WWF – Salonga Park Director

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ABOUT WWF WWF is an environmental organization that is deeply committed to people-centered nature conservation with the ambition to apply the highest standard of safeguards to protect human rights in all of our work. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. We understand that the future of nature can only be secured when conservation is inclusive and people both drive, and benefit from, the protection of natural ecosystems.

© WWF-US / Betty Mclaughlin Meyer

HOW WE WORK The deepening crisis of nature loss requires conservation organizations like WWF to think and act bigger and faster – and to work together as never before. Our strong commitment to collaboration– something we call together possible – shapes all our work, leading to many powerful partnerships around the world. And, today, we are part of a growing global coalition calling on world leaders to set nature on the path to recovery by 2030: a New Deal for Nature and People as comprehensive as the global climate deal. This ambitious nature recovery plan is supported by our own global goals and programme of work focused on: • Safeguarding the natural world – the oceans, forests, freshwater and rich diversity of wildlife that provide the essentials of life for all. • Challenging the two most urgent threats to nature: climate change and food production. • Tackling the underlying global drivers for the loss of nature: a financial system that must value nature; a governance system that empowers people to lead on nature protection; and markets where sustainable production and consumption must become the norm. You can find out more about WWF International on our website.

© WWF-US / Green Renaissance

WWF IN THE SALONGA LANDSCAPE The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has embarked on ambitious, field-based conservation programs across the Congo Basin. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), WWF is active in several landscape-scale sites, including the over 10 million ha Salonga landscape, encompassing Salonga National Park (SNP/PNS), the third largest tropical forest park in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a critical refuge for bonobos and forest elephants. The landscape program also works in peripheral community and extractive areas. In addition to its importance for biodiversity conservation, this humid forest region is significant for carbon storage and maintaining water supplies. The program takes an integrated conservation approach with a consortium of NGO, government, community, and academic partners. Key conservation strategies include: protected area management; land use planning; ecotourism and associated infrastructure development; law enforcement and species conservation; community-based natural resources management and livelihood improvement, e.g. through sustainable agriculture and forestry. Effective protected area management is a corner stone of WWF’s conservation efforts in the DRC, in close partnership with ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature), the national protected area management authority. New, creative perspectives are needed to effectively manage protected areas in challenging social, economic, cultural, and logistical environments. © WWF-Madagascar / Nick Riley


In 2021, WWF and ICCN agreed to implement an innovative Public Private Partnership approach in the form of co-management, with the aims of defining the governance, management and funding mechanisms of the park surroundings toward achieving the park vision:

the Steering committee and in line with the annual plans approved by the latter.

“To ensure the persistence and viability of large forest blocks representative of the dense humid forests of the core area of the Congo Basin in order to safeguard its biological diversity, its ecosystems, and its environmental processes and services for the benefit of local populations, the country and the humanity”.

The CoCoSi is a broad advisory body composed of the UGPNS, the delocalized park stations leads and representatives from partners, administrative authorities, civil societies and IPLCs. The CoCoSi is dialogue space that seeks to enhance the relationship and collaboration between all actors including indigenous people and local communities and provide recommendations on the implementation of the park management plans, on the priorities for conservation and sustainable development within and in the buffer zone of the park

The governance structure of the park is composed of the Steering Committee (CPPNS – Comité de Pilotage du PNS), the Management Unit (UGPNS – Unité de Gestion de la PNS) and the Site Coordination Committee (CoCoSi – Comité de Coordination du Site).

To ensure that human rights are respected, a series of measures including the adoption of code of conduct for law enforcement agents, regular training on human rights and standard operating procedure and independent mechanism to collect and address community grievances have been established.

The Steering Committee is an orientation and decision-making body that ensures the proper execution of the co-management agreement, assesses the general conservation status of SNP and the collaboration setup in the buffer areas, and validate the management tools as well as subcontracting with partners.

