Silvicultural Specialist

Vacancy Announcement

Silvicultural Specialist, USAID Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Activity

Application deadline: 31st July 2021

Are you looking to apply your silvicultural knowledge to help reduce carbon emissions associated with deforestation, the degradation of natural forests, and poor plantation management in Vietnam? Preferred by Nature, as a subcontractor to DAI, is looking for a Silvicultural Specialist to help it implement the USAID Sustainable Forest Management Activity in Vietnam, implemented from July 2020-2025.

Preferred by Nature (formerly NEPCon) is a non-profit organisation that works for sustainable land use and climate-friendly solutions. With 250+ staff around the world, our projects build capacity, raise awareness, conserve nature and streamline sustainability through innovation.

We are currently looking for passionate colleagues with a forestry background to join an exciting new project. Preferred by Nature is a subcontractor to DAI, an international development company for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Sustainable Forest Management activity in Vietnam which will be implemented from July 2020-2025. To implement the project activities Preferred by Nature seeks Certification and Silvicultural Specialists within sustainable forest plantation management, certification, and market linkages, within an emphasis in the Acacia value chain.

Project Background

The Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management Activity (the project) will work with the Government of Vietnam (GVN) to reduce carbon emissions associated with deforestation, the degradation of natural forests, and poor plantation management. The project will implement a “Green Prosperity” approach that strengthens local communities’ ability to protect their natural resource base and reduce emissions while building a strong foundation for sustainable livelihoods and equitable economic growth.

The project will work in seven provinces and focus on five activities:

  • Strengthening community forest management;
  • Promoting conservation-friendly enterprises;
  • Improving law enforcement to tackle environmental crimes;
  • Enhancing the management of production forests; and
  • Mobilising domestic resources.

The project will be working closely with the Ministry for Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD), the focus will be on seven provinces including: Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Nghe An, Son La and Lao Cai.

DAI is the lead partner, with Preferred by Nature and RECOFTC as subcontractors. We aim to bring local talent and international best practices to the project that will help us build in-country technical and operational skills and strengthen community forest management well beyond the life of the programme.

Enhancing the management of production forests

Preferred by Nature is responsible for delivering the fourth activity: enhancing the management of production forests. We envisage this activity to consist of the following main elements:

1.    Increasing the production of sustainable timber by small-scale foresters

We will convene wood production stakeholders to map potential sustainable wood production zones and implement interventions that strengthen grower groups, increase production of high-quality timber products and create replicable, scalable models.

2.    Increasing the demand for certified timber

We will engage with sawmills and other wood processors to catalyse aggregator-level demand for certified timber through business plan development, access to finance and support for Chain of Custody (CoC) certification.

3.    Developing market linkages between timber producers and industry

We will facilitate linkages between producers and buyers, alongside supporting broader market transformation for certified wood products. We will design and implement a series of interventions to enhance market opportunities for community grower groups and transform the broader market.

Summary of Primary Duties

The Silvicultural Specialist is responsible for leading on the design and implementation of the silvicultural activities within the project.

Essential Duties

  • Design and plan project activities – draw up proposals for the project team and work collaboratively with team members to incorporate them into annual work plans. Examples of such activities include:
    • Assessing needs to support Acacia plantations to become more sustainable and FSC certifiable
    • Engaging stakeholders at all levels and across all regions - to facilitate deeper understanding of the issues affecting the implementation of sustainable forest management, provide timely feedback to the project team and represent the project
    • Develop best practice guidelines on the sustainable management of acacia plantations in collaboration with the private sector, provincial and district governments to ensure widespread acceptance
    • Develop and conduct training programmes - focusing on silvicultural techniques that improve the sustainability of plantations, at all stages, from nurseries to logging
    • Raise awareness of, and promote, sustainable forest management
    • Provide technical assistance to small holder producers to improve production of forest products
    • Provide technical assistance to small holder producers to improve their plantations management plans to achieve higher yields and sustainability, while considering integrating intercrops and other to improve income prior to final harvesting
    • Provide advice to producers towards meeting FSC certification requirements in coordination with the Certification Specialist.
  • Be systematic in reporting the outcome of meetings and personal interactions
  • Work closely with the Certification Specialist and the wider project team to ensure close coordination of project activities, and
  • Support colleagues, as needed, particularly the Community Forest Management Director.

Professional Requirements

  • University degree in forestry
  • 5+ years of relevant work experience 
  • A demonstratable understanding of relevant silvicultural techniques in forest plantations management
  • Experience of managing Acacia plantations and knowledge of how to increase their sustainability and the financial income from them
  • Fluent in Vietnamese and English (our organisational language) and have excellent verbal and written communication skills in both.  
  • Proficient user of the MS Office package (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).

The preferred candidate shall also have experience of developing guidance materials and delivering training.  

Personal Qualities

You will need to have strong interpersonal skills and a head for technical details. On top of that:

  • You are an open and friendly person, who likes – and are good at – communicating with people on all levels.  
  • You have an analytical approach, so you are able to identify the barriers to sustainable forest management. 
  • You possess a high level of self-discipline, an ability to organise and manage yourself and your time, as well as making independent decisions, as the nature of the job requires you to work independently and meet deadlines. 
  • You have good networking and negotiation skills, as well as excellent organisational and planning skills. 
  • You are comfortable speaking at events.  
  • You are a constructive team-player and have an open attitude towards other cultures, as we collaborate across borders in our organisation. 
  • You believe in Preferred by Nature’s vision and mission and want to contribute to fulfilling it. 
  • You are willing to travel frequently in Vietnam, and occasionally out of the country.

If you don’t meet all the professional requirements but you do have all the personal qualities, then we’re still keen to hear from you.

Position Details

  • Work hours: 40 hours/week for full-time positions
  • The employment contract will be on a yearly basis, with possible extensions until the close of the project.
  • The positions’ day-to-day work is overseen by the project’s Director of Enterprise Development and report to Preferred by Nature’s Country Manager, Vietnam
  • Working location: Hanoi, with regional travel as required
  • Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience
  • Expected starting date: November 2020.

We Offer

  • All employees are members of the organisation and have the opportunity to contribute to the overall development of Preferred by Nature through the annual General Assembly 
  • An exciting and challenging position within a dynamic and innovative international organisation with a mission-driven work atmosphere
  • A friendly, international team of colleagues, with a pleasant work environment
  • Excellent opportunities for growth and professional development 
  • International training in certification services provided by Preferred by Nature
  • Potential international travel opportunities.            

A pool of short-term experts will also be needed to supplement the team. Based on the candidates chosen for the long-term positions, other candidates will be approached for the short-term positions, selected to create a team that can cover all needs of the activity.

How to apply

Please submit your CV and letter of application (in English), including salary expectations, by 31st July 2021 via the application form HERE.

Please note: Only applicants legally eligible to work in the relevant country will be considered.

For questions, please contact:

Ho Van Cu, Country Manager, Vietnam  
Email: [email protected]


Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Preferred by Nature
Application Deadline: 
Sat, 2021-07-31