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Position: Monitoring And Research Advisor - Wetlands Conservation
Type: 12-month intntl. position with living allowance, accom., airfare, more (see below)
Organization: Cuso International
Location: Cartagena, Colombia, South America

12 Months | Start Date between Apr - Jun 2019

Start Date Apr - Jun 2019 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements English, Spanish

Please submit a Spanish Resume and Statement of Interest

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only

The Volunteer’s Role

The El Mono Hernández Cork Forest Flora and Fauna Sanctuary was declared a protected area of the National Natural Parks System of Colombia in August 5, 2002, with an approximate extension of 3,850 ha. The Sanctuary was created as a strategy for the conservation of the complex of coastal and inland wetlands associated with the Canal del Dique and the biodiversity associated with them, particularly the mangrove areas. In the Sanctuary, five mangrove species registered for the Colombian Caribbean are protected; Rizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, Pelliciera rhizophorae and Conocarpus erectus, the flooded forests dominated homogeneously by Pterocarpus officinalis (Cork), the only nationally representative samples and as a posthumous tribute to Jorge Ignacio Hernández Camacho, naturist forerunner of the Park System Natural Nationals.

In this context, technical support is required to implement the programs and portfolios associated with these three themes. In the case of monitoring and research since 2014, data has been recorded on the dynamics and structure of the cork forest that require processing and analysis, and the definition of the thresholds of the different indicators defined in the monitoring design.

In terms of the mangrove and bodies of water, the area is in the process of formulating the monitoring design which needs to be defined. The deepening of the implementation of these programs contributes to the generation of knowledge of the conservation values of the protected area, the reduction of pressures on their ecosystems; and ultimately, ensures greater effectiveness of their management.

In this context, you as a volunteer will support the implementation of the monitoring program and the portfolio of research projects in the El mono Hernández Cork Forest Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, with the purpose of contributing to the effective management of the protected area.

Within the program areas of Cuso International, this volunteer position is inserted in the area of Livelihoods, specifically in the priority of sustainable management of natural resources and adaptation to climate change.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Review, process, and analyze recorded data of the different variables of the cork forest, according to the established design of the Cork Forest monitoring of the protected area.
  • Technical support in the formulation of the monitoring design of the Mangrove Forest and the definition of thresholds of the different indicators.
  • Contribute to the collection of baseline information and ongoing monitoring, through support for field trips, data digitization and information processing.
  • Prepare a research proposal on a priority issue defined in the research portfolio of the protected area.
  • Provide support to share different academic institutions, research centers, among others, the portfolio of research projects of the SFFCMH.

Essential Academic Qualifications:

  • Professional training in forestry, or in biology with experience in conservation and management of tropical forests, and knowledge of any of the following topics: wetlands, mangrove and / or cork ecosystem, forestry, handling of remote sensors and preparation of research projects.

Essential Professional Background:

  • Work experience in one of the following topics: wetlands, mangrove and / or cork ecosystem, forestry handling of remote sensors and preparation of research projects.

About Our Partner

Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

The mission of the Parques Nacionales Naturales (PNN) is to administer the System of National Natural Parks (SPNN) and to coordinate the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) within an environmental legislation framework for these territories, with the aim conserving biological diversity and ecosystems found in 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 and promotion of sustainable human development, all 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 Natural 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 (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)
  • 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
  • Bonus: Additional return flight home or cash in lieu after 12 months of service for volunteers who extend for another 6 months


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.

Apply here:

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date publiée : Dec 13 2018    Numéro : 49707