The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. To achieve our mission, we partner with diverse allies around the world to drive positive change across global supply chains and in many of our most critically important natural landscapes.
Our alliance spans 70 countries and includes farmers and forest communities, companies, governments, civil society, and millions of individuals. Together we work to protect forests and biodiversity, take action on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.
As an international nonprofit organization with more than 30 years of experience in sustainability transformation, we understand that the social and economic well-being of rural communities is tightly connected to ecosystem health. This knowledge has shaped our rigorous programs to advance sustainable land-use and commodity production.
At the Rainforest Alliance we combat climate change, protect forests and biodiversity, promote human rights, and improve livelihoods. The enormity of the social and environmental challenges we are facing requires working together in a broad alliance. This is why we bring farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers together to change the way the world produces, sources, and consumes.
To protect nature and improve lives it’s becoming increasingly urgent that we approach the way we use our land and produce food and other products in more sustainable ways. For this to succeed we need to fundamentally change the way that businesses operate and source, and the choices we all make as consumers.
Our growing global alliance aims to transform our relationship with our natural resources and each other, to create a better future for people and nature together.
The Rainforest Alliance encourages diversity and inclusion across the global organization. With this commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, disability and any other protected group.
At Rainforest Alliance we are looking for a motivated and impact driven Senior Associate Deforestation West Africa to join our team in Côte d’Ivoire. The objective of the postholder is to lead and provide input into activities around implementation of Rainforest Alliance certification program and all projects tackling deforestation and climate change, promoting agroforestry and sustainable landscape management .
Referring to the above topics in bold, the position will support the designing of impactful projects and the delivering of ongoing projects funded by partners in Côte d’Ivoire. The postholder will also ensure projects outcomes, outputs and activities are delivered on time, to a high standard, in line with internal protocols and donor requirements, and builds upon learning and best practices. The position will ensure a proper financial execution and reporting of projects funding. The postholder will also be accountable for maintaining relationships with implementing partners to ensure donors needs and expectations remain aligned with project delivery and field realities. The postholder will support in proactively identifying opportunities for collaborative partnerships between the projects and external stakeholders.
This position reports to the Manager, Project Managers Team.
• The Rainforest Alliance’s Core Values are Impact, Change, Collaboration, Openness and Trust and as such they form the basis of the behaviours we demonstrate;
• Develop Rainforest Alliance’s context specific position and guidance on implementing standards’ criteria on deforestation and agroforestry, in line with global strategy, and in collaboration with colleagues from Standards & Assurance and Global Themes & Partnerships;
• Support regional teams with technical capacity on the topics to ensure effective implementation of our requirements by certified farms and Certification Bodies;
• Respond to requests from Certificate Holders and Certification Bodies and support media inquiries on related topics;
• Follow up with regular visits to Certificate Holders to support development of management plans and to ensure progress on the implementation of measures to monitor and prevent deforestation (including collection of geospatial information, deforestation risk assessments and preventive measures) and support agroforestry
• Collaborate with Country Teams, Standard & Assurance department and any other relevant departments to ensure the quality of implementation of Rainforest Alliance rules, requirements, procedures and processes;
• Collaborate with Country Teams, Standard & Assurance department, and any other relevant departments to propose, design and implement improvements to the certification process and assurance system, and to support the rollout of the new standard and its related procedures;
• Contribute to program, project, and proposal design and development for interventions in the region related to deforestation monitoring, landscape governance and restoration, with Tailored Programs and Institutional Relations;
• Develop and conduct trainings on the topics for fellow Rainforest Alliance staff, Certificate Holders, government and NGO partners and Certification Bodies;
• Coordinate with the advocacy/public affairs colleagues, connect and interact with key actors in the field of forest and biodiversity conservation, including government officials in Ghana (Forestry Commission) and Côte d’Ivoire (SODEFOR, OIPR, MINEF), and civil society partners, etc., and
• Contribute to proposal development for programs tackling deforestation in West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana), regional strategy and country annual plans.
• Master’s degree with expertise in agronomy / environmental or natural resource management / forestry;
• At least 5 years project management / advisory experience in a related field, experience with monitoring and prevention of deforestation is essential;
• Minimum 3 years’ experience working with smallholder producers and/or producer groups and/or community-based organizations, experience with REDD+ projects a plus;
• Minimum 2 years working experience in the cocoa sector is desirable
• Knowledge of cocoa or forest Certification Programs and their requirements - especially UTZ and/or Rainforest Alliance or FSC is desirable.
• Expertise in Cote d’Ivoire’s environmental policies, and institutional and legal frameworks around forest protection; expertise in cocoa agroforestry is a plus;
• A network in the field of forest protection, and the corresponding institutions and non-governmental stakeholders;
• Experience in donor funded projects;
• Proficient in ArcGIS, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint; experience in collecting, mapping and evaluating geolocation data;
• Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills;
• Written and verbal proficiency in French and English essential
• Strong organizational skills to manage multiple priorities in a time sensitive manner, and excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact culturally, linguistically, and diplomatically with diverse internal and external individuals;
• Ability to travel a minimum of 30% per year, to rural areas in Côte d’Ivoire but also to other countries (a minimum of 30% field-based work per year, and approximate 10% additional travels);
Commensurate with experience.