Regional Environmental and Social Safeguards Coordinator

Position: Regional Environmental and Social Safeguards Coordinator

Location: Kigali, Rwanda with travel around the region

Reports To: Technical Director of Rights and Communities

Collaborators: Regional Program Management Team

Start date: Immediate

Duration: Full-time contract


The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City, USA, working to save wildlife and wildlands and to meet global challenges in over 60 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the world’s oceans. WCS believes that conservation of nature and natural resources is essential to life on earth, the future of humanity, and the wellbeing and cultural identities of Indigenous Peoples and traditional and local communities.

Program Overview

The Central Africa and Gulf of Guinea program is one of the largest of WCS’s 13 Global Regional Programs, spanning Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, and Gabon. This is a rapidly growing program with a diverse and expanding portfolio of donors, partners and projects. The region presents a set of complex conservation challenges to biodiversity and their habitats and WCS field programs are addressing these through a number of initiatives including protected area management, community engagement, sustainable livelihoods, policy reform and sustainable financing. WCS recently formally established its regional hub in Kigali, Rwanda which hosts a growing team of technical specialists and regional management to support our country programs and field offices.


The purpose of the Regional Environmental & Social Safeguards Coordinator is to support the WCS regional team, country programs and field programs in the localization and implementation of our Environmental and Social (E&S) Safeguarding framework and policies. This position also requires taking a lead in reviewing and developing appropriate materials to comply with donor requirements. The position will report to the Technical Director of Rights & Communities for Central Africa and will coordinate closely with other regional staff including program development. The role will also work closely with country program focal points, field program focal points, and the WCS Global Social Safeguards Management Team.

Key Responsibilities

Regional Safeguards Support

  • Provide support and guidance on the implementation of environmental and social safeguards procedures and initiatives at the country program and site levels throughout the region which align with WCS global and international standards
  • Review, outline and monitor various donor requirements (e.g. USAID, EU, KfW, GCF, GEF, etc) and lead or support development of materials, risk assessments, etc. in response to donor requirements including those implemented with government, civil society and UN agencies.
  • Provide direct support to country directors, site directors, and program managers in maintaining current environmental and safeguards protocols and rolling out the implementation of new protocols, procedures, and mechanisms as necessary
  • Promote and support the adherence and implementation of WCS’s global environmental and social safeguards policies at the national and site level, with a strong emphasis on a rights-based approach and gender equality and social inclusion (GESI)

Safeguards Implementation

  • When required, conduct social impact and risk assessments and lead on the development of associated mitigation plans together with the project teams and where appropriate, the concerned stakeholders
  • Support implementation of grievance redress mechanisms (GRM) at the site level, including training of GRM focal points and safeguards staff, and providing oversight of GRM database management and data analysis
  • Provide guidance to field teams on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC), as necessary, ensuring clear and organized documentation of the process
  • Support country safeguards focal points to ensure that all staff and partner staff receive regular human rights trainings, including training of rangers, Eco guards, and community scouts
  • Support the completion of gender analyses for programs and projects and provide recommendations for GESI initiatives to improve gender-mainstreaming in WCS programs throughout the region, including guidance on implementation

Safeguards Reporting and Compliance

  • Support the country program and site teams to ensure all projects and programs align with WCS and donor environmental and social safeguards standards
  • Manage, at the regional level, other safeguards initiatives including IRB and Leahy Vetting
  • Strengthen environmental and social safeguards quality assurance of projects proposals throughout the region
  • Oversee the completion and monitoring of environmental and social safeguards frameworks (e.g. ESSF/ESIA/EMMP) across all sites;
  • Develop and maintain a regional database that tracks all impact assessments, mitigation plans, reports, and reviews
  • Manage a secure database and report on any E&S safeguarding risks and incidents with appropriate actions to be taken for projects and follow up to help ensure that timely actions are taken

Capacity building

  • Lead on capacity building for staff and partners to build knowledge and skills on environmental and social safeguards
  • Disseminate lessons learned and best practices from the safeguard’s implementation throughout the region
  • Design training modules and train field teams based upon a gap analysis of existing tools and capacity gaps, including addressing donor specific requirements. Develop monitoring systems for country programs and sites to ensure staff have up-to-date training.
  • Lead on developing safeguarding policies for country and site programs, as needed.

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in social science, law, human rights, environmental and social safeguarding, or another relevant field
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in environmental and social safeguards in the development, humanitarian, or conservation sector
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practice frameworks in environmental and social safeguards from a large variety of donors
  • A track record of having worked directly with local communities in development, environmental or education projects
  • Experience in Central Africa is strongly desired
  • Knowledge of human rights, indigenous people’s rights, grievance mechanisms and social safeguards;
  • Knowledge of challenges evolving at the nexus of conservation and natural resource use
  • Excellent skills in oral and written communication in French and English

How to apply

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through this link by May 28,2024

WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.


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