Regional Head, Safeguards Asia

Posted 2 years ago

Regional Head, Safeguards Asia


WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. 

WWF believes that conservation benefits when people benefit from conservation and has had its most important successes from working with people, including local and indigenous communities, finding practical ways for people and nature to thrive together.

To further strengthen our deep commitment to this collaboration with local communities and to respecting human rights, WWF is setting up a central unit to spearhead, manage and support the implementation of a robust global Environmental and Social Safeguard Framework (ESSF) across our entire global network of WWF offices. 

The ESSF will represent an overarching policy on environmental and social risk management, providing for: 

  • Integrated environmental and social management to identify and manage the environmental and social impacts, risks, and opportunities of projects through the programme and project life cycle. 
  • Effective stakeholder engagement through disclosure of project-related information and consultation with local communities on matters that directly affect them. 

Major Functions

The Regional Head Safeguards Asia is part of the global team that will spearhead the development, implementation and update of WWF’s network policies and practices relevant to mainstreaming the ESSF into all WWF’s global operations. 

The Regional Head Safeguards Asia will provide guidance and support to project teams in WWF’s implementation of its ESSF.  S/he will also support the Director Environment and Social Safeguards in activities related to outreach, policy development and advocacy on these matters. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities

The role of the Regional Head, Safeguards Asia will include the following activities: 

  • Serve as the focal point for environmental safeguards and/or environmental and social standards for the region and coordinate all environmental safeguards and/or environmental and social standards and enhancement activities within and between projects. 
  • Share information with Landscape Leads, project team members, staff/consultants responsible for projects’ environmental safeguards/ESS management, and other relevant regional staff.
  • Provide expert guidance and support for the screening of WWF projects for environmental risks (especially for projects with high risk ratings), impacts, and vulnerabilities and vulnerabilities; and the identification of risk management opportunities/strategies. Review the risk classification assigned to the project on a regular basis. 
  • In accordance with WWF’s ESSF, determine the appropriate environmental and social risk classification of projects, taking into account all relevant information such as the type, location, sensitivity and scale of the project; the nature and magnitude of the potential impacts; and the capacity and commitment of the office and any third parties WWF is funding to manage risks and impacts in a manner consistent with the ESSF. 
  • In coordination with the Director Safeguards and the training plan developed, provide training on the ESSF provisions, together with the implications for project preparation and implementation, to WWF network staff and potentially third parties. 
  • Disseminate lessons learned and contributions to best practices from specific projects for research, knowledge and learning purposes. 
  • Monitor the environmental performance of the project in accordance with the ESSF. 
  • Resolve project related questions from clients related to the interpretation of the ESSF, under guidance from the Director Safeguards. 
  • Oversee the development of ESSF related guidance and technical support materials, such as guidelines, knowledge materials, as applicable. 
  • Identify, collate, generate, and disseminate current knowledge, lessons, trends and development pertaining to ESSF into the conservation and development agenda at regional levels.

Required skills and competencies

  • Experience of working in multi-laterals or other bilateral development agencies that have similar systems.
  • High degree of cultural sensitivity and ability to navigate complexity.
  • Clear understanding of risk-based approaches to managing projects and programmes.
  • Strong knowledge and experience of programming in the region.
  • Strong organizational skills, results-driven.
  • Creativity, dynamism and diplomacy.
  • Sound judgement and decision-making skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and language skills, English essential and other languages – especially French – desirable. 
  • Works to the highest level of integrity and confidentiality.
  • Clearly demonstrates behaviours aligned to the culture of WWF: Strive for Impact, Listen Deeply, Collaborate Openly and Innovate Fearlessly. 
  • Adheres to WWF’s values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging. 

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in social sciences and management, law, environmental management, economics and policies, social development, sociology, social development, anthropology, indigenous peoples’ studies, or other relevant fields.
  • Minimum of seven years of relevant international experience in the areas of environmental safeguard systems. 
  • Demonstrates knowledge of indigenous peoples’ policy development and implementation; social safeguards; development of guidance, references and tools related to indigenous peoples and social safeguards; design and monitoring of climate change and development programmes, projects and activities; and advocacy and capacity development.

Working Relationships

INTERNAL – Interacts regularly with Director Environment and Social Safeguards, other Regional Heads, Country Directors, key network stakeholders, Head of Compliance, Risk Management and Operations.

EXTERNAL – External partners and other international NGOs, civil society organisations.

This job description covers the main tasks and conveys the spirit of the tasks that are anticipated. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary according to organizational needs.


Closing of applications: 29 September 2019 23h59 (CEST)
Screening interviews: Week commencing 30 September 2019
Final interviews: Week commencing 14 October 2019 (tbc)

Reports to: Director, Environment and Social Safeguards, WWF International
Location: Preferably Yangon – Myanmar
Salary: Competitive

Lead Consultant: Ana Filipa Fernades
Director – Asia


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