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Biodiversity, Environmental & Communities Field Coordinator -- IUCN, Lao PDR

Vacancy #: 863
Unit: Lao PDR Country Office
Organization: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location: Lao PDR Country Office, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Reporting to: Country Manager, IUCN Lao PDR Country Office
Work percentage: 100%
Function group: P1
Expected start date: 01 September 2014
Type of contract: Fixed-term (24 months)
Closing date: 05 August 2014


IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps find pragmatic solutions to the most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.

In 1969, Lao PDR's Ministry of Foreign Affairs became a state member of IUCN and in 1992 the IUCN Lao PDR Country Office was established in Vientiane. IUCN Lao PDR falls within Lower Mekong Region Country Group, a management unit of IUCN in the Asia region, under the umbrella of the global IUCN. The IUCN Lao PDR country program is guided by its overarching program goal: To ensure that the ecosystems and natural resources of Lao PDR are effectively conserved and sustainably utilised in an equitable manner that contributes to the socio-economic development of the country.

The Biodiversity, Environment & Communities thematic area of the IUCN Lao PDR Country Program is currently being developed to streamline program activities related to (i) terrestrial species conservation, (ii) environmental education / awareness / capacity building (iii) climate change adaptation, and (iv) national protected areas. There are currently two projects within the IUCN Lao PDR Country Program that are under this thematic area: (i) the Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (Mekong ARCC) project, and (ii) the ARCUS Advancing Protection for Southern White-cheeked Gibbons in Phou Hin Poun National Protected Area, Lao PDR project. The field sites for these projects are within Khammouane and Champasak provinces of Southern Lao PDR.

ARCC Project:
The Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (Mekong ARCC) project is a five year program funded by USAID and implemented by Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). The project addresses information and policy gaps to provide communities in the Mekong River basin with the guidance and support they need to develop sustainable integrated adaptation plans that will increase their ability to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. The Mekong Basin rural poor are among the most exposed and vulnerable populations in the Asia Pacific region to the negative impacts of climate change, which are affecting water resources, agriculture systems, ecosystems, biodiversity, and the livelihood opportunities upon which the they depend. The impetus for this program stems from the critical importance of addressing the impacts of global climate change (GCC), and in particular how these impacts will negatively impact rural poor and the ecologically sensitive areas of the Mekong River Basin (MRB). The project has subcontracted to IUCN- Lao PDR to work in Khammouane Province with potential expansion into other areas of Lao PDR. IUCN Lao is implementing Task 3 of Mekong ARCC, Ecosystem and Community-based Adaptation Initiatives to build the capacity of local communities while assisting them to combine their local knowledge with USAID-Mekong ARCC generated climate science information.

Gibbons (Family Hylobatidae) are frequently referred to as the most threatened primate Family globally. Gibbons of the genus Nomascus, containing seven species, are the most threatened of the four Hylobatidae genera with four classified as Critically Endangered, three as Endangered and one yet to be assessed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This genus occurs in the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, specifically restricted to east of the Mekong River in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and southern China. Previously, the ARCUS Foundation funded IUCN’s implementation partner, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), for conservation of Nomascus taxa since 2008 which forms the foundation for activities under this grant request. This included status reviews for priority populations of gibbons and followed on with funding for those species protection through an ongoing grant which finished in February 2014. IUCN will continue to work with the Government of Lao PDR and FFI with ARCUS Foundation support to protect the Southern white-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus siki) in Phou Hin Poun National Protected Area (NPA), Khammouane Province.

1. The BECFC is responsible for coordinating and implementing field activities under the Biodiversity & Environmental Awareness core program area of IUCN Lao PDR. This includes planning & development, implementation, and monitoring & reporting.

1.1 The main responsibilities are:
1.1.1 Implementing, Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting on Biodiversity, Environment & Communities thematic program field activities
1.1.2 Coordination of the Biodiversity, Environment & Communities thematic program field activities

The position’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

2.1 ARCC Project:
2.1.1 Assist the BEC Coordinator to develop the field work methodology design;
2.1.2 Coordinate field work implementation;
2.1.3 Leading the data collection and analysis;
2.1.4 Leading the communication and shared knowledge with government counterpart;
2.1.5 Draft various deliverables expected under this project (draft of final version to be submitted to the BEC Coordinator for revision/comments);
2.1.6 Coordinate the implementation of adaptation options;
2.1.7 Leading the communication about the project in Lao language as needed;
2.1.8 Leading the Monitoring and Evaluation for the project.

2.2 ARCUS:
2.2.1 Complete zoning activities within two districts, including participatory mapping, developing
gibbon conservation zones and demarcation in Phou Hin Poun National Protected Area;
2.2.2 Expand community-based enforcement model to two additional districts to improve protection through increased patrol reach;
2.2.3 Implement improved adaptive management of enforcement work through the use of SMART software;
2.2.4 Determine a population baseline of the resident gibbon population using new approaches in spatially explicit capture and recapture (SECR);
2.2.5 Conduct a village needs assessment for sustainable use of natural resources to assess options for alternative livelihoods;
2.2.6 Create a village fund to support alternative livelihood initiatives to link and incentivize gibbon conservation activities.
2.2.7 Develop, equip and support a field office for community patrol activities.

2.3 Project Planning, Monitoring and Reporting
Support the BEC Coordinator in effectively implementing field activities of the Biodiversity, Environment & Communities thematic area (ARCUS and ARCC projects) of the IUCN Lao PDR Country Program:
2.3.1 Monitoring and reporting on implementation of project field activities by partners (Personal monthly work plans and reports, field visit reports including expense reports, etc.)
2.3.2 Providing implementation support to project partners where required.
2.3.3 Preparing detailed activity plans and budgets for project field activities.
2.3.4 Facilitate and assist visits by the project coordinator, government officials and consultants in their studies, meetings and program activities including translating, interpreting, where necessary.
2.3.5 Assist with managing project funds for field operations and taking responsibility for expenditures of project funds and reporting field expenditure.
2.3.6 Following formal procedures within IUCN and to meet government requirements in order to implement field activities.
2.3.7 Regularly communicating with partners to identify project support needs, monitor project field activities and report project progress.
2.3.8 Identifying and developing opportunities for partnerships with local stakeholders to meet project outcomes.
2.3.9 Translating project outputs from English to Lao and vice versa as required.
2.3.10 Conduct other activities including joint delivery of outputs with other project staff as required to meet the project objectives.

2.4 Institutional tasks
2.4.1 Ensure that project office and field operations are conducted to a high level of health, safety, integrity, environmental good practice and cultural sensitivity. This includes ensuring that field medical kits are in good order and taken out on every field trip
2.4.2 Ensure that IUCN policies and guidelines are followed within the implementation of project activities.
2.4.3 Represent IUCN Lao PDR in external and internal IUCN meetings at national levels, as needed.

Undertake any other tasks as may be assigned by, and mutually agreed with the line manager

• At least a university degree in a relevant discipline, such as Conservation Biology, Climate Change, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Management or Development Studies  

• At least 5 years of progressive work experience; experience in project coordination, implementation and execution is essential; familiarity with USAID and EU grant management is desired  

• Strong presentation skills and exceptional written and spoken communication skills in Lao and English is essential  

• Experience and ability to work in a multicultural and multi-perspective environment and a broad awareness of conservation, climate change, communities and natural resource management issues in Lao PDR and the Greater Mekong region 

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