Protected Areas Manager-Madagascar

Wildlife Conservation Society

Maroantsetra Madagascar

Reports to: MaMaBay Landscape & Seascape Director
Position Managed: Law Enforcement Coordinator, Field Data Coordinator
Location: Maroantsetra
Country Program/Sector: Madagascar
Scope: Site
Position Type: Full-Time

About Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

WCS stands for wildlife and wild places. As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organisation, WCS has a long track record of achieving innovative, impactful results at scale. We run programs spanning the ocean and over 3 million biologically critical square miles in nearly 60 countries. We build on a unique foundation: Our reach is global; we discover through best-in-class science; we protect through work on the ground with local and indigenous people; we inspire through our world-class zoos, aquarium, and education programs; and we leverage our resources through partnerships and powerful policy influence. Our 5,000 diverse, passionately committed team members in New York City and worldwide work collectively to achieve our conservation mission.
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About The Protected Areas Manager
The Protected Areas Manager will be responsible for the effective management, conservation, and sustainable use of WCS-delegated managed protected areas in MaMaBay. This role entails overseeing all aspects of protected area management, including planning, monitoring, law enforcement, stakeholder engagement, and community outreach. The Protected Areas Manager will work closely with the MaMaBay Landscape & Seascape Director to implement MaMaBay’s protected areas strategy. S/he will ensure a human rights-based approach to reducing biodiversity threats in the overarching land/seascape. This position emphasizes the importance of visionary leadership, adaptive management practices, landscape-scale conservation approaches, climate change resilience, stakeholder engagement, sustainable financing, technological innovation, and adaptive governance structures in guiding the management and conservation of WCS-protected areas in Madagascar.

Major Responsibilities:

Strategic planning to develop a long-term vision of WCS-delegated managed protected areas in MaMaBay

  • Develop a five-year Protected Areas Strategy with clear priorities to guide protected area management through workable work plans.
  • Support to implement a compelling long-term vision for the management and conservation of WCS-protected areas in MaMaBay, incorporating input from key stakeholders, scientific experts, and local communities.
  • Define clear conservation objectives, performance indicators, and targets to guide decision-making and measure progress over time.
  • Implement an adaptive management framework for iterative planning, monitoring, and adjustment based on new information, changing conditions, and emerging threats.
  • Foster a culture of learning and innovation within the protected areas management team, encouraging experimentation and knowledge sharing to improve effectiveness.
  • Integrate WCS Protected areas into wider land/seascapes and sectoral plans and strategies. Expand planning horizons beyond protected areas to consider broader landscape-scale conservation strategies and connectivity networks.
  • Integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies into protected area management plans, recognizing the increasing threat posed by shifting climate patterns, extreme weather events, and rising temperatures.
  • Involve stakeholders in all phases of the planning process, including local communities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and user groups, by fostering meaningful partnerships and collaborative decision-making mechanisms.

Operational Management and Law Enforcement at WCS-delegated managed protected areas in MaMaBay

  • Build and manage an inclusive and diverse team of capable staff through motivational and performance-based personnel management.
  • Oversee day-to-day operations within WCS-protected areas, including staffing, budgeting, infrastructure maintenance, and visitor management.
  • Encourage a culture of participatory learning and adaptive problem-solving so that team members reflect and design effective field interventions that deliver biodiversity outcomes.
  • Develop and implement, with the support of the WCS Science Department, biodiversity conservation programs, and initiatives, including habitat restoration, species monitoring, and invasive species control.
  • Implement robust monitoring and surveillance systems to detect and deter illegal activities within protected areas, including poaching, illegal logging, encroachment, and other forms of environmental crime.
  • Provide comprehensive training and capacity-building programs for park rangers, enforcement officers, and community volunteers to enhance their skills in law enforcement, evidence collection, conflict resolution, and community engagement.
  • Equip law enforcement personnel with the necessary tools and technology to improve their effectiveness in patrolling and monitoring protected areas.
  • Develop intelligence-gathering mechanisms to collect, analyze, and act upon the information related to illegal activities and potential threats to protected area integrity, leveraging both traditional knowledge and modern surveillance techniques.
  • Establish partnerships with local communities and informant networks to gather timely and actionable intelligence on illegal activities and wildlife trafficking networks.

Community engagement and support in buffer zones of WCS-managed protected areas in MaMaBay

  • In collaboration with Rights & Communities Department, ensure a rights-based community approach to conservation, including adherence to Free, Prior, Informed Consent principles.
  • Engage local communities, with the Rights and Communities Department, as allies against illegal activities, fostering mutual respect, trust, and cooperation through transparent communication, participatory decision-making, and equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms.
  • Foster positive relationships with local communities, and other stakeholders through effective communication, consultation, and participation.

Reporting and communications

  • Provide substantive inputs to regular donor progress reports.
  • Contribute to fundraising proposals for the Protected Areas portfolio.
  • Produce technical outputs such as protected areas management plans and issue-specific analyses of best practices and lessons learned.
  • Collaborate with the Communications Department to generate high-quality visual and written material to support public communications.


  • Maintain collaborative solid working relationships with the national and MaMaBay teams.
  • Conduct any other responsibilities as requested by the MaMaBay Landscape & Seascape Director.

Qualification Requirements

Job Qualifications

  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in protected area management, preferably in a supervisory or leadership role.
  • A minimum master’s degree on environmental science, conservation biology, natural resource management, or related field.
  • Strong understanding of biodiversity conservation principles, ecosystem dynamics, and relevant legislation/policies.
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders. Experience in managing the delivery of activities funded by large bilateral and multilateral donors.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, including team management, conflict resolution, and decision-making under pressure.
  • Proven ability to manage, motivate, and strengthen the capacity of field personnel.
  • Proficiency in project management, budgeting, and report writing.
  • Knowledge and understanding of logistics and financial management for projects in complex environments.
  • Proven ability at developing work plans and budgets, implementing MEAL systems, and producing project progress reports.

Additional Requirements

  • Proven ability to work sensitively with diverse groups of people such as those of different cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in French and English; Malagasy is a distinct advantage.
  • Innovative, proactive, resilient, team-oriented, and ambitious.
  • Willingness to live in a remote field site with basic amenities in a multi-cultural environment.

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through this link by April 23rd, 2024.

Please send a detailed application/cover letter and a detailed CV and Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews

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.

Deadline: 23-Apr-24