Lead/Head - Marine Conservation and Nature-based Solutions

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The Marine and NbS Lead/Head is responsible for the development and successful implementation of initiatives related to coastal and marine biodiversity that deliver positive nature and socio-economic impacts. She/he will be supporting the Conservation Director on the successful delivery of the multiple projects and deliverables that are currently being implemented, primarily large-scale projects on NbS including area-based conservation, restoration and integrated management.

One such project is a flagship initiative funded under a global partnership with HSBC, focusing on topics including coastal biodiversity conservation and restoration, natural capital and sustainable blue economy, as well as broader recommendations to mobilize multilateral partnerships and blended financing. The position will require continuous exploration of synergies across climate, food systems and biodiversity to ensure that ENWWF projects and initiatives are addressing, to the extent possible and as relevant, multiple conservation objectives.

The Lead/Head of Marine and NbS will design new initiatives, develop proposals and identify opportunities for ENWWF based on the organization strategic priorities, and in consultation with key stakeholders (internal and external). She/He will ensure that ENWWF work adheres with the organization values, follows international best practice, contributes towards UAE policy commitments, and helps advance further the UAE agenda on the topic.

The Lead/Head of Marine and NbS will be responsible to manage and lead a team of professionals that can deliver key projects and activities. She/He will also play an integral role in seeking new partnerships to advance strategic outcomes of our work as well as secure earmarked income for the ENWWF marine portfolio. Finally, the Lead/Head of Marine is expected to support communication related activities and support overall organization priorities.

Key Responsibilities

1. Lead the implementation of ENWWF large scale flagship project on NbS for coastal ecosystems; supervise implementation of various projects or initiatives related to marine conservation, blue economy, and bankable NbS

  • Provide effective project management and technical oversight on the NbS flagship project focusing on implementing and creating financially viable NbS ranging from broad area-based conservation for critical coastal marine habitats linked with ecotourism development, implement pilot projects on halophyte restoration and food innovation, small scale fisheries transition, etc.
  • Effectively lead project teams (across various projects) and support them in delivering on their priorities, manage consultant procurement process and oversight of consultancy deliverables within budget.
  • Work with multi-disciplinary team (core and consultants) that cut across science, conservation and policy, communications, economy and finance to deliver complex outputs that support overall project goals.
  • Manage key partnerships in UAE and beyond, to ensure effective implementation of projects and long term buy-in of governmental institutions and wider private sector on key climate outcomes.
  • Oversee quality assurance of projects through efficient monitoring and evaluation; application of sound project management standards and practices to demonstrate conservation impact.
  • Ensure adherence to all organizational processes, such as drafting annual workplans and budgeting, technical reports to demonstrate impact (internal and external) and ensure secured funds allocated for relevant actions are appropriately and efficiently utilized.

2. Act as a thought leader to promote the work of the organization and expand the marine and conservation portfolio exploring synergies across conservation goals (climate, nature, economy) and other units (marketing, business development, operations)

  • Identify key thematic areas for further organizational growth and transformational collaboration with public and private sector organizations.
  • Act as the spokesperson for marine biodiversity, conservation and Nature Based solutions topics and provide relevant support to the Unit Director for Conservation and Climate, as well as DG when required on public and targeted stakeholder engagement on the topic.
  • Act as the Focal Point for the Oceans WWF Practice, support engagement of other team members in WWF ACAIs (relevant to their work) and support others engaging on topics linked to marine conservation.
  • Work closely with Unit Director and Business Development Team seeking funds for priority projects and support where possible support broader organizational fundraising requirements.
  • Actively seek opportunities and potential partnerships in advancing ENWWF agenda, develop project proposals, participate in relevant stakeholder discussions.
  • Provide sound advice to the Director contributing to strategic reviews, identify new pathways for achieving climate and conservation goals.

3. Strengthen policy impact on marine biodiversity and conservation through active involvement in local, regional and global dialogues and targeted policy discussions with key stakeholders including the upcoming COP28

  • Work closely with relevant institutions and stakeholders to provide science-based information in policy design with relevant UAE strategic developments and in particular Climate Negotiations with the upcoming COP28.
  • Engage with relevant global policy discussions, translate key messages in local context and engage with local stakeholders to influence UAE's participation and agenda.
  • Lead and oversee the participation of ENWWF in local and regional marine conservation policy discussions and identify opportunities for ENWWF to further promote the organizational agenda in the relevant domains.

