India nationals: Conservation Ecologist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
New Delhi, India
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India along with UNDP is implementing a new GEF funded project: SECURE Himalaya (Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems) in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.


The project is supporting the Government of India to effectively promote sustainable land and forest management in alpine pastures and forests in high range Indian Himalayan ecosystems that secure sustainable livelihoods and community resilience and ensures conservation of globally significant biodiversity and threatened species. It will engineer a paradigm shift from the current approach of conservation to demonstrate a new approach of landscape-based conservation. This is an integrated approach, which focuses on working with various sectors and partners in areas within and outside protected areas, to effectively reduce threats to biodiversity of local, national and global significance. 

The project builds up on the existing socio-economic development efforts in the region, for evolving innovative and participatory models for sustainable use of natural resources. It aims to achieve the objective of conservation by engaging local communities and collaborating with government and non-government agencies for conservation and promotion of sustainable resource use and livelihood.


The project is being implemented over a period of six years in the high altitude trans-Himalayan region and has the following major outcomes: (1) Improved management of high range Himalayan landscapes for conservation of Snow Leopard and other endangered species and their habitats and sustaining ecosystem services; (2) Improved and diversified livelihood strategies and improved capacities of community and government institutions for sustainable natural resource management and conservation; (3) Enhanced enforcement, monitoring and cooperation to reduce wildlife crime and related threats; (4) Effective knowledge management and information systems established for promotion of sustainable management practices in the High range Himalayan ecosystems. 

The project falls under GEF-6, Global Partnership on Wildlife Conservation and Crime Prevention for Sustainable Development, comprising one global coordination project and a series of national projects. The project will be led by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and UNDP with the state governments of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim. 

Under outcome 4, the project supports development of knowledge products to disseminate information about the project, it’s goals and objectives. 


UNDP seeks to engage the services of a Conservation Ecologist to support the MoEFCC and UNDP in implementation of the project. S/he will work closely with the Inspector General. Forests (WL), MoEFCC; Head, NRM and Biodiversity, UNDP; and National Project Officer, SECURE Himalaya Project. As this is a full-time position, s/he cannot hold any other assignments during this assignment. 



Duties and Responsibilities


The Conservation Ecologist will have the following technical, administrative and managerial tasks: 


• S/he will provide technical advice and guidance towards strategy, planning and project implementation at national and state levels, particularly in ecological research, conservation models (including community livelihoods) and wildlife management aspects across the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim, India; and ensure convergence among all components of the project to achieve desired outcomes.

• S/he will monitor the work assigned to different technical agencies and ensure efficiency, synergy and uniformity in the deliverables for alignment with project outcomes.

• S/he will contribute towards landscape level management planning across the four states under the programme.

• S/he will facilitate integration of research and conservation outcomes from the project activities.

• S/he will provide technical inputs on documentation (management plans, technical reports, scientific articles and any other publication materials) of programme activities.

• S/he will help the project team on coordination between State Governments, Consultants, other relevant experts and agencies on matters related to ecological research and conservation management.

• S/he will facilitate capacity building of team on ecological research, conservation models (including livelihoods) and communication.

• S/he will represent the project in relevant meetings, conferences and workshops at state, national and international levels.

• S/he will contribute to other NRM projects/programmes as and when needed. 

• S/he will ensure convergence with other on-going government and bilateral/multilateral project in the states and landscapes. 

• S/he will be responsible for mobilisation of additional resources for NRM portfolio by engaging with relevant stakeholders including state governments, corporates and donors. 






Technical Knowledge and Expertise: 


• Ability to develop, coordinate and manage ecological research, wildlife management and community-based wildlife conservation and livelihoods initiatives

• Ability to lead a team of professionals from diverse backgrounds and working with government and non-government agencies to manage national level project

• Familiarity on wildlife conservation opportunities and challenges in the Indian Himalayas, particularly in context of snow leopard conservation

• Familiarity on history, culture, socio-economy and geo-politics in local communities of the Indian Himalayas

• Familiarity on functioning of state and national government agencies and non-government organizations in the Himalayan region



Excellent interpersonal and communication skills


Excellent strategy, planning and writing skills


Willingness to travel extensively within India


Result oriented and ability to convert challenges into opportunities


Builds and maintains constructive relationships with colleagues; treats people with respect; is cooperative, supportive and helpful with a positive contribution to the working environment  


Required Skills and Experience



  • Masters’ Degree in the field of Wildlife Science / Conservation Biology / Environmental Sciences with excellent academic record.
  • PhD in the field of Wildlife Science / Conservation Biology / Environmental Sciences is desirable.


  • At least 5 years of work experience in ecological research and community-based conservation management at the state and national levels, preferably in the Indian Himalayas
  •  At least 3 years of experience in scientific, technical and popular writing with publications
  • At least 2 years of experience in project coordination and management
  • At least 2 years of experience in management planning
  • At least 2 years of experience in community-based wildlife conservation and community livelihoods initiatives

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English and Hindi

Remuneration package is Rs. 1,10,665/- per month (all inclusive and taxable). UNDP offers additional benefits which include medical insurance coverage and limited pension reimbursement for Service Contract holder and encourages work life balance to its employees.