Example only

This application-specific submission is no longer current. It is hosted online as an example of a multi-page submission prepared by Chris Eilers.

The submission was accompanied by a CV and publications list targeted to the role of Senior Conservation Officer in the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency.

[Name withheld]

Response to the selection criteria for the position of Senior Conservation Officer, EN006/06

[Street address withheld in online CV]
Rochedale South
Brisbane 4123
Mobile: [number withheld]

Selection criteria page 1
[Name withheld]

Selection Criterion 1

Demonstrated sound level of ability to manage projects and lead and manage teams
Five years’ experience working in natural resource conservation projects in developing countries, firstly as the project conservation biologist in the Cat Tien National Park Conservation Project, Vietnam, and secondly as protected area management adviser in the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Project in Virachey National Park, Cambodia, involved managing projects, and leading and managing teams.
• Example of managing a conservation project:
As Conservation Biologist in the Cat Tien National Park, co-ordinated a major release of the Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile into the wild as part of the first-ever re-establishment programme for the species
Negotiated with local farmers of Siamese, Cuban and saltwater crocodiles, and secured a large number of purebred Siamese crocodiles at no cost
Managed the crocodile release, employing Park science staff, rangers, crocodile farm hands and local villagers
Re-establishment programme has resulted in a stable, reproducing population to date
• Example of managing an advisory project:
As Protected Area Management Adviser in Virachey National Park, developed a 3-year Park protection strategy and jointly co-ordinated the implementation of the strategy in conjunction with the Director of the Park
Strategy addressed corrupt ranger practices, the serious and growing threat of illegal hunting and logging, lack of Park capacity, lack of adequate funding, and the need for greater conservation awareness and engagement with local communities
Prepared other Park documents including staff competency profiles and draft performance appraisal forms for all Park roles, Park guidelines for working with partner organisations, and a manual for protected-area reporting to the Ministry of Environment
• Example of team management in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam:
Responsible for supervising the Javan Rhino Patrol and Monitoring Unit, utilising technical advice from the International Rhino Foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy Group to plan research and direct the Unit’s activities
Wrote field and office procedures for Unit staff
• Example of team management in Virachey National Park, Cambodia:
Undertook functional responsibility for managing the Park Rangers, leading monthly team meetings, prioritising work activities and advising on protection strategies
Supported and advised Warden Park Protection on the supervision of Rangers
• Additional experience in co-ordinating and supervising teams:
Throughout employment as Conservation Biologist, co-ordinated the programmes of numerous visiting teams of researchers from the United States, Russia and Indochina studying mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants in Cat Tien National Park
Managed the logistics of Vietnam travel and accommodation for visitors, jointly planned research programmes, employed local guides and research counterparts, allocated work activities and ensured compliance with Park policies


Selection criteria page 2
[Name withheld]

Selection Criterion 2

Sound knowledge or ability to rapidly acquire a sound knowledge of Commonwealth and State threatened species legislation and principles, practices and recovery relating to wildlife management
• Examples of rapidly acquiring a sound knowledge of legislation relevant to the management of threatened species in a protected area:
Reviewed threatened species legislation and prepared summaries of the legislation applicable to Park operations as introductions to a 5-year Conservation Management and Operational Plan in Vietnam and to a 3-year Park Protection Strategy in Cambodia
Studied Cambodia’s Constitution and laws relating to the environment, protected species, forestry, land and gun use in order to advise on the jurisdiction and statutory obligations of rangers, and introduced law enforcement training for rangers
• Example of rapidly acquiring a sound knowledge of legislative and policy issues relating to threatened species and protected areas:
Rewrote and extensively expanded a draft research policy for protected areas for the Ministry of Environment in Cambodia
In preparation for developing the policy, investigated best practice in international conventions, legislation and policies, including CITES, specimen collection, import and export, and intellectual property relating to publishing rights, biodiversity and local communities
• I expect to have studied the Nature Conservation Act 1992, the Marine Parks Act 1982, the Forestry Act 1959, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Commonwealth), and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Commonwealth) prior to 1 January 2006
• Example of knowledge of ecological principles relating to threatened species:
Thesis for Master of Science with First Class Honours in Zoology involved a study of bellbird feeding on the threatened New Zealand mistletoe, and the role of the bellbird as a keystone pollinator and disperser in the New Zealand forest ecology
• Examples of knowledge of practices and recovery relating to threatened species:
Sourced and utilised international expertise and best practice as the Project biologist on the Cat Tien National Park Conservation Project, and undertook responsibility for co-ordinating the first-ever re-establishment programme for the Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile and the monitoring of the Critically Endangered Javan rhino, as well as shared responsibility for the species management of the Javan rhino
Introduced conservation management techniques new to national parks in Vietnam, including controlled burning as a fire management tool, the culling of an alien invasive primate species and alien/endemic species’ hybrids, and the establishment of man-made salt licks for elephants and rhinos
• The soundness of my knowledge of principles, practices and recovery relating to wildlife management is reflected by the acceptance of the recommendations contained in my scientific and technical reports as the Project biologist on the Cat Tien National Park Conservation Project, their posting on the World Wide Fund for Nature’s website, and the international perception of the soundness of the Project (www.wwfindochina.org/Cat_tien_project/summary-CTNP.htm: “world famous among scientists and conservationists”)


