IUCN logo

Human Resources
Management System

Organisation Logo

Seascape Governance Officer ( 5 Positions)

Vacancy #:   6541
Unit:   ESARO - Coastal and Ocean Programme
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya
Reporting to:   Regional Head, Coastal and Ocean Resilience (COR)
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   01 September 2023
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (29 months)
Closing date:   15 August 2023



The IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) operates in twenty-four countries in the Horn of Africa, east Africa, southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. The ESARO region is extremely rich in biodiversity with high number of endemic species and the largest remaining populations of iconic wildlife left on the continent. ESARO’s Programme focuses on biodiversity conservation through a diverse portfolio of projects and programmatic initiatives ranging from activities at the level of individual protected areas to shaping regional policy on biodiversity conservation. ESARO defines and delivers on its programmatic priorities in collaboration with IUCN members, commissions and other strategic partners.

The Coastal and Ocean Resilience (COR) Programme is responsible for marine and coastal issues, including biodiversity conservation, development and management of marine protected areas, other effective conservation measures (OECMs) and their networks, blue economy, ecosystem and fisheries management, High Seas, blue carbon, marine spatial planning, marine pollution, integrated management and governance of coastal areas, adaptation to climate change and disasters risks reduction.

In order to accelerate and scale up efforts in the region towards coastal and ocean resilience, IUCN has been coordinating efforts, together with countries and partners, in developing the Great Blue Wall initiative. The Great Blue Wall is a Western Indian Ocean (WIO)-born, Africa-driven roadmap to achieve a nature positive world by 2030. It aims at unlocking unprecedented nature-based recovery efforts through the establishment of a transformational movement. Its goal is to dramatically accelerate and upscale ocean conservation actions while enhancing socio-ecological resilience and the development of a regenerative blue economy by catalyzing political leadership and financial support. This will be achieved by spearheading the establishment of a connected network of nature-people positive seascapes (or regenerative seascapes). This network of seascapes will be connected by a living blue wall that will act as a regional ecological corridor formed by conserved and restored critical blue ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses and corals. While the Great Blue Wall will act as a wall against climate change impacts and biodiversity loss, it will also shelter coastal communities and create the enabling conditions and necessary mechanisms to empower local stakeholders to become stewards of the ocean while accelerating the development of a regenerative blue economy. The Great Blue Wall is an action-focused and action-driven regional response to 3 interconnected crises, i.e. Biodiversity - Climate – Socioeconomic with three clear objectives to be achieved by 2030:
- Effectively and equitably conserve at least 30%of the ocean by 2030
- Conserve and restore critical blue ecosystems to achieve net-gain by 2030
- Unlock the development of a regenerative blue economy that directly benefits coastal communities while also delivering conservation outcomes.

To guide its development, implementation and in order to achieve its goals, the COR programme is based on the premises of IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa’s Blue Resilience Programme Framework, composed of three key pillars and one cross-cutting: Blue Planet, Blue Nature, Blue People and Blue Partnerships. The Blue Resilience Framework aims at structuring IUCN’s interventions in the region and build resilience at ocean and seascape level and can be described as follows:
3 key pillars:
- Blue Planet: As the world embarks on an ambitious journey of conservation and protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030, it is of paramount importance to ensure that such target is not only achieved on paper but importantly on the ground by empowering local stakeholders to become stewards and managers of the ocean. This pillar therefore focuses on this effort by supporting the establishment of relevant governance frameworks at seascape level as well as the necessary enabling policy frameworks at national, regional and international levels. It also focuses on increasing the effectiveness and equity of area-based conservation measures.
- Blue Nature: Like any living organism, a seascape has its own critical features (or “organs”) that need to be protected and restored (or “healed”) if the rest of the seascape is to stay healthy. This pillar therefore focuses on securing the integrity of critical ecosystems by accelerating and upscaling the restoration and conservation of critical blue ecosystems by driving the implementation at scale of Nature-based Solutions.
- Blue People: For a large-scale seascape to thrive and be effectively managed, it is of paramount importance that stakeholders directly benefit from these areas and from ocean conservation efforts. To achieve the scale of impact required, it is crucial that economic activities are not only sustainable and produce socio-economic benefits but also contribute to the regeneration of the ocean. This pillar therefore focuses on unlocking the potential of our blue natural capital by supporting the development of a regenerative blue economy.
1 cross-cutting:
- Blue Partnerships: Because overcoming today’s challenges will require all parties to join forces, and for conservation efforts to be sustainable and impactful at scale, innovative and ambitious partnerships will be a critical piece of the solution. Setting-up such type of partnerships is IUCN’s DNA. Areas of work include innovative finance, technology and communication as well as broader ecosystem of partners, coalition building as well as knowledge and experience sharing.

