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Senior Ecological Infrastructure Coordinator: Strategic Water Source Areas

Company WWF -SA
Reference # Senior Ecological Infrastructure Coordinator: Strategic Water Source Areas1#
Published 31/08/2021
Contract Type Permanent/Contract
12 Months
Location Newlands, Western Cape, South Africa
Duration 12 Months
Introduction
WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team, you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.

Background

Ecological infrastructure comprises naturally functioning ecosystems which generate services valued by people. For example, healthy catchments which provide clean runoff comprise “ecological infrastructure” which is just as critical for water security as the “built infrastructure” dams which hold the water. South Africa is a largely dry country; therefore great value is placed on those areas that produce high volumes of water. Such areas are termed Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSAs) and they supply a disproportionate amount of surface water runoff or groundwater recharge in relation to their size. WWF South Africa is therefore working in partnership with the government, the private sector and local communities to strengthen their management. The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) is one of these partners. They, along with key role players in the Western Cape, have co-created a provincial Ecological Infrastructure Investment Framework (EIIF) to guide decision-makers from the public and private sector in making choices around where – and how – to invest in the restoration of ecological infrastructure to optimise local resilience. The focus on this position would be on coordinating investment into the ecological infrastructure of strategic water source areas in order to reduce the risk that ecological degradation poses in terms of increased fire risk and decreased water security, among others.

The Senior Ecological Infrastructure Coordinator: Strategic Water Source Areas would be based at the DEA&DP offices in Dorp Street or under remote working arrangements as determined by Covid19 levels and restrictions.
The position would report to both WWF and to DEA&DP – the two organisations shall hold dual management meetings together with the candidate to provide oversight and management of work plans, etc.
Job Functions Agricultural Engineering,Environmental Services,Water and Sanitation
Industries Ngo / Non-Profit
Specification
Catalyse and convene a community–the public-private community of practice by:
•Providing a point of strategic contact for stakeholders with regard to the implementation of the Ecological Infrastructure Investment Framework (EIIF) within the Strategic Water Source Areas in the Western Cape.
•Enhancing communication and building relationships between local platforms focused on those which represent commercial and smallholder landowners as well as government bodies. These would include, but are not limited to, the Catchment Management Agencies, Irrigation Boards, Water User Associations, Fire Protection Associations, Water Funds and specialist local platforms.
•Facilitating coordinated action for the implementation of the EIIF across the Strategic Water Source Areas in the Province, including: supporting integrated catchment management by applying best practice water and land management; and creating opportunities and capacity in local communities as well as shared benefits downstream.
•Optimising knowledge development and exchange within and between platforms and Strategic Water Source Areas.
•Assist in the setting of baselines and monitoring of interventions in order to reflect the return from investment in ecological infrastructure.
•Promoting dissemination of successes, challenges and findings through providing relevant materials for communication opportunities.
Capacity building in the Department, for municipalities and other stakeholders and support for municipal and provincial planning processes by:
•Providing a point of contact for the broader partnership to engage with other relevant initiatives within the Department.
•Enabling the monitoring of ecological infrastructure investments in the Western Cape, through facilitating the piloting of system/s that can spatially capture the operations of the partners.
•Participate in the development of supportive policies, legislation, strategies, action plans, guidelines, norms, and standards.
•Provide support and advice to other spheres of government, stakeholders and internal clients on the maintenance of ecological functioning in Strategic Water Source Areas.
•Participate strategically in relevant provincial planning initiatives.
•Engage with relevant WWF staff on common initiatives.
Project, financial and administrative management:
•Ensure compilation of and submit monthly work plans, progress and technical reports.
•Control and monitor expenditure.
Requirements
•At least 5 years of relevant experience and a university degree in environmental science, freshwater ecology, conservation biology, hydrology, agriculture, engineering, economics, or a related field.
•Prior specific experience with integrated catchment management, water conservation, hydrological modeling, alien invasive plant clearing, wetland, and riparian rehabilitation, community engagement and stakeholder relations are strong assets. Experience in managing project finance is an advantage.
•Written and oral proficiency in English.
•Proficiency in Afrikaans and isiXhosa is recommended.
•A strong interest in improving water provision and water stewardship in South Africa through community engagement and stakeholder partnerships.
•Strong written and oral communication skills and ability to lead & facilitate stakeholder meetings and workshops.
•Excellent ability to build relationships and trust with multiple stakeholders.
•Solid project management skills, including tracking of project progress, reporting and budgeting.
•A self-starter that can work independently is adaptable and is passionate about supporting improved environmental sustainability on the ground.
Job Closing Date 20/09/2021
   
   
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Last Updated: 30-6-2021 [21.06.02.21]
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