The Gran Chaco Zero Conversion Commodities Lead position provides technical and program support to Conservancy field operations staff that have been tasked with delivering key milestones within a project outcomes plan. They serve as the principle contact for zero conversion efforts in the Gran Chaco to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations, the academic community, and relevant platform initiatives. They establish the Conservancy as a major conservation partner for achieving zero-conversion soy production in the Gran Chaco, define strategic pathways to galvanize a transition to zero-conversion production, lead and manage a team which supports and improves conservation efforts, and build strategic, scientific, and technical capacity in the field. The Gran Chaco Zero Conversion Commodities Lead develops key partnerships with public & private organizations in order to identify and resolve technical issues and to widely communicate solutions and best practices, develops innovative scientific methods, analyses, tools, and frameworks to address the natural system needs of the Gran Chaco for sustained or increased soy production without conversion, and engages and addresses global and national actors in support for efforts that will yield local conservation results in the Argentinian Gran Chaco. They evaluate solutions emerging from neighboring countries and regional initiatives to achieve zero-conversion, to extract relevant aspects for Argentina or design alternative and/or more appropriate solutions for the Gran Chaco. They negotiate complex and innovative solutions with government agencies, downstream soy demand companies and/or landowners, and coordinate closely with specialized staff that structure complex engagements with midstream soy traders and financial institutions to conserve and protect natural communities and develop and implement conservation strategies. They take ownership of articulating both what the Conservancy´s Zero-Conversion approach is for the Gran Chaco and what are the most promising pathways to achieve it, and deploying recommendations from consultant analyses into the real world, translating them into implementable strategies on the ground, or proposing changes to policy to make them possible.
This position also plays a key role internally, ensuring that the CMI project complements and is not at odds with the efforts of other projects around regenerative agriculture in the Gran Chaco and other geographies, and thinking about synergies and opportunities to collaborate and replicate, adapt or otherwise maximize progress and products emerging from the CMI project to other conservation projects in TNC’s Argentina program. The position also periodically engages directly with the Conservancy´s global Zero Conversion Commodities (ZCC) Strategy Lead in updating and strengthening the global strategy to reflect the Argentina program´s contribution to global conservation efforts.
RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE
- Drives the zero conversion efforts in the Gran Chaco, coordinating efforts and pathways across all four CMI project key levers (Private Sector Leadership, Transparency, Innovative Finance and Policy) while fully in tune with TNC Argentina’s vision for the Gran Chaco.
- Provides input and collaborates in the refinement of the theory of change and in the design of the blueprint for interventions across the Gran Chaco, as one of TNC Argentina’s priority landscapes.
- Proposes synergies and opportunities for optimization between the CMI objectives and plans and those of TNC Argentina’s program.
- Frequently makes strategic decisions based on analysis, ambiguous information and context.
- Negotiates complex agreements, in a political or otherwise sensitive environment.
- Geographic size and scope is that of a larger, complex program that requires cross-boundary work and relationships.
- Supervises staff at remote locations.
- Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards in accordance with organizational guidance.
- Writes and/or collaborates on requests for proposals, terms of reference, concept notes and other funding requests or contracting documents, for both money-in and money-out opportunities.
- Post-COVID, moderate travel domestically and occasional international travel (2-3 times per year), occasional evening and weekend hours consistent with TNC´s commitment to work-life balance.
- May occasionally work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances consistent with field trips or farm visits.
- Over time and as new projects beyond CMI emerge, this position´s scope may expand to include similar duties under different contexts, such as engagement in/with actors in other countries (ie Paraguay, Bolivia), a deeper engagement with government agencies, and/or other commodities, industry sectors or value chains.