A key commitment of ICCN and WWF in the comanagement agreement is the establishment of the Salonga Foundation which will take over the management and the governance of the park as well the exploration of sustainable financing mechanisms, including REDD+, carbon or biodiversity credits, in the medium-to-long-term.

The Management Unit is the executing body that ensures the day-to day management of the technical, administrative, and financial and equipment components of the park, reporting to

A NOTE FROM THE INCUMBENT Salonga National Park is very large (34,000 km2) and at present, the state of its conservation is quite good. These two facts alone make a clear case that we must do everything within our power to preserve it. One of the most attractive qualities about this role may be the challenge of starting almost from scratch, creating and developing a park. Although Salonga National Park was established over 50 years ago, it is not well known and there is still a lot of work to be done, the result of logistical difficulties and the country’s complicated history. The Park is located in the center of the Congo River basin, bringing to mind Stanley’s travels, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and so much history about this part of Africa. In addition to the typical fauna of the Central African tropical forests (elephants, buffaloes, bongos), Salonga boasts almost 40% of the world’s population of bonobos. Everything is about to start: from building infrastructures and organizing logistics, both air and river, to improving the conservation strategy and the fight against poaching, to conducting studies on the Park’s biodiversity, fauna and flora to involving local populations in the development of new tourism activities, both cultural and nature-based. This may be one of the few national parks in the world where there is still so much to be discovered and where so much could be done. If you are passionate, have the skills and experience sought and the ambition to help develop this critical conservation area, we would love to hear from you.


© WWF DRC / Thomas Nicolon


Salonga Park Director


This role will be based within the remote Salonga landscape (Monkoto/Tshuapa, Democratic Republic of Congo)


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Salonga Steering Committee


Deputy Park Director (ICCN), Programs Coordinator (WWF), Finance & Administration Manager (WWF), Human Rights Focal Point (ICCN), Chengeta Wildlife Trainer

© WWF-US / James Morgan

THE ROLE The Park Director leads the Management Unit of Salonga National Park, working closely with internal and external partners to effect real conservation results. The Director supervises WWF and ICCN staff working across law enforcement, research, ecotourism, monitoring, infrastructure, logistics and community development activities, and collaborates with partners to advance the park objectives. In addition to the overall management of the park, Director will be responsible for positioning Salonga National Park as a key conservation area in the national and international conservation communities in collaboration with donors, INGOs, governments, multilaterals and local communities.

© WWF-US / James Morgan


Provides strategic leadership to achieve conservation results and the Park vision across the following areas: • Partnerships for protected area management (management plan development, implementation, and adaptive management) • Law enforcement through ICCN Eco-guards • Community-based natural resource management • Institutional strengthening and training • Policies and legislation • Regional networking • Program/project monitoring


• Plans, directs and oversees park activities in accordance with the annual work plan, budget and contractual agreements. • Develops work plans and budgets for approval by WWF, partners, the Salonga steering committee, and other participating agencies. • Mobilizes and coordinates with government and non-government partners, donors, and other stakeholders in the Park to work towards a common vision while also supporting synergies at the landscape level. • Oversees program planning to strengthen progress towards objectives (e.g. strengthening park management, antipoaching activities). © Ronda Simms

• Ensures the organization of regular meetings of the Salonga landscape consortium and community consultation committees (CoCoSi).


• Manages the Park and its Management Unit (UGPNS) using a participatory, adaptive management approach. • Ensures that management systems are established and oversees the administration of the management plan and related program/projects. • Supervises activities with support from WWF, to ensure that project(s) are in compliance with donor regulations. • Illustrative responsibilities include: ○ Ensures adherence to that the Environmental and Social Safeguards framework and risk mitigation plan by all actors in park management activities ○ Develop and implement together with stakeholders the annual operational plan ○ Coordinate the park infrastructure development and maintenance that includes roads, patrol stations, offices, logistic equipment’s, Eco guard’s equipment, communication means like internet, VHF, Speed boats, aircrafts etc. ○ Enhance the protection of the park by opening and ensuring the maintenance of more than 10 new landing runways, 18 new stations well equipped in solar power, generators, internet and all

