The Nature Conservancy in the Dominican Republic has implemented a Water Funds strategy for the ecosystems that provide the cities of Santiago and Santo Domingo with freshwater. These financial mechanisms are fully operationalized and are generating funds to support conservation activities in both watersheds, including Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) such as reforestation, agroforestry and mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture in farming communities, and improved land management. NCS provide climate change mitigation via conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. In October 2020, the Dominican Government issued a Presidential decree by which each climate project that contributes to the removal of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere is required to report their mitigation actions.
The Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) Specialist works closely with a team of staff focused on conservation, climate, and water fund strategies for the Dominican Republic Program of The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Division. The NCS Specialist will contribute to the analysis of NCS mitigation from water fund activities in the Dominican Republic, as well as other research. They will provide technical and scientific support for conservation initiatives that can contribute to national emissions reduction goals in the Dominican Republic, especially those implemented within the Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) frameworks.
The NCS Specialist works in close collaboration with other staff and partners on the guidance, design, and implementation of research, including analysis of climate change mitigation, impact analysis, assessment of co-benefits in the Dominican Republic. They provide scientific, technical, and project management support to projects implemented by the TNC Dominican Republic Program, especially those related to water funds and climate mitigation. The NCS Specialist also works on designing and strengthening the capacity of the Dominican Republic and Caribbean Programs for TNC by providing innovative analyses to test key assumptions and verify progress and impacts of specific conservation interventions, while also identifying or developing approaches and tools that can be used more broadly across TNC and by external stakeholders. As part of a larger learning network at TNC, the NCS Prototyping Network, they will connect and regularly engage with similar projects in multiple global geographies to share information and support peer-to-peer learning.
This is a term-limited position with an anticipated end date of June 2024, with the possibility for extension subject to funding and meeting project outcomes. Dominican Republic is the preferred location for this position; however other TNC locations may be considered. No relocation, visa sponsorship or assistance is being offered with this position.
High impact activities planned for this position include:
- Mapping and analysis of project and activity level climate change mitigation.
- Determine condition of data sources and data needs.
- Data collation and verification of datasets.
- Design and development of a carbon sequestration tool (such as USAID’s i-Tree tool) to estimate carbon sequestration and mitigation capacity of project sites and provide information on volumetric benefits of water replenished within basins.
- Deployment and maintenance of carbon sequestration tool (which should also be accessible for external partners).
- Work closely with partners and key external stakeholders on the development and adaptation of the tool and provide training on managing and using the carbon sequestration platform.
The NCS Specialist will lead projects and teams to guide and deliver science and technical information on NCS and watershed co-benefits. They liaise with and develop strategic partnerships with key stakeholders from the public sector, academia, conservation organizations, the private sector, and civil society in the context of the development of a mitigation assessment, carbon sequestration tool, and other NCS research. They must also collaborate and work closely with monitoring and evaluation initiatives, capacity building activities, and policy staff who will help to create enabling conditions for water funds and NCS implementation.
In addition, the NCS Specialist contributes knowledge, learning, and capacity more broadly throughout the organization by actively engaging and participating in the NCS Prototyping Network. They will interact with country, regional, and global TNC teams working on climate change mitigation and support the implementation of TNC’s Shared Conservation Agenda and updates to internal project tracking systems.
The NCS Specialist reports to the Dominican Republic Program Director and works closely with the program’s Watershed Conservation Project Manager and Climate Adaptation Specialist. They must create workplans and successfully drive accountability within the project team. Acting as a project manager, they work successfully across highly matrixed teams to set and track project milestones and timeframes.
The NCS Specialist is a leader who uses TNC’s code of conduct and competencies as a baseline to lead by example.
RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE
- Work within the scope of the Dominican Republic Conservation Program’s strategic goals to advance the goals of TNC and the TNC Caribbean Program; act independently on assigned tasks and exercise judgment based on experience, referring difficult questions and unusual problems to supervisor.
- Develop and implement NCS research, especially in the context of the NCS Prototyping Network.
- Conduct geospatial and statistical analysis and provide rigorous interpretations of findings in the context of NCS research.
- Perform fieldwork including ecosystem, carbon, and/or co-benefit assessments and field monitoring.
- Design and develop a carbon sequestration tool to estimate carbon sequestration and mitigation capacity of project sites.
- Compile and manage the collection of tabular, geospatial, and other data; develop new datasets and tools as necessary; and ensure access to collaborators. Determine condition of data sources and data needs for the carbon sequestration tool.
- Develop and execute an implementation plan and effectively complete a mitigation assessment and deploy the carbon sequestration tool within TNC and with other external partners
- Develop and deliver guides and trainings to teams and partners on NCS, the carbon sequestration tool, water funds, and other topics.
- Write technical reports and manuals. May write and submit manuscripts to be published in scientific journals.
- Prepare program materials including presentations, memos, and other communications.
- As NCS Science expert, share the program’s NCS research at priority meetings and on committees where technical input is required.
- Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
- May supervise contractors or temporary staff.
- May work flexible schedule and travel frequently throughout the region. Works independently, working with supervisor as needed.
- May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, in hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.