The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) may require the services of a Technical Program Coordinator to help administer a U.S. government (USG)-funded program based in Libreville, Gabon.
Recent developments in Gabon offer a significant window of opportunity to address the illegal timber trade, much of it involving transnational organized criminal networks. The country’s Penal Code was recently amended to include criminal penalties for illicit timber harvesting and trade. These new provisions provide meaningful legal remedies to discourage illegal timber trade and related corrupt practices and to prosecute criminal operators. The government also recently adopted a new environmental law unit in the national Libreville court that will empower judges and the broader criminal justice system to successfully prosecute illegal timber activities and related natural resource crimes and corruption. In addition, the political will to counter the illegal timber trade in Gabon is now in place at the highest levels of government.
To respond to the threats posed by illegal logging activities in Gabon and new opportunities to address them, USFS proposes to undertake a multi-year capacity building program focused on strengthening law enforcement. The program proposes to deploy state-of-the-art wood identification equipment to screen timber being exported from Gabon and to assist with law enforcement investigations of illicit trade of wood products. The program will also undertake a series of law enforcement trainings for judicial personnel in all the country’s provincial court jurisdictions as well as for key Forest Ministry agents and investigators.
In collaboration with the US Department of State, USFS’s long-term goal is to strengthen the institutional capacity of government law enforcement and forestry officials and relevant community and civil society actors to combat illegal logging and related financial crimes in Gabon.
The USFS may seek a full-time Technical Program Coordinator, based in Libreville, to help administer a proposed USG-funded program in coordination with other USFS International Programs management staff.
Responsibilities of the Technical Program Coordinator would include, but are not limited to:
- Implementing, in coordination with other USFS staff, an ambitious two-year annual work program of law enforcement capacity building to combat illegal logging in collaboration with in-country partners and stakeholders and other U.S. government agencies;
- Assisting government partners to deploy and operationalize wood identification equipment used to screen and identify timber being exported from Gabon and/or seized as part of criminal investigations;
- Helping implement a national-level training program for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel on Gabon’s new Penal Code provisions related to illegal logging and countering natural resource crime and related corruption;
- Coordinating with other related USFS technical assistance programming in the Central Africa region to ensure maximum programming impact and effectiveness;
- Contributing substantively to the preparation and execution of national and regional training workshops;
- Providing technical assistance updates on illegal logging law enforcement and related issues to USFS, donors and implementing partners;
- Orienting and coordinating the activities of visiting teams of USFS and other international experts, as well as coordinating with program country counterparts and other technical consultant missions;
- Managing logistics, financial, and administrative tasks for program activities, including but not limited to events, meetings, and regional travel, and
- Representing the program to partners and providing ongoing reporting and documenting program implementation.
- At least a master’s degree in law enforcement, conservation biology, environmental sciences, forestry, sustainable development, or related field.
- Experience in Central Africa and knowledge of timber trafficking, law enforcement, and related public lands issues strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated experience managing multi-stakeholder partnerships, engaging in consultative work planning, and coordinating activities and meetings;
- Ability to work in a dynamic environment with in-country and U.S. government agencies, international donors, NGOs, community groups, and other stakeholders;
- Experience working with key government partners in the target countries strongly preferred;
- Experience implementing U.S. government-funded activities and maintaining compliance with U.S. government regulations strongly preferred;
- Ability to think critically and synthetically across fields and topics related to natural resource management and sustainable development in the developing country context;
- Demonstrated capacity to plan, organize, and prioritize multiple tasks to ensure their efficient and timely accomplishment;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in French and English;
- Gabonese nationals and women are especially encouraged to apply.
Location: The position would be based in Libreville, Gabon, with travel regionally or internationally as needed.
If the U.S. Forest Service were to secure the services of an individual with these technical skills, the successful applicant would be hired through a contractor.
Interested candidates should send a resume and letter of interest to METI with the subject line Gabon Technical Program Coordinator by October 23, 2020 to: IP****@me******.com. METI is an Equal Opportunity Employer: www.meticorp.com