Selection criteria page 3
[Name withheld]

Selection Criterion 3

Demonstrated sound analytical, research and problem-solving skills
• Examples of analytical skills:
As Conservation Biologist in Vietnam, analysed the species status, conservation threats and management requirements for the Critically Endangered Javan rhino and Siamese crocodile, the globally Vulnerable and locally Endangered gaur (wild cattle) and the Lower Risk through to Endangered pheasant species community
In both Vietnam and Cambodia, developed a threat analysis matrix ranking threat intensity, geographical area, source of threat and management urgency, and a threat management matrix broken down into direct protection, policy development, advocacy, education and awareness, and incentives for threat reduction
In both Vietnam and Cambodia, developed an analysis of Park organisational and departmental capacity, including skills and knowledge base, staff management and staffing levels, learning needs, performance management processes, reporting lines, equipment and infrastructural resources, maintenance regimes, information management systems, work activities, activity planning, field and office policies and procedures, strategic alliances, transboundary co-operation and stakeholder engagement
• Examples of scientific research skills:
Thesis on the ecology of bellbirds for Master of Science with First Class Honours in Zoology spawned flow-on research projects, student papers and published articles, and included a major literature review encompassing all nectar-feeding bird groups within the bellbird Family and worldwide, and all known food sources
In addition to utilising standard data collection techniques for Javan rhino research, such as monitoring footprints and signs of browsing and wallowing, obtained promising results in the use of cutting-edge techniques in fresh dung collection to test for DNA residues from intestinal lining cells
Own data collection methodology and analysis on species and habitats in Cat Tien National Park established a benchmark for my scientific counterparts in the Park, and included the first scientific confirmation of the presence in the Park of Sun bear, Asiatic brushtailed porcupine and Indian giant flying squirrel
• Example of problem-solving skills applied to an evaluation and logistics challenge:
On notification of an urgent need for additional evidence for a Court case on illegal logging, jointly evaluated the legal weight of different types of evidence and the relative practical difficulties associated with their collection within a very short time frame
Assembled 4 teams of rangers, wardens and department heads, briefed the teams, and reviewed the presentation of the resultant data prior to despatch to the legal team in Phnom Penh
• Example of problem-solving skills applied to a human resources management challenge:
On receipt of evidence of widespread data falsification and bribetaking, jointly addressed Ranger performance issues in conjunction with Park and Project management
Terminated the employment of serious offenders, and reduced patronage practices by introducing staff rotation, the panel recruitment of replacement staff and the hiring of a greater proportion of local villagers
Increased the timeliness of wage bonus payments, established a staff life insurance fund and introduced non-financial performance-based incentives


Selection criteria page 4
[Name withheld]

