Since 2011, AFF, through a grant from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), has been implementing a project titled “African forests, people and climate change” that is in its third phase. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the role of African forests in assisting people adapt to the effects of climate change in various landscapes in ways that will improve livelihoods, sustain biodiversity, and secure the quality of the environment, as well as to strengthen the capacity of Africa’s forests to adapt to climate change and to contribute to mitigation efforts. The emphasis of the first phase (2011-2014) was on enhancing capacities in understanding and handling issues related to the forest/climate change nexus. One of the key objectives of this phase was to ensure that production, adaptation, mitigation, and policy processes involving forests and trees are backed by sound scientific information. The second phase of the project (2015 – 2018) focused on two main objectives: the first on enhancing the knowledge and capacities of African stakeholders in managing forests and landscapes in the context of climate change and the second focusing on the improvement of existing policies and initiatives relevant to forests and climate change through evidenced based science outputs/outcomes of the project. The current third phase (2018- 2022) of the project is guided by the following four specific objectives: (i) strengthening the capacity of African forestry stakeholders in adopting best practices that integrate both adaptation and mitigation options in response to the impacts of climate change and variability to biophysical and social systems in different landscapes; (ii) enhancing national forest governance by strengthening the capacity of African stakeholders to respond to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiatives related to forestry; (iii) promoting entrepreneurship opportunities and technologically efficient means for value addition in African forestry, including those related to climate change that enhance livelihoods, national incomes and employment; and (iv) strengthen AFF’s institutional capacity in creation and sharing of relevant forest and tree-based knowledge and information for improved decision making. Through these objectives, the project is expected to contribute to six of the seven AFF’s Programmatic Areas, namely: contribution of forests and trees to environmental health; policies and governance; forests and trees in economic development and poverty eradication; capacity building and skills development; and information management and impact assessment.
Another ongoing project at AFF is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and is entitled “Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa”. The overall goal of this project is “to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that provide inputs into policy and decision-making options and capacity building, for improved forest management that better addresses poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa”. The project has 5 specific objectives (components) among which the objective 2 on “improving knowledge and capacities of African stakeholders in responding to adverse effects of climate change through better management and use of forest ecosystems and trees outside forests” and objective 3 on “examining the potential for production and use of liquid biofuels in Africa as means towards developing green and circular national economies”. are well aligned to the AFF Climate Change Programme and contributing to the programmatic areas highlighted above. A previous Sida supported project “Strengthening sustainable forest management in Africa” implemented by AFF from 2014 to 2019 had its third objective and component focused on “ catalyzing efforts to enhance sustainable management practices that have potential to improve resilience of forests and trees to adverse effects of climate change, and up-scale promising approaches that support livelihoods” that was also aligned to the AFF Climate Change Programme and contributing to the programmatic areas highlighted above.
Through these projects, a number of knowledge products have been generated, among which are some scientific articles, MSc and PhD theses, technical reports, policy briefs, factsheets, training modules and compendiums and other documents focusing on land uses / land cover changes, vegetation dynamics, vulnerability and resilience of the forest and tree based social and biophysical systems to climate change (CC), carbon sequestration, REDD+, forest ecosystems goods and services, forest communities’ livelihoods, etc. There is a need to digest, analyze key messages and lessons leant from these useful documents and synthesize them into one document that could better facilitate their uptake and adoption, as well as enhance expected impacts on policy processes, livelihoods and the environment.
The African Forest Forum is providing short term post-doctoral fellowship/sabbatical fellowship/internship of 2 months for one postgraduate African scholar/fellow, researcher or professional. The main focus of this position will be to explore and analyze AFF’s knowledge products on management of forest and trees as it relates to people, their livelihoods and climate change and synthesize major results / achievements in the field so as to, among other things, point out potential remaining knowledge gaps and future needs (research interests). The sabbatical /postdoctoral fellow/intern will work on all AFF’s knowledge products related to the areas specified above.
The fellow is expected to undertake the following specific tasks:
- Study the various AFF’s knowledge products on forest and tree-based climate change issues as submitted.
- Develop an outline for presenting the key results, including achievements and gaps, from the analysis done on the documents, and discuss this with relevant AFF staff.
- Depending on how the information can be structured, develop 2-3 documents based on the analysis of the information, after discussing the structure of the documents with relevant AFF staff
- Participate in any other AFF activity as might be required.
The fellowship will be provided to African scholars/fellows, researchers and professionals based in African institutions of higher learning as well as those working in relevant forestry-based research institutions to support their post-doctoral/sabbatical leave/internship away from their working institutions
- The synthesis documents highlighting, among other things, the key achievements, knowledge gaps and future research areas.
- A review scientific publication highlighting AFF contribution to the specified field of research, knowledge gap and future research needs.
Qualifications, skills and experience
- Have a PhD in forestry, environment, natural resources management or related areas.
- Have very good knowledge on climate change vulnerability of biophysical and social systems, forest and tree-based adaptation, mitigation and resilience, climate change policy and environmental studies;
- Have very good computer skills, particularly in data analysis and reporting.
- Show good records of publications in high impact factor journals in the field of forestry and climate change.
- Have good written and oral communication skills in English and French.
- Be able to work in interdisciplinary and multicultural groups.
Duration of assignment
The tasks in the ToRs are for two months of workload, commencing on August 1, 2021 and spread over a maximum period of three months. The postdoctoral fellow shall be based at AFF secretariat and working in close consultation with relevant staff while keeping to agreed delivery schedule.
The fellow will be supported with modest stipend, medical insurance cover, air return ticket (where applicable) and accommodation expenses for the period attached at AFF. The level of compensation is commensurate with the experience and expertise.
Application assessment and fellows selection
All applications that meet the general and specific eligibility criteria will be evaluated against the following criteria:
- Quality of the call proposal stated objectives and methodology.
- Technical merit of the proposed work; and
- Qualifications and capabilities of the applicant to undertake the tasks as per the call.
How to apply
Please email, and attach your application containing:
- Filled AFF fellowships application form “Post-doctoral/Sabbatical fellowships/internship on synthesis of key results / achievements from AFF knowledge products on the interaction between forests, people and climate change in Africa: Fellowship No: 02-112. Post-doctoral/Sabbatical fellowship/Internship
- Cover letter stating how you meet the above qualifications and experience requirements.
- A short proposal of 3-5 pages demonstrating how the tasks outlined in section 4 of this call will be achieved within the specified period;
- Curriculum vitae
All application materials must be complete and received by the AFF Secretariat on or before the application deadline with the subject line assignment No 220.127.116.11:“Postdoctoral fellowship on interaction between forest, people and climate change in Africa” to: Professor Marie Louise Avana-Tientcheu through M.Avana@cgiar.org, Dr Djibril S. Dayamba (D.Dayamba@cgiar.org) and Dr Daud Jones Kachamba (D.Kachamba@cgiar.org), and with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered until 30th June, 2021, please note that only short-listed applicants will be contacted.
To download this Call, click here.
Download the AFF fellowships application form “Post-doctoral/Sabbatical fellowships/internship on synthesis of key results / achievements from AFF knowledge products on the interaction between forests, people and climate change in Africa.”