ICLEI: Manager - CitiesWithNature & RegionsWithNature

ICLEI – Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 16 September, 2020
Opportunity type: 

ICLEI is a global network of over 2 000 cities and other subnational governments committed to building a sustainable future. ICLEI provides technical services, capacity building, networking opportunities and cutting-edge urban solutions to its network cities and their communities. ICLEI’s African Head Office, which serves ICLEI’s network cities from across Africa, is based in Cape Town (www.africa.iclei.org).
Over the past two decades ICLEI Africa has provided critical support to African cities and subnational governments as they embark on their sustainability journeys.

ICLEI Africa conducts sustainability work across Africa, and has done so over the past 20 years. Our programmes and projects are needs-based, they serve cities and towns across the continent, and contribute in tangible ways to local, national and international urban sustainability agendas. Our goals are significant: we promote the necessity for city engagement in the development of national and international sustainability agendas, and communicate in tangible ways how cities are contributing to the achievement of all major sustainability-related international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. We implement programmes and projects in cities across Africa, from inception and project conceptualisation to implementation of on-the-ground interventions. One of ICLEI Africa’s major strengths is that complementing the significant technical expertise that our teams possess, who get deep technical work done in cities across the continent, we engage in sustainability journeys with our cities, over the long-term. ICLEI Africa prides itself in maintaining long-term and trust-based relationships with stakeholders in our cities and towns through serving our member and network cities via capacity building, technical support for policy development and action, and advocacy for the importance of local action and finance.
ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center

ICLEI Africa also proudly hosts ICLEI’s global Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC), a center of excellence in the field of urban biodiversity and nature-based solutions for urban development. Through the CBC we work with all of our other ICLEI offices, many international partner organisations and networks, and with cities and other subnational governments from across the world (www.cbc.iclei.org).

The ICLEI Africa and ICLEI CBC team

Our work is conducted by a dynamic and passionate team of well qualified and highly skilled professionals that work with cities to ensure a more sustainable future. As an office that deeply cares for the cities it works with, the team adheres to a strong set of values. There is a culture and ethos of openness and sharing, where staff are always willing to support each other where they can. There is diversity of skills and experiences in our team of well over 40 staff that spans from those that have worked in research, carrying Masters and Doctorate degrees, to those that are experienced practitioners in the fields of urban planning, economics, sustainability, environmental science and engineering, as well as communications. Given the number of languages spoken across the African continent and globally, ICLEI Africa has many bilingual and multilingual staff, and also supports staff development in adding more languages to their repertoire.

ICLEI Africa has the pleasure to invite suitably qualified individuals to apply for the position below, to join our African and Cities Biodiversity Center teams of dynamic urban sustainability professionals. 

Manager: CitiesWithNature & RegionsWithNature
ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center
(24-month fixed term contract position with the potential of renewal)

Development and implementation of urban development and / or biodiversity policy, strategy and action plans at subnational (city and regional) government level with specialised skills and experience in one or more of the following fields: nature-based solutions (including green/blue (ecological) infrastructure and ecosystem-based adaptation); urban nature; ecosystem services assessment; landscape and systems level biodiversity conservation and management; nature and health; conservation ecology in urban context; resilience and sustainable development; land-use and spatial planning, urban development and planning; We are looking to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced individual who is passionate about nature, cities and people, to work at the global level, to apply for the position of Manager: CitiesWithNature & RegionsWithNature, managed globally from our Cities Biodiversity Center.

The vacancy exists within a flagship global CitiesWithNature programme which serves cities from around the world with technical and advocacy services on mainstreaming biodiversity and nature in and around cities. This global position entails the hands-on management, promotion, expansion and representation of CitiesWithNature, and its sister platform currently under development, RegionsWithNature. The work will include online platform development and enhancement, recruitment of, and support to, cities and regions from around the world, forging and maintaining strategic partnerships with global organisations in the United Nations and other partners, as well as technical development on thematic areas and offerings. The successful candidate must be a diplomatic, sensible, responsible, hardworking individual who enjoys a challenge and engaging with people at different levels, has strong organisational skills and attention to detail, as well as proven experience in the following areas:

