PACIFIC OCEAN FINANCE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

 

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC) – in partnership with Conservation Strategy Fund, the Conservation Finance Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society – are pleased to invite applications for the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program. This fellowship program is part of the Pacific Ocean Finance Program (POFP), which is Component 3 of the Pacific Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP) – funded by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility – and implemented through FFA and OPOC.  The aim of the Pacific Ocean Finance Program is to improve the amount and efficacy of finance for Pacific Ocean governance.

 

The objectives of the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program are to 1) increase individual capacity of Pacific Islanders by providing professional development training in ocean finance and governance, and 2) advance finance initiatives promoting ocean governance and health both within institutions and across sectors in the Pacific Islands region through a program of mentored projects in fellows’ home countries.

 

The 9-month fellowship program will select, train and mentor 10 outstanding fellows in order to expand the pool of people in the region knowledgeable and skilled in conservation finance and to increase positive investment decisions, business models and policies for ocean health at local and national scales.  Pacific Ocean Finance Fellows will receive training, financial support and project mentorship between June 2019 and March 2020.

 

The deadline for applications is May 7th, 2019. Selection will be based on the eligibility and selection criteria outlined below.

 

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CONTEXT

Marine and coastal resources of the Pacific Islands region provide hundreds of millions of dollars of economic goods and services, plus millions more in additional non-market ecosystem services, but government budgets are inadequate to fund the effective management and governance of these valuable resources, and market and policy failures, such as open-access fishing and perverse subsidies, stymie private-sector investment in the blue economy. A select group of leaders with a greater knowledge of public and private financial incentive structures, marine and coastal ecosystem services, and ocean financing can design and implement better policy and market mechanisms. Some of these solutions will be implemented with technical assistance from the Pacific Ocean Finance program, but long-term and local capacity will be necessary to ensure the sustainability of its interventions. The Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship program will address this knowledge and capacity gap.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Citizens or permanent residents from the following countries are eligible to apply: Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The fellowship is designed to attract diverse applicants from government, civil society, academic and private sector organisations who are interested in developing skills and projects related to sustainable ocean finance. The program is open to applicants with a wide range of conservation finance knowledge and experience, and all Fellows will exit the program with increased knowledge and understanding of ocean finance, and greater experience and skill in their chosen project area.

 

PROGRAM DETAILS

The fellowship program will include two training events and an individual project to be conducted in the fellow’s home country with remote support and mentoring by conservation finance experts.  Fellows will also be expected to present their projects at the Pacific Ocean Finance Conference in Fiji in November.  Training and projects will focus on supporting the Pacific Ocean Finance Program’s four ocean finance priorities:

1) using traditional and innovative mechanisms to generate public and private financial capital,

2) better investment of financial capital to support measurable outcomes,

3) aligning public and private incentives to support ocean health and governance, and

4) using performance benchmarks and accounting for marine ecosystem service values through time.

In order to support these priority areas, the training and projects will include topics such as participatory financial planning for ocean conservation and governance, private investments for ocean health, and mobilising public capital for ocean health.

 

Training

The program will include two five-day trainings in June and November 2019 that will focus on ocean governance and policy, conservation finance concepts and mechanisms, and project design and management.

 

The first course will take place from June 24-28, 2019 in Honiara, Solomon Islands.  This training will include modules such as an overview of ocean governance and policy, introduction to ocean finance initiatives, economic drivers of markets, causes of market and policy failures, valuation of ecosystem services, protected areas finance, business planning, conservation trust funds, debt-for-nature swaps, public-private partnerships, tourism-based mechanisms, public budgeting process, and leveraging private and multilateral donor funds.  Time will also be dedicated for fellows to share and discuss their project ideas, receive feedback from the group, and work with their mentors.

 

The second training will take place from November 4-8, 2019 in Fiji.  Topics for the second course will be chosen based on the specific topics of the fellows’ projects, and on any other important themes identified during the initial training week.  Fellows are expected to stay in Fiji after the second training to present their projects during the Pacific Ocean Finance Conference, which will take place from November 11-15, 2019.

 

Project Mentoring

In addition to the two training courses, the program will include a 9-month process of project mentoring by conservation finance experts.  Mentoring support will be given by members of the CSF, CFA, and WCS team as well as other regional and international experts in conservation finance, all with extensive field experience and a deep understanding of the current challenges in ocean governance, fisheries management and marine conservation.

Fellows’ projects will vary depending on the specific country and economic and political context, and could focus on themes such as feasibility criteria for conservation finance mechanisms, business plans for marine conservation ventures, reforming public finance of marine and coastal protection, assessment of public investments in fisheries, or valuation frameworks for national assessments and benchmarking.  Applicants are encouraged to submit their own project proposal ideas, but fellows will also have the option of being matched with current Pacific Ocean Finance Program projects.  Fellows will receive ongoing communication from mentors, networking and group sessions with other fellows to share experiences and ideas, and guidance and support to plan and develop their projects and create policy-relevant communication strategies.

 

FINANCING

The program will pay for travel, lodging, and meals for fellows’ participation in the two training courses.  The selected fellows will also be funded up to USD 5,000 to support project costs during the course of the fellowship. This amount may be used to cover fieldwork activities, analysis and data collection, contracting services and fees for researchers. The funds provided under this program may not be used to pay fellow salaries/compensation or for the acquisition or purchase of equipment. Applicants are encouraged to find additional sources of financing or counterpart support to complement this grant.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed by an international selection committee composed of representatives from FFA, OPOC, CSF, CFA and WCS, as well as independent experts.  Selection criteria includes a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and five years of relevant professional experience. Additional criteria include relevance of current employment/activities and potential to apply the knowledge and tools learned.  The selection process will prioritise applicants who demonstrate a strong understanding of ocean governance and health, and/or a strong understanding of finance and economics. Applicants will also be asked to submit a letter of recommendation.

 

Applications are due by May 7th.  After an initial round of selection, a short list of finalists will be notified by May 14th.  Finalists who are currently employed or students will be asked to submit a letter of support from their employer or institution giving them permission to take part in the program if selected, including participation in the two training courses.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINES AND IMPORTANT DATES (Note: All dates are GMT+11 Solomon Islands)

Fellows Selection Process Date
Call for applications opened 16 Apr 2019
Call for applications closed 7 May 2019
Short list selection 14 May 2019
Final selection 21 May 2019
Fellow confirmation 28 May 2019
Fellowship begins 3 Jun 2019
First training course 24-28 Jun 2019
Second training course 4-8 Nov 2019
POFP Conference 11-15 Nov 2019
Fellowship ends 1 Mar 2020

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Fill out the application here.  Applicants will also be asked to submit via email:

  • Resume or short CV of no more than 2 pages
  • Letter of recommendation

 

For questions and inquiries about the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program, please contact: training@conservation-strategy.org.  Applications are due by May 7th, 2019.