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11 Feb 2022

Conservation Tourism at Nature Conservancy

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Job Description


Lavington, Nairobi

Nairobi- Regional Office

Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change and conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 79 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.

TNC Africa and TNC’s NatureVest impact investment team have developed the Africa Conservation & Communities Tourism (ACCT) Fund in collaboration with ThirdWay Partners an, Africa-focused investment management firm. The ACCT Fund’s mandate is to raise and deploy impact investment capital to support conservation tourism operators through the COVID-induced economic downturn, which has reduced tourism footfall, resulting in job losses and decreased funding for conservation areas. The ACCT Fund has been structured to deliver on certain conservation outcomes and support to local communities, including local employment opportunities. The Fund’s investment capital must be deployed in the next several years. TNC is the Conservation Advisor to the Fund and, in that capacity, reviews and monitors each investment for conservation and community outcome potential and delivery and sets a suite of conservation covenants that each operator must adhere to over the life of the loan. TNC will also chair the Fund’s Conservation Committee, which will include members from ThirdWay Partners and third-party experts. Finally, TNC is also primarily responsible for managing and monitoring any environmental and social outcomes and risks associated with the Fund’s work on the ground and providing detailed reports to investors. The Fund’s priority geographies include: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana but other countries may be considered.

More about The Nature Conservancy Africa: The Nature Conservancy Africa program follows a holistic approach to protect vital lands and waters, transform the way natural resources are used and managed, and inspire to equip others to contribute to the shared vision of a healthy and sustainable future for Africa’s lands, waters, wildlife and people. We use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.orq or follow @nature press on Twitter.

More about NatureVest: NatureVest is the impact investment unit of The Nature Conservancy. NatureVest’s mission is to create and transact investable deals that deliver conservation results and financial returns for investors. Our vision is based on the conviction that capital markets, businesses and governments must invest in nature as the long-term capital stock of a sustainable, equitable and more efficient economy. To achieve our mission, we source and structure investment products that support TNC’s global strategies, raise capital for these investments, and share our knowledge and experience with the investment and conservation communities to amplify our efforts in this emerging area. To learn more, visit


The Conservation Tourism Director shall be primarily responsible for TNC’s conservation advisory services to the ACCT Fund. This includes working closely with the tourism operators to identify potential outcomes that can be achieved with Fund support and working with TNC local country programs and strategy leads to provide targeted technical assistance to the tourism operators as they seek to deliver their outcomes. In addition, they will be primarily responsible for managing the conservation approval process for each new investment, including developing the conservation recommendations. In addition, they will be responsible for developing a detailed environmental and social risk management and monitoring process in partnership with key cornerstone investors and ensuring that each potential investment meets the environmental and social risk requirements over the life of the investment. The Conservation Tourism Director will work closely with the Fund’s Conservation Committee, TNC’s local country programs in the target geographies, ThirdWay Partners, the third-party investment management team and with the conservation tourism operators themselves.  The Conservation Tourism Director will report to the NatureVest team and work closely with the Africa Indigenous Landscapes Strategy Director. This position will ideally be based at the TNC Regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, but other locations in Africa where TNC has existing projects may be considered. No relocation or work permit sponsorship or assistance is being offered with this position.

The Conservation Tourism Director shall manage all aspects of TNC’s conservation advisory services to the ACCT Fund. In this capacity, the Conservation Tourism Director shall be responsible for conducting detailed conservation and socio-economic diligence on conservation tourism companies who are under consideration as receive debt financing from the Fund. This includes detailed desktop and onsite diligence pre-close and at least annual on-site meetings post-close with each of the conservation tourism operators in the Fund’s portfolio and review of the operators’ conservation and social outcome potential and/or delivery against the benchmarks set by the Fund, and regular evaluation of each company’s efforts to manage any environmental and/or social risks identified during review.

