REDD+ and Forest Carbon Technical Advisor
Reports to: Executive Director, Conservation Studies
Location: United States (flexible)
Country Program/Sector: Global Conservation Program / Conservation Solutions
Position Type: Full-Time
Internal liaison: Forest Climate change lead and REDD+ technical staff in regions and country programs
Expected travel: Approximately 25%. As required to field sites and to donor/technical meetings as needed/possible.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (“WCS”) is a New York not-for-profit corporation founded by statute in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through research, science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. That mission is achieved through our global conservation programs (WCS currently oversees a portfolio of more than 500 conservation projects in 65 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America, and the oceans between them) and through the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks–the Bronx Zoo; the New York Aquarium; and the Central Park, Queens, and Prospect Park Zoos (the City Zoos)
WCS seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of REDD+ and other forest carbon projects in select landscapes where we work. In each case, WCS will commence pilot activities in a small portion of the landscape at the same time as it evaluates the potential for cost-effective generation of verified emissions reductions. The final product of this work will be to prepare the studies and documentation required to have the projects validated against the appropriate methodologies of the Verified Carbon Standard.
The position will be responsible for supporting Executive Director, Conservation Solutions to design and demonstrate the feasibility of REDD+ and other forest carbon projects in priority WCS landscapes, including through the securing of project investment funds, and support the WCS field programs to implement REDD+.
- Work with WCS regional/country programs and WCS REDD+ experts to create a portfolio of projects with enough information to secure additional investment.
- Design and complete feasibility studies to be used to evaluate potential investments and negotiate agreements with carbon owners. The objective of the feasibility work is to create a fact base that will facilitate an investor decision on the potential for cost effective credit generation over the long term, i.e. to establish whether each project can deliver carbon credits at scale and at a cost below that of the revenue generated by sales of the carbon credits. A feasibility assessment in each country will investigate the potential for carbon sequestration and determine the costs of proceeding with a full project.
- Support the management of the existing project portfolio. This will include the assessment of the short and long-term viability of the projects financially along with expected credit generation trajectory, and, where appropriate, supporting country programs to develop all material required for third-party project validation and credit verification.
- Support country programs on the technical work on nesting projects into jurisdictional/national systems.
- Support Executive Director, Conservation Solutions in financial negotiations with investors and funders to implement REDD+ as a sustainable financing strategy for WCS Scapes, and create communication materials and proposals needed to secure additional investments.
- Strong background in REDD+, including carbon accounting, remote sensing and project/program design, validation and verification.
- Proven track record of project management, including staff supervision and budget oversight
- Proven track record at outreach, developing and maintaining partnerships with other organizations, donors or private sector to further strategic conservation goals
- Proven track record of organization/project management experience, including budget and financial management
- Demonstrated experience in the convening of networks and multi-stakeholder engagement
- Experience working on field-based implementation of avoided deforestation, reforestation, woodlots, or natural regeneration projects
- Experience working on REDD+ related to sustainable finance in a global context preferred
- An advanced degree in ecology, biology, geography, conservation, environmental studies and/or a related discipline
- Excellent written and oral language skills are required in English; the ability to function in another language (e.g. Spanish, French) is a plus
- Strong technical and intellectual skills in the application of REDD+ to on-the-ground forest management
- Familiarity with analytical techniques and software relevant to REDD+ project development
- Understanding of the relationship between local or project activities with regard to forests or other terrestrial carbon sinks and national or jurisdictional forest baselines and monitoring
- Ability to manage inputs from a team of technical consultants and specialists
- Strong facilitation, coordination, networking and negotiation skills
- Strong sense for innovation and new approaches to conservation.
- Decisiveness and independence
- Good judgement, ability to work under pressure
- Good report writing and presentation skills
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills in cross-cultural working situations