Coastal Communities Initiative Leader | WWF
Coastal Communities Initiative Leader

Posted on 26 June 2020

Work location: Flexible
WWF is looking for an Initiative Leader to coordinate WWFs efforts on coastal communities across the world, lead on the Initiative development and implementation, identify key partnerships and ensure consistency across a diversity of approaches (i.e. within seascapes).

WWF's Global Conservation work is organized around nine communities of practice, that include Oceans, Governance, Food, Finance, Markets and Climate & Energy. These practice communities are built on the contributions of the individual WWF offices and are supported by a small core team, and include a number of areas of collective work, called ACAIs (Areas of Collective Actions and Innovations).
In partnership with international and local organizations, WWF is seeking to accelerate the uptake of effective community-based approaches to transform the management of coastal resources.

Within the framework of the “ACCELERATING COASTAL COMMUNITY-LED CONSERVATION” ACAI, a five-year global Initiative was developed. This Initiative is part and delivers on the WWF’sOcean Practice outcomes, striving to protect and restore marine biodiversity globally to benefit people and nature, and contributes to Governance, Finance, Market and Climate & Energy Practice objectives. It provides compelling cases to ground the New Deal for Nature and People and contributes to delivering the SDG Agenda and CBD post-2020 framework, and gives impetus to the implementation of the FAO Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Voluntary Guidelines.

This Initiative aims at accelerating community-led conservation by developing a global movement of coastal communities, civil society organizations and relevant institutions:

- to advocate for greater recognition and support for the importance of community led coastal conservation in international forums (e.g., FAO, UN SDGs, Our Ocean Conferences);
- to improve regional and local policies;
- to accelerate the replication of community-led conservation solutions (e.g. co-management);
- to deliver capacity to facilitate the implementation of policies (in order to deliver significant benefits to 12 million highly dependent people through improved management of 7 million km2 of critical coastal ecosystems, vital to the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable coastal people).

The Initiative leader position will be therefore a key role in the Oceans Practice and will also work closely with teams in the Governance, Food, Finance, Markets and Climate & Energy Practices. He/she will contribute to a number of areas of collective work, will be responsible for setting and delivering impact against global goals, and may play a coordinating role in one of more of the areas of collective work involving coastal communities.

WWF will catalyse the development of a global movement in a structured way by applying an innovative scaling framework across 30+ countries.
Specifically, WWF’s vision and long-term goal on coastal communities includes:

- By 2025, coastal community networks established (strengthened where existing) to address power imbalances and allow coastal communities to have the necessary influence and impact to create a strong enabling policy environment in six seascapes (Latin America and the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South-Western Indian Ocean, Northern Indian Ocean, Coral Triangle and Pacific);
- By 2025, local and/or national policies recognize the role of communities in the management of coastal resources, incorporate advice of community members into decision-making, and facilitate more equitable and inclusive access of communities to natural resources and finance.
- By 2025, community-led conservation solutions replicated in at least 200 new communities across priority seascapes and strengthened the communities across at least 100 locations.


The position is responsible for maintaining momentum on priority areas of work on coastal communities for the WWF network, whilst also evolving the work to ensure it is embedded with the Ocean Strategy and integrated into the Ocean practice.

Major responsibilities:

- Lead and manage WWF’s engagement and strategy on coastal communities at global level in close coordination with seascape/regional programs;
- Mobilize cross-functional teams (including communications, policy, fundraising, field officers across relevant Practices) to shape the Initiative and drive forward its implementation;
- When requested, act as spokesperson for WWF on coastal communities’ issues and broader ocean issues as appropriate, both internally and externally and communicate effectively about impact and progress of the Initiative with the WWF Network and external stakeholders;

- Provide leadership and tactics on:

1) Initiative management/implementation, including: budgets, MEL framework and integration of WWF Environmental and Social Safeguards;
2) Development of partnerships;
3) Progress and conservation impact;
4) Global team building and development/ recruitment when appropriate;
5) Development of relevant communications and advocacy to raise the profile of the Initiative;
6) Fundraising and communications.

