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Climate Change & Territorial Land Use Officer

12 Months | Start Date between Jun - Aug 2017


Location Cartagena, Colombia

Start Date Jun - Aug 2017 (flexible)

Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements Spanish

Spanish Reading: Level 3, Writing: Level 3, Speaking: Level 3

Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale

Please submit a Spanish Cover Letter and Statement of Interest

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only


The Volunteer’s Role


Cuso International Colombia is looking for a volunteer like you to support the incorporation and management of climate change issues in pilot cases for our partner, the Natural National Parks (PNN for its acronym in Spanish). These pertain to the assimilation of protected areas in land use planning.

You'll support the PNN staff in the land use project of the wetlands located the Municipalities San Onofre, Arjona and Reten y Pueblo Viejo in the departmerns of Sucre, Bolivar and Magdalena respectively (Wildlife Sanctuaries of Fauna and Flora Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta and El Mono Corchal Hernandez).

As a team effort to analyze how climate change could affect more acutely these wetlands and how improved land use management planning could support climate change adaptation, you'll work in coordination with local actors (Flora and Fauna Sanctuary and wetlands teams, local authorities including the infrastructure and roadside authorities), departmental authorities for the departments of Bolivar, Magdalena and Sucre as well as national stakeholders through PNN. This will be imperative to ensure accordance with the national framework for territorial and environmental management and that the work you do aims to support the development and implementation of the General Policy for Territorial Management in Colombia.

You'll be asked to provide technical advice, carry-out research, evaluate current status of processes (needs, challenges, etc.), as well as conduct stakeholder mapping. Depending on the needs of the partner, you could be based out of the Santa Marta or Cartagena offices.

Please review the following links for more information on the wetlands:

1. Santuario de Fauna y Flora El Corchal "El Mono Hernández"


2. Santuario de Flora y Fauna Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta



As a volunteer, you will:

- Compile and analyze information currently in place at the local, regional, national levels on climate change in the natural parks of Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta and Canal del Dique, in accordance with the table of contents proposed by PNN.

- Demonstrate the importance of wetlands as providers of ecosystem services for territorial development of these regions and as indicators for monitoring climate change.

- Support the development of projects and concept notes on climate change and land use management for the pilot case.

Essential Academic Qualifications:

- University degree in the natural or social sciences with experience in training and management of public policies, environmental planning and climate change.

Essential Professional Background:

- Ability to work in a team

- Experience in interagency cooperation

- Skill in elaborating technical documents

- Experience in project design and management


About Our Partner


Parques Nacionales Naturales

The mission of the National Natural Parks System (PNN in Spanish) is to administer the national systems of nature parks and of protected areas in the framework of environmental zoning of the territory, with the aim of in situ conservation of biological diversity and ecosystem representativeness of the country, to provide and maintain environmental goods and services, to protect cultural heritage and natural habitats in which traditional cultures develop as part of the national heritage under principles of transparency, solidarity, equity, participation and respect for cultural diversity.

Their vision is to be a public body positioned in the national arena, with international recognition and social legitimacy, with technical capacity, an effective organizational structure, political influence and financial soundness, that exercises environmental authority in the National Nature Parks System, leading processes of conservation, administration and coordination of protected areas, contributing to the environmental zoning of the country.


Terms and Conditions


Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.


Support Package

- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

- Accommodation while in placement

- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation

- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer

- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).

- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation



We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.



Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.


Residency and Citizenship  



The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.

We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.



Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.

By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.

You  must  check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:

  • Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
  • Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.