Technical Advisor – REDD+ Initiatives, Conservation International


Conservation International (CI) is a non-profit institution headquartered outside of Washington DC, working in over 43 countries to conserve biodiversity, manage ecosystems, and ensure the delivery of related goods and services to people.  Our work on freshwater ecosystems includes the assessment of freshwater biodiversity and threats to it; protection and restoration of connected terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems across large watersheds; linking upstream protection of freshwater ecosystems to downstream human beneficiaries; and the promotion of freshwater ecosystem conservation critical for achieving sustainable development goals and biodiversity conservation.
CI’s Science + Knowledge Division (S+K) seeks international expertise in reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) design and implementation for our Technical Advisor of REDD+ Initiatives.
The Technical Advisor of REDD+ Initiatives is responsible for leading the institution’s technical and scientific work on REDD+ design and implementation.  This position is located within the Global Change and Ecosystem Services group within the Science + Knowledge division of CI, which is leading CI’s strategic research and implementation on REDD+ and land-use-based climate change mitigation. He/she leads both the Climate Change Initiative Team (consisting of 1 position advising national REDD+ programs and two positions managing REDD+ projects and training initiatives) in the DC office.  This team directly supports CI’s field programs and their partners through the delivery of technical, financial, and capacity-building assistance to support CI’s work on REDD+ in the field. The position also contributes to the synthesis and dissemination of knowledge related to successful forest-based climate change mitigation.  He/she also leads the institution’s cross-divisional team on REDD+, which includes work on science, policy, economics and social issues related to the role of tropical forests in climate change and the development of effective REDD+ mechanisms at the national level.   The Technical Advisor reports directly to the Vice President Global Change & Ecosystem Services.
The Technical Advisor brings a practical, field oriented and technical perspective to the design and implementation of the CI Climate Strategy, making recommendations which reflect emerging conditions and opportunities in CI’s field programs and in the forest carbon arena more generally.  The Technical Advisor defines objectives, sets direction and deploys resources to 1) provide strategic, targeted technical support to the development of site- or regional-level forest carbon projects that conserve biodiversity, sustain rural livelihoods and mitigate climate change; 2) enhance the ability of CI’s staff and partners to take advantage of emerging opportunities to channel REDD+ carbon finance towards conservation outcomes, 3) prepare partners (NGO, government and/or community) for effective participation in emerging national-level REDD+ activities through capacity-building programs and technical support; and 4) provide support to national governments on the development of effective, efficient REDD+ national programs and policies.
The Technical Advisor will be responsible for coordinating resources to meet specific commitments and obligations to external partners, donors and investors, and is expected to facilitate the teamwork and collaboration of multiple resources and programs across the institution to meet objectives.  The Technical Advisor also represents the program and institution in specific collaborations with external partners to design and deliver activities and outcomes critical to meeting CI’s strategic goals in forest-based climate change mitigation and enhancement of human livelihoods.  The position is expected to collaborate with other programs in the Science + Knowledge Division, and will contribute to research initiatives related to REDD+ such as the development of relevant methodologies, documentation of field experiences, and scientific and technical reports on climate change mitigation. 
  • Coordinate delivery of technical advice on REDD+ and forest carbon project development to CI field programs and partners, by supporting partners (government, NGO, or community) in REDD+ readiness activities and REDD+ field demonstration actions.
  • Catalyze the development and implementation of sub-national forest carbon initiatives by CI field programs and partners though technical assistance in project design, start-up and maintenance.
  • Provide leadership and work with other divisions and external partners to design and deploy effective training programs related to REDD+, forest carbon project development, REDD+ readiness, and international climate change policy for a variety of audiences including CI field programs, strategic partners, and community-level audiences.
  • Serve as technical review for institutional commitments in site-level forest carbon activities, especially (but not exclusively) those considered for funding under the CI Carbon Fund; support those CI field programs who are leading projects selected for funding under the Carbon Fund.
  • Lead the institutional REDD+ team and provide support and input to the institutional Climate Change Strategy on activities related to REDD+ Readiness, including the strategic prioritization of commitments and the development of resources to deliver key objectives.
  • Lead or support research activities which synthesize CI’s experiences on REDD+ and contribute to the design of documents such as peer-reviewed studies, best practice guides, training manuals, and case studies.
Working Conditions:
  • The position will include frequent international travel (up to 35%), including visits to remote forest areas in developing countries.
  • The candidate should be comfortable working in countries with low standards of living.
  • The candidate should also feel comfortable working with a variety of international partners and representing CI at international policy and scientific events.
  • MSc. in Forestry, Global Change, Natural Resource Management or a related field, with at least 5years of work experience on forestry or climate change issues.
  • Broad knowledge of climate change science, international climate policy, REDD, carbon markets and forest carbon issues
  • Detailed understanding of evolving REDD+ policies and “REDD+ Readiness” mechanisms.
  • Experience designing, managing and supporting international field projects in reforestation, afforestation,
  • agroforestry and/or forest conservation, with experience in both technical aspects (project development, baseline establishment, carbon accounting, PDD development, monitoring methodologies) and project management (partner identification, development of project structure, financial flows, etc.)
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of audiences (from field staff to policy makers) from different cultures.
  • Strong public speaking skills and demonstrated ability to give technical presentations on climate change and forest carbon issues.
  • Ability to manage a team to deliver outcomes and meet time-sensitive commitments, and see the ‘big picture’ in order to coordinate multiple resources to meet objectives.
  • Experience in delivering technical training and capacity building in developing countries.
  • Strong inter-personal skills sufficient to work collaboratively within a dynamic, multi-cultural, international and interdivisional team comprised of a variety of professionals from different disciplines. Ability to effectively build partnerships and manage relationships with key partners, donors and government officials.
  • Ability to multi-task, learn new material, and manage time effectively in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. 
  • Fluency in either Spanish or French.
  • Ph.D. in a discipline related to land-use climate change mitigation, especially Tropical Forest Ecology, or Natural Resource Management