- Act as liaison on coastal communities’ issues with and among the Oceans Practice, Governance, Finance, Market and Climate & Energy Practice Teams and ensure integration of the Initiative across WWF network, regional programs, national organisations and program offices;
- Lead and provide cross-cutting expertise on developing and implementing the Initiative and relative work plans with relevant network Offices, teams and Practices;
- Lead, manage and coordinate efforts to accelerate the implementation of community-led conservation solutions in close cooperation with the WWF Ocean Practice and the relevant WWF National and Program offices;
- In coordination with network experts, identify priority issues, ensure alignment within WWF network in addressing them and in developing guidance;
- In coordination with network experts, ensure the network is represented in relevant policy Fora to advocate/support the implementation of the Initiative;
- Ensure the Initiative community is a vibrant hub for sharing activities, approaches, successes, failures, and lessons learnt from across the network on coastal community work, to enable replication and upscaling of successful community-based models and approaches;
- Conduct horizon scanning for innovative ideas and upscaling approaches related to coastal communities and share those with the broader community via focused learning and capacity building opportunities;
- Identify funding opportunities and lead or support (as appropriate) the development of fundraising proposals with the Oceans Practice Proposal Development Manager and Seascape Coordinators. Develop and deliver fundraising proposals and effectively liaise with donors together with the relevant network offices/fundraising teams.

Required Qualifications

- Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree or PhD in marine coastal resource management/marine biology/natural resource economics & social science or related field required;
- At least 7 years of experience in coastal resources management, including small scale fisheries, co-management, community enterprises; professional experience in project/programme cycle management;
- At least 5 years in a leadership role, with demonstrated success in managing multi-disciplinary teams and multiple donor budgets;
- Proven experience and success in international marine conservation, campaigning, business engagement, program and policy development, negotiations with internal and external stakeholders, and design and activation of strategic international partnerships;
- Experience in the science and management of coastal communities’ topics is a plus;
- Familiarity with the WWF network is a plus;
- Ability to lead and motivate international and cross-cultural teams located across multiple locations;
- Proven success in fundraising, communications, policy/governance, and resource management;
- Excellent English written and oral communication. Further language skills are appreciated;
- Willingness to travel frequently and internationally.

Required Skills and Competencies

- Strategic thinker, communicator and motivator;
- Excellent knowledge of marine and coastal community’s conservation issues;
- Good understanding of the science and management of coastal communities topics;
- Strong negotiating and lobbying skills;
- Experience in raising and mobilising funding;
- Proven experience and success in mobilizing and leading international teams;
- Proven experience of working with different cultures;
- Ability to work effectively in a matrix organisation;
- Excellent command of English; other languages will be considered an asset.

Behavioural competencies

- Adheres to WWF’s values: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging;

Demonstrates the following critical competencies:

- Establishing strategic direction: Establishing and committing to a long-range course of action to accomplish a long-range goal or vision after analysing factual information and assumptions; taking into consideration resources, constraints and organisational values;
- Change Leadership: Continuously seeking (or encouraging others to seek) opportunities for different and innovative approaches to addressing organisational problems and opportunities;
- Selling the Vision: Passionately selling an organisational strategy; creating a clear view of the future state by helping others understand and feel how things will be different when the future vision is achieved;
- Drive for Results: Setting high goals for personal and group accomplishment; using measurement methods to monitor progress towards goal attainment; tenaciously working to meet or exceed those goals while deriving satisfaction from the process of goal achievement and continuous improvement;
- Managing Global Teams: Facilitating team-building process in a socially and culturally diverse environment by promoting openness, flexibility, respect in order to effectively enable each team member to be high performing;
- Decision-making : Identifying and understanding issues, problems and opportunities; comparing data from different sources to draw conclusions; using effective approaches for choosing a course of action or developing appropriate solutions; taking action that is consistent with available facts, constraints and probable consequences.

Working Relationships

Reports to the Mediterrean Initiative Director, with a technical (dotted) reporting line to the Oceans Practice Leader.
Liaise closely with Oceans Practice and the “ACCELERATING COASTAL COMMUNITY-LED CONSERVATION” ACAI and other relevant WWF teams.

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