The Seascape Governance Officer will drive the implementation of the first pillar (Blue Planet) at the national level. This position reports directly to the Regional Coastal and Marine Governance Manager. He/she will serve as a member of the Country COR Team that helps set strategic directions and define priorities for IUCN’s broader engagement on Marine and Coastal issues at the country level and, accordingly, works with the other members of the team in strategic planning; monitoring and evaluation; and learning, innovation and knowledge generation at the overall Programme level.

The Seascape Governance Officer will manage IUCN Coastal and Ocean Resilience programme activities in the country related to the Blue Planet pillar in close collaboration with the Country COR Programme Manager and Regional Coastal and Ocean Governance Manager. He/she will be responsible for the overall management of Blue Planet programme activities, ensuring that they are coherent and consistent with IUCN’s “One Programme” approach, build on and align with the Great Blue Wall initiative IUCN’s blue resilience framework and add value to nationally and regionally defined priorities. He/she is responsible for : i) Guiding the strategic direction and development of the thematic area at the national level ii) Ensuring that programmatic activities within the thematic area are effectively and efficiently implemented at national level; iii) Promoting learning, knowledge generation and innovation within both the thematic area and in relation to the IUCN’s Intersessional Programme and Strategy; and iv) Ensuring that progress and performance of the Blue Planet pillar is regularly monitored and evaluated.

Each of the 5 Seascape Governance Officers will be based in the following specific locations in the respective countries; Tanga - Tanzania, Lamu County – Kenya, Vilankulos District- Mozambique, Diego Suarez - Madagascar and Grande Comores - Comoros.
Implementation and portfolio management;
Provide overall programme leadership, coordination and oversight including planning, management, budgeting, technical and financial reporting, networking, and procurement for projects in collaboration with other national teams and partners;
Day-to-day coordination of projects implementation and activities delivery in line with the Blue Planet area of work in order to ensure the highest quality of outputs and outcomes as well as guarantee that activities are implemented in line with project workplans and budgets;
Participate in the develop of relevant programme KPIs and ensure its good monitoring and reporting;
Support national COR team on technical reporting and on the development of a regional Blue Planet annual report.
Responsible for the supervision of the day to day operations of the seascape office.

Strategic and Technical leadership;
Provide leadership, strategic guidance and direction to the Blue Planet country area of work, as a member of the country COR Team;
Act as a driving force for innovation to position IUCN as a leading organization in the country terms of innovative conservation approaches, mechanisms and large-scale area-base conservation measures (Networks of MPAs, LMMAs and Seascapes) and in particular on efforts to reach a nature and people positive 30x30 target;
Ensuring that IUCN’s work in the country is of high technical quality, based on good science and drawing upon state-of-the-art thinking and knowledge;
Unlock synergies and collaboration with other country and regional COR area of works and IUCN ESARO’s programmes and projects when and where possible;
Provide leadership overseeing operations and engaging with relevant local government authorities and other stakeholders, to establish stakeholders’ taskforces in the seascape, ensuring that the ReSea activities always works towards greater community involvement and ownership.

