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British Columbia KBA Regional Coordinator

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada

  • Posted on: May 3, 2021

Position Summary:

The British Columbia Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Regional Coordinator will compile and organize data for Canadian Key Biodiversity Areas work in BC, develop a shortlist of remaining trigger species for which to apply the KBA Standard (based on their own assessment of feasibility and expert input, and after revising and understanding the work completed to date by the previous BC coordinator), recruit and liaise with relevant species and ecosystem experts through online training, scoping assessment, and delineation workshops and meetings. Additionally, the coordinator will conduct outreach to build partnerships with the broader conservation community in BC, including conservation organizations, Indigenous communities, and governments. The employee will develop materials necessary for KBA nomination and review and will support the process of submitting candidate KBAs for approval in Canada and globally.

Background:
Identifying the places that are most important for sustaining biodiversity is critical for informing a wide range of land-use decisions, ranging from mitigating the impacts of development projects to creating protected areas. In order to provide a coherent and global approach to identifying sites important for biodiversity, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) developed and adopted A Global Standard for the identification of KBAs in 2016. An international KBA Partnership was formed in order to encourage and support the identification of KBAs and maintain a documented list of sites identified against the KBA Standard.

The identification of KBAs in Canada has been providing input into the Canadian Pathway to Target 1 process and the commitment expressed in the CBD’s Aichi Target 11 to establish protected areas and other effective conservation measures in areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The National Advisory Panel recommended (#13) that the Global KBA Standard be adopted in Canada and accompanied by efforts to develop and apply a Canadian KBA standard. The purpose of the Canadian KBA Coalition is to do that and to carry out its work in the spirit of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and in accordance with recommendations made by the Indigenous Circle of Experts. While the Pathway to Canada Target 1 process is over, KBAs will inform the next stages of protected area planning, and beyond that, will feed into a broad variety of land management, planning, and stewardship actions.

Suggested specific tasks are listed below but may evolve or change as needs are identified. The employee will work closely with Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne (KBA Canada) and other partners in the KBA Coalition and adjust to the needs of the Canadian KBA program as required.

Position Objectives and Responsibilities:

KBA training period:
Core readings, meetings, planning, tutorials in KBA tools, approaches, and data

Preparation of a pilot KBA proposal:
With the support of the KBA Secretariat, 1-2 pilot sites will be identified as likely KBAs, and the process for assessing the sites using KBA criteria, the KBA database, and expert input will be completed up to the development of the KBA nomination form.

Project planning for BC Key Biodiversity Areas:
Review the work completed to date in BC by the previous regional KBA coordinator and develop an understanding of what has been done and what work remains
Develop a work plan, timeline, and scope for the BC KBA project, in consultation with the KBA Canada Secretariat and BC partners
Identify and plan for any additional resources needed to meet identified objectives included in the work plan

Data compilation, feasibility assessment, and preparation to lead species-focused KBA assessments and support/coordinate ecosystem-based KBA assessments as needed:
Assess long lists of remaining species that could ‘trigger’ KBAs in BC for feasibility, and compile data for these species
Work with Birds Canada, BC Important Bird Area (IBA) Coordinator, to develop a work plan for adding other taxa to sites identified for birds
Identify and reach out to experts in BC early in the process to take part in KBA assessment work, provide training on methods
Identify and reach out to stakeholders and rights holders early in the process to provide information about KBA work and invite participation if appropriate

Workshop organization/or an alternative approach to gathering expert input:
Organize workshops (or virtual alternatives) to bring together experts to identify and delineate new KBAs, review and refine KBA proposals, and expose a wide range of BC experts to the KBA process

Lead on documentation and review of KBAs and submission to National KBA Coalition and Global KBA Partnership, with Secretariat support for the review process:
Complete KBA nomination forms, and prepare and refine spatial layers, in coordination with the KBA Secretariat
Coordinate the review of BC KBA proposals, with support from KBA Secretariat

Deliverables:

Work plan for an inclusive process to identify and delineate a set of BC KBAs
Shortlist of KBA trigger species with high feasibility for KBA identification
Workshops (or virtual alternatives) to delineate a set of BC KBAs (date TBD)
A set of BC KBA proposals to be submitted to KBA Coalition for approval
Compiled supporting data for BC KBA work
Qualifications:

Post-graduate degree in biodiversity conservation or other related fields of study
Comprehensive knowledge of BC’s flora and fauna
Previous work experience/relevant experience (education) focused on environmental conservation in BC
Advanced GIS skills in ArcGIS Pro, including experience creating and editing spatial features, querying data layers, importing and visualizing contextual data
Experience using relational geospatial databases
Strong analytical skills, including the ability to assimilate and effectively analyze a large amount of material
Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills;
Ability to develop collaboration networks, and comfortable reaching out to new contacts; connection to BC science biodiversity community is a preferred asset
Experience organizing and facilitating workshops (both virtual and in-person)
Excellent organizational and project management skills
Experience working in a cross-cultural setting with Indigenous peoples, governments or communities and/or understanding of diverse Indigenous histories, worldviews, and Indigenous knowledge systems
Passion for the conservation of nature and wildlife

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