Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization based at the Bronx Zoo, New York, USA with over 100 years of experience in the field of international conservation in over 60 countries.
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation actions, education and inspiring people to value nature.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been working in Afghanistan since 2004, beginning with wildlife surveys conducted by Dr George Schaller. In 2006 WCS received funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for a comprehensive project entitled "Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management" in Afghanistan. In 2010, USAID funded a four-year follow-on project entitled "Improving Livelihoods and Governance through Natural Resource Management in Afghanistan". In 2014 UNDP-GEF-5 funded WCS to execute a five-year program on “Establishing Integrated Models for Protected Areas and their Co-Management in Afghanistan”. With those donor supports, WCS has established a high-performance team with over 50 full-time staff in Afghanistan to work on conservation and sustainable nature resource management schemes. The goal of the WCS Afghanistan Program is to enhance rural livelihoods by improving management and protection of the scarce and valuable natural resources, with a particular emphasis on preserving Afghanistan’s unique biological diversity. Our work is focused in the provinces of Bamyan and Badakhshan, with a national capacity-building component in Kabul. WCS has helped design and create Afghanistan’s first two protected areas, Band-e-Amir National Park (2009) and Wakhan National Park (2014), and works with all communities in these areas and the government to build capacity to manage the parks and associated landscapes, along with the wildlife and rangelands.
Recently, the EU has awarded a grant to WCS to implement a 46 month-long program on “Addressing Climate Change in Afghanistan through Sustainable Energy and Ecosystem Management”, the location of the action is in Wakhan District (Badakhshan Province), Saygan, Kamhard, and north of Yakawlang districts (Bamyan Province), and Kabul. Finally WCS will very soon be granted an award by UNDP-GEF-6 to implement a 36 month-old program on “Conservation of Snow Leopards and their Critical Ecosystems in Afghanistan”, the location of the action will mainly be Wakhan District and Kabul. The present ToR refers to a position for the EU- and UNDP-GEF-6-funded projects.
Developing mitigating measures to reduce the impact of climate change on natural ecosystems and people’s livelihood in the headwater of the Amu Daria River will be a crucial part of the WCS Afghanistan Program’s strategy and efforts for the forthcoming 4 years. These long-term efforts will have to be based on a strong, durable and science-based effort to predict the impacts of climate change on this landscape. The work will include climate modelling efforts, developing and monitoring a set of physical, ecological and social indicators of effects of climate change, carrying-out vulnerability assessments, educating main stakeholders including communities and building the capacity of the government for their long-term involvement in climate change impact management. As part of that initiative, WCS Afghanistan is looking for a full-time climate change officer to help further its climate change work over the next years.