Project Manager


About Canadian Biosphere Reserves

Canada's 18 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (BRs) are leaders in creating vibrant, healthy, sustainable communities across Canada, while conserving the country's natural and cultural heritage. As model regions and dynamic learning sites for collaborative projects of all kinds, BRs strengthen and celebrate Canadian values and action national priorities including climate change adaptation and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Our 18 sites are situated within the traditional territories of over 50 Indigenous communities. Spanning an area of 235,000 square kilometres, Canadian BRs play an important role improving the quality of life of the 1.2 million Canadians who live and work within their boundaries.

The Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA) is the national network of Canada’s 18 BRs and a Canadian registered charity.

About the Project

CBRA has been successful in securing grant funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to deliver the 2017-2020 project to advance the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada. The focus of this project will be on Canada’s Target 1 and will seek to identify BRs potential role in satisfying the requirements of Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs).

CBRA is well positioned to advance the achievement of the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, especially Canada’s Target 1 with regard to their potential role in satisfying the requirements of Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs).

Through this project, CBRA will seek to explore, define, and structure this Target 1 role across the Canadian network of BRs, with the potential of adding millions of hectares to Canada’s present inventory of protected lands. The model will incorporate meaningful engagement and collaboration with Indigenous communities, as exemplified in other sites across Canada, in the process of establishing BRs that could qualify as OECMs now and into the future.

Project funds will strengthen CBRA and the national network of Canada’s BRs via coordinated administration and support including the planning and delivery of national annual general meetings, enhancing networking for existing BRs and guidance for proposed BR’s, and engagement with CCUNESCO, MAB Canada and UNESCO. This project will also demonstrate implementation of the Lima Action Plan and sharing with the international BR network.

About the Position

Over the next 2.5 years, the PM will be primarily responsible for managing and implementing the ‘Pathway to Canada Target 1 in Canada’s 18 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (2017-2020)’ project as funded via Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Concurrently, the PM will be expected to strategically assess the potential of CBRA and to build capacity to implement the strategic goals and objectives of the organization by working with the board and volunteers. The PM will also provide governance and administrative support to the organization.

CBRA’s long term goal is to re-establish capacity as a national network. The PM position may lead to an Executive Director position leading the national organization and networking Canadian BRs. For the right person, this current employment opportunity may be a bridge to this long-term leadership position.

Scope of work

1) Project management

  • Effectively build on our partnership with ECCC through management and delivery of the 2 ½ year work plan and pre-approved budget.

2) Sustainable funding development and financial management

  • Leveraging current funding including identifying other funding sources, developing potential projects, submitting proposals and maintaining records and related documentation.

3) Coordination, planning and management

  • Supporting CBRA’s secretary in preparing material to be used by CBRA such as agendas, briefing books and minutes for CBRA meetings in collaboration with CBRA Executive Committee;
  • Establishing CBRA ad hoc committees and new working groups related to the project;
  • Seek opportunities to develop other national and international projects with CBRA and BRs;
  • Support CBRA’s collaboration with, and input to, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO concerning BRs.

4) Communication

  • Presents the organization and its mission, projects and BRs in a strong and positive light to relevant stakeholders;
  • Works with Executive Committee to maintain media relations and ensures co-operation with key federal, NGO, corporate and other and national/international organizations that share the interests of BRs;
  • Develops and oversees CBRA communications material including website and print materials.

5) Staff and/or subcontract project resources

  • As related to the ECCC project, effectively manage the resources of the organization according to CBRA policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws and regulations,

Skills and Experience

  • Knowledge of national, provincial/territorial and international conservation and protection opportunities including the UNESCO biosphere reserve designation;
  • Knowledge and background related to Canada’s Pathway to Target 1, OECM’s, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), and relevant MEA’s;
  • Experience working with Indigenous communities and partners to deliver and incorporate the mandate of sustainable development, biodiversity conservation and reconciliation;
  • Leadership experience with a non-profit or member association, government or academic setting;
  • Minimum five years of management or coordination of a major multi-stakeholder or national program or network;
  • Successful long-term fiscal resource planning including fundraising
  • Budget and financial management experience;
  • Contract/staff management skills and experience;
  • Strong communication skills; and
  • Demonstrated success working in a team environment and with volunteers, all levels of government and academia.

Bilingual Status

The PM is required to be functionally bilingual in reading, writing and verbal communication.

Location of work

The location of work may be negotiated with the potential to establish a home office preferably located in one of the 18 BRs in Canada. Proximity to Ottawa will be considered an asset. Official record keeping capacity will be required.


University-level education related to environment and/or sustainable development with 5 years’ experience or demonstrated equivalent experience preferably in the BR network.

Personal Suitability

  • Ability to work independently, exercising initiative while maintaining team relationships;
  • Ability to adjust to changing deadlines and demands while maintaining Board approved project schedules;
  • Ability to work with high-level stakeholders (e.g., senior government, foundations);
  • Strong leadership skills and demonstrated strategic thinking;
  • Excellent organization, interpersonal, public speaking/presentation, reporting and communication skills;

Term of Employment

This term employment opportunity is subject to continued funding and currently scheduled to be completed March 31, 2020. This position is subject to a 3-month probationary period.

Reporting Relationship

The PM reports to the Executive Committee of CBRA through the Chair.


Salary will be negotiated in the range of $65,000 - $70,000.


Interested candidates should submit their CVs with a cover letter and three references by 4:00 p.m. November 8, 2017 by e-mail to:

 Jean-Philippe Messier, Chair, Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association

While we appreciate all submissions only those selected for interviews will be contacted.