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Forgotten Parks Foundation

Have you ever wanted to be involved in something bigger than yourself? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to help oversee the protection of a long-forgotten national park, from its basic planning and strategy formation to its overall vision and development?

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right person to be part of something potentially huge: a meaningful conservation initiative that’s still in its infancy, with the potential to become a conservation hot-spot in the near-future and that, if successful, will be used as a conservation management template for years to come. This is the dream ticket for the right person motivated by a desire to leave behind a biodiversity legacy and help re-connect people to one of Africa’s oldest national parks.

Location: Lusinga Headquarters, Upemba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Reports to: Park Director
Starting date: 1st September 2018
Duration: The internship is initially for 6 months with the prospect of an extension

Background to Upemba and Kundelungu National Parks:

These two parks cover an area of approximately 24,600km2 of spectacular wilderness in Katanga Province of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Upemba National Park, with legal protection since 1939, is one of the oldest in Africa. The park is linked to Kundelungu National Park and a number of game reserves, together forming a massive mosaic of protected areas.

Upemba and Kundelungu boast a wide diversity of habitats, including a full transitional gradient from highland steppe through miombo woodland to both wooded and grassland savannah. There are numerous rivers, waterfalls, wetlands and gallery forests. The Lufira River and Lake Upemba, both within park boundaries, form a critical watershed for the region as well as the source of the mighty Congo River.

The parks’ wildlife populations suffered during the Congo war, and subsequent neglect of the parks and illegal poaching enabled bushmeat hunting to further decrease wildlife numbers. Nevertheless, many species remain and the park is a refuge for the last savannah elephants in Katanga as well as the last zebras in DRC. Other notable species include endemic Upemba  lechwe,  roan  antelope,  black  sable,  buffalo,  leopard,  giant   ground hornbill and many other bird species.

The Congolese Wildlife Authority (ICCN) has appointed a Park Director to manage the two parks collectively known as the Complexe Upemba-Kundelungu (CUK), and has recently signed a Private-Public Partnership with the Forgotten Parks Foundation (FPF) delegating management responsibility to the Foundation for the next 15 years. Under this agreement Forgotten Parks is responsible for the management, monitoring and protection of the two parks, as well as for developing sustainable financing mechanisms to meet the on-going management costs.

The position: 

We are looking for a young and dynamic self-funding professional with appropriate academic qualifications wishing for a real challenge before moving into a career in a related field. Alternatively, we would welcome someone who has recently retired with a well-developed set of transferable skills who wants to contribute towards a conservation initiative and is prepared to work in a difficult and challenging environment.

This French/English dual-language role is being advertised as an unpaid internship because all the funds we receive are directed towards the parks and supporting the rangers, who are the critical element here. So we will fly you in and out, look after you, feed you, house you, and provide all in-country transport. It is a tough environment, but it is also   one of the most beautiful landscapes on the African continent. The area is isolated and the job will be 6 months of hard graft in a very remote part of DRC, so we need a resourceful person with initiative, resilience and adaptability who is comfortable being part of a pioneering team.

Job overview: 

The Intern Head of Communications and Visibility will support the implementation of the Forgotten Parks Foundation’s CUK strategy through effective internal and external communications, public relations and branding. The Intern will directly support the Park Director who will review and set work priorities at weekly management meetings.

Personal Qualities:

  • Ability to be flexible, creative, and assume high accountability for all areas of responsibility. Must demonstrate strong collaborative spirit and leadership ability as well as intercultural competence.
  • Ability to contribute to a dynamic and positive culture and act as a positive role model for others in the organization.

Main Duties:

  • To develop and manage the communications strategy for the FPF, CUK and other projects.
  • To promote FPF and CUK through the production of press releases and information material.
  • To support FPF and CUK team members to help them articulate project vision, goals and capabilities to a wider audience.
  • To draft communication plans, budgets, timelines, and supporting materials in collaboration with the Director and senior FPF and CUK managers.
  • To develop FPF and CUK Corporate Design and Identity and ensure communications standards are maintained accordingly.
  • To develop content on FPF and CUK websites and social media – these are expec- ted to go live within the next few months.
  • To support management to anticipate potential and/or emerging communication challenges.
  • To act as a link for external communications, including local and international media requests, hosting media personnel and journalists at project sites and arrange the procurement of photography/filming permits for FPF and CUK purposes.
  • To support the Park Director with the development of fundraising proposals, reports, presentations and third party funding proposals.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Ideally, 5 years of communications work with increasing responsibility in the conservation sector; alternatively, we will consider students of conservation or media studies, with a passion for the environment, with excellent academic references.
  • Excellent communication and technical skills.
  • Experience in the development and delivery of successful communications strategies is preferable.
  • Proven ability to set short and long-term goals in line with programme priorities.
  • Ability to encourage consensus and provide input to FPF strategies and communication material.
  • Experience in developing a diverse portfolio of materials and content, including press releases, maintaining websites, blog posts, social media, articles, posters, brochures, etc.
  • A track record of achieving public relations objectives.
  • Experience in photography, video production, website maintenance and working with CMS.
  • Articulate oral communication and excellent writing skills in French and English.
  • Have an understanding of the conservation sector in Africa.

Your Application:

Please send your application including a cover letter and a chronological CV in PDF format to jobs@forgottenparks.org. The cover letter will be used to judge the quality of your application.

Application deadline is 31st July 2018 and references requested with your application.

Note on Security:

Relatively speaking, Katanga is a safe area compared with the rest of the DRC although we are constantly striving to improve security within the confines of the park. The rangers, who are principally based at the Headquarters in Lusinga, are currently undergoing a ranger-training programme with Belgian and French Commandos. A comprehensive se- curity briefing will be provided to the Intern prior to arrival in DRC.