Scientific leadership for the management of Harapan Rainforest, Sumatra

Closing date: 18 October 2007

The Harapan Rainforest is the most important tract of lowland rainforest in Sumatra outside of protected areas. Numerous threatened bird species as well as notable mammals, such as Tiger and Asian Elephant, still survive in around 1000 km2 of forest, much of which is secondary or has previously been cleared. The forest is designated as production forest but recent changes to Indonesian law have now allowed a conservation consortium (Birdlife International, Burung and the RSPB) to manage this site for restoration, rehabilitation and conservation. The consortium has constituted the Harapan Rainforest Management Unit for this purpose.

Over the next three years, a comprehensive inventory of key biodiversity components is required, along with the development of a sustainable monitoring system against which the success of the key indicators of rehabilitation can be measured. Alongside these activities, a research strategy will be developed, including experimental management for rehabilitation, and a research station will be set up to encourage collaborations with local and international partners. Local and regional staff will be trained in inventory and monitoring techniques through a series of courses run from the research station.

The Senior Scientist will act as a technical advisor and counterpart to the Head of Research and Conservation (HRC) of the Harapan Rainforest Management Unit who will have the responsibility for these activities. However, until the HRC is in post, the Senior Scientist may be required to initiate these activities independently, by agreement with the Harapan Rainforest Management Unit.

The post is based in the forest, where the research station will be developed. Few facilities exist, so experience of working in such conditions is essential. A PhD in a relevant subject or equivalent experience, as well as a good knowledge of global conservation issues are required. International research experience is essential, as is supervisory or training experience. Sound knowledge of Indonesian forest birds, trees or mammals is required and expertise in at least one major taxonomic group relevant to the site would be an advantage. Other requirements are excellent writing and communication skills, a diplomatic and friendly nature, ability to produce results in demanding circumstances and a willingness and aptitude to learn basic Indonesian if not already known.

The post holder will be an employee of the RSPB, responsible to the Harapan Rainforest Management Unit and under scientific supervision from the RSPB. This work is funded by the ’s Darwin Initiative.

For further information and an application pack please contact Mrs Anita McClune, Conservation Science Dept., RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DL or visit the RSPB website.

Please quote ref.no. CCF-SUMA on your application form.