The Conservancy is entering a new phase of the Conservation and Markets Initiative (CMI) project, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. CMI seeks to eliminate the loss and degradation of forests and other natural habitat that result from beef and soy production originating from the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and the Chaco region of Argentina and Paraguay. Under the CMI project, we work with sectoral organizations and companies to catalyze a systemic, industry-wide shift towards verified Deforestation/Conversion Free (DCF) beef and soy. CMI is a targeted intervention: it does not invest in place-based projects or initiatives aimed at producers; rather, it focuses on shifting the key levers of Private Sector Leadership. Transparency, Innovative Finance and Policy to delink the beef and soy markets from habitat conversion.
The Stakeholder Engagement Specialist position plays a key role in the CMI project, with a dominant focus on the soy sector in Argentina while fostering spillover effects in Paraguay and in other commodities. Under the supervision of TNC’s Argentina Agriculture Strategy Manager, s/he will engage with trading companies, relevant sectoral organizations and other civil society organizations present in the agribusiness space, serving as liaison and informational contact between the organization and stakeholders seeking to accelerate corporate policy shifts to DCF sourcing, and implementation of those policies to further The Nature Conservancy’s mission. S/he will work closely with “implementation partners”, third party organizations with whom TNC will form strategic alliances to deliver CMI outputs. Finally s/he will track and participate in other external initiatives taking place in the Gran Chaco as well as internal initiatives related to the Gran Chaco and other iconic landscapes affected by land use change from soy production, notably the Cerrado and Amazon of Brazil, to ensure fluid communication and coordination with CMI.
The position will be a key contributor to the TNC CMI team as we deliver the objectives and outputs of the CMI project, including:
- increasing the % of supply of DCF soy from the Argentinian Chaco
- helping sectoral organizations and individual companies develop and implement realistic plans for increasing DCF soy and other commodities supplied from the Chaco, bearing in mind the particularities of the national context
- helping the sector address issues of displacement and leakage of deforestation pressure from other biomes into the Chaco
- ensuring CMI work in Argentina is closely coordinated with related work in Brazil, including ensuring that market players with a presence in more than one country are working together on deforestation issues in a consistent way, with a careful consideration of the nuances in national contexts.
- supporting efforts to influence and consolidate working groups and other institutional platforms in Argentina that bring together market and other key players around the elimination of deforestation from supply chains, such as the “Visión Sectorial Gran Chaco” (ViSec).
- adoption by commodity traders of 1) effective monitoring tools for tracking deforestation in their supply chains, 2) protocols for reporting on progress, and 3) protocols on verifying claims.
- identifying appropriate institutional partnerships for the CMI initiative in Argentina, and play a role, as appropriate, in the management of those partnerships.
This position reports to TNC´s Argentina Agriculture Strategies Manager and is part of both TNC´s Argentina Country Program and a matrixed CMI project team that includes staff from Argentina, Brazil, and the global Provide Food and Water Sustainably operating units of the organization.
The Stakeholder Engagement Specialist helps the CMI team navigate, keep track of, and take advantage of the strengths of the many initiatives, platforms and partnerships that are working to eliminate conversion from soy production in the Argentinean Chaco, to advance harmonized agreements for DCF soy sourcing, tracking and reporting across the entire supply chain. S/he builds and facilitates internal networks, coordinating meetings, agendas, and presentations. S/he provides services, knowledge and collaboration that assist TNC and other entities in accelerating corporate progress in making and implementing DCF commitments. S/he develops strategic partnerships with relevant agencies, conservation organizations, and industry to advance the organization’s conservation agenda.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
Supports the implementation of a set of activities that aim to reduce and eliminate deforestation associated with soy and other related commodities production in the Argentina to 2023 and possibly beyond. These include, but are not limited to:
- Develops strategic partnerships with relevant sectoral organizations and agribusiness companies to ensure they implement effective deforestation monitoring technologies along all soy supply chains in the Argentinian Chaco.
- Engage with civil society organizations active in the soy space and relevant sectoral platforms and initiatives in Argentina to help deliver the results outlined above.
- Work with companies and sector organizations on definitions, deadlines and help solve other technical issues that may arise to eliminate deforestation from soy and other related value chains.
- Work to advance harmonized sector-wide stepwise commitments to source deforestation-free products across their entire supply chain, building upon existing local regulation.
- Support the adoption of pre-competitive approaches by companies including facilitating their participation in relevant working groups.
- Provide research and policy analysis in support of legislative, corporate and/or policy priorities.
- May provide assistance with preparation of program materials including presentations, memos, and other communications.
Manages institutional relationships internal and external to the Conservancy including:
- Monitoring sub-grantee and implementation partner performance on contracts funded by CMI, ensuring timely delivery of agreed outputs
- Coordinating effectively and transparently with all Conservancy initiatives within CMI, including regional and global operating units and keeping the Argentina team informed about outreach activities and contacts with stakeholders that may be common.
- Responding rapidly to demands for information from Conservancy staff involved in communications, fundraising and/or science efforts.
- Implementing as required an agreed monitoring and evaluation framework for tracking levels of DCF soy production in the Chaco, as well as other M&E information that may be required by the funding organization and/or the CMI project.