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Environmental and Social Management Officer

Vacancy #:   5557
Unit:   ESARO - South Africa Conservation Areas and Species
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   South Africa Country Office, Pretoria, South Africa
Reporting to:   Team Leader, SADC Transfrontier Conservation Areas Facilities
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 April 2021
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (45 months)
Closing date:   21 February 2021


The IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) operates in twenty-four countries in the Horn of Africa, eastern Africa, southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. IUCN ESARO engages directly in biodiversity conservation in the region through its innovative thematic programme, Conservation Areas and Species (CAS). The CAS programme draws on evidence-based and best practice approaches to enhance the conservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystems in Eastern and Southern Africa. CAS operates through a “One Programme” approach working closely with IUCN members and Commissions to engage in a diverse set of biodiversity conservation actions ranging from the implementation of field projects to influencing policy and institutional frameworks at local, national, regional and global levels. The CAS programme is focused on enhancing management effectiveness, governance and equity of protected and conserved areas, strengthening multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement to improve biodiversity conservation at landscape and seascape level, and supporting effective local community engagement in biodiversity conservation. The thematic programme also contributes to building the capacity of IUCN Members and partners, as well as the ESARO Secretariat to tackle new and emerging biodiversity conservation challenges in the region and to implement relevant international conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) , Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. The programme also links closely to relevant work and regional priorities of Regional Economic Communities, the African Union and the United Nations Environment Assembly.

IUCN ESARO has been appointed as the Project Executing Agency (PEA) for two Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) grant-making facilities. The implementation of the two facilities will be headed by the SADC TFCA Financing Facilities Project Team Leader. IUCN ESARO is looking to recruit a highly qualified Environmental and Social Management Officer to help with supporting comprehensive implementation of the provisions of the ESMS for TFCA FF through the entire project cycle, from environmental and social due diligence (ESDD) for applying TFCAs to appraisal of projects proposed for funding to determination of appropriate safeguard instruments to be developed for a given project to monitoring and reporting.

A summary of the two facilities is as follows:

SADC TFCA Financing Facility;

The development and establishment of a regional and sustainable Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) financing mechanism is a major component of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) TFCA programme (2013). The initial funding by the German Government (BMZ through KfW) shall be EUR 12 million (plus an additional commitment for EUR 11 million to be made available in the near future) for an initial financing cycle of up to 6 years. The intention is to leverage additional funds from various partners, including further commitment from Germany, in order to reach an operational funding volume of approximately EUR 100 million in the medium to long term.

The SADC TFCA Financing Facility (FF) is intended to foster closer collaboration between stakeholders supporting TFCAs and provide the basis for longer-term and more sustainable funding opportunities to develop all TFCAs. The SADC TFCA FF will be fully aligned with the objectives of the SADC Programme for TFCAs (2013) aiming at contributions to various objectives and goals in other relevant SADC strategies and protocols.
Through the TFCA Financing Facility, investments in tangible measures strengthening ecological, economic, cultural and institutional connectivity within SADC TFCAs will be leveraged in a flexible, demand-and performance driven way. The measures shall integrate three dimensions:
1)improved habitat connectivity, especially for elephants and large carnivores as flagship species (“species” dimension),
2)improved management effectiveness and governance of TFCAs and protected areas PAs (“habitat” dimension) and
3)improved livelihoods for communities affected by human-wildlife co-habitation (“people” dimension)
The SADC TFCA FF will contribute towards: (i) faster implementation of projects, (ii) better dissemination and multiplication of innovative approaches, (iii) a pipeline of bankable projects, ready for funding and able to absorb additional funds, (iv) faster response and reaction to upcoming challenges, crises or opportunities, (v) better coordination and harmonisation of national, bilateral and multilateral programmers. Further, the financing mechanism shall contribute to the institutional development of TFCAs, including the preparation and constitution of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), treaties and other legal documents as required.

Training Facilities and Programmes for Wildlife Managers and Rangers in the SADC region:

Following negotiations between Germany and SADC in 2011, € 10 million was committed in financial cooperation funds to promote the development of training infrastructure and programmes for protected area managers and rangers in SADC TFCAs. € 4 million of this funding was allocated to the development of infrastructure of the Southern African Wildlife College. € 6 million has been allocated for strengthening capacities of personnel in SADC TFCAs to help implement existing SADC programmes for TFCA management. To operationalize this a TFCA Capacity Development Facility has been created as a grant-making mechanism intended to finance skills-based training for Wildlife Managers and Rangers in SADC TFCAs. , and will be informed by a detailed training needs assessment.

All sub-projects financed by either the TFCA FF or the TFCA Capacity Development Facility (in the following both together are referred to as SADC TFCA FFs) will be required to comply with sound environmental and social management safeguards. It will therefore be ensured that potential negative environmental and social impacts are minimized and benefits to local communities and the environment are enhanced to the extent possible. In order to effectively manage environmental and social issues in line with the national laws and regulations in the respective host countries, and in conformity with the requirements of international Environmental and Social Safeguard Standards, an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) will be developed and implemented for the two facilities (the ESMS is expected to be in place in Q2 2021). To operationalize the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS), IUCN seeks to hire an Environmental and Social Management Officer for the SADC TFCA Financing Facilities. Training on the operation of the ESMS will be provided by the consultant team assigned with the development of the ESMS.

The Environmental and Social Management Officer will work under the direct supervision of the SADC TFCA Financing Facilities Project Team Leader and will work closely with the Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, who is also the Regional ESMS Focal Point. The ESMS Officer will be responsible for supporting comprehensive implementation of the provisions of the ESMS for TFCA Financing Facilities through the entire project cycle, from environmental and social due diligence (ESDD) for applying TFCAs to appraisal of projects proposed for funding to determination of appropriate safeguard instruments to be developed for a given project to monitoring and reporting.


