Natural Resource Management and Agro-ecological Project Coordinator

This fixed-term contract position is open at the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), an NGO based in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province. This position will form part of the AWARD team within the USAID RESILIM-Olifants program, the purpose being to reduce vulnerability through building improved transboundary governance and management of the Olifants Catchment so as to enhance the resilience of its people and ecosystems through systemic and social learning approaches.

Job Purpose: To provide an oversight and management of climate-smart agro-ecological projects in the rural areas of the Olifants River Catchment, as well as support biodiversity and capacity development with a focus on initiatives that promote NRM custodianship (focus on youth). The incumbent will also be required to synthesize and communicate outputs from earlier AWARD work.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

1. Management of agro-ecological projects under the Resilience Support Initiatives
AWARD supports a number of agro-ecological projects in the rural areas of the Olifants River Catchment. This support is designed under the Resilience Support Initiatives which are conceptualized as a way to:
1.1. Oversee and manage two sub-grants focusing on agro-ecological support.
1.2. Support “Networking”: internally within and area, between projects, without similar work in the province of catchment; with relevant departments
1.3. Integrate with other AWARD projects (climate change adaption and water security)
1.4. Explore and support livelihood diversification and beneficiation together with communities and the Conservation-based entrepreneurship project/ grant (CBE)
The NRM & Agro-ecological Project co-ordinator will be responsible for a number of key functions in this regard.

2. Support to newly developing co-management arrangements of provincial nature reserves
AWARD is actively supporting the development and implementation of a co-management agreement for a provincial reserve (Legalameetse Nature Reserve -LNR) which, under land claim, now moves to a co-management arrangements between the CPA and government. We seek to support sustainable long term plans that enhance benefits to claimant communities whilst ensuring the continued conservation and enjoyment of this high priority biodiversity area. In this regard the NRM incumbent would support the AWARD co-management team in matters concerning biodiversity and capacity development by:
2.1. Support conceptualization of activities to enhance use and enjoyment of the LNR (e.g. nature-based tourism, harvesting and use of indigenous plants, limited agricultural enterprises (existing). This will link with current work on conservation-based entrepreneurship.
2.2. Support to communities to understand and hence be able to engage in reserve management plans for the Legalameetse Nature Reserve (terrestrial and aquatic components)
2.3. Capacity development of community members – especially the youth- regarding biodiversity natural resources, and invasive alien plants and their management.
2.4. Support for land-use planning and management of buffer land around LNR through mechanisms such as stewardship and links to other priority areas such as the Wolkberg (agriculture, livestock management, reduction in poaching).

3. Focus on initiatives that promote NRM custodianship (focus on youth) that is emerging from current AWARD work
AWARD is involved in numerous projects related to natural resources management and livelihoods. These have raised requests and opportunities for supporting collective action amongst participants. The tasks outlined here would involve developing a strategy in response to these identified opportunities and being responsive to ad hoc requests when deemed appropriate by:
3.1. Involvement and capacity development of youth in NRM in key RESILIM-O projects (LNR, Agriculture villages, civil society and surrounds)
3.2. Plan and run river journeys/ river clean ups (include youth)

4. Synthesize and communicate outputs from the Lower Olifants “Eco-Park” feasibility report
This area of work focuses on synthesizing the outputs and communicating these to stakeholders from a recent study looking at building stronger custodianship in the lower Olifants Catchment. More details will be given to the incumbent at a later stage.
4.1. Summarise results from previous feasibility studies in easy-to-read synthesis
4.2. Consider and integrate aspects that are being done

Qualifications, experience and key competencies:
Job specific:
• Minimum Honours, or preferred Master’s degree in either Natural Resource-, Environmental-, or Biodiversity Conservation – management, or related field.
• Minimum of 7 years NRM and capacity development in the development arena with rural communities.
• Proven project management skills
• Ability to interact with multiple and diverse stakeholders

General:
• Teamwork and collaboration.
• Liaising with project partners.
• Fluency in English (read, write, understand).
• Literature searching & reviewing.
• Computer literacy and knowledge of office software packages (Microsoft Office package).
• Attention to detail and high level of accuracy.
• Valid driver’s license (B) – must have driving experience of more than 2 years.
• Willingness to travel and working irregular hours.

Closing date: 18 August 2017

Candidates who meet the above requirements should forward their cover letter, resume and recently certified copies of certificates, ID copy and driver’s license including at least three contactable referees via email to recruitment@award.org.za for the attention of the Office Manager.
A non-response after 10 days of closure should be taken as an unsuccessful application.