4. Act as a Leader and manage a high-performance team, support implementation of organization’s key decisions and ensure external engagement contributing to long-term organizational success

  • Continue developing and supporting a high-performance team through setting a clear direction, impact-oriented objectives and using coaching and implementing performance appraisal techniques to assist in reaching goals.
  • Foster open culture, active communication; and promote collaboration among climate project team members, unit and organization wide. Work closely with team members to empower decisions linked with their primary objectives and coach them to fulfil their roles.
  • Support the organization in managing relationships with strategic partners and key stakeholders acting with respect to the local culture and multiple nationalities.
  • Keep abreast of international best practices and regional activities to ensure that the solutions that EN-WWF offers are always relevant to the global and local context.

Required Qualifications


  • Minimum of 15 years of relevant professional experience in the fields of marine biodiversity and conservation and nature-based solutions, with at least 5 years of experience in a leadership or management role, and knowledge of the latest developments and emerging trends in the field.
  • Strong experience in the coastal and marine realm with a track record in working with the public and private sectors.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing, implementing and evaluating projects in the related fields (experience in protected areas set up and management, financing nature, or business planning for conservation and NbS is plus).
  • Leading teams to ensure the delivery of impactful and high-quality outcomes.
  • Professional experience in UAE, GCC or Middle East is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively, generating innovative ways to drive performance and impact.


  • Higher degree in natural and/or environmental sciences or related fields.
  • Fluency in English is essential. Knowledge of Arabic is highly desirable.

Required Skills

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills and ability to perform under pressure.
  • Excellent proven stakeholder management and relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and exceptional teamwork abilities.
  • Demonstrable ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Self-starter and able to prioritize activities accordingly.
  • Set challenging but realistic goals and solve problems effectively.
  • Produce high quality products/services with attention to detail.
  • Supportive, constructive and open to influence in dealing with others.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Arabic (desirable).
  • Diplomatic and solution-oriented
  • A passion for conservation and experience in a not-for-profit environment



WWF Focus:
Acts as a member of ENWWF, placing higher priority on ENWWF’s goals than own goals and anticipating the effects of own area’s actions on others to ensure holistic ENWWF outcomes

External Orientation:
Looks outwards ensuring ENWWF stays relevant, continues to anticipate and adapt to external environmental and global trends

Delivering Quality Outcomes:
Establishes stretch goals, plans, using best judgment and takes responsibility for planning to and delivering on outcomes

Building Working Relations:
Builds collaborative relationships through the understanding and development of other’s and own ideas

Communicating Effectively:
Uses appropriate means of communication to convey messages, seeks input from others and ensures understanding.

Building Working Relations:
People demonstrating this competency are effective in working with peers, partners and others who are not in the line of command, to positively impact organization performance


Team Leadership:
Develops direction and shared purpose, builds effective and high-performance teams and ensures goals are accomplished

Change Leadership:
Encourages and seeks out innovative solutions through people, transformation and aligning an organization in a new and challenging that brings people on a journey constructively and empathetically

Managing Resources:
Demonstrates an understanding of how the organization operates financially, can identify and direct toward business opportunities by managing resources.

Working relationships

Internal – Works with Program and project teams on a daily-basis, and interacts with everyone in the organization. Works in close collaboration with MT members.

External – Plays a critical role in stakeholder management and partnership management. Works with local governments and research institutions to seek their buy in of EN-WWF conservation agenda. Works in close collaboration with colleagues in the WWF network when appropriate.

  • Impact Driven
  • Balance between proactivity and reactivity
  • Plan but not over plan
  • Implement innovatively with a future driven mindset
  • Being courageous
  • Embedding MTP with impact at scale

Experiment & Solution Driven
  • Embrace decision making process based on adaptive Management
  • Ensure all changes in decision do not move away from original goal and MTP

Together We’re Stronger
  • Working together as matrix organization to implement strongly

Integrity & Trust
  • Be confident
  • Believe in success
  • Retain high level of ethics

  • Entrepreneurial
  • Keeping to the ambition/vision/goal/ and MTP
  • Ensure we are meeting the plan to achieve goals whilst adapting tactical plans along the way

Additional Information

Emirates Nature-WWF is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome diversity in the workplace and offer a flexible and diverse place of employment.

Emirates Nature-WWF staff participate wholeheartedly in general activities and events that require the full support and participation of all staff members, whether the focus of any particular event or activity has any bearing on the job description and assigned project objectives and activities.

How to apply

Please send your application consisting of a cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate to work with EN-WWF and your CV with the subject ‘Application for Lead/Head - Marine Conservation and Nature-based Solutions’ to the attention of Ms Magdalena Tayoun on careers@enwwf.ae before 31st August 2023.

Emirates Nature reserves the right to appoint a candidate prior this date.