Central Africa Forestry Project Coordinator, World Resources Institute

WRI’s overall mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs of current and future generations.  Through the Forest Information and Governance Initiative, it seeks to increase the capacity of governments, businesses, and civil society to act upon better and more widely-shared information to protect intact forests, manage working forests more effectively, and restore deforested lands.  Behind our forest strategy is the belief that the provision of accurate, user-friendly information will promote more sustainable forest management practices when a) linked to relevant decision-making and capacity-building efforts, and b) this information is made publicly available as a means to hold decision-makers accountable for their actions. 


WRI’s niche is the provision of accurate, credible, accessible, and timely forest landscape information and the promotion of its inclusion in decision-making.  This information is developed through strategic partnerships with national, regional, and international actors (private sector, governments, multi and bi-lateral agencies, research institutions, and local & international NGOs) and through the use of modern informational tools such as remote sensing, geographic information systems and forest information systems.  WRI’s ability to work across multiple levels (local, national, regional and international) and sectors is crucial to our effectiveness in connecting forest information to the variety of decision-making processes focused on strengthening forest management in Central Africa. For more information on WRI activities in the forest sector in general and in Central Africa in particular, please visit the following site: http://www.wri.org/forests.


WRI Central Africa Forestry Projects Coordinator (hereafter called CAFPC) will be based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and work under the responsibility and general supervision of Pierre Méthot, Forestry Director-Central Africa, based in Washington, DC (hereafter called the Forestry Director).


The CAFPC will be responsible for managing day-to-day activities related to remote sensing, GIS, mapping, and forest information management systems conducted on-the-ground in Central Africa and, as planned and pre-approved by the Forestry Director. The main focus of the CAFPC will be in setting up and managing WRI forestry projects in the following six (6) project countries: Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The CAFPC may also, upon request from the Forestry Director, be asked to provide assistance or input to other activities related to WRI’s other programs in the region or elsewhere in the world, within the limits of his/her abilities and skills.


The post will require frequent travel within the Central African sub-region, as well as periodically to Washington, DC.


The CAFPC will be responsible for coordinating all of the activities related to WRI forestry projects in the Central African project countries.  These will include:


a)    Project coordination

  • Supervising and coordinating technical components of the projects;
  • Providing technical oversight and input to projects, project staff and stakeholders;
  • Overseeing the execution of the ongoing MOUs with each country’s forest administration;
  • Supervising or monitoring existing project related sub-grants or MOUs with partners;
  • Hiring, through IUCN, and managing local support staff , as needed; 
  • Work planning and scheduling;
  • Supervising the country coordinators based in the 6 project countries;
  • Managing  of local project funds via the WRI sub-grant to IUCN;
  • Coordinating and/or supervising locally-hired consultants and ensuring quality control;
  • Report preparation;
  • Ad-hoc training of local staff and stakeholders.

 b)  General support to WRI-Central Africa regional activities

  • Identifying and establishing future contractual relationships (with assistance from WRI-DC);
  • Assisting in the establishment of WRI-Central Africa work plans;
  • Assisting in the establishment of annual budget;
  • Producing thematic and strategic documents;
  • Setting up/maintaining/facilitating/expanding WRI’s network in Central Africa, including NGOs, government agencies, private forest sector, research institutes;
  • Working closely with the WRI Forestry Director to develop a WRI-Central Africa strategy that responds to the priorities of WRI network institutions and that fit into the existing national institutional landscapes without duplicating efforts;
  • Identifying new specific WRI-Central Africa activities;
  • Providing expert advice or assistance in other WRI regional projects and programs.

 c)  Fundraising

  • Identifying potential funders for WRI Central Africa work;
  • Developing proposals to secure WRI funding in coordination with the Forestry Director.

d)   Reporting

  • Activity reports will be submitted every three months to WRI as well as after field missions;
  • Financial reports will be submitted every three months to WRI;
  • Assistance / input to WRI-DC for Institute and funder-level reporting.

e)  Other tasks

  • Representing WRI in Central Africa and elsewhere when requested;
  • Developing operational working relationships with the established environmental / forestry related donor and international project community;
  • Following major ongoing Central Africa processes that impact WRI activities and informing DC and CA staff when important;
  • Taking over other responsibilities according to needs (with agreement from WRI staff).

This is a challenging but professionally rewarding position requiring solid technical and managerial skills as well a sound character.  More specifically, the required qualifications, and skills for this position include:


a)   Educational background and technical expertise

  • Master’s degree (preferable) or equivalent experience in forestry, natural resource management, conservation biology, geomatics or geography;
  • Familiarity with remote sensing, GIS (ArcGIS), cartography and database management;
  • Familiarity with forest issues such as forest concessions, logging, protected areas, sustainable forest management, deforestation and forest degradation, REDD and climate change.

b)   Managerial: 

  • Project management;
  • Budgeting and financial management;
  • Office management;
  • Supervisory experience of at least five professional and clerical staff;
  • Drafting technical and financial proposals.

c)    Communication:

  • Good written and verbal communication skills;
  • Public speaking and presentation-making skills;
  • The ability to engage, negotiate and otherwise effectively, communicate with stakeholders: Ministers, technical governmental or private sector staff, donors, local NGOs and the public;
  • Drafting proposals, progress reports, technical and policy papers.

d)   Language skills:

  • Fluent in both written and spoken French and English, with French being the most important.  Spanish considered a plus.

e)   Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of practical and relevant professional experience;
  • A minimum of seven years of experience in developing countries, with at least two of those having been in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Familiarity with the donor community – particularly with USAID, considered a plus.

f)    Other

  • Able to work in difficult environment;
  • Available for (at times) extensive regional travel (up to 30% of time).

Terms and Conditions


The candidate will be hired under a research agreement, e.g. as an independent consultant. This will be a two year contract, with an optional third year. Extension of that period will be dependent on funding. A six-month trial period may be imposed. A competitive financial package will be offered. The starting salary will be negotiated based on the candidate’s experience and profile.


The ideal date of commencement of the mandate would be June 2011 so to provide a sufficient overlap with the actual Coordinator in order to ensure a fluid and efficient transition.  However, WRI is open to discussing a later start date if this timing is too soon for the successful candidate.