important transport means depending on the geographical setting of the area. ○ Provide high level strategic guidance on the fundraising efforts and ensure regular dialogue with donors ○ Coordinate inclusive land use planning activities. ○ Use field experience to inform policy advocacy at local and national levels. ○ Promote strong communication with key stakeholders including government and funding partners from local to global scale as far as Salonga is concerned. ○ Support capacity building and institutional strengthening of local partners, for inclusive governance, land use planning, building resilience for nature and people and wildlife monitoring/law enforcement. ○ Oversee support to ICCN, patrols and all law enforcement activities such as rangers training. ○ Coordinate private sector (forest concession) engagement with WWF Forest Program.


• With the direct support of the Finance & Administration Manager, contributes to the development of project budgets for approval, technical and financial reporting, and monitoring of expenditures against budgets for Park activities.


• Advanced university degree in conservation, environment, natural resources or park management, forestry or terrestrial ecology, or a relevant field. • A minimum of 10 years’ experience working in conservation, or development organizations, preferably in a similar biome. • Extensive project management and leadership experience. • Experience working with and influencing external partners including government officials and donors.


• Strong working knowledge of park management and what it takes to effectively manage a large-scale park. • Understanding of forest and wildlife ecology, and natural resource management principles. • Depth and breadth of knowledge of biomonitoring in forested environment and law enforcement procedures. • Clear understanding of community-based natural resource management and rural livelihood issues. • Strong administrative and financial management skills and excellent organizational skills. • Excellent people and project management skills to handle complex, multi-faceted projects, negotiate, and resolve conflicts.

• Excellent oral and written communications skills in French and English. • Ability to live and work in remote and difficult conditions. • Ability to live in multicultural context and acceptance of local values. • Adheres to WWF’s brand, mission and values of Courage, Integrity, Respect and Collaboration.


• Project management experience in Africa. • Experience leading the management of a National Park or Conservation Area


• Internal – Works closely with the DRC Conservation Director, partners and project managers who implement project activities in the Salonga landscape, the Rural Development Manager, other program managers in WWF DRC, the regional team, and WWF National Offices (especially WWF Germany and US) to coordinate efforts and mobilize support. • External – Works with major DRC implementation partners: The Ministry for the Environment and local Protected Area management authority (ICCN). Coordinates closely with a suite of international and national NGO’s and local communities. Reports for the UGPNS to the Salonga Steering Committee. © WWF / Gustavo Ybarra

HOW TO APPLY All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter as two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process. The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit. The document should be saved in PDF in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV-112023-WWF or PatJones-CoverLetter-112023-WWF.


Closing Date:

7th January 2024


All candidates will receive an update regarding their application after the closing date. We advise candidates to add the role email to their safe senders list and regularly check their spam folder.


Equality and diversity are at the core of WWF’s values. Staff are expected to work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of others is valued and respected.


If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information, or would like to have an informal discussion, please email at wwf-salongapark-director@oxfordhr.com in the first instance.

© WWF-US / James Morgan

ABOUT OXFORD HR Exceptional leaders can inspire change and propel purpose-led organisations towards reaching their world-changing goals. Finding such leaders can be a challenge; and yet their transition into leadership is vital to an organisations mission and success. Oxford HR is a global leadership consultancy dedicated to searching for and supporting remarkable leaders and teams in purpose-led organisations. We understand the nuances of purpose-led leadership because we’ve worked in organisations across the breadth of the sector ourselves. We’ve also worked with such organisations since 1995; so we appreciate just what benefits impactful people can bring.

© WWF-Madagascar / Nick Riley

Cover Photo Credit © WWF / Martin Harvey © WWF-Madagascar / Nick Riley © WWF-US / Green Renaissance © WWF-US / James Morgan © Simbi Yvan © WWF-US / James Morgan © WWF © WWF-Madagascar / Nick Riley © WWF-US / James Suter / Black Bean Productions






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