Technical Advisor – Conservation International

Technical Advisor (Alexandria, VA) – Conservation International

The Technical Advisor position is a critical part of CI’s Carbon Fund team which seeks to use carbon finance to develop and implement climate mitigation projects related to avoided deforestation and other land use activities. Conservation International’s (CI) Carbon Fund was established to help catalyze the nascent forest carbon market by playing a key role as an early-stage investor/developer of best-in-class projects and associated financing mechanisms.  The Advisor will be the technical lead for the Carbon Fund, responsible for guiding project investment and implementation across the CF portfolio.  This position reports to the Managing Director, Carbon Finance, in the Ecosystem Finance and Markets Unit, and is expected to work closely with other members of the CF team and relevant divisions (MSC, CELB, field programs) to achieve the Fund’s goals.

The Technical Advisor will be responsible for overseeing the preparation of feasibility studies and detailed project designs to ensure that the projects meet internationally recognized standards and generate verified emissions reductions. This work requires close collaboration with CI’s field offices to explain the technical requirements of the standards, and to ensure that information collected is of the highest quality. It also requires close collaboration with the Moore Science Center (MSC) to coordinate scientific input (on baseline issues, MRV and social and environmental issues) into the development of feasibility studies and PDD’s. The Advisor will use expert judgment to contribute to the design of CI’s forest carbon projects and will also contribute to institutional efforts to ensure that field projects are being implemented in a coordinated and strategic way. The Advisor may occasionally serve as an instructor in CI’s technical training activities on climate change and forest carbon, which are led by MSC and SPP.

The Advisor may also contribute to and work with other aspects of CI’s climate change work, including climate policy, carbon markets, social impacts and human wellbeing monitoring, indigenous peoples engagement, and other topics related to the Fund’s investments.   

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Feasibility studies and project design

  • Coordinate scientific input (on baseline issues, MRV and social and environmental issues) into the development of feasibility studies and PDD’s
  • Manage the carbon project development cycle of the Fund’s REDD portfolio, with the aim of producing verified emissions reductions according to agreed standards and timelines.
  • Manage inputs from a diverse technical team, including HQ and field staff, consultants, and others to ensure that CI’s forest carbon projects are of the highest quality and meet international standards.
  • Lead headquarters engagement with field programs to achieve relevant milestones such as consolidating partnerships, developing Project Design Documents, and beginning field implementation

Expert advice

  • Provide expert advice on technical GHG issues to guide Fund investment and project selection across the Fund’s investment portfolio, including review of feasibility studies or similar scoping work.
  • Support the development of carbon-specific decision support tools, literature, or workshops for the benefit of broader market development
  • coordinate scientific input into forest carbon projects (on REDD+ baseline, deforestation modeling, GHG emissions calculations, and social and environmental aspects of REDD+)

Fund raising

  • Contribute to the development of grant or investment proposals to public and private donors for the scaling up and replication of the work of the Fund

Training and communication

  • Support the development of training materials; undertake training sessions to CI staff and partners and contribute to technical and scientific publications
  • Facilitate communication, information sharing and collaboration between the regional program field staff and headquarters climate and forest carbon teams,
  • Serve as a liaison with other non-CI groups working on forest carbon projects

Other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, Tropical Forestry, Global Change, Natural Resource Management, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science, or a related field with a minimum of 5 years of related work experience or equivalent combination of degree and experience designing, managing, or supporting international field projects in reforestation, afforestation, agroforestry and/or forest conservation.
  • Broad knowledge of climate change science, international policy, carbon markets, forest carbon (and REDD), and social issues related to climate change mitigation and adaptation is required. A deeper or more specialized understanding or experience in one of the above is highly desirable.
  • Understanding of skills and disciplines relevant to the implementation of forest carbon and environmental conservation field projects such as forest inventory, carbon accounting, GIS and remote sensing, stakeholder engagement, and biodiversity monitoring.
  • Understanding of the economic and environmental issues facing developing countries and the roles that forest communities and indigenous peoples play in conservation.
  • Understanding of the economic drivers behind deforestation in the tropics, the role that carbon finance can play in mitigating those drivers, and the economic incentives needed by the private sector to invest in conservation
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, including ability to communicate effectively with other cultures.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a dynamic, multi-cultural, and interdivision team comprised of a variety of professionals from different disciplines.
  • Ability to multi-task, learn new material, and manage time effectively in a deadline oriented and fast-paced environment.
  • Candidates must be fluent in at least one of the following: Spanish, French, Bahasa (Indonesia)
  • Willingness to travel frequently to developing countries.

Preferred:

  • M.Sc. in Forestry, Tropical Forestry, Global Change, Natural Resource Management, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science
  • Detailed understanding of the requirements of the Verified Carbon Standards and Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, and CDM is highly desirable.
  • Experience working in developing countries
  • Experience developing and accounting for land-based GHG emissions at a landscape level
  • Experience working with/for forest carbon project developers
  • Experience and understanding of the motivations driving private sector low emissions investment

See the full job description here

Please visit CI’s website to apply

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