The Environmental and Social Management Officer will be responsible for the following:

Environmental and Social Management;

Coordinate and undertake the implementation of the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS);
Ensure environmental and social due diligence is carried out for each sub-project funded by the SADC TFCA FFs as delineated by the ESMS Operational Manual; this includes, among others:
Ensure screening of each sub-project on environmental and social risks and against ESMS safeguard standards and the ESMS exclusion list; determine the risk category and the type and scope of risk assessments, ESDDs and safeguard instruments to be developed;
Support the grantee in contracting experts for risk assessment and development of safeguard instruments including providing input to the ToRs and supporting identification of experts;
Ensure adequate public consultation and stakeholder engagement during the preparation and/or application of safeguards instruments and ensure effective disclosure of relevant documents as defined by the ESMS Operations Manual;
Appraise capacity of fund receivers and beneficiary communities to responsibly/appropriately manage the identified E&S risks;
Integrate ESMS data and specific environmental and social safeguard requirements into the TFCA FF Funding Application Documentation and Funding Agreement (contract with grantee) and ensure that ESMS procedures and -documents and -data are appropriately applied, managed and filed throughout the project life-cycle;
Ensure functioning of the fund-level ESMS Grievance Mechanism and that grievances are managed effectively and transparently;
Ensure the Project Executing Agency (IUCN) complies at all times with the Environmental, Social and Health & Safety provisions as determined in the contract documents, based on the provisions of the ESMS;
Identify training needs of the key project teams, partners and fund recipients on safeguards, stakeholder engagement and -consultation and gender-sensitive project design, develop training plans and coordinate the delivery of identified trainings (including delivering substantial part);
•Participate in trainings for ESMS implementation and other capacity building events (as trainee);

Monitoring, evaluation and Reporting;

Participate in field/site monitoring or supervision missions to assess performance and progress in the implementation of safeguards instruments as per ESMS provisions (including but not limited to environmental and social management plans, process frameworks, stakeholder engagement plans); develop monitoring reports including identification of corrective actions as appropriate;
Ensure effective and high quality technical reporting by the fund recipients on the implementation of safeguard instruments and overall E&S risks identification and -tracking through the project cycle in line with the contract obligations;
Review and appraise all E&S documentation through the project cycle submitted to the TFCA FF, including but not limited to screening reports, safeguard documents, technical and monitoring reports on E&S risks and progress of implementation of safeguard instruments (including environmental and social management plans);
Prepare an annual fund-level ESMS report, based on the periodic monitoring reports to be submitted by grantees and on monitoring undertaken by the TFCA FF;
Implement risk control actions/corrective actions as appropriate and as identified in the course of supervision and monitoring, prepare reports and manage cases of non-compliance with ESMS standards and procedures as per ESMS provisions;
Effectively support and participate in missions related to E&S risks and respective safeguard tools, as may be required.

Other responsibilities;

Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time, provided that they complement, and do not impact negatively, on the main duties above.
  • Education;
A first degree in Environmental Management or Environmental Sciences/Studies from a recognized university. A post-graduate degree in the same field is an added advantage:

• Work Experience;
Over 7-10 years of relevant professional experience in conducting environmental and social impact assessments, undertaking environmental and social due diligence and preparing environmental and social safeguard instruments in Eastern and Southern Africa Region;
Demonstrable experience and knowledge of applying international environmental and social safeguard standards (WB, IFC, IUCN) including developing ESIA, ESMF, ESMP, Indigenous Peoples Plan, Process Framework, Stakeholder Engagement Plans etc.;
Demonstrable experience in undertaking ESDD for medium to high E&S risk projects as well as thorough project reviews and audits against international E&S safeguard standards;
Experience to apply international E&S safeguard standards and develop safeguard instruments for conservation projects;
Good understanding of socio-cultural issues and livelihood context of traditional local communities and indigenous peoples in the region and their contribution to conservation;
Demonstrated high level of professionalism and ability to work independently to deliver under tight deadlines;
Experience in research design, data collection using a variety of methodologies, including participatory appraisal methods
Experience in Monitoring & Evaluation of environmental and social management plans and other safeguard instruments, including reporting. Demonstrated experience, knowledge and skills in Project Monitoring & Evaluation;
Excellent interpersonal skills, demonstrated ability to engage with local stakeholder and communities, including patience, diplomacy, willingness to listen, respect for colleagues and ability to work as part of a team;
Certification as Lead or Associate Expert in Environmental Impact Assessment and Audits is an added advantage;
Knowledge and experience in SADC TFCAs is an added advantage
Experience in delivering training is an advantage.

• Language Proficiency;
Fluency in written and spoken English. Fluency in written and spoken English. A working knowledge of Portuguese and French would be an advantage.

• Functional competencies:
Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.
Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods.
Excellent analytical skills for the review and assessments of project proposals.
Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), database applications, spreadsheet and graphics presentations
Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases.
Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities.
Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

• Core Competencies;
Transparency: Able to build trust and contribute to informed and responsible decision making by carrying out the work of IUCN in a transparent manner; provides clear guidance to ensure that objectives and desired measurable results are understood by members of the team.
Inclusiveness: Understands and accepts cultural diversity, and provide a tolerant, positive and supportive working environment that fosters respect for diversity, demonstrates ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
Professionalism: Promote the organization’s interests, objectives and values in a diligent and professional manner.
Accountability: Takes responsibility of individual and collective actions, promotes the IUCN One Programme approach

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

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