Illegal Wildlife Trade Program Manager, WWF-Greater Mekong

Position titleIllegal Wildlife Trade Program Manager, WWF-Greater Mekong 

Reports to:Regional Lead for Wildlife and Wildlife Crime, WWF-Greater Mekong 

SupervisesConsultants when required

Location: Yangon, Vientiane or Hanoi

Date:February 2018 

I. Background:


WWF-Greater Mekong on the ground in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam is working to conserve the region’s biodiversity and build a secure and sustainable future for people and wildlife. WWF-Greater Mekong works with government, industry and civil society partners to ensure that, as the region develops, it doesn’t squander the natural riches that so many depend on and that drive the region’s economic future. We support the countries of the region in realizing their shared vision of a poverty-free and ecologically-rich Greater Mekong. Find out more at

Eliminating illegal wildlife trade is a priority of the WWF global network with actions and strategies coordinated through the Wildlife Crime Initiative: a long-term collaborative initiative between WWF and TRAFFIC ( wildlife_crime_initiative/ ). Under the Wildlife Crime Initiative WWF and TRAFFIC have designed an ambitious programme to address the issue of illegal wildlife trade and the threat it poses to high- profile ‘flagship’ species. In order to achieve this jointly led and implemented programme we work with partners to drive four parallel streams of intervention as part of an integrated strategy: stopping the poaching, stopping wildlife trafficking through increased effectiveness of law enforcement; changing behaviour to reduce consumer demand and international policy to underpin globally all of the changes that are required at a national level.

The Greater Mekong is one of the global hubs of wildlife trade a perfect storm of a source, transit route, and final destination for many of the world’s most valuable and threatened wildlife species. Trade routes through, and demand originating from, the Mekong countries threaten the persistence of some of the planet’s most charismatic species including tiger, Asian and African elephants, and all rhino species.

The epicentre of this trade in the Greater Mekong is the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and China meet and where a number of casino-resorts, hotels, and restaurants operate and openly sell wildlife products to predominantly Chinese tourists. If wildlife trade is to be effectively combatted globally the governments of the Greater Mekong region, including China, need to be energised to provide the political commitments and support necessary to close these wildlife markets. As such WWF Greater Mekong has identified closing these markets as a Big Win - a significant conservation achievement capable of stimulating attention and leveraging commitment.

The Hanoi Conference on Wildlife Trade planned for November 2016, and part of the inter- governmental process initiated at the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade held in February 2014, provides an opportunity to leverage regional governmental commitments to effectively act against Golden Triangle wildlife markets.

II. Major Functions:

The Program Manager will lead and co-ordinate our advocacy and political efforts around, and beyond, the Hanoi Conference, and other relevant inter-governmental forum including CITES Convention of the Parties (CoP,) to galvanize regional governments for closing the wildlife markets of the Golden Triangle.

III. Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Wildlife Trade Program Manager will be responsible for implementing initiatives under the WWF Greater Mekong ‘Big Win’ to ensure international wildlife markets in the Golden Triangle and other centers of illegal wildlife trade are closed by 2020. Key activities will include:

  • Collating data and information on current extent of illegal wildlife trade within Golden Triangle

    wildlife markets including organising and implementing additional undercover surveys of key and

    emerging trade hubs.

  • Serving as the lead WWF GM manager of the cooperative project supported by the US State

    Department, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement affairs with Laos, Myanmar,

    Thailand, and the partner organization TRAFFIC.

  • Leading the implementation of an effective multimedia campaign and political advocacy strategy

    in the build up to the Hanoi Conference to raise awareness of, and generate inter-governmental

    support for, effective action for closing Golden Triangle wildlife markets.

  • Coordinating and providing technical support to inter-governmental dialogue between China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for identifying and agreeing key actions required for closing

    transboundary wildlife markets in the Golden Triangle.

  • Supporting China, Laos, and Myanmar governments with initiation of law enforcement activities (including identifying training needs and delivering targeted training) aimed at closing Golden Triangle wildlife markets.

  • Ensuring coordination and collaboration with all WWF and TRAFFIC wildlife trade work, particularly under the Wildlife Crime Initiative, and with other international forum and organisations combatting wildlife trafficking including relevant international NGOs, the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN), regional environmental justice bodies, UNODC, and CITES.

  • Ensuring technically and financially accurate reporting with all supporters of WWF GM’s supporters of its Wildlife Crime Initiative.

  1. Profile:

    Required Qualifications

    • Degree in conservation, environmental policy, or relevant fields

    • At least 5 years experience in environmental advocacy, policy, and/or political campaigning

      related to natural resource management

    • Knowledge of wildlife trafficking and trade issues ideally in Asia

    • Understanding of political and environmental context in China, Laos, or Myanmar ideal

    • Experience of advocacy and negotiating with Government and donors at all levels

    • Proven track record in successfully managing inter-institutional relations involving

      government and international NGOs

    • Excellent understanding of development partnerships, fund-raising, donor strategies, functions

      and international relations

      Required Skills and Competencies

    • Strategic thinking

    • Presentation, communications, public speaking and negotiation

    • Networking and interpersonal skills

    • Fluency in written and spoken English

    • Adhere to WWF’s values: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging

    • Respective Competencies: WWF Focus; External Orientation; Delivery quality outcomes;

      Building working relationships; Communicate effectively;

  2. Working Relationships:

Internal: work closely with WWF Greater Mekong communication and policy teams at national,

regional, and international levels

External: closely liaise with TRAFFIC South East Asia, TRAFFIC-China, WWF-China, WWF- International and other international NGOs working on wildlife trafficking issues in Asia

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