  • Liaison, networking and promotional skills to effectively engage and partner with a wide range of public officials (executive and technical) and high-level representatives of international partner organisations at different levels, as well as experts and executives from NGOs, the academic and business sectors, professionals and stakeholders;
  • Outstanding communication skills on technical subjects, enabling consistent high quality, creative communications (verbal, written, social media etc.) to diverse audiences;
  • Ability to strategically develop and implement a multi-year work programme for CitiesWithNature and RegionsWithNature as bespoke and recognised engagement platforms of choice for cities and regions from around the world, with a diverse range of tools, offerings and value propositions for cities and regions to mainstream nature within their areas of jurisdiction, in order to contribute to their fullest potential to the implementation of globally and nationally set biodiversity and nature-related targets and goals.

Candidates who demonstrate exceptional communication skills combined with a keen interest for, and proven experience in, the design, building and establishment of new components of web-based media and communication platforms, will have an added advantage.

Candidates should demonstrate a keen interest for, and proven experience in, business development and mobilising resources; be delivery and results-orientated; have a strong city/local and subnational government orientation and focus; as well as a well-developed awareness of the role cities and regions play in biodiversity conservation, and the overall resilience of cities.


  • Relevant Master’s or equivalent qualification;
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience preferably within, or closely with, local or other subnational governments, or at global level, in one or more of the fields listed above;
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in multiple and multi-disciplinary teams in a highly dynamic, adaptive, and creative environment, with various project teams, ICLEI management, high level political leadership, academic and technical experts, the United Nations and other international organisations and the private sector on behalf of ICLEI;
  • Ability to produce technical reports, popular articles, communication, promotional and social media material, and to promote, enhance and expand the projects and partnerships he/she is involved in;
  • Innovative, passionate, and conscientious individual with a ‘can-do’ attitude who can think on his/her feet and harness well-established networks to further build ICLEI’s good reputation and networks internationally;
  • Ability to work with, and keen interest in, technology and digital media in facilitating and advancing city planning processes at the local and subnational levels, with a focus on mainstreaming nature and biodiversity considerations;
  • Strong inter-personal, organisational and coordination skills, and ability to work on both practical, hands-on activities and high-level strategic tasks simultaneously;
  • Ability to work across research, practical, technological, communications, and project domains;
  • Ability to manage various complex projects and the stakeholders simultaneously, adapt to changing circumstances and contexts, work with tight deadlines, thrive under pressure, and be comfortable with complexity and a dynamic working environment;
  • Experience in web conceptualisation and development, digital and social media, and communications, with the associated ability to design and implement campaigns and projects related thereto, will be an added advantage.

Further Requirements:

  • Problem-solving and analytical skills, well-organised, attention to detail and quality, and a structured and pro-active working style;
  • Excellent written, presentation and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Valid code B driving license, with at least one year’s driving experience;
  • South African resident/valid work or critical skills permit;
  • Must have a passion for, and willingness to, travel extensively, locally and internationally (within obvious limitations such as through the current Covid-19 pandemic);
  • Knowledge of the global geo-political context;
  • Proficiency in another global language, especially French/Spanish/Arabic/Chinese/Portuguese will be a strong added advantage; and
  • Interest in continuous learning and professional development, and an eagerness to grow within the company and team in an environment that actively supports and steers progress and encourages advancement in line with performance.

Please forward a comprehensive CV and covering (motivating) letter, including a certified copy of your ID, available starting date and three references to Sonya Smith (sonya.smith@iclei.org) by 23h59 SAST on Wednesday 16 September 2020.

Email Subject: indicated clearly which post (Manager: CitiesWithNature & RegionsWitNature or PO: Urban Systems or Technical Support Officer: Energy, Climate Change and Resilience or Internship position, indicating preferred field of work).

No late applications will be considered.
A market-related and competitive annual remuneration package (TCOE based) will be offered to successful candidates, taking into consideration qualifications and experience.

Good team fit within the ICLEI team will be a consideration for all posts.
Applicants who have not been contacted within 60 working days after the closing date of this advertisement should regard their applications as unsuccessful.
ICLEI Africa reserves the right not to appoint an individual in relation to this job advert.

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