External engagement and communication:
In consultation with Country COR Programme Manager ensure that IUCN is adequately represented in relevant country fora and facilitate discussions on relevant marine and coastal emerging issues to position IUCN as a reference in the country;
Provide evidence-based support and facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues on emerging issues and policy debates;
Lead coherent and consistent communication of lessons learnt to key decision-makers and other stakeholders within the country, region and globally as appropriate, including via the web, print and media;
In collaboration with Country COR Programme Manager identify and manage potential risks associated with IUCN’s public positions in the country and design strategies to mitigate the risks that have been identified;
Act as a focal point for facilitating and supporting the involvement of IUCN Commissions, Members and other members of the Secretariat in the development and implementation of programmatic activities.

Programme Development and Resource Mobilization:
As appropriate contribute in the fundraising activities including development of concepts and projects documents. This will involve establishing, maintaining and nurturing good relationships with donors, funding agencies and other technical partners so as to ensure the financial viability of the Blue Planet pillar of the COR programme;

Monitoring and Evaluation;
Contribute to the development of the COR Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Framework;
Responsible for the coordination of programme monitoring and evaluation at the seascape level.
In collaboration of Country COR Programme Manager ensure IUCN work is accountable to donors and other stakeholders through the establishment and management of effective accountability mechanisms and processes;
Provide leadership to use data for programme decision making, for the implementation of management actions based on the findings of monitoring, and to ensure that feedback from stakeholders inform programme development;
Lead seascape programme reporting processes and requirements.

Other responsibilities:
Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.
  • Position requirements:

An advanced degree in an appropriate field related to coastal natural resource management and conservation, marine biology, fisheries, climate change, environment, governance, social and/or political science, international cooperation or related fields;
Computer literacy in relation to office applications (word processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint) use of internet and online communication tools;

Work Experience;
We’re looking for an outstanding, hands-on, highly motivated, autonomous, innovative, solution oriented, results driven and resourceful individual with at least five years of proven experience with:
Sound expertise in marine and coastal areas conservation, marine protected and conserved area, seascape approach, integrated coastal zone management, locally-led management and inclusive governance or related fields, including experience in field work;
Strong expertise and experience in engaging local stakeholders in inclusive multi-stakeholder’s governance, locally led management activities and multi-use areas, ideally at a large-scale/seascape level;
Up-to-date knowledge on climate impacts on coastal and marine systems, coastal and marine biodiversity conservation, with particular reference to the establishment and effective management of marine protected and conserved areas systems and networks at site and national levels;
Familiarity with established and emerging biodiversity conservation approaches, and methodologies and processes related to coastal and marine management and in particular in the context of the newly established Global Biodiversity Framework and 30x30 target;
Experience in network development and alliance building skills to consult and collaborate across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals; demonstrated ability to build consensus in cross-cultural situations;
Ability to interact effectively with and directly support or identify experts required to support all aspects of the COR Programme with information on the status and conservation of marine protected and conserved areas;
Experience with result-based portfolio and project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation methodologies and principles and facilitation skills;
Experience with project and programme development, management and reporting, with demonstrated budgeting and programme planning abilities;
Strong interpersonal, management and supervisory skills and experience, with a minimum of 2 years’ in managing teams;
Computer literacy in relation to office applications (word processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint) use of internet and online communication tools;
Demonstrates strong leadership and people - management experience including supervision of staff, consultants and coordination and effective management of virtual team settings;
Demonstrated ability to work under pressure managing competing demands and complex situations and deliver satisfactory and timely results;
Must be a strong team player with proven communication and diplomacy skills and ability to work effectively with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams displaying sensitivity and respect for diversity;
Must be a proactive individual who is able to energize and motivate teams;
Committed to continuous learning and proactive and mature attitude towards self-development;

Language requirement;
Excellent verbal and communication skills in English is essential, with ability to communicate in official languages of respective countries (French, Portuguese, Swahili etc) as an added advantage;

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.

Functional competencies;
Adheres to IUCN core values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, Professionalism and Accountability;
Strong interpersonal, management and supervisory skills and experience, with a minimum of 2 years’ in managing teams;
Ability to manage complex situations and facilitate the establishment of networks and multi-stakeholder participatory processes;
Be willing to undertake frequent travel and interact with different stakeholders from diverse cultures.

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: http://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 some 15,000 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.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.