Selection Criterion 4

Demonstrated sound communication, consultation, negotiation and liaison skills and skills in providing advice
• Examples of written communication can be found in the attached publications list, which includes:
Six management documents, including two strategies, two draft manuals, a draft policy and a conservation management and operational plan
Eight scientific studies, either published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at international conferences
Fourteen unpublished scientific and technical reports, including summaries of Project activities, and field and office procedures
• Examples of oral communication skills:
Led numerous discussion meetings and delivered talks to park rangers, advisers and management on research projects, park conservation, park protection and management in Vietnam and Cambodia, and also delivered talks to local school groups
Delivered a talk on species research and habitat management in end-of-Project workshops presented to the NGO community, Project partners, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development staff, and the news media, in both Cat Tien and Hanoi
• Examples of consultation skills:
Prepared a 5-year Strategy for the Science and Technical Department of Cat Tien National Park and a 3-year Strategy for Virachey National Park Protection, both of which involved consulting with field staff and management at all levels, and soliciting feedback on draft documents throughout the preparation process
Also consulted with the leader of a local village for the Virachey National Park Protection Strategy and sought advice from my colleagues on the views of the villagers
Both Strategies included identifying key areas of management weakness in a sufficiently consultative manner that both Strategies were fully accepted and significant progress was made toward implementation
• Examples of liaison and negotiation skills:
As Conservation Biologist, liaised with visiting and advising scientists, and forged strong links between the Project and the international conservation science community
As Protected Area Management Adviser, liaised with other NGOs working in the region and set up ongoing links between Park staff and NGO staff
Negotiated with local crocodile farmers for the Siamese crocodile re-introduction programme, and secured purebred Siamese crocodiles at no cost
Resolved dispute over the substandard construction of boundary markers at Virachey National Park through negotiations with contractor to rebuild markers at no extra cost
• Examples of skills in providing advice:
As Conservation Biologist, frequently worked alongside local counterparts to transfer knowledge base and conservation awareness
As Protected Area Management Adviser, developed a co operative, consultative relationship with the Director of the Park, and jointly developed and oversaw improvements in all key areas of Park management, including human resources management, forward planning, threat analysis and prioritisation, and engagement with local villagers, government bodies and partner organisations


Selection criteria page 5
[Name withheld]

Selection Criterion 5

Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work within budget
• Co-ordinated multiple activities that met their planned time schedules, such as:
Ongoing species/habitat programmes, including scheduled conservation management activities, surveys and reports, and monthly meetings of rangers and patrol team
Travel arrangements, accommodation and local staff support for visiting teams of scientists engaged in research programmes
A release of crocodiles into the wild, employing Park science staff, rangers, crocodile farm hands and local villagers
• Undertook various ad hoc activities that needed to meet tight deadlines and completed the activities within the deadline, for example:
Wrote a (successful) application for nomination of Cat Tien National Park and surrounding areas as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve, when the unexpected opportunity was presented, and with a 4-day lead time to the application deadline
Developed and co-ordinated an unscheduled programme to collect evidence of a major illegal logging operation throughout a broad area of forest in a remote part of Virachey National Park with difficult access, and within a 14-day deadline
• The project leaders to whom I reported in Cambodia and Vietnam (both of whom are listed as referees in my CV) will, I trust, confirm that my work output, including field activities, management advice and written reporting, met or exceeded the expected standards of timeliness as well as quality
• All expenditure incurred within the scope of my annual functional budgetary responsibility in Cambodia fell within budget:
Species/habitat protection and management, including subsistence allowances for rangers (US$58,050)
Ranger field equipment (US$114,625)
Ranger professional development (US$19,820)
Ranger field support (US$5,500)
Strengthening of legal procedures and Park regulations (US$3,700)
Species research and monitoring (US$900)
Habitat monitoring and restoration (US$500)
Replaced budgeted provision for the purchase of additional base-to-station radio equipment items for rangers with a successful application to the World Bank for a new fully-portable radio system
• All expenditure incurred within the scope of my annual functional budgetary responsibility in Vietnam fell within budget:
Habitat management and improvement (US$13,510)
Javan Rhino Patrol and Monitoring Unit (US$7,090)
Additional species monitoring, management and recovery (US$12,860)
• Achieved significant reductions in budgeted expenditure while improving outputs:
Restructured Rhino Patrol and Monitoring Unit, reducing staff from 3 part-time teams to one full-time team, and introducing performance based remuneration, resulting in an increase in data collected, less disturbance to the rhinos and lower labour costs
Replaced annual grass-cutting in grassland areas with controlled burning, resulting in increased browsing of endangered species and lower costs