Franklinia Project Officer - VdM

Type: 
Paid
Closing date: 
30 Sep 2022
Section: 
VDM

Background

The project titled: Increasing the resilience of Seychelles’ flagship tree species coco de mer Lodoicea maldivica is a project funded by the Franklinia Foundation with the main objective being the support of long-term management and conservation of the coco de mer. Some of the activities under this objective are the 1) Consolidation and cleaning of coco de mer data and analysis and writing up of data management protocol; 2) Re-survey of all coco de mer populations under SIF management; 3) Revise and extend monitoring programmes on coco de mer reproduction, regeneration and growth; and 4) Contribute to the update of the coco de mer conservation policy and initiate the development of a coco de mer conservation action plan.

The coco de mer is categorised as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is endemic to two Seychelles islands (Praslin and Curieuse). The total population consists of ca. 8200 mature individuals, across three subpopulations, covering a total area of <20 km2. Since 2020, more than 80% of the adult coco de mer population has been managed by SIF. Under the IUCN criteria, the population size is estimated to have declined by 30% over three generations and the population is still decreasing. A worst-case scenario of a further 30% decline over the next century is projected if threats are not mitigated. Existing and emerging threats to the species are forest fires, illegal harvesting, invasive alien species, and severe climate change impacts.

The coco de mer, as a keystone species and ecological driver of the palm forest ecosystem, is fundamental to the Outstanding Universal Value of the Vallée de Mai. As such, our long-term vision is to halt and, if possible, reverse the decline of the coco de mer, while implementing excellent science for conservation assessments and management, and boosting the resilience of the species.

 

 

 

Specific Role

  1. Thorough cleaning, sorting and compiling of coco de mer data for database input i.e., existing coco de mer regeneration, growth, reproduction and population data.
  2. Involvement in the testing of the database and scientific monitoring phone application.
  3. Revision of available data management and monitoring protocols in existence under SIF’s scientific research implementations.
  4. Contribute to the development and implementation of data management protocol prior to resurveying of coco de mer population.
  5. Implement upcoming coco de mer population survey and participate in the continual regeneration scheme.
  6. Ensure completed survey data collection and analysis.
  7. Write-up of coco de mer monitoring protocols (e.g., coco de mer population regeneration and development of reproductive monitoring protocol) and management plan.
  8. Share input on coco de mer conservation policy prior to discussion with relevant stakeholders.
  9. Initiation of the coco de mer conservation action plan.
  10. Ensure effective communication with project officer/coordinator for the management of monitoring resources i.e., equipment requisitions of coco de mer resurveying.

Expected outcomes

  1. Improved coordination and accessibility of coco de mer datasets under SIF management.
  2. Input of modernized, collated, and clean long-term coco de mer datasets onto completed database.
  3. Continual analysis of coco de mer population status, trends and required counter measures.
  4. Thorough data collection for updating of the coco de mer management plan.
  5. Updated coco de mer monitoring protocols and conservation policy to be shared with stakeholders.
  6. Increased understanding of coco de mer conservation efforts.
  7. Improved use of resources for coco de mer conservation.

Deliverables

  1. Submission of monthly updates with updated project plan and timeline.
  2. Review and upload of cleaned datasets onto SIF server (i.e., existing population, growth and regeneration data) (by 31/09/2022).
  3. Datasets to be added onto the (new) database (by 30/10/2022).
  4. Updated monitoring protocols for review (i.e., population, growth, regeneration and reproductive protocols) (by 31/09/2022).
  5. Compile coco de mer population survey report upon completion of survey (by 31/12/2022).
  6. Initiated draft of coco de mer conservation policy (by 31/01/2023).
  7. Final project report, including details of datasets/database, survey and upkeep plan (by 31/05/2023).

 

 

 

Required qualifications and skills of candidate

  1. Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in the environmental field (essential)
  2. Excellent data collection and data processing skills (essential)
  3. Strong GIS and statistical knowledge for data analysis (essential)
  4. An excellent understanding of environmental conservation and management in Seychelles (essential) as well as experience in coco de mer monitoring activities (desirable)
  5. Strong history of effective communication via report and presentation writing skills (essential) and meetings with stakeholders and collaborators
  6. Excellent communication skills via email/skype/webinars (essential), presentations (desirable)
  7. Excellent coordination and organisation skills and ability to deliver outputs on time and to a high quality (essential)
  8. Fluency in English language (essential); knowledge of Creole and/or French is an asset
  9. Local knowledge of Seychelles, specifically Praslin Island (essential)
  10. Proficient fieldwork skills and experience relevant for coco de mer population survey e.g., GPS, biometric measuring, and hiking in steep terrain

Contractual arrangements

The service will be overseen by SIF’s HO Project Officer and the Vallée de Mai Science Coordinator who will provide ongoing feedback throughout the project. The HO Project Officer will ensure that the above outputs are delivered in the agreed timeframe. SIF shall provide necessary support to the site project officer in order to execute the assignment through the duration of the project.

Application procedure

Applicants are required to submit the following documents to info@sif.sc on or before 12th August 2022 along with the following:

  1. Letter of interest, stating why you consider your service suitable for the assignment
  2. CV highlighting qualifications and experience based on the qualification and skill requirements above

Please note this vacancy is open to Seychelles applicants only.