Master Thesis Internship Participatory Land Use Planning in São Tomé

Application deadline: 
Tuesday, 15. January 2019 - 23:45

Master Thesis Internship

Participatory Land Use Planning in São Tomé 

BirdLife International is a global Partnership of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) striving to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards the sustainable use of natural resources. In Africa, the BirdLife Africa Partnership is a growing network of 24 such organisations, with a combined total of more than 500 staff and 87,000 members.  Through projects, BirdLife is active in a further 15 countries, hence overall working in a total of 39 countries.
São Tomé and Príncipe is often described as the African Galapagos due to its unique biodiversity and rate of endemism. BirdLife has been active in São Tomé and Príncipe for the last 10 years, with its partners RSPB and SPEA. Through EU funding’s and in the current absence of local partners on the islands, BirdLife opened an office in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2018 to lead the ECOFAC6 (Ecosystème Fragile d’Afrique Centrale – 6th phase) within a consortium of NGOs including SPEA and RSPB, BirdLife partners respectively in Portugal and the UK, and Oikos - Cooperação e Desenvolvimento (Portuguese NGO with extensive experience in STP’s communities).
ECOFAC6 is a regional programme (Golf of Guinea – 8 countries involved) that links conservation efforts to development and poverty reduction, toward sustainability. In São Tomé and Príncipe the project aims to improve the protection of endangered biodiversity and ecosystems of the Obô Natural Parks of São Tomé and Príncipe and their buffer zones. The project has a wide scope of activities organized around 3 mains products: governance and institutional arrangement, conservation area effectiveness and communities’ livelihood. BirdLife has also secured additional funding’s from Rainforest Trust for expanding the area of critical and high value forest habitat on São Tomé that is under formal protection and sustainable management through designation of the buffer zone of Obo Natural Park as a Protected Area. 
The island of São Tomé has one protected area: the Obo Natural Park. The legislation that established the Park speaks of a buffer zone around the ONP where only specific activities will be permitted. However, since the establishment of the ONP, the buffer zone has remained a ‘concept’ only and is therefore still formally unprotected. The buffer zone has a surface of 20,569ha and consists of a mosaic of mangroves, High Conservation Value forests up to 1400m elevation, and cloud forests above 1400m elevation up to the highest points at 1,500m above sea level. Many of threatened species can be found in the buffer zone and therefore it is important to get this area under formal, effective, protection and management, with sustainable use of natural resources. This shall be achieved through land-use mapping to provide the needed information for site protection, prioritization, zonation and management.
Using the preliminary work undertaken by the project team and extensive literature review as the foundation, the objective of this internship is to support through Participatory Land Use Planning in 10 pilot communities within the buffer zone of the Obo Natural Park, the development of Community-based adapted conservation solutions.
Main actions :
• Development of methodology based on available bibliography and implementation tools (including preparation of working materials and logistic)
• Field Work in 10 pilot communities for Participatory Land Use Management Plan development
• Development of communication materials and convening of at least 2 workshops, one the early stages to inform and discuss methodology, and one after field work and initial analysis of results to disseminate preliminary results and assess interest raised by the pilot activity (including stakeholders from CBOs, Government Authorities, Private Sector, civil society and International Organizations)
Expected Results:
• Building local capacity in Participatory Land Use Management (at least 2 technician(s) and/or local student(s) capacitated)
• Development of:
  o Locally adapted (pilot communities) Land Use Management Plan (Community-based Land Use Management Plan);
  o Guidance and tools for extension to the buffer zone of the Obo Natural Park in São Tomé, including long-term implementation plan (sustainability of action).
• Master Degree internship, Master thesis (or equivalent), in Community Development / Forest / Environment related fields. 
• Previous community-work experience in Africa an advantage.
• Well organised, coordinating concurrent activities, and prioritising workload effectively to meet deadlines.
• Excellent concentration and attention to detail, with the ability to undertake repetitive tasks accurately and consistently.
• Ability to explain technical issues in an understandable way and to persuade different audiences to take legitimate concerns into account.
• Ambition to explore and develop new approaches within the Conservation Programme in São Tomé and Príncipe, and to help shape its future development.
• Ability to pursue new and unfamiliar challenges, work independently and devise innovative solutions to novel challenges.
• Flexibility and adaptability to respond to changing circumstances.
• Ability for field work and spending significant amount of time in remote location. 
• High proficiency in Microsoft Office (especially Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and basic knowledge of GIS technologies (Google Earth Pro, Quantum GIS or equivalent)
• Fluency in Portuguese (English an advantage).
Return flight covered from home location
Visa expenses reimbursed
Accommodation secured in São Tomé Island
Monthly financial compensation up to 180 Euros
6 months, based in Sao Tome
Field Team
This action will be developed with the support of BirdLife and Projects Implementations Partners team and with the support of a local student and/or technician(s) from line sectors (Forest or Park Directorates)
Please submit a CV and a comprehensive cover letter (in Portuguese or English) to: 
Roger Pires, Finance and Administration Manager, BirdLife STP office - Only applications with a max 1 A4 page CV and a 1-page personal letter will be considered.
Please include in the email subject: Conservation Intern - Participatory Land Use Planning in São Tomé
Closing date: Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at midnight WAT 
Only successful candidates will be contacted.