Make a difference in the region with green group

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 July, 2007, 12:00am

The Nature Conservancy aims to build its brand image, increase awareness and raise funds

Go out and see the world, then tell people how to save it. That's the crux of this communications role with a major global player in conservation.

The Nature Conservancy wants to raise its profile in the Asia-Pacific region by hiring a director of communications who will be based in Hong Kong. While helping to create a brand image and increasing awareness, this person will also assist the organisation's country managers to create and implement strategies for reaching out to stakeholders and the public.

'Since the scope is enormous, the challenge will be to get a handle on the biggest priorities,' said Maria Ferreira, the conservancy's associate director for Asia-Pacific, who is looking for someone with five to seven years of experience, preferably with a PR firm or media outlet.

The newly created position should bring additional credibility to the organisation, hopefully aiding in fund-raising.

In its first 20 years of operating in the region, the organisation got most of its funding from donors in the United States. 'There are people in Hong Kong, Singapore and China who care about conservation and can provide support. It's time for us to start working with those people,' Ms Ferreira said.

The job would be particularly suited to someone from the corporate world looking to make a change, while experience in the non-profit world would be a bonus. The ideal person would feel comfortable further strengthening relations with governments and high-profile bodies. This would be a chance to use established media relationships and event planning skills to ensure that conservation is on the agenda at important policy meetings.

One image this person can draw on is the organisation's use of non-confrontational methods of providing solutions to save the environment.

In China, it had been quietly protecting not only small areas but also working closely with the government to create a conservation blueprint for the entire country, said Ms Ferreira.

In the first six months, it will be necessary to visit projects and offices in Washington DC, the mainland, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, the Solomon Islands in Melanesia and the Micronesian capital Palau.

'This person will see the work we are doing - visiting remote, interesting places most people never get to see,' said Ms Ferreira. 'If you like hiking in the woods, or getting in the water, this is a great opportunity.'

She explained the importance of contributing to something of global significance: 'In the Asia-Pacific, natural resources are closely tied to the quality of humans' well-being. Many communities' livelihoods rely on fisheries and forests. It is part of our job to protect these for now and future generations.'

Putonghua skills would be advantageous, but language training could be provided.