the barriers to sustainable forest and land management.
•   Project Funding and Partners: The project is being funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The project co-financiers/partners are: The Governments of Ghana and Cote d'ivoire, FAO, Conservation Alliance, IITA - Ghana, A Rocha Ghana, CSRS - Cote d'ivoire, FORIG - Ghana, Forestry Commission - Ghana, GIF - Ghana, SODEFOR - Cote d'ivoire, OIPR - Cote d'ivoire and DEPN - Cote d'ivoire. FAO is the GEF agency responsible for project oversight to ensure that the national executing partners follow GEF policies and procedures and that the project meets its objectives and achieves expected outcomes and outputs in an efficient and effective manner.
•   Project Implementation and the Consultancy Assignment: Project Implementation and the Consultancy Assignment: The project is structured along four components and the project implementation strategy envisages the services of an International Expert on Protected Area Management to lead the implementation of specific activities under project Component 1 "Improved Capacity for Biodiversity Conservation".

Project component 1: Improved Capacity for Biodiversity Conservation

•   The objective of this component is to improve the capacities of protected area staff and communities for biodiversity conservation in protected areas and the production landscape.
•   Subcomponent 1.1: Protected Area Management, Monitoring and Evaluation has the objective to build the capacity of forestry and conservation staff for effective management of the Trans-frontier Conservation Area (TFCA).
•   Regular forest monitoring is crucial for assessing the status of biodiversity in forests and protected areas. In addition to the usual forest patrolling, protected area staff will be trained to conduct biodiversity surveys and enter this information into a monitoring system that will be used to evaluate protected area management effectiveness.
•   The monitoring system will use presence/absence indices, based on indicators of whether a species is present in a determined area. These indices will be very useful for endangered species whose presence in a determined area is in doubt. For instance, the presence of tracks will positively indicate the presence of a specific species in an area. If possible, the numerical relationship between the index of presence and the actual species abundance will be established. A direct relationship would indicate that a doubling in the index means that the total population in an area has doubled. Oral communications from local people will also be used as an index of presence/absence and as an index of relative abundance, as local people living in rural areas close to the distribution range of a species have usually some data on species.
•   The line transect methodology (lTS) will be used to estimate animal abundance. In lTS, one or more observers travel along a line and record (count) the objects of interest that are detected. Different platforms will be used (e.g. on foot, by car, etc.) to estimate abundance. The project will prepare a biodiversity monitoring plan that will be put to a workshop for validation or improvement. Once approved, a small team will be organized to implement the plan and to start regular data collection. In its early stages, the monitoring will concentrate on the flagship species, elephants and chimpanzees. Once the system is working properly, it will be expanded to cover more species, and especially those of interest to the bush meat trade. Consideration will also be given to monitoring trends in selected bird species, insect groups and fish. Data will be sent to a central unit where a database will be established for the whole area.
•   Development of a management plan for the area
•   has the objective to contribute to a single management framework' for biodiversity conservation in the TFCA.
•   At present, there is no cross-border collaboration in the realms of forest management or wildlife conservation and the two countries have different legal and administrative systems and different systems for managing forests and wildlife. Cote d'ivoire uses French as its official language while Ghana uses English. The project will bring together the statutory organisations that have the mandate for the protection and management of forest and wildlife resources - the Forest Services and Wildlife Divisions of the Forestry Commission in Ghana and the Societe de Developpernent des Forets (SODEFOR) and National Parks Service (OIPR) in Cote d'ivoire - to establish a bilateral co-operative framework for the management of the TFCA.
•   There is also no management plan for the project area (outside the forest reserves). Because many of the most important animal species in the area move around significantly, a management plan will be required that covers the whole of the area and includes areas outside of the formal reserves. The project will develop and start to implement this plan, so that the biodiversity in the area can be protected more effectively. Implementing the plan will include the formation of a local management board, consultative platform or similar mechanism in each country. This will include all of the relevant government agencies, local NGOs and other stakeholders that will be involved in management of the TFCA and will be used to address cross-sectoral issues as well as support monitoring and reporting on conservation activities and outcomes.

Scope of the Consultancy:

•   Objective of the Consultancy: FAO and the project partners intend to engage an International Expert on Protected Area Management to lead the implementation of activities under project component
•   Task of the Consultant: The consultant will work under the overall supervision of the project Budget Holder, and the direct supervision of the Senior Forestry Officer, West Africa Team, FAO Regional Office for Africa (project lead Technical Officer) with support from FAO Forestry Department. S/He will work in close collaboration with the two National Project Coordinators in Ghana and Cote d'ivoire, Forestry Commission, SODEFOR, Conservation Alliance, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), Ghana Institute of Foresters, the Office Ivorien des Parcs et Reserves (OIPR), the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques in Cote d'ivoire (CSRS), the Direction de l'Ecologie et de la Protection de la Nature (DEPN), the Division de Faune et Ressources Cynegetiques (DFRC) and the other project stakeholders. S/He will perform the following tasks:
•   Review the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the current institutional arrangements for protected area management and respective efficacy in Ghana and Cote d'ivoire;
•   In collaboration with CA and other project stakeholders, hold wider consultations on the draft Management Plan;
•   Review, revise and expand the draft Management Plan prepared by GIF and align it with international models and good practices in the management of protected areas including also inputs from the stakeholders consultations and comments from FAD and other project stakeholders staff;
•   Finalize the Management Plan and produce the TFCA Management Plan in both French and English (one hard copy and one soft copy each in French and English);
•   Facilitate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding or similar document between Ghana and Cote d'ivoire for future exchange of information and coordination of management activities.

Expected Output:

Finalized Management plan for the TFCA to be published in English and French.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or similar document signed for future exchange of information and co-ordination of management activities.

Qualification Required & Experience

•   Minimum of a Master's degree in Forestry, Natural Resource Management/Governance,
•   Environmental Management, Geographical Sciences or related fields;
•   Substantial and diverse experience in management of natural resources, protected area strategies and programmes;
•   Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience (preparation of management
•   plans for protected areas, species/habitats conservation action plans, ecological studies,(re)valorization studies and similar);
•   Strong interpersonal and communication skills, strong cultural sensitivity and ability to
•   work in multi-cultural environments;
•   Ability to analyze and interpret GIS and survey information;
•   Fluency in both French and English languages;
•   Excellent computer literacy.

Location: Ghana

How To Apply For The Job

Interest candidates must complete the FAO Personal History Form (PHF) or PPF and submit together with CV and Cover Letter to The HR Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa, Accra through:

[email protected]

Closing Date: 25 August, 2015
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