Magister Biologi (S2)

ZSL Field Project Manager: Biodiversity and Oil Palm Project

Oil PalmThe Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international conservation organisation established in 1826. With a focus on science-based, pragmatic solutions, ZSL’s mission is to achieve and promote the conservation of wildlife and habitats worldwide, and it currently has activities in over thirty countries.

Indonesia is a country in transition. It contains two of the world’s biodiversity hotspots but also more endangered species than any other country. An important factor in the survival of Indonesia’s remaining biodiversity is the burgeoning oil palm industry. On one hand this is an important component of Indonesia’s economy, providing income, jobs and services to many of the poorest rural areas. But on the other it is a major threat to biodiversity, directly and indirectly replacing high-biodiversity tropical forest with low-biodiversity oil palm plantations. This conflict is now being addressed by the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which provides guidelines on how to minimise the impacts of production.

ZSL has been active in Indonesia for six years, with a particular focus on the overlap between industry and biodiversity. We are now looking for a PROJECT MANAGER to lead a new project aiming to reduce the impacts of palm oil production on biodiversity in Indonesia by working with the RSPO to strengthen guidelines related to biodiversity. The project is a collaboration between ZSL, the Indonesian Institute for Sciences (LIPI), the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Programme (BACP) and Wilmar International and will cover

  • Development of biodiversity survey techniques compatible with HCVF
  • Testing of management options to reduce biodiversity impacts at sites in Sumatra and Kalimantan
  • Improving compatibility between RSPO rules and national laws

Terms and Conditions Location: Bogor, Indonesia, with frequent travel to field sites in Sumatra and Kalimantan and some international travel.Contract length: Two years (with a three month probationary period). Potential to extend depending on funding.Salary: Commensurate with experience

Job description

Job title: ZSL Field Project Manager. Reports to ZSL Indonesia country managerGeneral responsibilities: To manage all day-to-day aspects of the BACP-Wilmar project and achieve the stated objectives.

Specific duties:

  1. Representation and liaison: Act as the primary representative of the project and ensure the country manager and all project partners are kept up to date with project developments.
  2. Project development and management: Recruitment and management of all project staff, secondments and students. Design of work plans to achieve objectives. Financial management in conjunction with ZSL accountants. Initial activities will be restrained by the conditions of funding already committed, but it is envisaged there will potential to lead project fundraising, development and extension in coordination with country manager as the project evolves.
  3. Outputs: Regular updates to country manager with formal monthly reports.

Provision of required information for regular funding reports. Monthly staff meetings.

Qualifications Required:

  • Postgraduate qualification in relevant subject area
  • Proven experience with project and staff management
  • Proven experience with budget management
  • Proven ability to deal with a range of stakeholders including field workers, government, business.
  • Dedication to, and excellent understanding of, current conservation issues.


  • Fluency in both Indonesian and English
  • Experience of working in Indonesia
  • Experience of working in the interface between industry and conservation
  • Experience with wildlife surveying
  • Good knowledge of the palm oil industry and current environmental-related issues


Please submit a) a letter of interest explaining your suitability for the position, b) a full CV and c) contact details of two referees to by 13th February 2009. Interviews will be held in early February either in person or by telephone depending on location. We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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