The Conservation Tourism Director will be responsible for developing detailed written recommendations to the Fund’s Conservation Committee outlining (i) whether a conservation tourism company meets the Fund’s conservation criteria, (ii) what outcomes each conservation tourism company should seek to achieve over the life of their loan and (iii) what conservation covenants should be put in place to hold the tourism companies accountable to these impact metrics. They will submit a written recommendation to the Conservation Committee for each new investment and will also be asked to present their findings and recommendation in person or over teleconference to the Conservation Committee. The Conservation Tourism Director will receive guidance and input from the members of the Conservation Committee throughout the diligence process.

The Conservation Tourism Director will also be responsible for working closely with key cornerstone investors to develop a set of screening processes and a monitoring system to meet their environmental and social risk management and reporting requirements.  They will also be primarily responsible for screening each new investment against these environmental and social risk criteria prior to investment and over the life of the Fund.

Once an investment has been made by the Fund, the Conservation Tourism Director is responsible for monitoring the conservation and community impacts of those investments over the life of the Fund. They will monitor the conservation and community outcomes delivered by each investment bi-annually and prepare summary reports (and all additional material required) outlining investee performance against Fund impact benchmarks for the Fund’s Conservation Committee. These reports may also be shared with the Fund’s investors. The Conservation Tourism Director will be responsible for coordinating the Conservation Committee’s meetings, developing any necessary materials (including the conservation recommendation memos) in advance of those meetings and providing any necessary follow-up to the Conservation Committee or individual members

Undertakes detailed conservation and social diligence on selected tourism operators in eastern and southern Africa.
For new investments, prepares summary recommendations to the Conservation Committee on the conservation and social impact potential of a given investment based on the results of their diligence processes and the overall impact objectives of the Fund.
Prepares detailed recommendations to the Conservation Committee for conservation and community activities to be undertaken by tourism operators in eastern and southern Africa, including specific language to be included as conservation criteria for investment on a case-by-case basis, in the form of a formal memorandum with annexed materials.
Monitors on a bi-annual basis the conservation and community activities being undertaken by tourism operators receiving investment from the Fund and assessing performance against targeted Fund benchmarks and detailing that assessment in the form of a formal memorandum.
Monitors as necessary the environmental and social risk profile of the companies that have received investment from the Fund and works closely with cornerstone investors to meet their risk and outcome reporting needs
Coordinate the work and meetings of the Fund’s Conservation Committee, including all aspects of project management.
Work closely with TNC Africa staff in the countries covered by the Fund as necessary on diligence and recommendations to ensure consistency in messaging and outcomes across TNC’s work in the region.
Work with Protect Indigenous Landscape Director to ensure conservation and social impacts are aligned with TNC 2030 goals/ outcomes.
Experience making written and oral recommendations and presentations.
Provide guidance to tourism operators on strategies to achieve outcomes for conservation and communities.
Makes strategic decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
Incorporates cross disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives.
Coordinates the work of other professionals, inside and outside of the organization.
Significant latitude to deal directly with field personnel and organizational leadership.
Ability to contribute to conservation strategy decisions and support the Conservation Committee in their decision-making process.
Requires willingness and ability to travel up to 50% both domestically and internationally, and to work occasional weekends and evenings.
BA/BS degree and 10 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience working in a private sector environment, such as tourism or conservation finance, focused on the landscapes of Africa.
Experience leading and managing complex projects and strategic initiatives in an unstructured environment in the nature-based tourism sector in Africa.
International work experience.
Project management experience and experience meeting deadlines.
Experience making written and oral recommendations and presentations
Experience developing end products with software such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel.

Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
Self-starter with ability to generate work products with limited support.
Experience developing conservation tourism business plans or major strategy assessments, particularly with conservation forms of deal structuring, negotiations support, financial modeling and analysis, business planning.
Experience developing, presenting and writing-up complex materials in briefing notes and / or memorandums.
Knowledge of politics and society with respect to environmental and international affairs in Africa.
Willingness to learn and develop expertise in new conservation strategies, economic drivers, management tools, and global affairs.
Strong team player who can build relationships and work collaboratively across the organization, including with senior management, TNC Africa conservation staff and with Conservancy partners.

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Closing Date : 20th February , 2022.

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