Africa NCS Community Specialist

Organization icon

The Nature Conservancy

Location icon

Cape Town, South Africa

Clock icon

17 days ago


Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya or South Africa


The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube or on Glassdoor.
Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”
Since establishing the Africa Program in 2007, The Nature Conservancy’s vision in Africa is to work towards fostering a sustainable future for people and nature, partnering with indigenous communities across 55 million acres on the continent. Our efforts are firmly rooted in people, leveraging scientific and technical expertise as we collaborate with governments and organizations to conserve and enhance Africa’s shared resources in the 9 countries where we operate.
TNC’s work in Africa transcends three key pillars: securing ownership rights to lands and resources for indigenous people, strengthening leadership and resource management and helping communities value nature through a holistic appreciation of its benefits while increasing revenue streams for conservation efforts and socio-economic development. Together with our partners, we are witnessing critical milestones in integrated land and fisheries management, ocean and source water protection, energy development and sustainable food production, working together and strengthening our resolve in tackling global challenges such as climate change, habitat and biodiversity loss that stands to adversely impact the nearly 1.4 billion people that share Africa.
The Nature Conservancy has shown that Natural Climate Solutions (NCS)- sustainably managing, restoring and protecting forests, grasslands and water - has the potential to provide a third of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. NCS can also provide a range of other benefits, such as protecting biodiversity, improving watershed function, and supporting sustainable livelihoods. In Africa, The Nature Conservancy flagship program for NCS is the Africa Forest Carbon Catalyst (AFCC). The AFCC is a technical and grant funding program for projects across Africa, with a keen focus on supporting the development of high-quality carbon projects.


Africa Carbon Catalyst (ACC)will support building a portfolio of NCS projects that demonstrate scale, impact and durable lasting outcomes for people, climate, and nature. They works across programs and projects in Africa to support the design and implementation of NCS projects, ensuring they meet best practice standards in relation to community engagement and consultation, community rights, project governance and benefit sharing mechanisms to maximize returns to communities that are both fair and equitable. Work closely with TNC programs, partners and other project contributors in a collaborative approach to ensuring projects’ community aspects are designed and implemented in accordance with best practice, standards including both external e.g. Voluntary Carbon Markets, and internal e.g. TNC Human Rights Principles and Safeguards, and Bar of Excellence for high quality carbon projects.


Africa Carbon Catalyst (ACC)will be an authority on IPLC dimensions of NCS projects providing oversight, guidance, and support to NCS projects to meet and maintain required social standards and safeguards. Reporting to the Carbon Markets Director, the position will work closely with other colleagues across teams including the AFCC Program, the Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLC) Strategy Lead in Africa and Global. The position will be located in any of the following TNC office locations: Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and will require regular travel to the field (up to 15%). No employment visas or assistance is being offered with this position except for the local labour employment requirements
Specific role and responsibility scope include:
  • Manage a complex workload providing technical support to a pipeline of projects spanning different NCS pathways and geographies at different stages of development.
  • Deliver training and capacity building on the requirements and their implementation of internal and external standards relevant to carbon projects to project field and management staff.
  • Deliver tools and technical support in development of plans and materials for community consultation processes.
  • Analyze legal and policy instruments relevant to community tenure, governance, natural resource management and climate to advise projects how to navigate and leverage these.
  • Liaise with consultants and project contributors to review and analyze social data and develop plans for communities data collection in accordance with best practice.
  • Advise the development project governance structures and benefit sharing models for projects that are relevant and sensitive to social contexts and provide empowerment and fair and equitable betterment for local communities.
  • Review and evaluate social aspects of projects and coordinate the relevant internal processes to ensure adherence with TNC’s requirements for carbon projects across the Conservancy and make recommendations based on analysis, experience and judgment.
  • Act independently and exercise independent judgment to identify and solve problems.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and integrity when working across complex challenges.
  • Work diligently in an organized approach to drive processes and coordinate the exchange of information, documentation, and data between TNC and partners.
  • Work as a critical team member and managing external relationships with key partners and stakeholders with responsibility for work with substantial project and organizational risks.
  • Write confidently to a high level providing succinct analysis to a range of audiences.
  • Provide thought-leadership on community dimensions of carbon projects and make recommendations to the Conservancy and other stakeholders, share relevant knowledge and learnings to drive TNC’s agenda to improve carbon project quality by maximizing returns to communities in Africa.


  • Bachelor’s degree in community conservation, natural resource management, international development or related field, and 4 years related experience, or equivalent combination.
  • Deep understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of community-based natural resource management field; particularly community consultation processes and a rights-based approach to conservation.
  • Experience of working in the field with communities on engagement and sensitization to achieve and maintain FPIC.
  • Passionate about community rights and sustainable development, with an ambition to become a global expert on their intersection with NCS.
  • Experience in partnership development and management with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Organized worker delivering to a high quality, and able to work across multiple projects simultaneously with a varied workload.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Team player that is politically savvy and diplomatic with experience negotiating complex projects.
  • Solutions orientation with reference to conflict resolution and mitigation.


  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience.
  • Knowledge and experience of community-based natural resource management and sustainable development agenda in Africa.
  • Knowledge of voluntary carbon standards and the project development cycle process.
  • Strong analytical skills and able to synthesis information and data for project documentation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to negotiate, influence, and persuade.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers competitive and comprehensive benefits packages tailored to the individual countries where we work. These may include health care benefits, retirement benefits, parental leave, paid time off, life insurance, and disability coverage as well as an employee assistance program and other life and well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports the health and well-being of the people we employ.


To apply for job ID 52543, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role while committing to closing the gender pay gap and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.